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Athletes' 'sweat and tears' linked to asthma
Date:9/7/2008

the least sensitive to pilocarpine-induced sweat secretionmeaning, those subjects who had the most hyperreactive airways tended to sweat the least. Conversely, mean sweating rates were significantly higher among those subjects who were relatively unresponsive to methacholinethe subjects who showed no signs of EIA.

Researchers also found a correlation between the net sweat fluid excretion and net sweat sodium excretion, with sodium excretion rates being higher in subjects who were unresponsive to methacholine compared with those who were responsive. Additionally, a significant correlation was found between sweat secretion and unstimulated salivary gland flow rates and tear secretion.

"There were many Olympic hopefuls whose competitive chances were potentially limited by exercise-induced asthma," said Dr. Lockette. "We found that by controlling air quality during workouts, as well as by providing individualized attention to our athletes' hydration and nutrition, we could reduce the limitations imposed by hyperreactive airways in many individuals."

Although Dr. Lockette and his team were not able to establish a cause-effect relationship between the increased incidence of EIA and diminished sweat sodium excretion, they speculate that the mechanism responsible for determining sweat volume is the same mechanism responsible for the volume of water secreted by the airways. As a result, individuals who sweat less also have drier airways.

"It now appears that how much fluid your airways secrete could be a key determinant in protecting you from exercise-induced asthma," he said. "So, if athletes sweat, drool, or cry, at least they won't gasp."

"Exercise-induced asthma may be common among elite or highly trained athletes, but recreational athletes can also suffer from this condition," said Alvin V. Thomas, Jr., MD, FCCP, and President of the American College of Chest Physicians. "Otherwise healthy individuals who experience asthma sy
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Contact: Jennifer Stawarz
jstawarz@chestnet.org
847-498-8306
American College of Chest Physicians
Source:Eurekalert

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