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Is this asthma?

(17 Posts)
PMTIsMe Sat 08-Feb-14 19:24:54

I have a number of symptoms that suggest yes, but my peak flow readings are usually good. That said, Im a runner so maybe that helps keep it up?? Im 44 and my peak flow is 400- 450.

Basically I feel wheezy and tight chested after being out in the cold, especially after exercising. Most days I also get a horrible dry cough that ends up making me retch, a kind of heaving/tickly sensation I can't stop. I had a scary five minutes today when I was out and started coughing and just couldnt stop and couldnt get my breath at all. I was really starting to think I was in trouble. But it did calm down eventually. Most days I feel tight in the chest but docs say I am not wheezy when they listen. So who knows? Would I be wasting my time to use an inhaler? TIA for any thoughts.

Pagwatch Sat 08-Feb-14 19:27:36

Why don't you ask your doctor?

My dd has an average peak flow but she swims 10 hours a week so it should be higher, so for her it is low. So your fitness is a factor.

But you can't get 'an inhaler'. You need a prescription for the one fr your symptoms. Dd has two for different situations.

PMTIsMe Sat 08-Feb-14 19:29:14

One doc says yes, another was extremely dismissive!

PMTIsMe Sat 08-Feb-14 19:31:36

Sorry, read back my OP and realise its unclear - I have got an inhaler, but dont want to use it unless it is asthma, and am confused by different doctor opinions.

Floppityflop Sat 08-Feb-14 19:35:10

I'm not a doctor but that doesn't sound like an amazingly good peak flow unless you are quite short but it isn't bad. If you are crackling as well... I do a load

mercibucket Sat 08-Feb-14 19:36:36

erm not v specialised in asthma but i have same readings and use an inhaler every day and the tightness has gone
speak to the asthma clinic or nurse. they know more than gps imo

mercibucket Sat 08-Feb-14 19:37:49

oh yes, my gp just says my readings are average sad

Pagwatch Sat 08-Feb-14 19:38:13

No,I know. It's difficult.
We had the same thing with DD. she doesn't have classic wheezing but kept ending up in A&E but when she came home and went to the Dr she just seemed shockingly fit.

We had to persist. A referral to an asthma unit locally helped.

colditz Sat 08-Feb-14 19:40:26

My peak flow is 400 to 475, I'm diagnosed asthmatic, very overweight and couldn't run if a tiger was chasing me.

Your peak flow is poor!

PMTIsMe Sat 08-Feb-14 19:42:39

Hmm. Not short at all! Dismissive doc was 'good peak flow for your age and gender'. Yep, he is young and male grin

supadupapupascupa Sat 08-Feb-14 19:44:15

just a thought, but i have a friend who started to experience this (eventually put her in hospital!) and it turns out it was related to a dairy allergy..

DisappointedHorse Sat 08-Feb-14 19:47:17

You have similar symptoms to me and I'm asthmatic. My peak flow is terrible (350) even though I am quite short. Weirdly though, I can run for miles!

When I was first diagnosed, I had the same kind of cough and would cough until I was on the verge of being sick. I'm not wheezy and never really have been but I am crackly.

Persist with trying to get a spirometry, thst's how you're diagnosed. I had to persist for 5 months, my GP told me it was all in my head. hmm

lljkk Sat 08-Feb-14 19:49:12

I don't know enough about peak flows, but I've worked & chatted a lot with an asthma expert about this. Especially after DH had a faulty asthma diagnosis that went away after being rediagnosed as pneumonia & treated with several types of antibiotics. hmm

The problem is that the term is now a large umbrella for a huge range of conditions. So could be, could not be, not always easy to diagnose even by experts. The real question is whether your breathing is causing you problems that need addressing.

I can get very bad won't-stop coughs when I've got sinus colds but they go away if I mange them properly (decongestants & methylated sweets will do the job).

PMTIsMe Sat 08-Feb-14 19:52:06

Is a spirometry conclusive, disappointed? Funnily enough I has one last year. I was ill for ages, breathless and weak, peak flow of 270 for over 2 months...yet the spirometry came back normal. Was diagnosed as having a virus. I feel like I have been generally worse since then.

DisappointedHorse Sat 08-Feb-14 20:06:15

I don't know PMT but I do know it diagnosed me. The asthma nurses were spitting chips at the apparent stupidity of the GP as I was a "classic asthmatic"

That's interesting lijkk, they sent me for a chest xray before the spirometry and apparently I was recovering from viral pneumonia. They were still not going to follow it up though without me nagging and I have wondered, a) how they could tell it was viral just from an x-ray and b) whether it is actually asthma because it followed a period of illness and didn't hit until me late thirties.

I'm still in denial.

mineofuselessinformation Sat 08-Feb-14 20:29:06

I had been given inhalers years back, but was only officially diagnosed as asthmatic after a spirometry test which included being given ventolin. Have you had that? It's fairly conclusive.

Foodylicious Sun 09-Feb-14 06:28:14

I would phone up and specificaly book an appt with the nurse for an asthma review. Your symptoms sound similar to mine. I was only diagnosed 4 years ago but have had them since childhood, had just thought it was normal for me. When I take the preventer inhaler properly (morning and night) makes such a difference! I do still have very loud cough which frightens people who don't know me, those that do know not to pay me any attention :-)

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