Brittle Asthma -HELP!

Hi All

Just really looked at this site for the first time tonight and it has a lot of helpfull information but can someone please explain a little more about what is called brittle asthma?

I have never even been told about these classifications by my GP or asthma nurse and it sounds like my asthma fits the kind of things said about brittle asthma.

My asthma is alright then suddenly badly affected by things such as a tiny vold or virus and I constanly had problems with my asthma through winter with many chest infections, mostly since suffering pneumonia a few years ago

I am currently off work after suffering a bad viral infection that they thought at first may have been swine flu but are pretty sure that it wasn't. I now have what they called Post Viral Myelitis and my asthma is VERY irritated. Can't even sleep at night due to the heavy feeling and tightness in my chest and I actually have pain in my lungs. On a 5 day course of steroids and been told to take baby steps to get back to normal but I have been ill for over 4 weeks. I seem to get things like this which messes up my asthma a lot and ALL through winter. In fact it seems like every prescription I buy is somehow related to my asthma

So I'm wondering if i may have brittle asthma and if so if it is a specialist that needs to diagnose this and if it is difficult to actually get diagnosed as sometimes I feel like a lot of people don't treat asthma very seriously

Sorry about the long and moaning first post!!!

2 Replies

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  • hi there PamPam

    Firstly welcome to auk. This site ends attract a lot of asthmatics at the more severe end of the spectrum so please dont worry chances are your asthma isnt brittle your just having a bad patch. The term brittle asthma is sometimes used a little too loosly and often incorrectly.

    My understanding of brittle asthma as a sufferer of asthma that has been classified as brittle for the last 11 almost 12 years, is that there are indeed two types.

    Type 1! Requires high levels of

    medications at all times and is always unstable symptoms everyday.

    Type 2! Can have periods of relative stability in between attacks but then has very severe attacks that are life threatening and often require mechanical ventilation!

    To be termed brittle, you generally have to go through what is known as the difficult asthma protocol. There are several centres which do the tests peak flows allergy tests psychological tests etc etc. The reason - to make absolutly sure that the diagnosis of asthma is correct, then to ensure medication compliance then to work out the best treatment pattern for you as an individual.

    I checked on your profile which meds you have written that you take and there is still plenty of room for other things to be added and tried to gain more control of your symptoms. Please dont get frightened by what you read on the site and think that you too have brittle asthma.

    Are you currently seeing a consultant at the hospital? -If so have you asked him/her what they think to your asthma severity?

    Do you get very severe attacks that require a and e treatment possibly even icu or hdu treatment?

    Do you take steroids on a more or less permanent basis? Or do you have a maintenance dose of steroid?

    Anyways i really hope this has helped to answer some of your questions and concerns if i can help further then please feel free to send me a private message.

    Take care Lv kat Xx

  • hi there PamPam

    Firstly welcome to auk. This site ends attract a lot of asthmatics at the more severe end of the spectrum so please dont worry chances are your asthma isnt brittle your just having a bad patch.

    The term brittle asthma is sometimes used a little too loosly and often incorrectly.

    My understanding of brittle asthma as a sufferer of asthma that has been classified as brittle for the last 11 almost 12 years, is that there are indeed two types.

    Type 1! Requires high levels of medications at all times and is always unstable symptoms everyday.

    Type 2! Can have periods of relative stability in between attacks but then has very severe attacks that are life threatening and often require mechanical ventilation!

    To be termed brittle, you generally have to go through what is known as the difficult asthma protocol. There are several centres which do the tests peak flows allergy tests psychological tests etc etc. The reason - to make absolutly sure that the diagnosis of asthma is correct, then to ensure medication compliance then to work out the best treatment pattern for you as an individual.

    Im sorry i didnt look at your profile to see what meds you took before i started replying and i should of .... Grr.... I'll look in a bit and put an edit on my post at the end....

    Are you currently seeing a consultant at the hospital?

    Do you get very severe attacks that require a and e treatment possibly even icu or hdu treatment?

    Do you take steroids on a more or less permanent basis? Or do you have a maintenance dose of steroid?

    Will edit in a sec but hope this helps in the meantime. Lv kat Xx

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