Recently Diagnosed at 46

Recently Diagnosed at 46

I am a 46 year old male and recently been diagnosed with asthma!

I have always been an active and sports orientated individual. As a youth was involved in the harriers and ran at a high level and was picked for English schools and was a County Champion. The events which I excelled at were short anaerobic events such as 100m, 200m, 400m 800m I was still strong at but anything further I was not competitive at all. I have never given this a great deal of thought until I was recently diagnosed with asthma and this has given me time to ponder and look back at my history over many years to try and help with my treatment and control my symptoms so to be able to enjoy a full and active life once again. After my teenage years of running I went into my 20s reducing my cardio and concentrating more on resistance and weight lifting eventually turning into bodybuilding with cardio and boxing to maintain some level of fitness. However I did miss the fast competiveness of physically pushing myself during cardio sessions, not to mention the feeling of satisfaction after a long hard workout releasing those magical endorphins and putting me on a high. So I took up cycling lost a lot of weight, trained hard and within 3 to 4 years was riding at a competitive level and begun racing.

That is a brief description of my active past and looking back now a lot has come to mind and who knows rightly or wrongly self diagnostic of my asthma. Like I have mentioned I always excelled at the short burst sports, i.e. sprinting weights etc. although I did compete at long distance and cross-country events to build up my aerobic capacity over the winter months. During these events and during long winter training I was far from competitive but during this time and during events I would run out with the pack and be quite comfortable for a short time. When Glycogen levels began to deplete in my muscles and then my body begun to rely on the next phase of aerobic needs to fuel my journey is when things become a little clear. When this phase kicked in and my body begun to rely more on oxygen is when I now look back at my breathing pattern. I would begin to gasp for breath, meaning take deep hard breaths constantly trying to fuel my muscles with the much needed oxygen. Whilst doing so rarely could I seem to get enough onto my lungs or could not seem to get a deep enough breathe to do so. (Yawning has always seemed to give me that deep breath I craved for). So this in turn I am guessing made my body one again turn to my glycogen reserves depleting and fatiguing me more and in turn have me gasping more for oxygen. So to get my body needs have to reduce my intensity so I am able to reduce my heart rate and allow my body to comfortably convert oxygen for energy. I know this is the usual cycle but my lack of ability to achieve a full deep breath at short periods into exertion are making me wonder if my asthma as been something I have been living with unknowingly for many years! Until now I just thought it was my genetics and wasn’t built for aerobic events. To some extent this will be true but my thoughts are leaning to the contribution of asthma. To this day I still have the same problems although getting worse over the years. To add to the symptoms of shortness of breath and chest tightness are coughing and wheezing and mucus to try and clear the path to a good breath. My thoughts are not only do I have asthma but could this also be a case of exercise induced asthma?

To add to my symptoms, as long as I can remember I have had problems with my sinuses and find when I contract a cold/flu my sinuses always get a battering then leading onto my chest causing wheezing and chronic coughing with added bonus of bring up copious amounts of phlegm and mucus, lasting anything from weeks to months. In the past I am thinking what was wrongly diagnosed as chest infections when in reality has been the underlying menace asthma.

When I was diagnosed two weeks ago I was hoping to start my treatment straight away as I had then been suffering with quite server symptoms for 4/5 months. This was not the case and had to wait another week before my doctor got the letter and administered my medication. Rightly or wrongly a work colleague also suffers from asthma and takes a inhaler Easy breathe containing Beclometasone Dipropionate. So rightly of wrongly and eager to start treatment that the NHS were slow to administer I took and started taking this inhaler, two puffs in the morning and two puffs in the evening. This surprisingly reduced nearly stopped the wheezing at nights trying to sleep, the daily cough and morning cough and also reduced the amount of mucus produced. Then after 6 days of using this I got my prescribed medicine. The drug Duoresp Spiromax 160mg/4.5mcg The instant I took this inhaler I began to wheeze then the cough returned. Now 8 days in I find the wheezing has worsened the mucus has returned and brought with it the continuing cough, tremors ranging from shaking hands to tummy and muscle tremors, headaches and sinus problems and also enjoying the odd bought of cramp. Sometimes leaving me feeling anxious and far removed from where I should be.

