Hi Everyone, (sorry this is long)
I am 28 years old, and I was just diagnosed with coughing variant asthma. When I was a teenager I coughed a lot and my doctor thought that I had coughing astham and gave me an inhaler. I went off to college and the asthma didn't bother me again for about 10 years. Then, last year, I got a very bad cold and cough and the cough just never went away. I went to an asthma/allergy doctor and I am not allergic to any of the main allergies they test for. But, my lung capacity changed drastically before and after I used albuteral. So, the doctor perscribed me the inhaler to use as needed and also advair to see if that helped over time. I had to stop using the advair as it changed my voice drastically (my voice changed in pitch and got very weak). I also tried the flovent (same steroid as advair, but not a powder form) and the same thing happened. So, all I am taking right now is my inhaler as needed. I just don't think I have very good control over this yet so I am seeking advice.
I know cold, dry air triggers my asthma. When I have to walk a lot in the cold, I have an asthma attack (no weezing, but I get breathless, lots of phlem and cough a lot) unless I use my inhaler first. So, knowing that I use my inhaler and have been able to avoid such attacks. But, I also use my inhaler after I eat. I read that eating can trigger asthma by putting pressure on the lungs, but I can't find too much about this. Eating has been a trigger even from when I was a teenager- I used to joke that I was allergic to all food as it would make me all phlemy and I would cough after most meals. I have no known food allergies. I also eat primarily organic, low-processed foods. I don't eat meat, but I do eat dairy. I thought it could be the dairy, but even after dairy-free meals I cough a lot. I haven't been able to nail it down to any single kind of food either.
So, my question is- can just the act of eating trigger asthma? Or does it have to be triggered by an allergy to a specific food? Is there any way to avoid these kinds of attacks? I would rather not use my inhaler before each meal as it always makes me jittery as hell. Does anyone else experience eating as a trigger?
Also, I want to start biking to classes this spring (about 6 miles each way), but since being diagnosed with asthma, I am not sure if I should go ahead with this or not. I have never been very physically active (I'm not a total couch potato but I don't exercise regurally either). If the cold bothers my asthma, would it be safe to think that biking in the warmer weather would not be such an issue?
Any advice for alternative treatments to asthma? Or places where I might find info on such things? I have never been one to take a lot of prescription medicines and since the steroid messes with my voice anyway, I wonder if others have had long term help with any other treatments.
thanks so much!