Feel a bit of a fraud!!: Last year I... - Asthma UK communi...

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Feel a bit of a fraud!!

Last year I was given a salbutamol inhaler and a peak flow meter along with instructions to check PF morning and night and to try salbutamol before exercise and compare to exercise without to see if my symptoms were exercise induced asthma. The results led to confirmation of EIA.

I continued to monitor PF and realized that I was also having syptoms during the day (I'd had these before but put it down to being unfit or something and learnt to live with it) so tried the salbutamol and hey ho, calmed the symtpoms down.

So went to see asthma nurse who saw PF was saw-tooth like and along with salbutamol use suggested I had asthma with EIA. So she put me on various steroid inhalers which didn't work until I saw some but not total improvement with Seretide. Finally I tried Singulair and my symptoms vastly improved.

So things had been going fine for a few months, rarely using my salbutamol except for exercise, that is until xmas. Since then I've been having daily symptoms and struggling like mad with exercise again. Trip to the docs and he'd increased my Seretide again.

The problem is I've never required medical attention for an asthma attack, I don't wheeze, my spirometry came back normal and my PF are way above where it should be (550) and only dips slightly when I have symptoms (480). However salbutamol DOES get rid of my symptoms of tight chest, difficulty 'emptying' my lungs, SOB etc. So I just feel that I'm on a lot of drugs to say my symptoms aren't that bad. Is this normal? I guess I'm just a bit confused/worried!!

10 Replies

I don't think you should feel like a fraud at all! There was a similar thread not that long ago where someone didn't feel they were bad enough to be on a certain stage (5) of medication. Peaksteve came up with a very good point which was the amount of medication you are on is an indication of the underlying severity of your asthma and the aim for most people should be to be as symptom free as possible.

I would say that if your asthma control is good, the great! I wouldn't say you are on a lot of drugs either! (though this is all relative of course). IF after a few months your control is really good then you could discuss with your asthma nurse whether it is worth trying to step down.



You're not a fraud. My asthma is slow moving at the moment. This means I'm usually successful at getting pred before it gets to an A&E situation. I'm at a high stage, the consultant took time to tell me it was ""bad"" and my lungs are too big at present (I'm reassured that this isn't a big deal).

Having said that, I'm a life long asthmatic and know things could change very quickly. Remember that asthma presents itself in many different ways, some more challenging than others but always has the potential to get nasty.

Its good if you have control, that could be because the drugs are doing what they should be?


Hi there

Glad to see that you are generally doing well with your meds and getting control. I think the difficulty is trying to compare yourself with other people's asthma. There is clearly a higher percentage of people on this board with very complex asthma.

You may remember I signed off last year with something of a smug flourish. I managed about 2 months without meds, but gradually began to feel less well. I didn't have an attack or anything and my PF stayed resolutely up but I started back on my steroid at lowest dose and noticed that I didn't feel so off and also didn't get horribly out of breath. Over Christmas I got the nasty flu/cold bug and then a chest infection so had to up all the meds and restart LABD (good thing I had a bit left from previously). I'm hoping to wean down again soon following the guidelines.

As other replies have said it's about getting control of your asthma symptoms.



Thanks for your replies everyone, you've helped put my mind at rest. I guess I just worry the doc thinks I'm making it up coz I've never had an attack or anything!! Silly really I know, the meds help so I should just get on with it, afterall I know my body better than anyone else!!


Other posters have already said it, but try not to feel a fraud... Drs would not prescribe significant meds etc if they were unwarranted.... and, its about getting and maintaining control so you can get on with your life with as few or no symptoms...

I've had those same doubts several times over the past 7 years since I was first treated for asthma symptoms.... when I am well, I have no symptoms and have an active lifestyle (hill walking and running) - a while back, a colleague I have worked with on and off for 15 years saw an inhaler on my desk and said ""I didn't know..."" - thats how good my control usually is :)

but every now and again, I have a flare up of symptoms.... usually a gradual deterioration after a virus and it can take weeks to then get back to normal...

I sometimes have feel a fraud too as I dont tend to have severe ""attacks"" - my GP describes it as an exacerbation - usually on my sick note when signing me off work...

You aren't alone - there are a lot of people on these boards with a wide range of symptoms and degrees of control...

Something said a lot in all the years I've been reading - also remember, that the very nature of the boards means you get a lot of people with extreme symptoms and severe asthma on here too....

Hope you're feeling less worried!


Don't feel a fraud. I have had asthma for some time now and was very well controlled until almost 2 years ago when everything went pear shaped. Before that time if anyone had asked me if I had asthma I would have said ""yes, but not the sort where you get attacks"" How wrong could I be!! I think the most important thing to take on board is that doctors wouldn't prescribe the drugs if they weren't absolutely necessary and if you can stay well, albeit with meds, then enjoy it and make sure you keep up with the meds and your asthma reviews.


I know how you feel. My asthma is usually so mild but when it flares up, it takes all sorts to calm in back down and while I never wheeze, I do get really tight-chested and feel like I can't fill my lungs up all the way. Sometimes my peak flow doesn't change at all and stays right where it always is, but I know it's not right - and usually I'll come down with a cold a few days later.

I always worry I'm wasting people's time, but it's always better to be safe than sorry! Don't worry, everyone's asthma is a little different :)


I think a lot of us on here have felt like you at sometime or other. Asthma is so variable in symptoms and signs which can be so frustrating trying to explain that not everbody wheezes all the time if at all and exacerbations can be more frequent than attacks. You're not alone just remember there are lots of different symptoms and they vary from person to person.


I too feel the same, adult onset asthma entered my life in December 2009, when I was 49 and had suffered a viral infection. Never had tightness of the chest, never felt that I couldn't breath... so I too feel a fraud. However, when I first visited the doctor I was wheezing for England and had a lot of mucus. My PF reading was 300 and it went straight to 500 after using Salbutamol for the first time.

My main symtoms are a cough and tickle of the throat presumably caused by the mucus. As soon as I use my preventor the tickle disappears. If I forget to use my preventer for a couple of time I soon notice the tickle sensation in my chest... a weird sensation. So I guess I have Asthma but sometimes I do wonder.

My symptoms are definitely worse in the morning as the saw tooth PF readings showed. My Asthma nurse prescribed a five day course of Prednisilone before I started the preventer - wow that is a magic drug... within 36hrs I felt a different person.

My husband reminds me that before I went on to medication I spent a good ten minutes coughing my lungs up - first thing. I still feel a fraud though when I see how bad the symptoms are for other sufferers.

Sorry, this didn't really help the OP other than understanding their feelings.


Hi Septembe

There are no asthmatic frauds



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