Breathing tests show normal. I am confused

Morning all

Your help on this would be much appreciated. I went to the hospital yesterday to do a volume loop reversibility ventolin and a couple of other related tests in readiness for my forthcoming appointment with the consultant.

However I am now very confused as he said that my lung capacity was normal and nothing wrong with them at all! He was insinuating that it may not be Asthma after all but could be something else causing my breathing problems i.e. Anxiety? Can anxiety mimic Asthma symptoms?

I know it's no good my making assumptions. I will just have to wait to see the consultant but it is almost making me feel like a fraud now even though I have been struggling with my breathing ever since I was 17!

10 Replies

  • Don't worry I had a spirometry test done and it was normal 2 months later I had an asthma attack (declared by the doctor) I'm on step 3 of the asthma stepwise management program (I think there are 5 or 6 steps) and I was diagnosed with asthma as a baby (something that is still uncommon today)

    My peak flow is always lower than it should be for someone my age and height (which they used to use as anoher diagnosing factor for asthma)

    The consultant I saw mid all the tests was insinuating it could be anxiety but I rubbished that when I said I was at home chilling out on the floor watching TV when I struggled for a breathe and my pulse jumped to 185 (recorded by a fitbit)... so I argued that it most Definitely wasn't anxiety at that point (it later turned out I'm wildly allergic to dust so lying on the floor was what probably triggered that)


  • Thank you for your reply Chip_y2kuk. I won't let the Consultant fob me off!

  • My initial spirometer lung function test showed nothing, so they were going to do a bronchial challenge. When they booked in the challenge my asthma was bad so spirometry was obvious so did reversibility and was shown as asthmatic.

    On the other hand there are a lot of people diagnosed as asthma who aren't so you may be one of these.

    Ask for a bronchial challenge if you do think you're asthmatic cause they use a drug which will stimulate an attack in anyone who's asthmatic (you are looked after by a lot of people constantly and it's stopped as soon as it's shown as asthmatic!). Or if you find it worse with exercise you can ask if you can do the exercise test.

    Hope that helps and you get a true diagnosis (of whatever is wrong) soon x

  • Thank you for your reply EmmaF91 it is very helpful. I watched a program the other day about people being misdiagnosed. I am pretty sure it's Asthma even if anxiety may be a trigger at times.

  • Hi, my lung function tests are remarkable for someone with asthma, but since my consultant has seen me having a severe asthma attack he acknowledges that I do have asthma and also since I've made improvement from being put back on inhalers it states its asthma. He said that I simply don't fit the standard perameters they use to test for asthama, I don't have a normal presentation. For example what they would count as good in lung function tests is actually poor for me, and what they would count as excellant is my normal. Overall my lungs work very well with little evidence of asthma when I'm feeling fine, but when I have a trigger it hits hard and fast.

    Asthma is a hard one especially if you don't have a standard presentation. Anxiety does play a part sometimes too though, the two often go hand in hand.

  • Thank you for your reply Beth_19 this is really helpful. All the knowledge I am obtaining along the way will help me present a better case to the Consultant if he dares to challenge me 😂

  • I'm very similar to you Beth! I have a ridiculously good chart/PF when I'm well, which can cause issues getting help when I'm not! I too was told initial that I could be just someone who doesn't 'fit' with the norm, tho due to the number of attacks I had had which were resolved with asthma meds they were almost certain it was asthma (hence them wanting me to do a bronchial challenge as needed to be officially diagnosed to be put on an Xolair trial - not gonna lie I went on a short run [having been off my meds for 5 days and exercise being one of my bigger triggers] just before challenge was due, so asthma kicked in and challenge wasn't needed!!!). I managed to show the best reversibility test the physiologist had seen... so proud 😁!

  • well done. We know our bodies best and sometimes doctors forget that

  • Hiya does your throat get tight,is it irritated by smells do u get heartburn

  • No none of these things Hay1234.

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