Recurrent adult asthma

I was wondering if anyone has experienced a similar situation to mine. I was diagnosed with asthma as a child, and I had several bad episodes back then, one which hospitalised me. I have been relatively symptom free for about 16 years. In the last year I have been subject to several major life events. I have suffered two bereavements in quick succession, as well as moving to a new house. In May of this year, I started to notice I felt wheezy when exhaling at night. After about a month I went to my GP who started me on Qvar and Salamol. My symptoms have persisted all through the summer. I felt it was maybe hay fever related as I generally get itchy eyes through the summer. However, now the wheezing has continued into winter. I generally feel wheezy on exhalation in the evening and through the night into morning. For some reason I feel okay during the day. The symptoms are mild, and they do not stop me exercising but they are irritating and they worry me. This mild wheeze is detectable daily, but like I say it doesn't stop me from doing anything. I have tried to eliminate all triggers, but nothing works. Does this sound like asthma or could it be something else? I just can't believe it has came back so strongly.

3 Replies

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  • late onset asthma caused by stress which increased your breathing

    Hard luck on getting the asthma back.

    It sounds very much like asthma. You mention that it is mild and then later say it is back so strongly.....is that just because it is continuous?

    You ""grew"" out of your asthma because you subtly changed your breathing pattern, this can be caused by new fitness regime or lifestyle improvements or your body adapts better after a growth spurt. You have managed fine until the recent triple stress of the bereavements and moving house.

    The new house may also be a hostile environment with the paint etc.

    The reason it has now recurred is that your response to stress was to change your breathing pattern. You now breathe a higher volume of air per minute, either in bigger breaths or faster volume (and feel a wheeze as your body tries to defend itself from your bad big breathing habit). This is a common occurrance, asthma comes back after stress or illness where breathing has increased and not reverted to how it was prior to the events. You can help yourself by stop trying to breathe more and to actually breathe less. This feels wrong at first but it works. We get better oxygenation of your blood and cells by breathing less not more. You would notice your wheeze dissappearing.

    Talk to your doctor about buteyko breathing. It involves learning to breathe at all times in and out through your nose and would give you back your wheeze free life. Google buteyko and wheezing or hyperventilation and asthma. A sniff or sigh every five minutes is enough to maintain overbreathing.....not alot and changing how you breathe in a safe well tested method would work very well for you. You should learn it from a practitioner (NB make sure they work on reducing your minute volume and not just your pause between out breath and in breath) as it can be adapted specifically to you and it is easier to implement in person than from a book.

  • Thanks

    Thank you for your reply. You are correct in saying that I meant continuous rather than stronger. It is the daily symptoms that are so irritating to me. I have never had an episode as bad as the ones in my childhood. You are also correct about the exercise. I became very physically fit during my twenties, with running and swimming. With the difficulties in my life, this routine has fell away and there has been a gain in weight. In addition, my new house was completely renovated, and I was exposed to dust and paint regularly. These were traditionally triggers but due to my asthma disappearing over the years, I became complacent and didn't think these would affect me. To be honest, I did consider that these could be q factor although I didn't think the repurcussions of the renovation would last a year down the line.

    I will look into your suggestions, and if anyone else has anything they'd like to add, I'd be grateful to hear from you.

  • its your new bigger breathing affecting you now

    Do you breathe through your mouth? When you do the trigger particles are inhaled directly into the lungs and can lodge there for 60-120 days.Your nose filters more than 75% of these out and eliminates them in 15 minutes. By reducing your volume of breath (by half will probably be the end result but this takes time) you start to give your lungs a break.

    Your fitness would have protected you from your asthma even with mouth breathing. By slowing down (stopping exercise without replacing it with minding your breathing) then your breathing rate gradually increases without you noticing it.At traumatic events adrenaline increases your heart rate and breathing rate. Sustained stress results in continuous low grade hyperventilation and this becomes our new habit (as it really sounds like happened to you). By actively changing your breathing and ideally starting to exercise with correct breathing (through your nose, slowing down or stopping if feel the need to mouth breathe) you will slowly change this habit and eliminate your symptoms. Its a step by step process that starts with closing your mouth at all times and not hearing your breathing (quietening it). If you feel the need to breathe through your mouth then you have been breathing too much. Hard work but infinitely better and healthier for you.

    AS you exposed yourself to dust and paint, your immunity would slow become sensitive to it and this would then become a trigger again. If you reduce and maintain reduced breathing then your lungs would recover and return to their pre-your-three-stress state or better, to a similar volume but now supported with nasal filtration(its the way we all should breathe). Ask your doctor, if he/she doesn't either know about buteyko or know that we should only breathe through our nose then get another opinion. Alarmingly many think it is somehow fine to breathe through their noses, all their patients do- healthy people do not!

    BTW its your breathing that will hold you back from increased fitness and health not increased weight. Resolve your breathing and the weight/ health will sort itself out too...

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