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difficulty breathing and Dr didn't seem to consider asthma?

Discussion in 'Autonomic, Cardiovascular, and Respiratory' started by Ambrosia_angel, Mar 7, 2014.

  1. Ambrosia_angel

    Ambrosia_angel Senior Member

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    I'm on another chest infection/flu spell. Went to the Dr thinking it was asthma as my immediate family suffer from it but the Dr seemed to think it was just an infection and wanted to put me on antibiotics but I refused due to horrible yeast infections. He gave me pholcodiene(it helps) and painkillers and told me if I still have breathing problems to come back. This is my second time on one of these attacks and the first time I had to go to call an ambulance because I was becoming so dizzy (from hyperventilation) and was put on O2 and given a pump. I've been using the pump now which helps but it's horrible not being able to breathe and I keep getting these nasty infections. Any advice on what to do? Anyone else been through these? It also sets me back quite a lot as well because on the uncontrollable coughing coupled with weakness.

    What could be causing these asthma like symptoms if it's not asthma?
  2. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    Hi Ambrosia, what makes you think it is not an infection? do you have phlegm? what colour is it? has he listened to your chest? Can he hear sounds when he does? are the symptoms all the time, or did they disappear before? is the cough dry or chesty? what kind of pump has he given you?

    I have asthma and also recurrent chest infections. For me the recurrent chest infections have to be treated with antibiotics as I have lung scarring from previous infections and pneumonia. Asthma is kind of different as it is more all the time, or brought on by smoke, dust etc. I might be able to make some suggestions if I know a bit more about it.

    My immune system and lungs were greatly improved by seeing a medical herbalist (privately) and taking immune/lung herbs for some time (nearly two years, but I no longer have regular infections, even with colds and flu, which I have right now, but I still have the asthma)

    all the best,
    Justy
    Valentijn likes this.
  3. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl Senior Member

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    I just got an RX for Singulair to help me. I feel like I'm not getting enough air into my lungs. I have been tested and it is not asthma

    The singulair seems to help although when I'm not good, like now, it may not matter. But it's cheap and worth a shot if you can get it.
    Valentijn likes this.
  4. Ambrosia_angel

    Ambrosia_angel Senior Member

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    I don't know but I'm having asthma like reaction I think. The phlegm is clear and I'm getting quite a bit. The cough is dry, chesty & wheezy and the Dr did listen to my chest and said it's clear. I think the pump says salamol and its the blue one, he didn't give it though, a&e did. But I'm also having wheezing/difficulty breathing which is relieved by the pump.

    What sort of herbs were you put on. I've been considering it for so long but it's hard to know which one to go to.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2014
  5. Ambrosia_angel

    Ambrosia_angel Senior Member

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    My throat is actually feeling tight though. I've been managing it as I've already been through it once before but it isn't nice. I don't know if my Dr will give me singulair because he hasn't diagnosed me with asthma :/
  6. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl Senior Member

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    I don't have asthma either. It's used off label for tons of things. it is helping clear up my sinuses and it feels like I'm getting more air into my lungs.

    She had no problem giving it to me, but this is my ME doc and not my primary doc.
  7. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    Hi Ambrosia, well if the phlegm is clear and the doctor cant hear anything when listening then it seems unlikely to be an infection. You said you had flu - is it just happening then, or all the time, even when the flu is better? flu and colds could cause these symptoms, if it clears up afterwards it may be a transient thing. My husband had this once for a couple months after flu - it wasn't asthma, but in the end they treated him with a steroid inhaler as he was obviously having some inflammation and it cleared up quite quickly and didn't return.

    One suggestion for the phlegm and wheeziness is to try coming off all dairy and seeing if that helps, it creates the promotion of phlegm and some docs say can cause breathing/asthma problems.

    re medical herbalist - I couldn't say what herbs to take as they were prescribed and made into a tincture for me by the herbalist. My opinion is that it is worth having consults if you can (they may do a phone one if you cant get out, or home visit?), but it should be with a MEDICAL herbalist, not just a herbalist. Your local health food store may know of one in your area. Herbs have helped me a lot, but it was an overnight cure, and as I said I still have asthma and use a steroid inhaler and blue reliever.

    I would also ask for a referral, either to a lung consultant at the hospital or to the asthma clinic at your surgery (I think they all run them now) where the nurse may be able to evaluate you to see if they can help. Did the doctor do a peak flow measurement? I really think its worth pushing them for more help with this., perhaps seeing a different GP in the surgery and saying you are still having the problem and see if they are more inclined to help.
    all the best
    Justy.
    MeSci likes this.
  8. Ambrosia_angel

    Ambrosia_angel Senior Member

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    @minkeygirl thanks. Does off the label mean I can by it from a pharmacy?

