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25 years of having Asthma and now GP needs diagnosis?


I am a Canadian resident, i have had asthma since I was 2 years old, I am now 27 and recently started seeing an Asthma specialist/pulmologist about a year ago. I was diagnosed with Asthma in Romania at the age of 2 and have been on puffers since I moved to Canada in 94 I am on ventolin and advair. Back in January I had a spirometry test done ordered by my specialist and it came back according to her normal she then asked me for a history of my diagnosis which I explained to her and then she started saying that she needs to find out if I do have asthma and if were not chasing down the wrong diagnosis she also said that I don't want to keep treating you for asthma if its something else. She then ordered a methacoline challenge test to diagnose, I was bewildered in 25 years of my life I have never been told once that I do not have asthma or been questioned or second guessed on it. I had the methacolic test done today, I already had symptoms going into the test as I was not able to take my puffers so I was wheezy. After they gave me the drug it aggrivated even worse and I had a hard time breathing for the test as they guided me, I don't know what the results are yet or how it turned out but she kept saying it was low and I had to keep redoing the breathing tests cause a few of them I didn't fill up the bar on the computer completley like taking my breaths. I don't understand just because I had a normal spirometry it automatically means I don't have asthma? also I read online that its not a very accurate test or specific to ashtma so its hard too diagnose it. And as well spirometry tests just because the results are normal does not rule out asthma.

2 Replies

Ho Manuela ,The tests usually go by how you are on the day.

My tests come back with asthma results but some ok.

my pf this morning was 550 and now 440 and dropping.


Hi Manuela and welcome.

I think it's good that your dr is looking into other possibilities, even if it's something which might be making your asthma worse rather than 'instead of asthma' - if there is something else there it needs to be sorted like your doctor says, and you also don't want to be treated for the wrong condition if in fact you don't have asthma at all!

On the other hand, Glynis is right - the test measures how you are on that day, and as asthma is a reversible airway obstruction you could just have been having a good day! One of the things they can do is reversibility, where you stop your medication, they do the spirometry, give you some Ventolin, wait about 15 mins and then do it again to see if it's gone up which can be more reliable than just a one-off spiro as it shows whether or not you have a reaction to the drug. My spiros can look ok normally as it turns out I can do better than my best predicted, so it will look ok at first then give me enough Ventolin (2 puffs NOT enough if I have not been on any preventers) and it will shoot up.

I should say I have had a normal challenge test and with less difficulty than it sounds like you had with yours but was still told I have asthma (I know this has also happened to others who have definitely had asthma confirmed). It's called a 'gold standard' but I think can be dodgy if you've not stopped meds long enough. It does sound like you had some probs during the test for whatever reason. Have you heard back about the results yet? Or anything more from your dr? I hope you get something sorted and that your dr either leaves the asthma treatment alone if she's satisfied, or comes up with something else if she's not and you're still getting symptoms.


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