Asthma or not? : Hi. I haven’t used a... - Asthma UK communi...

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Asthma or not?

Lee_vee11 profile image

Hi. I haven’t used a reliever or preventer asthma pump since august as I’ve been fine symptom free.. I went to the gym the other day and started feeling short of Breath easily and have done for a few days now.. I still haven’t used any inhaler as I’m not sure i have asthma due to my peak flow being 800! I feel like my throat closes and I can’t get air in or out? Help me please as it’s ruining my life! I love exercise and play football but have to stop doing these thing due to being short of breath easily!

9 Replies

Hi Lee. Are you sure it’s asthma causing these symptoms? I’d still take your peak flow, to check what’s happening - try it both before and after your bronchodilator, to see how much it improves. Also, are you tight & wheezy or is it, as you seem to suggest, shortness of breath? If the latter, ask your gp for an ecg to make sure there’s no problem there.

Have you been diagnosed with asthma. Assuming you have then the whole point of preventer is to keep asthma under control. If you didn’t feel you needed it then it was doing it’s job! Suggest you restart it but be aware it can take a good 12 weeks for it to have full effect.In the meantime you could try using your reliever prior to starting exercise and that may help to continue.

If nothing changes or you are worried it is important you speak to your gp. Be honest and tell them you stopped taking preventer but have (if you do) started again.

Lee_vee11 profile image
Lee_vee11 in reply to Bevvy

I haven’t used my preventer since august as I didn’t have no symptoms and was fine then all of sudden I’m back feeling like this? I don’t have a wheeze and also I don’t cough.. it’s more my throat i can’t get air through than my chest 🤔

Bevvy profile image
Bevvy in reply to Lee_vee11

A good /effective preventer WILL stop symptoms and you will feel ok.Sounds like best to speak to gp.

I think you need to talk to your doctor or asthma nurse as they may well have a few more questions for you in order to get the full picture. All breathlessness isn't asthma and pinning down what's happening, and when, can narrow down the possible causes.

There is an exercise induced asthma, more details here

Breathing correctly or effectively when exercising is more important than we realise, so I wouldn't discount poor breathing habits. But again, this would be diagnosed by your doctor.

Whatever is going on it's important to get to the bottom of it, so you can enjoy your sport as much as possible.

Hi Lee. I don't normally respond to any comments posted, but your case reminds me of mine, not sure if it will be of any help. Last year around February time I started developing shortness of breath, tight chest and I always had a runny nose that after a while became blocked. After a few months it became impossible for me to breathe, to the point that I ended up in A&E however my oxygen levels and all other tests came back normal. GP told me I was having panic attacks, however I knew there was something else there. They gave me inhalers and they really helped open my airways. My GP left me to it and the only referral was made to have a lung capacity which I was told I would have to wait for months. In the meantime my symptoms were getting worse, my back started swelling up and I was in constant torture. I then decided to go privately, to sum up I invested nearly £3000 in tests. One of the things that were noticed was that my airways were also inflamed and they told me I was suffering from acid reflux which was affecting my airways. However they could not pinpoint the cause. In the summer it all went downhill; in addition to my struggles to breathe, I stopped eating because everything hurt my stomach. I then decided to go privately again and have a food allergy test. I paid quite a lot, but they tested for over 300 foods. To my surprise, it came back as me being allergic to all dairy, eggs, peanuts and other foods, 12 in total. By this point I needed a colonoscopy and a gastroscopy, as my insides were in such distress. After reading a lot about foods, I decided to cut off immediately all the foods that I was allergic to, and pretty much I have adopted a vegan diet, not as a choice but as a must due to these allergies i didn't even know i had. Almost 6 months have passed since my discovery and my changes in diet. Thanks to some natural remedies i recovered my stomach and all inflammation has now disappeared. My breathing is back to normal, I have gone from not being able to walk at all to swimming and running again. I have stopped using inhalers. I can say I am back to full health. I have to be very careful with what I eat, as for example lots of foods in the supermarket contain egg and milk on the ingredients. If I don't check, or there is some of these hidden and I eat the food, my stomach swells up and I start with shortness of breath and palpitations at times. I wanted to tell my case, just in case it can help someone out there who is as desperate as I was; at the worst of it I even considered ending the pain in not the best way.... it was that bad. So if this helps anyone, I will be made up I took the time to contribute to this forum. Take care and I hope you get sorted soon. All the best.

Hi Mahirava. I completely agree that acid reflux can have effects on us, far more than heartburn alone. It can burn the vocal cords and many people are not aware this is happening. It can the cause the vocal cords to spasm and it feels like air is not able to pass in or out. It is a frightening experience. I’m glad you are better now.

You need to know your baseline peakflow, may be it's 900. Mine is 940. Also, you should not stop taking your preventer inhaler even if you are feeling fine. Asthma never truly "goes away".

Hi Lee. So sorry to hear about this. There is something called Vocal Cord Disorder. It has other names as well. It often goes alongside asthma but it doesn’t respond to asthma inhalers. It is not well known so when presenting to medical staff at surgeries or hospitals they not not be familiar with it. It effects athletes as well as non athletes. There are a couple of specialist centres in the UK. One is at the Royal Brompton and Dr Hull is the consultant who is the lead there. The other is in Lancashire I believe but if you Google it you should find it and start thinking about if you feel they can help and how you want to proceed. I don’t know if this is what’s troubling you but it sounds familiar.

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