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Productive Coughing / Wheezing after exercising
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Productive Coughing / Wheezing after exercising

Recently, I started running at a faster pace for 10ks, and about 30 minutes to an hour after the run (before and during the run I feel fine), I start to have a lot of productive coughing, wheezing, chest and throat soreness that lasts for the next several hours.  

This doesn't occur after other types of excerises (sprints, intensive jump rope sets, tournament singles tennis, weightlifting, or slower long distance running.)

I don't know if it relates, but I do tend to get bronchitis and sinus infections relatively often (maybe once or twice a year).  Otherwise I am very healthy (44 year old female, non-smoker, non-drinker).

Thank you.

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What you have experienced is almost certainly, exercise induced bronchospasm  (EIB) also called exercise induced asthma (EIA) that characteristically occurs following, rather than during exercise and is very often limited to a specific type of exercise, such as running but not rowing, in a given individual.  Theories of water loss and/or heat loss of the lining of the airways have been proposed as the mechanism of EIB, but recent research suggests that that the mechanism may be more complex than that.  For some people, it is the only clinical manifestation of their asthma.  The "bronchitis" you get once or twice a year, in truth, may be asthma flare-ups and likely preventable.  And, chronic/recurrent rhinitis/sinusitis is commonly associated with asthma.

As a practical matter, at this time, the mechanism of this disease is neither here nor there.  What is important is the identification and treatment of it.

As suggested above, EIB is more likely to occur when running in a dry, low humidity, climate and/or running when the surrounding air is cold.  Some individuals benefit from the use of a cold weather mask for the latter.

I recommend that you see either a board certified allergist or a pulmonologist, also called a lung specialist, for evaluation and treatment.

Good luck.
2 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you for your reply, that is very helpful.

Might I ask if you could recommend a pulmonologist in the San Francisco (or San Jose, Palo Alto...) area ?

Thank you.
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