British Lung Foundation

poor peak flow reading/ lung function test meaning???

I am 31, 5'7, and 75kg.

I have pluretic type pain (upper right abdo), as well as chest pain in centre of chest. when i lie down I feel short of breath so need to sleep sitting up! breathing feels like an effort, its like I cant get enough air in my lungs.

I am being investigated for an autoimmiune/ autoinflamatory condition, and as part of the investigations I was recently sent for a lung function test. I have not had the results back yet but struggled to complete the test (I had to keep on repeating the tests as I couldnt take in enough air to get a reading???) and had bad coughing fits after each exersise (I do not normaly have a cough).

I have also had a chest xray which was fine

I recently had a PIP assesment, as part of this I had to do a peak flow test. my best was 280 (almost collapsed after this and had major coughing fit). the nurse said 280 was very low.

I had asthma as a child, but dont feel like I have it now........... can anyone suggest what could be going on? could it be asthma?

5 Replies


Sorry your feeling so rough. Your GP will have your Lung function tests results, I would make an appointment and ask him to explain. I would also ring the BLF helpline and speak to the nurses they're brilliant.

Kim xxx


I've been in exactly the same place as you for 2 years I kept going back and forth to my Drs. Then 6 months ago i had a pneumothorax after this I finally got a CT scan which has shown that I have very tiny small amounts of emphysema nothing to worry about my letter says. But I am worried , I've never smoked live a healthy lifestyle and workout at the gym 5 x's a week I'm 46 yrs old. Ask if you can have a CT scan as x-rays can only show so much You need to get to the bottom of this I don't cough no more and I use to be coughing all the time. Hope you get the help you need..Try and keep positive but I know how hard that can be.


Try not to worry to much. My readings without any inhalers are around 150, and I have been known to only manage 90, even with my inhalers at full dosage I only manage 200 to 220. I lead a reasonably active life and although I am now in my 60's I have had these readings all my life, so talk to your Doctor and try not to get too worried.


Thanks for the replies.....

my main concern is that the results may not be looked at in detail as my chest xray was clear and blood results all negative. I called the department where the lung test was done to ask how I would recieve the results and was told they would be sent to rhuematologist as it was him who ordered the test, so only he can access the results!


Hi Heather. Your profile is perhaps similar to mine. I am 48, slim and a vigorous walker. I have a longstanding history of Lupus (but neg antibodies) which has recently revised to UCTD/SLE. A couple of years ago, I started struggling to breathe when reclined, coughing on exertion, bouts of pleuritic pain, aspiration - the list of intermittent problems is endless and my Drs don't have all the answers. Extensive lung function tests have revealed Restrictive Lung Disease - resp weakness (namely diaphragmatic ) but you have to do special tests to pick this up, narrowing of airways and patches of inflammation on CT. My peak flow is 200-250 and that is my norm yet spirometry is low normal. My symptoms are a mixed bag, not typical of any one thing. It is worrying when your health suffers but try not to worry and I hope you get some answers very soon. Clare


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