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Help needed from users

Wonderful users can you help me please

For 2 months Ive had a horrible feeling of tightness in my chest , with a feeling feeling breathlessness constantly .Irritaing coughtwith white fleem coming up.

No one seems to know what causing it .

I had so far :-

Chest xrays----- looks normal

Ct scan of lungs --- normally

Spirometry - Dr said I might have the beginnings of Asthma but oxygen intake is 98%

( can someone tell me is you have Asthma do you have constant breathlessness?)

Blood -tests say no blockage .

I have with gerd ( have a linx implant, take meds, follow a strick diet and do alkiline to get rid of petsins)

Lung Dr says I havnt got COPD but im wondering if I might have an allegy related disorder and was wondering if this would show on any ct scan or xray.

Praying to be dignosed as this is driving me mad . I feel like someone sufferaging me all the time.

17 Replies
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Hi Paul I can’t explain your symptoms but wonder if you have a GERD pillow? (Wedge pillow) I’ve had mine for 3 nights now, it’s not the miracle cure that I’d naively imagined but it’s a little better than it was. I slept sitting upright anyway, but with a mountain of pillows that moved around and I just couldn’t get comfortable. Now I have one pillow on the wedge pillow and it’s better, and I’ve put another pillow under my feet. Still trying to work out the best combination of pillows.

I’ve had asthma all my life but for the past 2 months or so I’ve been short of breath all the time, every day. Not sure why. I hope you can get a diagnosis so that something can be sorted out for you.

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Hi Paul

Has your GP tried you on any asthma medication? It could be a sensible starting point to see if you respond.

When they did the spirometry, did you take several puffs of a blue inhaler & repeat it, or just a standard test (ie 3 or 4 blows into the machine)? If you took the blue inhaler, did it make a difference to the readings?

Also, have you had a sputum sample tested?

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hi thanks for your reply.

Yes the spirometry lasted for about 30 mins and it did respond positively to the blue vapours. In fact the day after the I actually felt fine.

The Dr gave be some powder inhaler "Relvar" and also a "Berodual" inhaler but neither gives any relief to my symptons.

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The blue inhaler is what's known as a bronchodilator - it dilates your airways as a short-term measure to help you breathe & that 'reversibility' of the obstruction is a general indicator of asthma. My feeling from what you're saying is that your GP thinks asthma is the problem, so now the challenge is to get the right medication for you, which can be a bit of trial & error.

Your GP has given you a sensible combination of inhalers (a mix of preventer - corticosteroids & reliever; a bronchodilator) & the preventer can take time to build up in your system, so the GP might want to keep running with it a while longer yet, but if it continues to not have an effect, then it would be sensible to try alternatives (or possibly increase the dosage).

Does your surgery have a specialist nurse? Usually someone who will do annual checks but who might be able to spend a bit more time going through things with you? Also, the Asthma UK nurses can talk you through your medication & options/alternatives.

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Im in Bangkok for a few months. The Dr here thought it may be Asthma but when I said the inhalers where not having any effect he said it must be something else.

Im also a bit confused as I understood Asthma symptons to be like attacks but my symptons seem to be ongoing non stop.Thanks for the suggestionn of a sputum sample test . im going to see if I can get this done.

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Asthma symptoms aren’t just about attacks, although that’s part of it. For what it’s worth, if the doctor can’t/won’t offer alternatives then maybe stick with what you have for now & see if the steroid inhaler starts to have an effect. It’s always difficult though to know what to say about other countries as I don’t know anything about the health system or options doctors have there.

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In 2013 through to 2016 doctors and nurses said "your in good health". Apparently Asthma is hard to diagnose if you turn up for your appointment on a good day when your felling better. If patients say they cannot sleep, my doctor thinks they are liars who are scheming for happy pills. Eventually he sent me for a chest xray. The Radiologist said it would take two weeks for the report to be sent to my doctor. I could not wait two more weeks, I was desperate, I bought a blue inhaler (Salamol) and a peak flow meter online. I had to lie to get an inhaler I said it was a repeat prescription.

You need a peak flow meter., Have you got one?

