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Squats, weight lifting, shallow breathing, hyperventilation, asthma attack. Treatment ?

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Practicing since : 2002
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4 days ago (FRI) I did Squats weighted and then heavy 70kg deadluifts and almost -passed out. Since then I have had shallow breathing - almost anxiety and may have hyperventilated. My hand and arms and slightly tingling sometimes. My sleep is still soild at 8 hrs per night. I have taken some walks. Each day I feel better BUT did I hyperventilate when I reached my VO2max/or was it a asthma attck. Never had it but my brother does. I am 35, do fitness (maybe too much). I am not sweating, no headaches, just feel slight anx and the odd tingle...any suggerstions? thanyou :)
Posted Sun, 29 Apr 2012 in Asthma and Allergy
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 2 hours later
Hello and thanks for your query.

I can understand your concern here and I'll try to provide you with some good information and recommendations. First of all, congratulations on striving to maintain good fitness. This philosophy will serve to maintain and improve your mental health for many many years.

When you push your body to the XXXXXXX as it seems you did with the weight lifting, it can cause some effects that persist for a number of days. When you lift like this - as you know - it puts a maximum oxygen demand on both the heart and the lungs. Sometimes, this can trigger a bit of inflammation in the lungs. This is not XXXXXXX and usually resolves as I said. It is somewhat similar to a mild degree of asthma - where the lining of the tubes in the lungs swell a bit and give a sensation of shallow breathing.

I am sure also there may be a mild degree of anxiety going on here - which is understandable. Hyperventilation can create numbness and tingling which you have experienced. I suggest you focus on good XXXXXXX breathing exercises and or meditation which can help you focus on taking good adequate and XXXXXXX breaths. Yoga is a perfect idea as well as you strive to maintain balance between a vigorous exercise routine and a calm recovery.

Something you might consider is having an inhaler on hand for when you experience this shallowness of breathing. A generic inhaler such as albuterol may provide you with more immediate relief and you would basically take just one puff and that's it - when you have symptoms. The albuterol helps relax any swelling in the breathing tubes of your lungs.

My last consideration is that I don't feel it is necessary for you to exercise to complete exhaustion. You can reap the benefits of exercise by going to 70 to 80% of XXXXXXX and this may decrease the likelihood of you encountering any additional stress.

Again thank you for your query. If you have any followups I am available to address them. Otherwise, I wish you continued optimal health and happiness.


Dr. Galamaga
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Squats, weight lifting, shallow breathing, hyperventilation, asthma attack. Treatment ? 1 hour later
I agree with the pushing to XXXXXXX ..I have a fitness and strength course soon (which is why I was pushing it) and was wondering if I would be ok to do's in 2 and half weeks...the symptoms are calming, the tingling less, the feet are no longer cold and the breath is less of a struggle today...I am more aware of breathing - is this what you mean by anxiety?
I have taken magnesium oil, which seems to calm me and also vit c and zinc...

Would the occasional natural testosterone supplement mess me up?

man thanks Doc!! :) XXXXXXX
Follow-up: Squats, weight lifting, shallow breathing, hyperventilation, asthma attack. Treatment ? 23 minutes later
Is Ventolin ok?
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 4 hours later
Hello again,

I think you are OK to pursue the fitness course but again training to exhaustion is something I would try to avoid. I think the awareness of the breathing may be a form of very mild anxiety as you are very much in tune and in touch with your body these days. If you find yourself paying too much attention to these things try and take some XXXXXXX and calming breaths to clear your mind.

I really don't see the utility of using a testosterone supplement. Unless you have a documented testosterone deficit there really is no proven long term benefit to these supplements. I view these supplements with a lot of suspicion as many of them are not standardized nor are they tested in comparison to placebo.

Ventolin is fine - this is a brand name version of albuterol and absolutely fine to use as I suggested.

Thanks again for your query my friend. I wish you continued optimal health!

With regards,

Dr. Galamaga
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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