Asthma Control: Know Your Score (cont.)

BETTIS:
Hopefully that's not the plan! But we have a game plan in terms of the trainers and doctors, in terms of treating it. I take a nebulizer treatment before each game to help open the airways before the game, along with the daily medication. I believe that gives me the best chance.

EDELMAN:
I want to say that it's important for people with asthma to exercise and keep their muscles in good shape. If the muscles are not in good shape they can exercise less and it takes less exercise to make them feel short of breath. So, it's a kind of vicious circle. It's important for people with asthma to discover what kind of exercise they can do and keep their muscles in good shape.

MODERATOR:
But it points up the need to get a plan of control.

EDELMAN:
Absolutely, an asthma action plan is critical. It ought to be done with a health care provider and very carefully and ought to be updated periodically.

BETTIS:
You can start it all by taking the Asthma Control Test and consulting with your doctor and developing that asthma action plan.

"Patients ought to stand up for themselves, they ought to know that they are entitled to the best possible asthma control and they ought to be able to ask their health care provider to help them achieve that."

MEMBER QUESTION:
I keep needing prednisone and now my muscles are weak and my bones in pain. I am 37 years old. I used to exercise a lot but after a few life-threatening attacks, it seems my lungs are too weak. What's the best way to start?

EDELMAN:
The best way to start exercise is by setting limited goals. Only do what you can and increase the level of exercise very, very slowly. The key is not to lose patience. Be very patient. You may only be able to walk around the block twice for a month and then you may try three times and then four times. It may take months to gradually build up your exercise tolerance, but it's always worth doing.

MODERATOR:
We are almost out of time. Before we wrap things up for today, do you have any final words for us?

BETTIS:
Take the Asthma Control Test if you're an asthmatic and give yourself the best chance to live without the frequent symptoms of asthma.

EDELMAN:
Patients ought to stand up for themselves, they ought to know that they are entitled to the best possible asthma control and they ought to be able to ask their health care provider to help them achieve that.

MODERATOR:
Jerome, what's the good word on the Steelers for next year?

BETTIS:
Super Bowl, that's the key word.

MODERATOR:
Super Bowl winners. That's the keyword -- winners .

BETTIS:
Exactly!

MODERATOR:
Our thanks to Jerome Bettis and Dr. Edelman for joining us today. And thanks to you, members, for your great questions. I'm sorry we couldn't get to all of them. For more information, please visit the American Lung Association online at www.asthmacontrol.com or call 1-800-990-4100.

The American Lung Association "Asthma Control Test" is sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline.



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