    @justy well I'm still on it now. I don't know if it is the flu but my I'm getting tummy pains and feeling quite tired so I'm guess it a flu/cold like thing. But that could just be down to the coughing which makes me weak and tired. I've been experiencing very mild difficulty breathing on and off for a few weeks now but didn't consider asthma. I just push it away as not breathing hard enough (stupid I know). I actually haven't really eaten dairy for a few days so that's good for me. Is the blue inhaler steroids or is it the white or brown one?

    Thanks for that. I'm definitely struggling to find reviews on one. It's frustrating as I can only go on what the write on their websites.

    My Dr didn't do a peak flow. I guess if it continues into next week I'll go back. I just want to know why I'm getting this type of reaction to a cold or whatever it is. I've never had difficulty breathing in my life? Is this a cfs thing?
  9. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    It's a prescription medication, but the patent just expired so it's available as a cheap generic medication. Meaning even an NHS GP won't have much objection to it :p

    I used Singulair a while back, when I was diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma (probably pre- or mild ME/CFS). All of the regular asthma drugs made me worse, including the corticosteroids, so a retired GP who was filling in for the regular GP had me try the retro stuff. It worked wonderfully.
    Ambrosia_angel likes this.
  10. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

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    I believe there is a viral chest infection doing the rounds in the uk - it certainly is here in Dundee.
    It results in a sinusy congestion and an irritating cough with clear phlegm.
    I don't know if this might have any relevance to your nasty state right now.:love:

    I have a friend who has had it for a good while now, she's the one who told me there is "a lot of it about" - her doctor told her.
  11. Ambrosia_angel

    Ambrosia_angel Senior Member

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    That makes me feel a little better. Barely congested though. It's just very confusing to me :/.
  12. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl Senior Member

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    @Ambrosia_angel Off Label just means using it for something different than it was originally made for. It's very common to do that. Trazdone was an antidepressant but mostly used for sleep now.

    You still have to get it from a pharmacy with an RX however it is available without an RX if you can't get it. You just have to know what pharmacy.

    I took one this morning and although I'm still exhausted and feel like I can't get enough air into my lungs, it seems like what I am getting is "more". I can't explain it.

    It's not a cure by any means but if it helps a bit then why not?
  13. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    Singulair can be bought here.

    But I would agree about getting a specialist's opinion. It may just be related to ME, in which case it may be that no doctor is likely to diagnose it correctly.

    I have had breathing difficulty due to e.g.:
    • post-nasal drip
    • low blood sodium
    • congestion of unknown cause
    If it's congestion, you may find that herb tea helps to relieve it. I have found oregano and/or thyme helpful. One to two teaspoonfuls in a teapot, pour about a cupful of boiling water over it, leave for 5-10 minutes, strain and take sips over the course of the day.

    Olbas oil can be helpful.

    But for the post-nasal drip and general nasal congestion I found that cutting out gluten and reducing grains and sugar did the trick. Still have to avoid overexertion as this tends to bring back all ME symptoms.
    justy likes this.
  14. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl Senior Member

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    Mine is definitely from my ME but when I told my doc my symptoms she had no problem giving it to me to try to treat it symptomatically. That is what we do with ME/CFS. Treat the symptoms.

    The drip could be allergies which the Singulair can also help. IMO it's not a big deal to try it.

    Sometimes we have to treat ourselves. I couldn't get an RX for acyclovir so I bought it myself and it made a huge difference.
  15. Ambrosia_angel

    Ambrosia_angel Senior Member

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    @minkeygirl I'm trying to see if I can find a Dr that knows about cfs and is willing to test some meds on me. I don't mind being a guinea pig if there will be an improvement at the end of it all.

    @MeSci you just alerted me that this could be due to a diet change I've had. I cut out sugars, gluten, high carb, fruits beforehand and only recently started eating them (in small amounts). That could be the issue. I'm going back to my diet today so hopefully that will help!
    MeSci likes this.
  16. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl Senior Member

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    @Ambrosia_angel You don't necessarily need a CFS doc vs someone who is open and will listen.

    A lot of the crazy symptoms we have, no one will know about. It's trial and error to find out what works.
    Valentijn and Ambrosia_angel like this.
  17. Ambrosia_angel

    Ambrosia_angel Senior Member

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    Little update is that I'm still struggling to breathe but my cough is slightly better with meds.

    I've developed a lot of muscle aches every and flu symptoms. Very stiff. Been sleeping a lot of the day. Doesn't help that I was pressured to eat out for a birthday yesterday so by the end I was so tired. Thanks for the advice everyone. Likely isn't asthma, just an inflammation reaction to a horrible infection
  18. physicsstudent13

    physicsstudent13 Senior Member

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    you can get inhalers for asthma and it helps. my asthma doesn't respond well to that
    Ambrosia_angel likes this.

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