If you're an ex-smoker and an athlete... can you help?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by InsaneCdn, Apr 10, 2015.

  1. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    This is for a friend, who quit smoking about a year ago.

    From time to time, her lung capacity ends up a bit compromised - lots of coughing, hard to breathe deep - during exercise.

    1) how long does it take to get all that c r a p out of the lungs?
    2) is there anything (to take or to do) that helps get rid of it?

  2. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    This sounds like she might have some Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) going on from the smoking. A year after quitting, the "getting rid of crud" stage should be over with.

    It took about a month after quitting in my case, but my lung capacity is permanently compromised.
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    She only smoked for a couple of years. So I wouldn't expect Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

    After she quit for a couple of months... her lung capacity got a lot better and things mostly cleared up. Lately, it's almost like she's smoking again - but she isn't.
  4. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I'm not an ex smoker but my husband is. He quit a little over a year ago and still has a phlemmy (sp) cough.
    I'm always telling him to drink more water to help flush it out.
    If your friends cough persists I would suggest going to a Dr.
    GoingNorth 's suggestion of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) could be true.
  5. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Then I'd suggest she see a doctor. It could be any number of things. You are correct that if she only smoked for a couple of years she shouldn't have any lung damage.

    I smoked for 40 years, and while my lung capacity is still getting better and better, I do have permanent damage and likely will have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) when I get older, if I don't already have it.
  6. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Sounds a lot like exercise-induced asthma. Smoking could had caused the onset, or onset could had happen in any age anyway. Cold and dry weather make the symptoms worse.

    To diagnose that one needs to do multiple pef-tests both while resting and before and after exercise and often also with and without short-acting beta agonists.

    Quite a many of my endurance sport enthusiast friends have that. Most only need to use those short-acting medications for treatment (and often only when it is cold or before especially hard exercise or when both are true) but some use also long-term control medications.
  7. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    I've smoked for many years, on and off. By that I mean on for years and off for years and on again. We quit in November and then totally quit - it's a process when you are stressed - in March. I have never had anyone tell me my lungs are in any way compromised and haven't coughed to speak of this time, though I had bronchitis when I quit.

    Last time I quit I did cough quite a bit, but it was over and done with in a month or two.

    It's not at all normal to be doing it after a year. I wouldn't blame the smoking or the quitting. I would strongly suggest a doctor. She might have a type of situational asthma.
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Thanks, all.
    I'll suggest she consider "situational asthma". It makes sense, given the environments in which she exercises.
  9. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    IC: Tell her that well over half of high level cross country skiers do have exercise-induced asthma. That is of course the extreme of it, but even in my decidedly recreational, middle age exercise group for cross country skiing, marathon and triathlon (and some compete also in rowing) it is something like every third or fourth.

    Exercise doesn't necessarily cause it, but if you have a type of asthma that only acts up, when you do hard endurance training in -15 C, you will not know that you have it, if you do not do hard endurance exercises in -15 C.
  10. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have "exercise induced asthma." You friend has the symptoms I had before I went for all the tests and was given an inhaler which I use prior to exercise and it does the trick.