British Lung Foundation

asthma paitent stammer

hello,everyone, first I need to apologize my bad English, this is my first post in this forum, I am a Chinese, male, 36, when I came into my thirty, were diagnosed with asthma, hrCt is clean, fev1/Fvc is about 65%, not reversible with ventolin, Doctors have tried me with seretide and symboicort , now i was put on fostair, my symptom is chest tightness, mainly on the right lung, and the annoying part is very hard to speak a long sentence, when I talk with people, I just feel not enough of air come out of lung to support me to complete a whole sentence, stammer all the time, I were always try to avoid to talk with people, my question is the fev1/Fvc is about 65% like me, is it normal that I cannot talk a long sentence and stammer all day? Doctor said I had too much pressure or depression, and my number is good, but all the feeling is so real like sob, tight chest. Do I need for anti-depression drugs? Thanks for your reply and sorry for my bad languages again.

22 Replies
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Hi, firstly, may I congratulate you for being able to write this when english isn't your native tongue, much respect!

Have you asked your doctor to refer you to Pulmonary Rehab?

If not, please do as you will find it much easier and less pressured when you are amongst people with similar problems AND the teams are often more knowledgeable on a day to day basis and can really help.

Please don't shut yourself off and stop speaking to people as this won't help.

I think worrying and trying not to stammer will only put pressure on you, people are very kind.

You are not alone!

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Never heard the pulmonary rehab here in China, I searched it, like it is some kind of exercise. I will mention it to my doctor next time in October, thanks for your reply.

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If your diagnosis is asthma then I am surprised that it is not reversible with Ventolin. And other inhalers are not working either. I think you should go back to your doctor. If you cannot exhale it sounds like airtrapping and yet you say that your HRCT was clear. Maybe ask for a second opinion on the HRCT? One radiologist failed to spot airtrapping on my HRCT, I asked for a second opinion and the second radiologist confirmed airtrapping. A Full Lung Function Test, (the one that looks at lung capacity) should also show evidence of airtrapping.

All the best

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Your language young man is commendable,there are probably no members on this site who could read one syllable of Chinese. You do not mention if you are still resident in China?As Katinka advised it does seem that you need to go back to your physician and get a proper diagnosis of your lung disease.no amount of anti depressant drugs are going to alleviate problems happening within your lungs.we wish you good luck in resolving your lung and breathing issues.................skis

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I live in Beijing, China, i have been ready to accept who i was and who i will be after6years miserable life, sob, tight chest, talk short and stammer all day long, i changed my life style totally, just work, home, and i didn't mention to anyone else except my wife, my wife told me i looked nirmal to her except silence all day, people didn't notice at all, and i use every strength to work/talk, i sometimes feel like i am sinking in a pool, the sunshine is out there,but i cannot reach it and about to exhaust.

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Please try not to worry too much. If you are not responding fully with ventilin then chances are you have something else going on. Getting exercisse will help to keep your lungs clear. I have had asthma from the age of 2 and copd from 27. Hope you find a solution. Do you have to pay to see the doctor?

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what is your number for fev1/fvc? do you have to take both medicines together for asthma and copd? i knew that both seretide and symboicont can treat both disease, do you experience stammer as i did? here in China we don't have GP, we go to hospital for disease, the doctor and hospital has rank, i am looking at high rank doctoc in high grade hospital, every time is about 50usd, while the medicine is covered up by insurance.

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Welcome to the site, afraidfuture . I have COPD and my fev1/fvc is 69%. It has stayed this way since diagnosis 2.5 years ago. I don't stammer, but I do have to breathe correctly to speak longer phrases. I have gradually increased the amount of walking exercise I do daily from 2500 steps per day in 2015 to 10,000+ steps per day now. I also do singing exercises in the Western style breathing from the diaphragm, and lead a singing group for people with lung problems. May I suggest you look up singing exercises on YouTube and practise some of them regularly. This will give you more control over your breathing. Singing also releases natural chemical messengers in your body which will help you feel a bit better emotionally.

All the best, M.

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Thanks for your reply, when it was back 4 or 5 years when I just diagnosed with Asthma with the number (fev1/fvc% is 65%)and prescribed with Synbicort and singular, I was trying to exercise a lot like jogging on the windmill for like 30 minutes with speed 6, and slow swim for like 1000m, but still stammer all day long, even talk with my own parents, now I am 36, and still try to exercise, but it won't help with my stutter. actually my doctor used stethoscope to hear my chest when I said I was very ill and feel there is rock on my chest and cannot breathe out from my bottom of lung, every time they responded that you have a very silent chest, there is nothing you need to worry about, all your feeling is psychological problem and ironically when I feel better at breath for very few moment of day, I do hear there is noise come out from my throat when I breath out.

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I appeared in a pantomime once, and the director had a vey troublesome stammer. But that went when he sang. That's one of the reasons I'm suggesting you try singing as an exercise. It will help you control your breathing.

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I have asthma and bronchiectasis. It took two years before the doctors found the right inhalers for me. I now have Atimos (this is a bronchodilator with an anti-inflammatory) and Alvesco (this is a corticosteroid). I also take Montelukast (an anti-inflammatory tablet). The Montelukast helped me to walk easier without chest tightness.

Walking is a great help. Start slowly and walk in rhythm with your breathing. Best if you just breath through your nose. Build up your walking very gradually. Stop if it makes you worse.

Most importantly you need inhalers that work, so keep going to your doctor until they find the right one(s) for you.

I find talking difficult. It's good you don't have a job where you need to talk all day! I now speak in very short phrases. This is how I do it:-

I keep my mouth shut and breath in through my nose, then I speak a few words, then close my mouth and breath in through my nose and speak a few words, etc

It takes practice, but people seem not to notice that I'm doing it.

