Notices
Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: What is sthenic asthma?

  1. #1 What is sthenic asthma? 
    ox
    ox is offline
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,586
    Great athletes have asthma (famously the marathon runner Paula Radcliffe and the soccer player Paul Scholes). I'm not one but I've had it badly since I was 2. Nevertheless I can't stop exercising. While others are lounging around I am climbing mountains, cycling, jogging, long distance walking, doing aerobics and playing sport. Just about every day I need some special activity. I calculated I walked several thousand miles last year as this is my favourite activity (in addition to all the rest). Even so I probably couldn't do it without inhalers.
    I realise that the worse asthmatics are not always capable of high energy activity.
    Now I don't quite know what sthenic means in the medical sense but I understand it means an excess of energy possibly from the nervous system. That sounds about right to me as I do get nervous.
    Does it explain why a disease which causes such acute breathing problems can also energize you in unexpected ways?
    You will no doubt tell me there is no such thing as sthenic asthma but I am trying to find the true answer to how asthma provides extra energy.


    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    city of wine and roses
    Posts
    6,222
    From my very brief search, it seems that the term originates with radiography for categorising the initial appearance of a body feature or whole body type. And it's been extended a little. But it relates to an "athletic" body type. So an athlete who is asthmatic is very likely to be "sthenic" also. I didn't pick up any reference to providing extra energy.

    I might point out that a lot of swimmers and singers also took up these activities as a means of strengthening lungs and improving their baseline breathing. No idea whether they also have whatever these "sthenic" features are.


    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    ox
    ox is offline
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,586
    I believe the terms sthenic (strong) and asthenic (weak) go back at least to the time of the Roman physician Galen nearly 2000 years ago and the practice of bloodletting. Since then the 2 terms have been subject to some confusion. Galen referred to it as 'asthenic'.
    What I'm interested in is how some asthmatics are so weak that any form of physical exercise is almost beyond them, while for others the condition seems to act as a spur to activity. Occasionally when I've let it slip that I'm badly asthmatic I've had some reply like 'don't you know that [some super athlete] is asthmatic so what's your problem?' Once when this happened I was about to embark on an all day mountain hike, so I tend to keep quiet about it.
    Even today nobody understands what causes asthma and why no two patients are the same. Physical activity can either cause a worsening of the condition or an alleviation of it. The worst thing is when a person who has never experienced the condition begins to compare sufferers.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    city of wine and roses
    Posts
    6,222
    The worst thing is when a person who has never experienced the condition begins to compare sufferers.
    Try being a pregnant woman. Or any sufferer of any other condition anywhere.

    It seems to be a universal human dilemma. No one could possibly be managing the best they could with what they've been landed with. The only options available to the rest of the world seem to be
    a) ask the person all the questions they've heard a thousand times already and propose all the solutions they've tried already,
    b) dismiss their experience as never, ever being as bad as the speaker or someone they know who suffered more than you'll ever have to put up with.

    If I ruled the world, it would be against the law to embark on such idiocy without first asking - Is there anything I can do to help?

    This gives all sufferers of everything everywhere the chance to say, Yes there is. I'd much rather not talk about it just now.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
    Reply With Quote  
     

Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •