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New Chest Problems - Decades of Asthma

davidcantswim profile image
davidcantswim

Hi everyone, I'm an almost 70 year old asthmatic of over 6 decades. When I was a kid it was pretty bad but just about went away for a few decades. Now I'm almost 70 I get moments when I can't sleep on my left side as I get pain and a lot of phlegm. Sometimes I make a sudden move and the left side of my chest hurts and I get the phlegm in my throat.

My GP sent me to get an X ray and that was OK then after another bout I had a 3d x ray which was fine. I do get breathless at times

So here I am with the same problem and overdoing it on Ventolin and taking Trelegy Ellipta (once a day) and a Loratadine.

The phlegm and pain in the left side is the part that is concerning me.... The professionals have said I'm OK. Any knowledge is most welcome.

I'm not crippled with Asthma and you wouldn't know I had it unless you were told. By the way I am on Prednisolone and have been for about 4 years as I have PMR. My GP upped the dose of Pred to 10 for a week as I had gotten down to 4mg

Thanks everyone

David

19 Replies

Re your rib pain - it may be prudent to get your VitD levels checked because of your age plus your long term use of Prednisolone. Your GP should be monitoring your bone health given your Pred use. If you can't persuade your GP to carry out a VitD test, they are available for about £30 from private labs used by the NHS. VitD also plays an important role in our immune systems aswell as keeping our bones healthy. You can Google the link between long term use of oral steroids and bone health - lots of research available.

Re the phlegm - can you tell if it's produced by your lungs or nasal passages? Quite often when we lie down, we get an accumulation of nasal drip that feels like phlegm in our throat. Nasal drip is not uncommon in asthmatics. If it's nasal then a nasal rinse may help. OR it may be reflux, again worse when we lie down. Acid reflux is an irritant and will create inflammation and phlegm. The Pred may be the culprit here if its irritating your tummy acid levels. Oral steroids can decrease our magnesium levels and magnesium plays a part in controlling our esophageal sphincter, hence the reflux. A simple antacid can help diagnose if reflux is the culprit. If it is, then Magnesium Malate or Magnesium Glycinate are good supplements, especially beneficial for rheumatic pain too.

MaggieHP profile image
MaggieHP in reply to Poobah

Reflux symptoms usually ease if you lie on your left side at night: my understanding is that it’s due to how the stomach connects to the oesophagus. Certainly in my experience my usual way of determining whether the breathing issues I’m getting at night are due to asthma or reflux is to turn on to my left side: if it’s reflux the symptoms will subside; if it’s asthma they don’t.

Thank you MaggieHP. I will watch out for this! The weird thing is I sleep well on my left side and it only hurts when I wake up so I move and it goes! I have had an x ray and 3d xray with nothing unusual going on. David

davidcantswim profile image
davidcantswim in reply to Poobah

Thank you so much for the in-depth reply. Much appreciated!

Re your rib pain - it may be prudent to get your VitD levels checked because of your age plus your long term use of Prednisolone. Your GP should be monitoring your bone health given your Pred use. If you can't persuade your GP to carry out a VitD test, they are available for about £30 from private labs used by the NHS. VitD also plays an important role in our immune systems aswell as keeping our bones healthy. You can Google the link between long term use of oral steroids and bone health - lots of research available.

> I do take Vitamin D supplements and eat a lot of fortified food in cereals. I am a veggie of about 40 years and stay away from fatty foods as much as possible. I do have regular full blood checks and my GP says they are good. I take AdCal bone supplements on prescription. I don't drink or smoke either.

Re the phlegm - can you tell if it's produced by your lungs or nasal passages?

> I hadn't thought about that until I started reading your advice! I am sat up typing now and feel like I have a bunged-up nose BUT I haven't got an actual bunged up nose if that makes sense? Twingy feeling. My nostrils feel unusual but not (em) snotty. I sleep well at night but if I'm on my left side it hurts at times. The phlegm is usually a quick spit and gone.

Quite often when we lie down, we get an accumulation of nasal drip that feels like phlegm in our throat. Nasal drip is not uncommon in asthmatics. If it's nasal then a nasal rinse may help. OR it may be reflux, again worse when we lie down. Acid reflux is an irritant and will create inflammation and phlegm. >

> I do take Omeprazole which my GP put me on a few years back

The Pred may be the culprit here if its irritating your tummy acid levels. Oral steroids can decrease our magnesium levels and magnesium plays a part in controlling our esophageal sphincter, hence the reflux. A simple antacid can help diagnose if reflux is the culprit. If it is, then Magnesium Malate or Magnesium Glycinate are good supplements, especially beneficial for rheumatic pain too.

> I must try the Magnesium supplements

Thank you Poobah. I'm not ill (as such) but this is annoying and painful! I do have a superb GP Surgery and a very good relationship with all the staff

My nose seems to be the guilty are here???? I'm off to Amazon for some Magnesium supplements.

David

Poobah profile image
Poobah in reply to davidcantswim

VitD3 is absorbed with fat so taking it with a meal is best, especially if meal contains a high fat food. VitK Mk7 assists with the assimilation of VitD to the right areas of the body, and helps avoid calcification (plaque in the wrong places). Magnesium and boron also are co-factors in the optimisation of VitD. The attached explains the processes. Hope this helps.

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davidcantswim profile image
davidcantswim in reply to Poobah

Thank you Poobah! Magnesium on the way :)

Celie1 profile image
Celie1 in reply to Poobah

Hi, Wondering if the magnesium would help me too. What strength would you suggest?

davidcantswim profile image
davidcantswim in reply to Celie1

I bought mine from Amazon and it arrives today

Celie1 profile image
Celie1 in reply to davidcantswim

👍hope it helps

Poobah profile image
Poobah in reply to Celie1

I attach a list of magnesium types, including their pros & cons. I take magnesium oxide 400mg at night for sleep and heartburn. Also take 222mg elemental citrate mag capsule at lunch. Definitely take with meals and plenty of fluid. Magnesium citrate very well absorbed and often available in powder (for home dilution with water) but I found it hard on my mouth, hence my swap to capsules, but still requires lots of fluid.

As to the amount, the supplier will recommend but you can see what you tolerate. I have a sensitive stomach but tolerate the above amounts very well.

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Celie1 profile image
Celie1 in reply to Poobah

Thanks for that 😊I’ll have a look through.

Celie1 profile image
Celie1 in reply to Poobah

Hi Poobah, Thinking I might try the magnesium oxide for reflux at night. The one I found online (500mg) said to take with food but I don’t eat late because of reflux 😆.

Am I being a bit literal 🤷🏻‍♀️😆. Does it just mean take with eve meal is that what you do? 😊

Poobah profile image
Poobah in reply to Celie1

I have a small snack but have taken mag without food and haven't had problems, probably an hour before bed, something like a yoghurt or piece of fruit, banana is good. Hope they work for you.

Celie1 profile image
Celie1 in reply to Poobah

Thanks. I’ll wait until I’m off the steroids and can drop evening dose of omneprazole, then I’ll try it. 👍

Celie1 profile image
Celie1 in reply to davidcantswim

Hi, I’ve got reflux problems too and am taking omeprazole.

For me it helps to make sure I’m propped up for sleeping, I have a ‘wedge’ pillow (also need a pillow on top of this). It took me a bit of getting used to as I’ve never had a lot of pillows before. I try to lie on my left side, as I’ve read this is the best sleeping position for reflux.

The other thing that definitely helps me is to make sure I don’t eat anything 3 or 4 hours before bed.

Hope this helps 😊

davidcantswim profile image
davidcantswim in reply to Celie1

Ha Ha! I use 5 pillows!

Celie1 profile image
Celie1 in reply to davidcantswim

Haha, you must be nearly upright!

davidcantswim profile image
davidcantswim in reply to Celie1

5 pillows + a duvet, duvet cover, large throw, a dressing gown over that in total.

I have found that I am feeling much, much better after a full day on Magnesium Malate (Vegan friendly)

Thanks for all the really valuable info Poobah By the way did I mention I have PMR too? That is not so bad.... All in one day!

About 5 years ago I was at our local hospital here in Plymouth and was due to see the Chest Consultant. Before that I did the breath in and blow blow blow thing. When I had finished that part I asked the young man (25 ish) who was the asthma nurse if there was anything he'd recommend that would help with my asthma (which isn't too bad) he told me he was an asthmatic and drinks a vitamin c and zinc lozenge in a pint of water everyday without fail and never gets a cold. I must be honest and say I started doing this right away and hardly ever get a cold. If and when I do it is not too bad at all.

David

Celie1 profile image
Celie1 in reply to davidcantswim

Wow that’s one big pile to sleep on! 😆. I find that I sometimes slip down the bed off my slope and wake up choking - I don’t think I’d manage 5 minutes on yours 😂.

Glad you feel better. Let me know if the Magnesium carries on working for you.

Erm not sure what PMR is..

Vit C and zinc, think I tried these a few years ago along with echinacea for avoiding colds, but I worked with children and they’re just little germ factories, so always picked up whatever they sneezed over me 😆. None this year as haven’t been near anyone haha!

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