Keep going, there will be an answer for you.

God bless.

Great English, well done!

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At the beginning of the diagnosis I wasn't sleeping so my GP gave me anti-depressants which I took for about 18 months. I'm now sleeping and feel just fine.

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My sleep was not good as well, Psychologist do think I have depression and she said maybe all the feeling I experienced is caused by depression, I have been taking sleep-pill for about half year now, and haven't started with anti-depression treatment yet.

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We don't have atimos and Alvesco here in China even in top end hospital like Peking Union Medical College Hospital, the asthma medicine we have here is seretide/Symbicort/Fostair(released recently), singular, while for COPD, Spiriva is the only one I know, maybe we are 10 years late than you.

Sometimes I envy that you have so many choices on medicine, the problem I have is that I have tried every combination of medicines and up-stair treatment followed GINA guidance(even oral steroids), my SOB/tight chest/stutter is still there. I want to understand if the person(no matter asthma or COPD) with FEV1/FVC 65% will stammer.

Thanks again for all the help here, all your people are very knowledgeable and kindhearted.

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We don't have atimos and Alvesco here in China even in top end hospital like Peking Union Medical College Hospital, the asthma medicine we have here is seretide/Symbicort/Fostair(released recently), singular, while for COPD, Spiriva is the only one I know, maybe we are 10 years late than you.

Sometimes I envy that you have so many choices on medicine, the problem I have is that I have tried every combination of medicines and up-stair treatment followed GINA guidance(even oral steroids), my SOB/tight chest/stutter is still there. I want to understand if the person(no matter asthma or COPD) with FEV1/FVC 65% will stammer.

Thanks again for all the help here, all your people are very knowledgeable and kindhearted.

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Apologies, I hadn't realised you were in China. Do go back to the doctor and ask about exercise classes for breathing as advised by another here, breathing from the diaphram will help and try to think positively. Do you do tai chi or chi gung? These may help also to allow deeper breathing in the meantime. (I go and along with pulmonary rehab' classes I've attended here, have found them helpful to promote more lung being used when breathing.)

Good luck.

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Definitely I will mention to my doctor when next visit at around end of October, the top rank doctor here is very good at cure severe disease, maybe the symptoms on me is not severe enough for them to pay attention to, only I know what I were going through for the past 6 years.

I do not do tai chi or chi gung, I do physical exercise like jogging on treadmill, slow swim, play basketball, I cannot play for too long time or I will feel very bad at my breath.

Thanks for your reply.

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Hi welcome to the site. To answer your main question the answer is no you shouldn't stutter like this and it's not related to asthma. Having any lung disease might make it harder to find the breath to talk and you might talk more slowly or take more pauses but I have never heard of it causing a stutter before.

You need to go back to the doctor and ask for further tests as asthma is usually reversible with the right meds. Other lung diseases such as copd aren't. This doesn't sound like just asthma to me. Have you ever had a spirometry test? This is one where you blow into a machine and where they measure, among other things, your lung function. You said yours is around 65% so how was this determined? It wouldn't be on just the asthma peak and flow test.

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Hello, Lilaclil, thank you for reply, the test I were regularly doing for last 6 years is full spirometry test, a whole page of figures like FVC/FEV1/PEF/MEF/MVV/RV/TLC, every time the result on the paper showed there was obstructive ventilation function disturbance and no reversible with Ventolin, and I also did two times of

Bronchial provocation test, one time is negative and one time result is strongly positive, I have been smoking for about 10 years and quit smoking when I was 30 when diagnosed with asthma, I do mentioned to my doctor is there any opportunity that I have COPD or both asthma and COPD, my doctor said the another sign of COPD is coughing all the time, I remembered back in 2015, one doctor prescribed me with Spiriva, I took it together with seretide 500/singular for about a month, it didn't work on me. so I switched to symbicont 250, neither will work on me as well, it was last year I am seeing the best doctors here in Beijing, he still said I was asthma not COPD, and the stutter problem might related to depression.

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Hi you are very welcome. Based on your lung function (FEV1) of 65% it is definitely not just asthma. I am not sure about your country but in the UK if your lung function is less than 90% then you are diagnosed with copd and/or emphysema. At 65% you would be diagnosed with moderate copd. It may be different where you are.

It is also possible that it is not copd but another lung disease such as 'restricted airways disease.' Have you had a CT scan or an MRI one? These should pick up anything which is wrong, especially the MRI scan as this one does your whole body. I would ask for those tests starting with the CT scan.

I do agree with your doctor about one thing - your stutter is much more likely to be related to depression or social anxiety. I suffer from depression and occasionally stutter too.

Take care and I hope you find some answers soon. x

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I searched on internet and maybe I am wrong because FVC is about 100% of predict value, so it has very little chance of restricted airway disease, now doctor put me on fostair which is newly released in China, The particle size is relative small and it may go into the deep side of lung including small air way. now I have been on this drug for about 2 months, then I will take another full spirometry test in Oct. and every doctor prescribed me with singular and I have taken it for about 6 years, and in recent month I have stopped this one for I suffered from severe sleep disorder, I cannot go to sleep quick and wake up at 4 and can never go back to sleep, and in recent one week, I feel much better on my night sleep, basically I can sleep overnight without any problem now, but my recent breath is weird, and I am now struggling if I should keep going with singlular.

The current asthma doctor refer me to his colleague, one psychologist, and I did see her, and I explained to her about the stammer/SOB/chest tightness/sleep disorder, she thought there is a big chance I have anxiety disorder or close. she suggested me to take anti-anxiety pill to give it a try, and I am hesitating now.

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Nothing to lose. Everything to gain maybe. Good luck.

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