Hi

I am new to all of this asthma stuff and was a bit shocked to say the least when got told i was last week!! this is my first post,does anyone feel slightly wierd after using inhaler ?? Also after going to thre gym or exercise?? Am using Salbutamol and c.f.c free one called Beclometasone dipropionate.

Thanks for reading and any advice ect would be greatly appreciated !!

5 Replies

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  • Hi Ade,

    Welcome to Asthma UK, I'm sorry to hear that you've just been diagnosed with asthma. You have found a great source of information and support, please feel free to ask any questions that occur.

    One thing that I say to all new asthmatics - please bear in mind that sites like this one inevitably attract a disproportionate number of asthmatics at the severe end of the spectrum. You may read accounts of poor control, multiple medications, hospital admissions and even Intensive Care admissions. Please do not let the descriptions of these extreme experiences scare you or put you off. Experiences like this, whilst unfortunately common amongst our members, are very rare in asthma as a whole. The vast majority of asthma - perhaps 95% - can be completely or almost completely controlled, with minimal or no interference with day-to-day life, once the right combination of medication is found. There is absolutely no reason to think that you will not be in that group. Asthma should be taken seriously - at worst, it can be fatal - but it does not have to rule or ruin your life.

    I am sure that you have had a lot to take in over the last few days, if you have just been diagnosed with asthma. It will get easier and within a few weeks you will be managing it all without even thinking about it. I hope by now your beclometasone (preventer) inhaler is kicking in and you are feeling much better - it is very important that you take the beclometasone every day, regularly, whether you are feeling well or not, as it is this which is going to treat the underlying inflammation in your lungs and prevent things getting worse. Sometimes it can take a little while to find the right combination of treatment, and some people need more than just the beclometasone as a preventor - there are many other treatments available that can be tried, so if you are experiencing symptoms, you should go back to your doctor and ask if your treatment needs adjusting. The goal of treatment is that you should not be bothered by symptoms like tight-chestedness, wheeze or breathlessness, that you should not have to use your salbutamol reliever inhaler very frequently (less than three times a week), that you should be able to sleep through the night every night without being woken by symptoms, and that you should be able to do what you want in terms of exercise, work, socialising etc. Please do be persistent and go back to your GP if you are not achieving these goals.

    You will get to know, as your asthma becomes more familiar to you, what sort of things trigger you. Exercise is an important trigger in a lot of people - you mentioned feeling 'weird' after going to the gym or exercise? What sort of exercise do you particularly like to do? Some types of exercise are better than others in terms of triggering asthma - in general, exercise that involves short bursts of intensive activity, rather than sustained activity, seems to suit a lot of people better, although everyone is different. Swimming is said to be good for asthma, if you are not triggered by the chlorine fumes. You will get used to what forms of exercise are better for you - although the long-term goal is that you should be well controlled enough to do exactly what you want to do, you may find that in the short term you have to modify things a little while you are getting your asthma under control. Many people find that taking a puff of their salbutamol reliever inhaler shortly before they start exercising can help to prevent exercise-induced bronchospasm.

    Other triggers vary from person to person, and you will quickly learn what sorts of things cause problems for you. This time of year, many of us are suffering from allergic rhinitis (hayfever), which is caused by grass and plant pollen allergy. The itchy, blocked nose, sore itchy eyes, sneezing and so on can be very annoying in themselves, but can also make asthma worse, so if you are suffering from any of these symptoms, it is worth discussing it with your GP and trying an antihistamine such as ceterizine or loratadine. Modern antihistamines have very few side effects and do not generally cause drowsiness. Other allergens that you might be exposed to on a day-to-day basis include dust and house dust mite (HDM), feathers, and animal fur and dander. HDM is present in the dust in everyone's house, and is a major trigger for those of us with atopic (allergic) asthma. There are various strategies that you can use to reduce your exposure to HDM, but many of these are quite expensive and inconvenient and there is no overwhelming proof that they improve things in asthmatics as a group, although ancedotally these methods have made a great deal of difference to individuals. Food allergy is another area which may be worth considering, although generally it is rare that a food allergy makes a great deal of difference, in ordinary asthma.

