British Lung Foundation

Methachlorine/histamine breathing test this week what to expect?

Im due a histamine/methachlorine breathing test this week. Just got over a long 3 montj viral chest infection and im also allergic to histamine with a arm prick test and the test spot lumped up, had that a few years ago or would that just check for histamine intolerance?

Will the histamine test really affect my breathing as im allergic to it? They want to test for vocal chord disfunction as well. Do you get really rapid breathing breathless as dont fancy inflaming my lungs or is it like a tight chest feeling like a hard workout or asthma? Any advice would be appreciated as rang hostpital and they said well everyone has a slight allergy to histamine dont worry??

Cheers peeps

5 Replies

Sorry I'm not aware of this test! You mention vocal chord dysfunction, is this to do with reflux? Just wondered as I may do a post asking others about this... but I have reflux problems which aren't at all sorted and causing voice and a lot of chest problems when on antibiotics. X


Hi Winter. They dont know if its asthma/and/or LPR airway reflux/post nasal drip mucus combo or something else. I also get really bad chest off antibiotics and oral steroids they make my breathing worse to a degree when on them lol. Hope you get to the bottom of it. Just hope someone whos had this breathing test can tell me what to expect. Take care


Hi I have no answers but am interested to find out more as I am due to have this test too


Hi Tinkz I had one last week at whythenshawe. They give you a lung function test which are various breathing tests first then ask you to inhale saline (salt water) they then ask you to inhale histamine which is a lung irritant for two minutes. They increase the dose every two minutes and record your breathing on a machine to look for drops in your oxygen levels and if you react to the histamine. They stop when they see a 20 percent drop and then give you a ventolin nebuliser to reverse the lung constriction and then let you go when your peak flow levels go back up. I realise what i just told you sounds scary but theres staff there all around and they stop at the first sign of breathing problems. You just feel tight chested and your breathing slows down a bit when you get to your histamine peak . Also they will ask you if youve had a chest infevtion in the past six weeks as this affects readings. And try not to have you preventer inhaler and reliver on the day as this aldo affects the reading(im sure it will say this on your letter). Hood luck with it and honestly i know the picture ive just given you is a bit grimm and scary but its worth to see how bad your respitory problems are. Good luck!!


I suffer like this too and think I had that test, they do give you and exacerbation if the symptoms buy give you relief straight away and it's very controlled don't worry. For me it was the tight chest feeling and air hunger. The best thing is to stay as calm as possible and trust the consultant. They see these reactions every working day and know what to do and have all the facilities. Best of luck and best of health... You will be OK.


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