Hi everyone, so I am back again...
To quickly outline my story, I have had undiagnosed breathing trouble/chest pain/cough since October 2012, so for the past 15 months. I was originally diagnosed with asthma when I was 14 (I'm 20 now, 19 when I started this health trouble) but my asthma was always well controlled with a steroid inhaler (symbicort at the time). I started seeing a respiratory consultant back in January 2013 and he started looking into other possible causes, so I have had scans and testing galore, but so far nothing conclusive has come from it and I keep getting worse.
In September I was referred to a cough clinic and the consultant there ordered a histamine challenge to try and get to the bottom of the 'asthma or not asthma?' question. I had a positive result, but I came out in the 'mild asthmatic' category, at which point the cough clinic consultant decided to completely take me off my inhalers to see what happened (I was on pulmicort and oxis at the time). My respiratory consultant agreed with the removal of oxis, because I had also done an exercise test which showed my breathing was normal but my heart rate was incredibly high.
A month after being off my steroid inhaler, I began to experience severe nausea/vomiting and I'm hardly able to keep any food down at all, and as a result I have lost a lot of weight. I also experience severe dizziness when I stand, get frequent headaches, and I am exhausted and very very weak (can't even pick up my cat any more!) Along with all this, I am still getting my symptoms of breathlessness, chest pain, coughing, wheezing, etc.
I went back to my main respiratory consultant a couple of weeks ago and he suggested 'hypoadrenalism', which up until this point I had never heard of. I looked into it a bit, and from my understanding, it could be sort of like withdrawal symptoms from the steroid inhalers. I have had a blood test to confirm if I do have hypoadrenalism and the results for that come back on Tuesday. I have also been put back on a very low dose of steroid inhaler (pulmicort 200), and my vomiting has calmed down and my appetite is slowly starting to return, although I am far from well.
So, the theory is at the moment that I have mild asthma, controlled by steroid inhalers, and as a result of coming off the steroid inhalers in September 2013 I got hypoadrenalism, which explains my nausea/vomiting/dizziness. However, the original problem I have had for 15 months now (the breathlessness/chest pain/coughing) is still unexplained, as my asthma medicine does not treat it. So I am still having tests done to try and diagnose that (I have another exercise test in a couple of months and my consultant is still keen to investigate).
Apologies for the long post. I am really wondering, does anyone else have any experience of hypoadrenalism? I think it is also known as secondary adrenal insufficiency. Also, after 15 months of constant breathlessness, my chest is extremely achy all the time and my body is very weak and deconditioned. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to stop yourself going crazy when you can't move from a sofa?!?!