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my asthma has come back... any ideas of extra non-prescribed remedies

(24 Posts)
Stokes Sat 18-Jan-14 23:54:54

Get your own peak flow monitor. You can get them on the NHS, but I needed one quickly once and it was less was 20 quid in boots, can't remember how much exactly. Download an app or start a spreadsheet and get tracking. If you feel like you're struggling and need to see the nurse quicker, ring and explain, gp surgeries are usually (rightly) cautious with asthmatics and would bring you in, the two week delay may be because they think it's a regular check up.

And always remember you can take as much of your blue reliever inhaler as you need, the worst that will happen is you get a bit lightheaded and shaky. It's not a long term solution, and you should keep track of what you're taking to show the nurse.

pertempsnooo Sat 18-Jan-14 18:12:40

Thanks for all your suggestions. You don't appreciate breathing until you actually can't do it properly! I had my peak flow test yesterday and going to have to wait 2 weeks for a feedback call from a nurse. The nurse who did the test doesn't know much about these things apparently... I did notice that the machine printout said I have lungs 6 years older than they actually are!sad

sleepingdragon Fri 17-Jan-14 21:12:49

I have athsma, and very much agree with all the above. I went through a time of recording my peak flow regularly and was surprised how much it varied even without me noticing. I also read this morning (in new scientist, my geeky magazine subscription!) that a piece of research has found that people who had high fibre diets had better controlled athsma symptoms than people who didn't. Its the sort of thing that may end up being disproved in another study, but I thought it was worth a mention, alongside advice from your athsma nurse and the suggestions above.

ITCouldBeWorse Fri 17-Jan-14 21:01:44

Agh! My HAY fever is ferocious.

ITCouldBeWorse Fri 17-Jan-14 21:01:10

I was sceptical, but after our family cat died (pre-dated asthma), we got rid of carpets and curtains and bought a leather sofa, it disappeared. Nine years now not needing treatment. However my gay fever and I am q allergic to furry things. Anti histamines needed a lot if the year, but much less scary than asthma.

MinnesotaNice Fri 17-Jan-14 20:57:20

My asthma is environmentally triggered. Right now, I'm not currently on any meds, but in the past (after a lot of trial and error) have had success with Zyrtec (generic name is cetirizine). My asthma was bad enough to require several A&E visits when I lived in a high-pollen area.

magso Fri 17-Jan-14 20:47:34

Probably time to monitor your peek flows, if you have a PF meter. You can get PF charts in the a self monitoring pack from Asthma UK. Its easier for your asthma nurse or gp to see what is happening with several days charted PFs. For me a constant headache can indicate low blood oxygen saturation (from respiratory failure), although hopefully yours is not from that - but don't ignore your symptoms. It does sound like you are quite unwell.

giraffesCantMakeResolutions Thu 16-Jan-14 00:48:05

Be careful. Last time I thought I would be ok I ended up in resus via ambulance and then a stay in hospital.

Stokes Wed 15-Jan-14 19:26:58

If you're feeling that miserable I suspect your asthma is even less well controlled than you think. I've been asthmatic all my life and to be honest it becomes kind of engrained and you don't even notice you're struggling half the time. Do you have a peak flow thingy? Start monitoring your pf if you do, see what it's like before and after your inhalers even if you feel OK etc.

pertempsnooo Wed 15-Jan-14 16:24:31

Thanks for the tips. I have used the blue inhaler in the mornings too and things have felt slightly better but I have a persistent headache and look how I feel (awful tired and generally not in peak health!).
I joined a gym today which has sauna, steam room etc so hope that will help.

blueballet1 Tue 14-Jan-14 23:35:33

I have asthma too and it is well controlled at present. I would encourage you to see asthma nurse and follow their advice. I have also had good advice from asthma UK - their website has a list of links to medical studies on alternative therapies and their effectiveness. Eg they say not much evidence to support dairy free for example, but that some ppl find it helps.

I try not to eat dairy when I have a cough as it encourages mucus production and makes it harder to breathe, which having asthma is clearly an issue!