Is this the preferred drug for asthma patients and is this a cheaper drug that is on test than the similar drug given, Symbicort? If so can we look at changing my controlling drug to something that works without the side effects that exacerbates my asthma symptoms?

If I do suffer from exercise induced asthma, is there a different medication I can start asap to relieve and control my symptoms?

I do sometimes feel that I have been wrongly diagnosed as it seems to be taking some controlling. Also this is now beginning to become a worry.

I would love to hear any advice as this is very new to me and feel as frustrated as a blind lesbian in a fish factory.

8 Replies

oldestnewest
  • I would talk to your doctor and tell them that the inhaler doesn't suit you and they will try you on another. Symbicort is expensive to the nhs but I don't feel certainly in my trust that they pick the cheaper options. You will find you more than likely have several triggers exercise more than likely one. I also can't do cold air, moulds so autumn is terrible for me, chemicals and perfume sprays even thunderstorms. You will find out what they are and some you will be able to prepare for and some you won't. Presume you got a ventolin? I would take this before star to exercise or I would have no chance.

    I am on a cocktail now of over 15 medications to asthma and even take an inhaler designed for copd because I suffer with hyper secretory asthma.

    Hope you start to feel better x

  • Thank you for your reply. I work in the food industry and every room in the factory is temperature controlled. So the dry cold air makes a lot of sense. The hygiene team also use chemicals to clean the factory, so again this is another link in the chain. I will take your advice on taking Ventolin before a wee bit training and really appreciate your advice. I am back at the docs on the 18th so will ask all the relevant question then, if not before if things don't improve.

    When I used to see people with Ventolin inhaler's and they would say they had asthma. I though it was just a slight condition that was easily treated with an inhaler, how ignorant was I. There's you on 15 different medications for the damn thing, and I do hope they have it controlled. I never dreamed it could be so debilitating and make you so poorly. Never will I take for granted again a good old lung full of air.

    You take care and thanks again x

  • I know I was the same until a couple of years ago when my asthma was mild I never really knew how bad it could be.

  • Took a good year to regain any kind of control after pneumonia for me. Now I have generally good control but things still set me off. Colds will still usually land me in hospital. I actually have just had to take my rescue inhaler 10 times and have a sit down as ive been tidying up the house and my lungs are now screaming at me. That's the annoying thing about asthma for me you think you're having a good day then it comes to bite you later x

  • It doesn't mean your asthma will be as severe. Most people like me have mild asthma and it is easily controlled. x

  • Hi I have copd as well as asthma and have always used symbicort as my preventative inhaler. A while ago I received notitication from my surgery that as the patent on symbicort had run out there had been developed a new generic version called duoresp which was cheaper and I had to change to that. They said it had exactly the same ingredients in it. Ok that might be true but the expedients were differerent, and apparently the particles are finer. I like you found that it didn't control my symptoms and I was wheezing and coughing a lot. I rang my doctor and he immediately changed it back to symbicort. This made me think I was far from the only patient who had asked that...

    You might find symbicort is better for you, so ask for a change to that. x

  • See occupational health at work incase yr environment of cool air and chemicals are affecting yr breathing. Also phon and speak to nurse on asthma uk helpline they hav a facebk.page. excellent advice cus the fully understand asthma problems.

  • Hi. It certainly sounds like you are not getting on with your preventer as well as you did with your friend's. I would go back and see your gp. Don't wait until 18th, things could get a lot worse before then.

    Once you are controlled on a preventer that suits you, you will hopefully find that you rarely need to use your blue reliever inhaler (except by choice as "insurance" before exercising) but you will find you need to be super-careful around any of your triggers. Definitely worth talking to work to see if anything is affecting you that they could easily alter. It's their duty to keep you well.

    When you get a cold/blocked nose anything be careful and talk to the GP about doubling dose of your preventer to protect you. Most of us on here suffer really badly if we catch a cold.

    Finally a peak flow meter could be your best friend. Ask GP for one. It helps pick up that things are heading worse before you even feel bad so that you can take action.

    Good luck with it all and welcome!

You may also like...