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Asthma question

Hi all,

I am new to this page and I live in Australia. It has been very helpful to read through people’s experience here. I gathered cottage to write my own experience.

I am a 47 year old male and had Asthma since childhood. It was always well controlled. I never been on Asthma medications for more than two weeks for each attack.

I had an incident in early December 2018 which I thought was another Asthma attack. My GP put me on Flutiform 250/10 two puffs twice a day. I was barely able to walk 5 minutes without needing to use reliever. GP refered me to a specialist after two weeks because my situation didn’t improve. In December2018 I been to A&E for about 5 times for feeling short of breath. They run various tests like spiromettry, ECG, 24 hr Holter monitor, chest X Ray, echocardiography, CT scan and one another test which check for any blood clots in the lungs ( I forgot name of the test). All these came back normal. My oxygen saturation was good. I always had good oxygen saturation on my all previous Asthma attacks. A&E doctor could not find why I am short breath. They send me home each time.

I saw my specialist this week. He believes that I don’t have Asthma because I do not have any wheezing, cough etc other than shortness of breath. I explained him that I didn’t always had these symptoms during my previous Asthma attacks which responded well to Asthma medication. He send me away for another lung function teat which is scheduled on mid February.

I still don’t have a clear diagnosis for my breathlessness. I fell like Asthma because it is not different from what I felt during my previous Asthma attack. Only difference is it not going way this time. I was hoping that specialist would change me medication which he didn’t..

It so frustrating and wondering if anybody was in similar situation.

Thanks

28 Replies
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Hi I am very surprised your doctor only gives you meds after you have an attack! Asthma is an ongoing illness so you have treatment all the time and not on an ad hoc basis. Usually sufferers require at least 1 or 2 inhalers, one a preventer and one for use in attacks such as ventolin. This helps to stabilise your condition and control your symptoms. Oh and not all asthmatics have a wheeze.

There are some very knowledgeable members on here and I am sure some of them will be in soon with their expertise. x

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Hi thanks for your reply.

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Hi Hobby12,

Welcome to the page. I'm a newbie myself! I'm not medically trained, but the symptoms you're describing, certainly sound like Asthma. The only thing that's strange, is the results from the tests coming back normal.

You said that you were referred to an Asthma specialist, didn't they do allergy tests? When I was referred to an Asthma specialist at a different hospital miles away by my Asthma doctor, who thinks I have Asthma and allergies, rather than Asthma and Bronchiectasis (similar to COPD but the treatment is slightly different). They did a Spirometry in the morning, as the one that I had done at my own hospital was too long ago, (that was brutal, worse than the ones done at my own hospital). I had the tests done in the afternoon.

Anyway, the allergy tests came back and I'm allergic to so many things! They changed one of my inhalers because it wasn't controlling my Asthma properly anymore, and gave me another one to take with it plus they prescribed Avamys, which is an antihistamine nasal spray, (to be taken all year round).

One of the inhalers gave me a bad reaction, so I've had to stop taking it. I don't know if the other one is working properly because I have a chest infection at the moment, so I'm on Doxycycline and steroids AGAIN!

Hope they get to the bottom of what's causing your symptoms. Take care! 🙂

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Hi thanks

I forgot mention, I had an allergy test done about 30 years ago and found positive for house dust/ mites and some other minor stuff which I do not remember. My recent blood test for allergens confirmed this. It also came back positive for grass pollens.

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Hi Hobby12,

Same here, along with nettles, cats, rapeseed, grass pollens, flowers etc. The one thing that I thought I would be allergic to was mould spores, which I'm not. STRANGE! Lol! 😂

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They are doing thier best to work out what is going on. I am sorry to hear that you are having hell in finding out what is wrong.

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Thanks

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Could be allergy related has something in your lifestyle changed e.g new job ,pet ,food ect only an idea.

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Thanks. Yes I thought about this. I couldn’t think of any. About 1 .5 years I bought a kitten home from rescue. But my allergies was negative on cat . Thank god...

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You sound very like me. I don’t wheeze though do cough.

My asthma was fairly mild then I started getting more attacks and couldn’t walk two hundred yards without needing ventolin inhaler. I asked to be referred to local hospital. They did allergy tests and found I was very allergic to cats and grass.

Diagnosed as severe allergic asthma. The cat one nearly broke my heart. We’ve always had at least one pussycat around. My grandson happily took the one we had at that moment. I am apparently a candidate for a fairly expensive injection. Omalizumab.

In the UK, it’s the hospital that pays and not me, thankfully. Minus cats and with that monthly injection, the ventolin inhaler lasts for ages instead of two weeks.

Hoping you can get some answers.

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Hi thanks for your response. Sorry to hear that you had similar problems. Hope that you are managing your condition well

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Medication for asthma which works at one point in time may for some strange reason decide to stop working at another point in time. Why? Asthma specialists have no idea why.

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Thanks for your comments. Yes it is frustrating that so many things can go wrong with Asthma makings it sometimes difficult to treat

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Hi there. I'm also in Australia. I don't have any wonderful suggestions as to what is wrong or how to fix it but I do want to say that not all asthmatics wheeze. I rarely wheeze even when I am very severely ill with my asthma. I make a hissing sound and that's about all. My doctor (who is a professor of respiratory medicine) explained to me that even very severe asthmatics don't always wheeze and something to do with the small airways being affected as well but I don't clearly remember that part.

