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good peak flow, bad symptoms?

So i've been feeling a bit nasty today, nelly on the chest, coughing up mucus the usual.

yet when i checked my peak flow it was 440 which is basically my personal best.

It confused me that my lungs could apparently be so good, when i feel like im struggling. Even walking up and downstairs today is leaving me out of breath.

if it keeps on like this i will go to the doctors, problem is they sometimes seems to think peak flow scores are golden. (though one of them believes i should be able to reach 500..)

anyway was wondering if anyone else got good peak flows when they felt bad?

also kind of unconnected but last time i went to the docs, he measured oxygen and heart rate and the heart rate was 120. so i was wondering about if a) 120 was kind of bad for a 17 yr old? b) it could be explained by my asthma? Doc wasnt very clear and just asked if id been overdoing it on the reliever. ( i'd taken two puffs only that day a few hours before the measurement so i said no.)

anyway any replies appreciated,

jen x

6 Replies

Sometimes when I am coming down with a cold my lungs feel a bit twitchy and I cough more than usual, then the next day my peak flow drops. Like you said, definitely go the GPs if it continues.

120 does sound high to me (I think 60 to 90 is normal for an adult). Having said that my normal resting heart rate is 105, but that is due to the beta-agonists and theophylline I take. If you are unwell (generally) or your asthma is bad it will go up. Or of course if you were nervous/worried at the GPs it will go up. Is it high at home?

Hope that helped!



hope im not going down with a cold because they always set my asthma off right royally and im going away to finland next week with my scouts for an active holiday. oh well it would make sense i suppose. i've had asthma for years but im pretty new to the whole monitoring peak flow thing only been at it two months! the doctors visit is feeling closer, bother.

as for the heart rate its usually around 70. not sure how high it is a home as i dont monitor it really but there are times when it feels really fast. well we shall see.

thanks for replying xx


I am new to writing on here but have been reading people's messages for a while now. I am interested to know if anyone has this alot? The 'good peak, bad symptoms?' This is the case for me all of the time. GPs have frequently made comments like, 'I wish my peak flow was as good as yours' or the most common, 'I don't think you have asthma.'

I have been referred twice to a specialist who has confirmed it is asthma. I also don't wheeze. I mainly have a tight chest and extreme shortness of breath where I am unable to do anything other than sit down.

Is anyone else in this situation? The specialist (who I saw about 15 years ago now) has told me to follow my symptoms only and not worry about my peak flow. I dread going to the Drs/asthma clinic because they are always confused with my asthma. I am learning to be more assertive but, find it stressful. Have had to have 2 courses of oral steroids last month to calm my asthma down.

Would love to hear if anyone else is similar!



sorry this is going to be a bit of a ramble, trying to do this on my phone which doesn't let me edit properly. I too have this problem. I've only just been diagnosed myself, the gp thinks its purely exercise induced but i get symptoms 5-6 times a week (sometimes 3 times a day) and thats when i'm not exercising. Sometimes my pf drops from 550 (personal best) to 400 and i get the symptoms, other times it drops to 490 but i still get the symptoms. The doc doesn't think this is a significant enough drop to believe its asthma. When i get the symptoms and use my inhaler it relieves it although sometimes it takes 4 puffs! my friend whos asthmatic since birth doesn't know what her pf is good or bad, she knows her symptoms and knows what to do so for her pf isn't relevant. I.m seeing the asthma nurse for the first time next week so hopefully she can help me understand things. I've spoken to the auk nurse who thinks it sounds like asthma not just exercise induced. She thinks i should have a preventer inhaler as i shouldn't need to use ventolin that often. Sorry for rambling on. But just wanted to say i know how you feel and how frustrating it is, pm me if you wanna chat xxx


Thats how im feeling ,slightly droped pf and breathing bad and weezy,

went the docs and now on pred and antibiotics,

nurse said she could here me weezing with her thing,

got go back if still no better get more xxx

hope you get well soon and get checked up at the docs etc .

love Glynis xxx


i avoided the doctors today, didnt want to bother them/parents who worry i am missing too much of my alevels.

Yes i did wake up at 4.30 am with my chest but have been feeling betteroverall today.

I've got rid of the worst of the mucus at least hooray!

I try to rely on peak flows if i can simply because as i suffer from anxiety i have a tendency to panic so on ocassions can take my i haler when i dont always need it. its confusing because my asthma has steadily gotten worse in the last three years and my symptoms have changed massively. but at the moment nothing correlates :/


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