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Coming off steroids

One of the hardest things I find about taking a steroid course for asthma is coming off them afterwards.

The side effect I generally notice is muscle weakness (though this may also be due to the fact that I've been ill).

The catch is, that it's hard to tell shortness of breath caused from asthma apart from shortness of breath caused by the lungs being weak after illness and steroids.  Thus, this tends to be a time when I'm never far from my peak flow meter.

I went swimming this morning (imperative after being ill as I need to build up the lungs again asap).  I'm now pretty breathless, but my peak flow meter tells me that my lung function is actually only 30 points below max (ie.  Well within what I'd expect on a normal healthy day).  The feeling of being out of breath is actually a result of my body not having had a decent work out in over a week.  The lungs are tired after exercise, rather than actually asthmatic.

Without the peak flow meter, I would have assumed it was asthma and taken more medication.  (yesterday, the same sensation WAS asthma and I did use the inhalers).

I'm planning on cutting the steroids by 10mg a day (took it down by that much this morning), seeing how much salmeterol I need to maintain lung function, and using that as a guide to see if I can keep stepping the steroids down.

And I'll need to get some form of active exercise every day for at least the next week.

This entry was originally posted on Dreamwidth where it has comment count unavailable comments.



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 10th, 2010 08:12 pm (UTC)
I admire your approach to the problem! You stay calm and efficient and you do the right things to get better. I usually moan and bother my people with a bouts of self-pity. But you are right, physical exercise is good!
Only...I leave to work at half past 5 a.m. and return at six or seven p.m. and it is dark now...and foggy and chilly.
My worst problem with breathing is mostly when I jump in bed and lay down. I have had use my Ventolin inhaler several times these days.
But I can see how much effort you have to pay - I hope you will win and will feel much better soon!
Nov. 11th, 2010 08:44 am (UTC)
Is there any way you can get some exercise at lunch time at work?

Spinning poi is actually quite good for that. You don't need masses of space, they work out the chest and shoulders and they also help to reduce stress.

I suspect it's the stress that is making your asthma worse, but vacuumuing the mattress would be an obvious step to try. Also, wash every single piece of bedding, including the duvet. Mattresses and bedding can hold a lot of dust mites and I know they often cause problems for me.

Nov. 11th, 2010 08:26 pm (UTC)
I am sure you are right about the stress...
Also I really try and do some stretching as often as possible during my working day, and as for my bed, I don´t actually use the traditional duvet but special blankets filled with sheep fleece, which are ideal for allegics. They were expensive but worth the money!
Also I thank you for your kind tolerance...I made some quite idiotic mistakes again...eeeeeeee!:-)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


Judith Proctor


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