    If you think that allergy is a major part of your asthma, you can ask your GP if it is possible to do allergy testing. This is done either as a blood test, the RAST test, or as a skin prick test. A skin prick test involves small drops of concentrated allergen being dripped onto your skin; the skin is then scratched lightly with a needle to allow the allergen to penetrate. A positive result will cause a wheal at the site of the test. These tests can be useful in trying to determine if you have any major allergies, but many people with atopic asthma will simply react to everything!

    Other things may trigger your asthma due to their irritant effect, rather than due to true allergy. Things that may have this effect include strong smelling things like perfume, traffic and other fumes, cigarette smoke, deodorant sprays, hairspray and so on. Again, not everyone will react to everything, and you will learn what your individual triggers are. In general, once your asthma is better controlled, you will probably find that most of these triggers will not bother you very much, but it is worth trying to avoid the ones that do bother you, especially at first while you are waiting for your medication to kick in.

    If you smoke yourself, or someone in your household smokes, it is very important to stop this to prevent damage to your lungs. Smoking with a lung disease is a high risk strategy. Stopping smoking would be the single most important thing that you could do to improve your lung health. Your GP would be able to advise you on help available for quitting smoking. Hopefully you are not a smoker anyway, but it's always worth mentioning!

    You can monitor your asthma yourself by checking your peak flow at home. This is a simple test that involves blowing out into a tube to measure how fast you can blow - which is a measure of how obstructed your airways are. You have probably already done this test at your GP's surgery. If you have not been given a peak flow meter of your own, you can ask for one on prescription or you can buy one from your pharmacy. You can send for a free peak flow diary from Asthma UK here: asthma.org.uk/all_about_ast...

    Keeping an eye on your own peak flow is a really good way of keeping track of how your asthma is doing and whether you are responding to treatment, and is also very useful for your doctor or asthma nurse. You should measure it three times a day, at the same time every day, and when you have symptoms and before and after using your salbutamol reliever inhaler.

    I am very aware that I have given you a lot of information in a short space of time! As I said, I am sure it seems very daunting now, but it will quickly become second nature to you. I am sure that once you have found the right combination of medication for you, and got to know your asthma a bit, you will be able to manage it just fine. Do let us know how things are going on with you and feel free to ask any questions that you might have.

    Take care

    Em H

  • hi

    i ahve had asthma since i was bout 6yrs old an have always used beclametasone dipropianate (beclazone). since recently changeing to a cfc free version like the one you currently use i found a difference in the way it feels and how it tastes when takeing it. i have been reasured by several different people that this is perfectly normal . hope this helps you

    tinks x

  • Ade,

    Forgot to mention in my first post (well, it was too long anyway!) that feeling slightly odd after using your inhaler, particularly your salbutamol reliever inhaler, is quite normal. Salbutamol has a mild stimulant effect, similar to drinking a cup of coffee, which can make you feel shaky, have a fast heart rate, and just generally a bit 'wired' (and weird!). This effect should lessen with time, as your body gets used to the side effects, and hopefully as your beclometasone kicks in and your asthma is better controlled you should not have to use so much of your salbutamol anyway.

    Hope this helps

    Em H

  • OOPS!

    Hello Ade

    Welcome to the site. I submitted a reply to your message yesterday but it seems to have disappeared into cyber space. I think I may have sent it to your message box by mistake - not only am I new to asthma, I'm also new to message forums!

    Best wishes

    Liz

  • Hi everyone!!

    Just want to say a big thank you to everybody who has sent me advice and help, i really appriciate it and it has been great.

    As you all know the internet can be full of misleading and illinformed sites so finding this one has been invaluble.........and knowing that people want to help and advise you is so nice as it is a bit of a mine field when first told...meds,side effects ect ect ect but with advice from people my worries areput to rest!!

    Thinking positive....

    Thanks again

    Best wishes to you all

    Ade

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