He said to me that a lot of doctors (including those in emergency departments) aren't well versed in that and don't realise. It certainly has been true in my case. I can talk in full sentences (trained voice etc.) on much less lung function than most people and that combined with no loud wheeze has almost ended my life a few times when they didn't think it was as bad as it really was in the emergency department. I have been intubated in intensive care more times than I could count and am currently on a ton of meds including mepolizumab injections (for severe eosinophilic asthma).

I agree with reply above saying that asthma is a chronic condition that needs prevention as well as reliever medication and should not be left until after an attack to treat. I also agree that they should do allergy testing and make sure it's nothing environmental triggering it. I hope you get to the bottom of it soon. Sometimes it does take ages to get results out of specialists.

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Hi thanks for your reply. Sorry to hear that you had a bad flare up is the past.

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Hi hobby 12

I am also from Australia and find this page helpful, this is my first time , I also have been having simuluar symptoms as you , I do not have wheezing , cough either , do have a tight chest , I also have had ECG, 24 hr Holler monitor, chest X Ray, CT scan and stress test , blood test , all came back normal , but did have a spirometry and said I have Asthma , had a little as a kid but grew out of it , I'm 52 now and have had asthma for 6 months have had breo elipta, symbicort , now on seretide , helps sometimes but there are days when it doesn't and sometimes I get Palpitations , and some anxiety ( I think } its fustrating , I am going for a allergy tests called RAST tommorow , maybe something is setting it of , and hopefully they might find something , Hope you get a answer soon it is frustrating I know. Im still trying to get answer too.

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Hi sorry to hear that you still have no real answer. Hope that it will come soon.

The symptoms you described appears similar to mine. I also had lots of palpitations happening in the beginning of my attack. I put this down to my anxiety. My heart rate is also high 85 to 105.

I am quite anxious person. Never had to take medicine for this. My GP referred to me a phylogenetic about two years ago. He found I am only mildly on anxiety and depression spectrum.

Having this attack now don’t help. I am constantly thinking about my breathing which is not helpful. I believe some of the breathless I experience linked to anxiety. Anxiety and Asthma is a bad combination. My specialist totally ignored when I mentioned about anxiety.

I also have difficulty in talking. I can’t talk much without out feeling SOB. My voice has changed.

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Hello hobby 12

Please research magnesium deficiency and symptoms of magnesium deficiencies also benifits of k2mk7

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This is interesting. I had lots of blood tests done during my A& E visits.. not sure if they tested for magnesium.

Thanks

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magnesium blood test is not a accurate test there is only 1% of magnesium in your blood the other 99% is in your bones teeth organs and soft tissue please research calcification of organs and relationship between magnesium and calcium good luck

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Hi hobby12,

Welcome to the forum. I am also from Australia. Just replying to the magnesium issue. A hair analysis will give a good indication of your minerals. You can get this done through a naturopath or alternative medicine doctor. Not all naturopaths or alternative medicine doctors do it so check first before the visit. Good Luck.

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I have had asthma my whole life and last year in april suddenly had SoB that had me taking my max dose of asthma meds, Dr visits and an A&E visit, like you my latest symptom is not asthma related.

2 common conditions that often get misdiagnosed as asthma are Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (LPR), and Vocal chord dysfunction.

Both give SoB but will not respond to asthma meds and will come back with good spirometer and as clear for lungs etc.

Im sure there are many other illnesses that can cause SoB like stress, cardio issues and maybe damage to the vagus nerve.

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Hi thanks for your response

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I'm a lifetime medium (I like to think mild) Asmatic. Not wheezing can be the most dangerous and misunderstood if it is Asthma. Peak flow is more accurate. I used to be able to survive using a reliever on/off as needed. But getting older and not able to exercise (hips) has left me needing stronger med. I researched it most of my life, i take bits, not sure the matter. Never smoke, have to reduce Alcohol. Avoid know allergies. Try and breath calmly thru your nose. I had to have 2 ops to fix septum. They to keep lung as strong as possible, again exercise, sauna, anti inflammatory diet is something I intend trying in summer. Keep your mind occupied away from your breathing. Anti anxiety meds can help used responsibly. Sunshine holidays with walks worked great for me at one point. Too much bed not good or anything that depresses your respiratory system. Coffee/tea good stimulates. I enjoy the climate ye have in Australia. This is what I learnt after 30 years. Alternative/natural approaches never helped, I tried them all. A doc who thinks a lack of wheeze means your fine does not know his facts. Most deaths are from 'silent Asthma'. You sound Mild so be thankful. It can destroy lifes.

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Thanks for your response

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hello Jim have you tryed magnesium citrate supplementing this magnesium could help goodluck

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also look at benefits of d3 k2mk7

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Hi All,

Hope that you are doing good.

I thought I would update what’s happening with me.

Generally my breathless has improved even though I need occasional Reliever medication ( 3 or 4 times a week). It took me about 3 months to get here. However I have to stress that my breathing is still not the same it used to be.

I saw my specialist today after all the lung function tests and Manitol challenge test. He said I passed with flying colours and declared I don’t have Asthma. I talked him about my childhood asthma and occasional flare ups over these years. I also mentioned him that I needed reliever after the manitol challenge ever though I did well (-5.8%). He still thinks I don’t have Asthma.

He now thinks I may have VCD but wouldn’t refer me to ENT yet. He also asked me to stop all Asthma medications. He will now sent me to a tread mill stress test. I reckon it will take another 4 weeks before I get any results. So more waiting.

I am generally an anxious person. Stress and anxiety may have contributed to my suffering which I am trying work on. It was reassuring that all the tests done so far showed my lungs / heart are in good shape .

Thank you all for your patience

Thanks

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