Too much information?: The internet is... - Asthma UK communi...

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Too much information?

Tabitha58 profile image

The internet is a mine of information, and I try to stick to reputable sites when researching a medical condition, but I still am finding that perhaps I now have too much information!

As an example: I have discovered that the medications (inhalers) I have been prescribed can actually cause the very symptoms they are designed to relieve - and find myself considering stopping them to see if my symptoms improve (don't worry - I won't!)

I still find myself struggling to believe that I actually have asthma. I have had so many mental health issues for most of my life, and I have non-epileptic seizures (which have a psychological trigger) which are a physical manifestation of a psychological problem: this along with a GP suggesting that there was 'a bit of a stressy thing going on here' and that I was 'simply hyperventilating' rather than having an asthma flare up, makes me wonder whether all of my asthma symptoms are actually more to do with depression and anxiety than my lungs!

I know that the inhalers help a great deal, and that they wouldn't help with anxiety-provoked hyperventilation, but even so I find myself doubting my diagnosis.

So I am currently even more confused by all the info! Is my stuffy nose because of a cold or is it due to the inhalers? Is my productive cough a side effect of the inhaler or a sign of my asthma? Are my mood swings to do with the medication or is it simply that I am struggling to cope with this condition?

All that information and I have more questions than answers - the poor asthma nurse is in for a rough time when I see her on Thursday!

Not expecting solutions - just sharing this as an observation :)

4 Replies
EmmaF91 profile image
EmmaF91Community Ambassador

Hi yes google is a mine field if you don’t know how to ‘ignore’ the worst sites. For asthma try to stick to the asthma UK pages or anything from the NHS - other countries may have different mechanisms of diagnosis and support!

If it sets you mind at ease, almost all drugs come with the small possibility of making a condition worse, be they for asthma, epilepsy, migraines or depression! There are very few which don’t put this as a possible issue on the side effect list - I think it’s mainly because of the possibility of people being allergic to the drug or it just not being the right one for the patient (ie if a person is on a seizure drug that doesn’t work for them and they have a seizure, it may classes as more severe as they’ve had one despite being on the drug)...

The important thing to do it take the drugs and if you have a severe issue stop immediately and see a doc ASAP (usually at hospital). If you get ‘small’ side effects try to preserve with the drug for up to a month as they may disappear as your body adjusts. If they don’t clear up then return to your GP for advice and explain your experience (they’ll probs try you on something different).

If the pump helps your breathlessness and your doc calls it asthma, then I’m sorry to say but 9x/10 it is asthma! However, don’t forget that stress can be an asthma trigger, so yes you may be stressed/anxious but that doesn’t mean it’s not affecting your asthma. If in doubt on what’s the cause of your SoB, take the ventolin but also do a ‘calming’ exercise (mindfulness/day dreaming/ listening to calm music - whatever works for you). Here you can check in with how you’re feeling and how you’re breathing and adjust if needs be - if you’re calm but still SoB then you’ll realise you need more puffs! If you’re really worried about being misdiagnosed with asthma have you done a lung function test? If you have than that will ‘prove’ the diagnosis, if you haven’t you can always ask for one!

If you’ve had the productive cough for awhile then it could be a sign of uncontrolled/undiagnosed asthma. Or if it’s recent then could be the cold that’s possibly given you a stuffy nose! Definitely bring up your worries and concerns on Thursday tho!

Hope that helps, and any questions fire away! Between us on here there is a lot of experience, and it’s rare for someone to ask a question that nobody has either an answer to, or an experience about! X

Tabitha58 profile image
Tabitha58 in reply to EmmaF91

Thanks EmmaF91 :)

Vitbee profile image
Vitbee in reply to Tabitha58

I keep away from Google as much as possible..as I also have mental health issues..and also have non epileptic sesures where I just freeze no one takes this seriously (family and friends) ..it's a circle your asthma played up so you worry and it makes your asthma worse ...xxx

Tabitha58 profile image
Tabitha58 in reply to Vitbee

Thanks for your reply. Sorry that your seizures are not taken seriously - have you pointed friends and family to the NEAD website - very useful. And the Epilepsy Association and Epilepsy Society sites have info on non-epileptic seizures too :)

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