Newbie - prevention of exacerbations

Wondered if you had any thoughts.

I would say I have moderate asthma (generally well controlled with fostair and salbutamol). Except that when I get a cold/cough I have ended up on steroids three times in last year - which is a lot for me (progression of disease?) - before that only had steroids about ten years ago.

I haven't had any hospital admissions.

I have 2 young children who often have cold/coughs and my workplace is a constant source of bugs so cannot avoid - I wouldn't mind moving to sunnier climes - but that isn't an option. Any other ways to avoid the steroids (this time I added in extra qvar when my peak flow went below 80% - but still ended up on the steroids).

Thanks for your time.

7 Replies

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  • Hi sleepyhead and welcome to the forum. Hope you find it useful. Colds are a very common trigger for asthmatics and the autumn/winter months are particularly bad. Me and my son (14) often get chest infections with colds and I absolutely dread them.

    Having said that, we started taking vit C and a multi-vit a few years ago, and we havent had such bad colds this past year. The last cold my son had didnt go on his chest, altho he was tight and wheezy he still managed school. I think the extra vits are definitely worth a try. We also take vit D because there have been some studies that say asthmatics benefit from extra vit D.

    Sorry I cant be more helpful - it's a pain I know.

  • Hello and welcome too,

    There is people here with all levels of asthma from mild through to very severe (often known as brittle) on a lot of medication and in/out of hospital (often referred to as Costa) which is relatively rare given millions of people with asthma. Thus you will generally be always able to find someone who's had similar experiences or able to answer questions.

    Have a look at the info available under 'all about asthma' along the top and you can order leaflets at the bottom under publications.

    I have had similar experiences too in terms of moderate asthma, no admissions with more courses steroids last year than ever before. I have been referred after being on max meds GP can give, won't go into all the details again here. There are plenty of options you can try in terms of medication. What dose of steriod inhaler are you on? There is montelukast, long acting bronchodilators, atrovent, theophylline... Have a look at All about asthma > Medicines & treatments > Other treatments and 'add-on therapies' on this website

  • Thanks for your replies.

    Have been reading the discussion forum for about a year and it has felt helpful reading other people's experiences.

    I already take multivits (containing vit D) and eat lots of fruit and veg - will try with the extra vit C though.

    As far as the inhaled steroid, I am on fostair 2 puffs twice daily, generally only get coughs and colds in the winter and managed to step down to 1 puff twice daily over the summer.

    This recent exacerbation I stepped up the steroid with added in Qvar '100' 2 puffs twice daily and salbutamol 2 puffs four times a day plus extra (generally at night).

    Besides when I have cough/cold I am generally well controlled (only rarely use salbutamol), I am not sure my GP would want to put me on anything else. But I don't want to end up on steroids again, if it can be avoided.

    I notice the forum seems to have a fare few late 30s whose asthma has got worse, is this common?

    Any thoughts appreciated. x

  • Regarding worse asthma late 30's

    I have had this, last few years have slowly been getting worse until Boxing Day 2010 when I took a complete nose dive and was off work for 6 months. Still not back to how I was before but definately getting there and have a wonderful consultant who is trying everything under the sun to get me better. Am on 12 different meds now but if it keeps me breathing I don't care.

    My consultant/ doc and asthma nurse have said that its very important to try and gets as many fresh fruits and veg in you to get the maximum vitamins and minerals from a natural source but top up with multivitamins. When you are a bit under the weather make sure you try and keep your fluids to a maximum as breathing so hard you dehydrate quicker.

    Good luck x

  • I'm 38 and the last 12 months I've had 4 courses of prednisalone tablets. Until then I'd been managed on clenil and salbutamol. I've definitely seen a decline in the last couple of yrs.

    I'm awaiting an app with my asthma nurse to discuss a new treatment plan. I hate steroid tablet and would love to avoid them in the future too.

  • I had an exacerbation of asthma in my 30s, poorly for a long time and on and off steroids. Dont know if there's a pattern or it's just a coincidence.

  • was just diagnosed in sept 2011 had a year of constant cough and cold s and had 3 courses of steroids since diagnosed, i now have a routine, i take zinc once a day which says suports the immune system, also take calcium and vit d tablets and make sure i have glass of fresh orange each day, because im anaemic take iron tablets from gp, i have found easier to get those little kids packets of fruit too (raisins, apricots ) to have in my bag instead of chocolate and think before i buy or eat food ""is this good for my heath, i work in a hospital and like you cant avoid bugs going around but feel a lot healther takin extra vitamins, sometimes we cant avoid the exasabations but we can build up a maximun immunity level, x

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