Health Plus: Asthma - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Health Plus: Asthma

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Of the 17-million Americans who reportedly have asthma, one-third are children.

In Health Plus, how one eastern Iowa 12-year-old manages the condition while still doing the sports she loves.

Gymnastics, cheerleading, volleyball.

These are the activities Megan Gloede loves and excels in.

So her asthma diagnosis took the 12-year-old by surprise, especially with no family history.

 "It was more like okay, where's she getting this from. Why all of a sudden popping up because she's always been athletic, always been running around and stuff since she was little," says her mom, Jadee Gloede.

The La Porte City 7th grader has exercise-induced asthma.

Her symptoms first appeared in gym class.

Then came the diagnosis and need for a rescue inhaler.

"I'd have to remember to take my inhaler, first of all, to PE. And having to breathe, it was a lot harder than regular breathing."

Doctors say asthma happens when the airways in your lungs become inflamed and constricted.

There is no cure but monitoring and medication can control it.

"In Megan's case, she doesn't just pre-medicate before a sporting event, she's on a daily medication. Hers is actually more severe."

As for what can bring on asthma?

"Respiratory illness, allergens, smoke is another trigger."

Clearly, Megan has not let asthma slow her down.

"Honestly, I just say that if you take the inhaler and your doctor has you on medicine you'll be okay."

Megan and her cheer team just competed in the Junior Olympics in Des Moines on August 2.

Tara Thomas

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