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Peak Flows

My GP has told me to keep a close look over my peak flow readings so i can work out if i am likely to have an atack or not. i felt the explanation was rather rushed and i don't really know what i'm looking for. My personal bes is 400 although on a really good day it can be slightly higher but at the moment its about 150-180 in the morning and around 300 in the evening. i do have quite bad symptoms each day and feel i use my sabutamol far too much. i don't like to keep pestering my doctor but i don't now if these peak flows are normal and i'm scared of needing a hospital addmision.

4 Replies

Hi Laurenjayne

Reading this post and your other post ('Is this normal?') it is clear that your asthma is uncontrolled.

A slightly lower peak flow in the morning is common, but the variation that you describe is far too great and is a clear sign of uncontrolled asthma. In addition you have symptoms and are using a lot of salbutamol. These are warning signs that you are heading for trouble... and you are right, one of the potential consquences could be a hospital admission if things aren't brought under control.

For whatever reason, it sounds like you don't feel that you are able to talk to your doctor properly about this. I would strongly sugggest that you go back and speak to your doctor or one of the other doctors in the practice (you should be able to see any of them) and explain that you are concerned that your asthma is not being properly treated. Make sure that you understand the explanation and if it is rushed then you could ask if you can make another appointment at another time to come back and go into it in more detail.

From what I remember of your last post, you are on beclomethasone and salmeterol (Serevent) as well as your salbutamol. There are many other treatments you could try, so you don't have to put up with poor control - 90 - 95% of asthma can be completely controlled with no or very few symptoms and there is no reason why yours should not be in this group, if it is properly treated.

You could also ask for an asthma management plan so that you are more easily able to interpret your peak flows - this is a plan tailored to you which usually says things like 'if your peak flow is x, increase your inhaled steroids, if it is y, start taking oral steroids and see your doctor' or something like that. There is no real point in measuring your peak flows if you do not know what to do if they are low!

Hope this helps and you have some success with your doctor

Take care

Em H


Hi Emily,

Just wanted to thank you for your great long reply - it is very useful.

On wednesday my doc changed my beclemetason and severent to a seratide acuhaler - just so i can use the one rather than the two. i'm not to sure why and i'm not to happy with the new inhalor as i am finding it harder to use but i've ben told to persevere so i will. i think i should maybe book a double appointment and discuss everything with my doc.

thanks again

lauren xx


Lauren with such a wide variation in your peak flows if things dont settle with the seretide you could ask for a referral to see a consultant who specialises in respiratory medicine. they will have a better understanding and have the ability to test your asthma further. Hopefully they would try other meds that would give you the better control. Once you ahve control they could then drop your meds to a lower level as in the stepwise protocol. I sincerely hoep you get some help and better control soon.


Thanks for that i'll keep that in mind. My GP has never offered me anything like that. i might ask if i don't get anything sorted soon as i'm geting quite concerned my asthma is getting a bit too serious. x


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