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Asthma UK community forum
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Anything else besides asthma?

When I get sick, I seem to breathe better. I was told by my allergist I have moderate asthma and lung restriction disease. I also had a high allergic reaction to dust. But the pulmonologist saw my pulmonary function tests and CT scan and said my lungs were clear. He said if anything I had mild asthm and my scoliosis was causing breathing problems. I find it strange that I breathe better when I’m sick. Also being outside helps. Could this be sick building disease or multiple chemical sensitivity, adrenal fatigue or my hyperthyroidism causing this? If anyone has experience with breathing issues related to something else besides asthma, please comment. Thanks!

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Obviously I'm not a doctor, but I kind of think that it sounds like it could be mild asthma, possibly triggered by dust, or maybe dust mites, both of which are common asthma triggers. That's not to say that the other things you suggest aren't possibilities, but it's perhaps worth taking a bit of an Occam's Razor approach & checking out the most obvious problems first.

Have you been prescribed anything for asthma?

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Thanks for your reply! I’m on qvar, montelukast, and spiriva. But the interesting thing is my lungs haven’t improved much since I’ve been on it and actually got slightly worse.

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I guess I was told that viruses would trigger my asthma and since it hasn’t I wondered if this was a normal experience.

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Virus can trigger asthma. I had a cold in January which made by peak flow drop for a few days and then an asthma attack. I went to A &E when I started to have the asthma attack. I was treated with lots of ventolin and then on going home was told to do a reducing dose over a few days and a short course of the of steroids. I was fine I learnt a lesson even a cold can do it. My husband had flu at the time and I was more worried about.Funny isn't it. 🤣

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That sounds awful. I’m so sorry you had to go through that. I hear that happens a lot and I did first have trouble breathing after I had the stomach flu. But that’s why it’s puzzling. I never heard anyone say their breathing gets better from a cold. But since I’ve gotten a cold with fever I haven’t had to think about breathing. I feel almost normal.

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Asthma treatment can be a lot of trial & error, and different people all have different triggers. Things that affect one person drastically might not bother someone else at all. You have been prescribed medication for asthma, but it might be worth asking for a spirometry test if you haven’t already had one to see what that shows.

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I actually did the spirometry multiple times and don’t do well on it. I just feel better when I’m sick which is weird.

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When you say didn’t do well, in what way do you mean? Did they give you several doses of a blue inhaler & ask you to repeat it? If so, did that change your result?

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I mean my allergist office has one so I do it there and I always perform lower than someone should for my age. I did pulmonary tests as well, but wasn’t using a rescue inhaler. I had my spiriva and used that. So it’s hard to say.

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When they do it though, do they give you a blue inhaler then repeat it? Reversibility is a key indicator for asthma so they should be doing that really, at least once anyway to test the effect of the bronchodilator.

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Unfortunately I didn’t know and only had the spiriva.

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It might be worth mentioning it - what I'm describing is a diagnostic test for asthma (not the only one, but an important one). I think what they are giving you is more of a lung function test. If there is a debate about whether or not you actually have asthma, that's something that probably should have been done.

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Yeah I was supposed to use my rescue inhaler to check reversibility but the tech didn’t know that and told me to use whatever inhaler I was currently using. I do need to retake the test. I also took it when I was sick for a month with a stomach flu which triggered all this breathing problems.

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Have u taken allergen precautions indoors as in dust mite covers on pillows and mattresses ,damp dust rather than use polish , for me carpets are a big problem , have u tried going on a restricted diet to see if some foods are bothering you , keep a daily diary of what you are eating and maybe the daily weather , I know my worse days are raining days and humid days , I stay away from wheat and sugar as they are triggers fir me , perfume and deodorant are not good fir me either , just done suggestions that might help

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Hi! Thanks for your reply! Yes I have done all of the above but nothing helps as much as being outdoors. Also when I stayed at a hotel on the beach I also have no trouble breathing at all.

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What heating do U have at home ? Have u tried have an humidifier in bedroom , no mould?any new furniture recently ?

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I have an air purifier. And I live in Hawaii so it’s pretty humid here. Ever since this remediation company came to check for mold and remove our floors I’ve had trouble breathing. Never had asthma as a child.

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If you have had new floors put in they will have formeldhyde in and can make people’s asthma worse , have u tried airing the house everyday fir about a month to let it escape failing that I would look into mold spore allergy has could have a mold problem

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Yeah I didn’t have asthma before they brought in these big fans. I guess they may have had mold in it cause my husband who is healthy also had trouble breathing. We did a mold inspection and every room has mold in it.

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That’s most definitely the cause of your problems and will only cause you further problems , I would try to move from there I gather evidence it is making you ill

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I wish I could move! I’ve been trying to.

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I’m anemic and my vitamin d is low, they both cause respiratory problems, maybe you should check your iron and vitamin d level to see if that’s causing your breathing problems as well. Hope this helps you.

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Thank you! That’s really interesting. My iron was above normal at one point and it’s normal now. My vitamin d is also in the 60s I think but it has been low around 30 in the past.

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Shortness of breath is a symptom of hyperthyroidism so that is a possibility.

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My thyroid levels are actually leaning closer to hypothyroidism. It’s such a mystery.

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