I started measuring my peak flow, it was often 80 when I could not breathe and over 400 after one puff from my blue inhaler. I was taking one puff from my inhaler every four to six hours day and night. My symptoms were worse at night. I drew a graph of my results and took them to my doctor. That worked! Then he believed me. By the way my xray was normal.

I read somewhere that when patients with Asthma are first given a blue inhaler they like me describe it to their doctor as "Absolutely Fantastic"

I hope this helps you.

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Thnaks for the reply Ken. Im not sure a peak flow meter is going to help me as a seem to be constantly out of breath with a tight feeling in my chest.

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When I first had asthma I did not have classic symptoms - there are several "types" of asthma. When I described the symptoms to my doctor, especially the chest tightness, he wanted me to have my heart checked out. Stress test was positive and I had high BP so I was sent for an angiogram which was absolutely clear. I had at the time diagnosis for allergies and GERD. Went back to doctor and fortunately he could hear a wheeze and my peak flow was low. I was then diagnosed accurately with asthma. If your lungs are constantly inflamed, especially if aggravated by pollution or allergen then the symptoms will take time to settle. Plus you need to avoid as far as possible any factors which might be exacerbating asthma. If the doctor thinks you have asthma, and has excluded all other possibilities, it might be worth asking for a short course of oral steroids to settle your lings down. The Asthma Uk website has information about the Step Up and Step Down approach to managing the condition.

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Thank you for your reply Strongmouse. I am beginning to think my symptoms maybe related to pollution . I live in London and Bangkok ( alternating every 2 months ). Bangkok pollution is terrible and London is well London . Ive just been to ENT Dr who says are my throat and vocal cords are inflamed which be believes is due to pollution.Can I ask how you control your symtoms?

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At home I use hepa air filters which take many chemicals out of the air. I do have a face mask which has a charcoal insert, but I don't like wearing it! The charcoal insert also helps remove pollutants. I use an personal air ioniser round my neck which seems to minimise my exposure to chemicals.

The Healthy House has a lot of information. At home in general you don't need the expensive room air filters, the ones from Amazon are fine as long it has a hepa filter. Many people who cycle use quite fancy masks because of diesel fumes. Salt water gargles and nasal wash are very soothing.

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An emergency room doctor diagnosed me with mild asthma while I measured at 98%. The attack that brought me there had pretty much cleared up by the time I was seen. For me, anyway, mild asthma causes intense but short-lived attacks. Being short of breath is a huge part of the experience. It feels like being unable to complete a yawn.

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The joys of GERD I’ve had asthma since childhood, a GI consultant stopped my asthma treatment as my spirometery is normal (with improvement post reliever).

Symptoms are back and waiting to go see GP. Are you physically fit? I’m begining to think my tolerance has improved as I’ve got fitter (started enjoying exercise a few years before my preventor was stopped) hence the normal spirometery which isn’t normal for me! I also feel breathless at a peak flow most people would say is good!

I second what everyone else has said buy a peak flow meter and keep a look out for any changes when you feel the symptoms and after you have taken your medication.

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Hi Paul

I have had the same experiences as you. Twenty seven years later, my GP told me that I was born with asthma. Even though I am asthmatic, my oxygen intake is high, not much on scans etc, but I am still classed as asthmatic. I was able to manage my asthma with no inhalers before I was diagnosed asthmatic. What made my condition worse was the fact that I began working in an area that was polluted. I had to keep seeing my GP regularly for a few months until I received a diagnosis. I am currently taking Fostair inhalers as my asthma is still bad.

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Thank you for your reply Londoner89 . Are the Fostair inhalers working?

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I had symptoms the same as you earlier this year but I didnt realise it was reflux as ive never had it before. My blue inhaler didnt work properly, constantly clearing my throat and coughing up clear phlegm.

My asthma was all over the place going from feeling ok to struggling to ok again over 20 mins.

I also was blowing 550 peak flow so the Dr was sure it wasnt asthma (with the other symptoms)

I believe I had vocal chord dysfunction, caused by teh reflux, it fits my symptoms perfectly.

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How did you find relief Simon

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