New and need advice please

Hi there

Ive been really struggling to breath for ages and have always put it down to anxiety or panic attacks . Its got so bad i have asked the doc could it be Asthma as i cant have panic attacs constantly . He has given me a Peak Flow meter, my readings for the last few days have been between 280 and 300 . I am 5ft 4 and about 8 stone and 48 yrs old ,I have to wait a week to see a nurse to do a spirometry and get xray of chest. Does it sound like asthma are these reading bad ? Also my sister and my late dad had asthma .

Also is there anything i can do to help my breathing as a week feels like forever .

Thanks for reading xxxx

18 Replies

  • Welcome to this brilliant forum. I am glad that you are having further investigations. The Spirometry will help with the diagnosis. I hope that they do reversibilty Spirometry: that is when they do one test, give you Salbutamol, a bronchodilator, to ease any asthma symptoms, and then do it again. That test is good at telling whether it is asthma, COPD, or both. I know in your current state of mind to wait a week feels awful, but I have to say they are acting quite promptly. I hope you feel confident about your GP. They can be crucial.

    All the best and Let us know how things go.


  • Thank you K for a lovely reply xxx

  • Hi pickle, if you feel that you need help with your breathlessness before next week, could you ring your health centre and explain how you feel.

    If you live in the UK , you can contact the BLF helpline by phone or email....details are on the BLF website....they are open during the working week.

    Meantime, I find that the pursed lip breathing technique can help with breathlessness in the short term....breathe in very gently through your nose and then very gently again out through your mouth with pursed lips. Repeat a few times .

    Try relaxed belly breathing ...low and slow so that air can reach the lower part of your lungs...again through your nose.

    I find David Carbonell' s video on you tube...Deep breathing Exercise helpful too.

    You say that your sister has she taking any inhalers

    Asthma UK has a helpline too....I have used both in the past.

    Maybe try and contact the respiratory nurse at your practice tomorrow, explain how you feel and tell him/ her your current peak flow readings.

    Best wishes.

  • Hi knitter :)

    Thank you for your reply my sister had it maily in her teens and it stopped as she grew older , My dad seemed to have ever inhaler and nebuliser in the world.

    I will look into David Carbonells videos . Thankyou for all this advice xxx

  • Hi I have asthma as well as copd and my peak and flow reading average around 350 so yours does sound quite low. If you are not or never have been a smoker it's inlikely to be copd but could well be asthma. x

  • Thanks coughalot :) I was a smoker up and till i was 38 but not a big one but havn't smoked for 10 years . Take care


  • Hello and so glad you found this wonderful forum but not of course why you're here. I'm sorry to hear about your breathing issues. It must be terribly scary to be going through panic attacks. There is some some wonderful advice here for you already and I don't have much to add just welcome and please do come back often. It really helps. Take care.

    Cas xx :)

  • Thank you Caspiana , its lovely to read all your replies . Its a bizzare place to be in as i Don't want to be ill but really hope they find something so they can fix me . xxx

  • Welcome to our forum pickle,

    Lots of helpful advice from members, and I can't add any more for I don't know as much as they do, but you have certainly landed in the right place to get your mind put at rest. Please let us know how you get on, for everyone on here really cares.

    All the best to you. Keep in touch :-)

  • Hi Jennifer

    Lovely to meet you , it sounds like a reallylovely helpful group xxxxxx

  • Hello and welcome pickle.

  • Hi Debalus , Thank you xxxxx

  • Don't read to much into peak flow, my wife who is 5ft 1 blows about the same as you, never smoked and don't suffer from breathless, as has been said purse lip breathing helps, please don't read to much into figures, otherwise you will create panic attacks,

    When I was diagnosed copd some twenty years ago I thought that was the end, but with a good excercise regime positive thinking, and the good people on this site, I have manage to survive enjoying life, at the now ripe old age of 77 and still going strong, so keep your chin up you will be fine.

    Wish you well



  • Thank you Peter , Really hope they can fix me , I have two gorgeous girls 8 and10 and struggling so much I just want to enjoy life .Fingers crossed this time next month things will have changed . You sound like a very possitive person which is always lovely to meet xxx

  • Hi pickle, so sorry you are feeling so ill. I have asthma and use my peak flow to help me gauge how bad I am, your reading sound low to me. You do not mention having an inhaler? Do you have one and are you using it? I would phone your doc and tell them how bad you are feeling and tell them your peak flow readings. If you carry on alone you are in danger of making yourself worse. Better to ask for help and have a check-up now. Take care and let us know how you get on. Maximonkey

  • Hi Maximonkey ( great name :)

    No Im not on any inhalers, Ive been putting it down to anxiety and panic attacks but it has got so bad now that i have asked doctors to look into it . So ive got loads of tests next week . Ive phoned doctor to see if i could push my appointment forward but can't as they are so busy . They are looking into it being asthma but also looking into other things . Lets hope i have some positive news next week.

    Thanks for replying xxxxx

  • Good luck pickle, Take care, do not exert yourself. Let's hope the test show the reason why you are having breathing difficulties and they can then help you. I will be thinking of you. Maximonkey

  • pickle1179

    Hi pickle, if you feel very bad and can afford it you could try a pharmacy and see if they will sell you a ventolin inhaler which they do if people run out and its a bit of an emergency, used to cost about £5 might be a bit more now but is used by asthmatics and copd people as a rescue med (opens up the airways).

    Good luck


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