It's also good to work out your triggers. You mention aromatherapy but it's worth noting that most essential oils shouldn't be inhaled by those with asthma. My triggers are: cleaning products (tesco now sell allergy and asthma friendly ones tho which are fab); air freshners (problem in public loos but I can avoid use at home); change of temp - eg going from outside to warm cafe or office is likely to have me coughing for five mins (I try to put a scarf over my face to avoid this); scented candles and strong perfume. My boyfriend has learnt not to use deodorant before bed (I never understood that one anyway!) as that can set me off,

Do take medical advice and always get help if you aren't able to breathe as asthma is a serious condition.
All the best!

smilesarebestest Tue 14-Jan-14 16:53:47

when my asthma was really bad a few years ago my asthma nurse said to take blue inhaler before the brown one as it helps to open your lungs up and get the medicine from the brown one deep into your lungs, especially when your wheezy. hope this helps a bit smile

pertempsnooo Tue 14-Jan-14 16:17:57

Interesting magso, thanks. Good to know there are more things to try.

magso Tue 14-Jan-14 16:08:03

I agree:- first you need medical advice which may require you step up or modify your treatment, to safeguard your health and lungs from the damage inflammation can do. (speaking from unfortunate experience here). I was tested for allergies but as I reacted very strongly to the entire lot it didn't help a lot! You can try and reduce allergens ( if that is the trigger). The methods for reducing allergens have been discussed by Miss. Removing carpets and soft furnishings is another possibility.
Then you could look into things that can help. I would advise getting professional advice here - from a good nutritionalist or specialised respiratory specialist . Vitamin D and magnesium are both helpful (to asthmatics in particular)if your levels are suboptimal. I use either magnesium 'oil' skin sprays(but it stings if you are very deficient as I was after a very long spell on high dose oral corticosteroids) or weekly Epsom salt baths (doesn't sting). I think the theory is that if your body is short of magnesium it will be absorbed through the skin from the bath - but not if not. You need a good half - full cup of epsom salts in the bath, and a nice long soak. Vit D levels can be checked in a blood test, and supplemented if suboptimal. My asthma has been a lot better since I took these measures.
I was prescribed an antihistamine too - a prescription only one.

pertempsnooo Tue 14-Jan-14 15:51:13

thanks eggshell. I actually have some in my cupboard, which I will start taking today.

offblackeggshell Tue 14-Jan-14 15:34:12

It's just your bog standard own brand (Asda this week) off the shelf anti histamine.

pertempsnooo Tue 14-Jan-14 15:31:44

Ok Stokes. I'm having my first review on Friday. It seems to have come on in the past week since I did a deep clean in the lesser-dusted areas of the house...! It wasn't this bad last time.

Stokes Tue 14-Jan-14 14:42:03

Go back to your doctor. Actually, go see your asthma nurse. The idea of asthma medication is that when you take it you shouldn't be aware of your asthma - it really is fab when it works. If you're taking your inhalers and are still struggling it means they're not working for you, so you either need a stronger dose or different inhalers. Seriously, get it sorted, you won't believe the difference in your energy levels once you're on the right stuff for you.

pertempsnooo Tue 14-Jan-14 14:05:45

ah ok, is that on prescription? Or over the counter? Which one? (thanks!)

offblackeggshell Tue 14-Jan-14 14:02:09

I've found that taking a daily anti histamine is meaning I don't need the blue one at all. It was my asthma nurse's suggestion, and has been a godsend.

pertempsnooo Tue 14-Jan-14 13:58:29

Thanks for the ideas.
Theas, I just took an extra puff from my blue inhaler. Am coming round to the idea that I need to breathe properly more than I need to limit using it...
Wow, It would be hard for me to cut gluten and dairy but worth a try I guess.... I do very much like fresh air and am sure that's why things are worse at this time of year Miss. I will try and open the window more (brr! but worth it!)

misscph1973 Tue 14-Jan-14 13:12:14

If your duvets are washable, wash them, and make sure they are tumble dried, this takes most dust mites.

A steamy bath with peppermint oil, not in the bath, but in a burner. Always air out 20 min before bed, if possible sleep with open windoww.

Also consider cutting out gluten and dairy - both of my kids have had asthma since they were 1 year old, and after a year of gluten free and only high fat dairy, the asthma disappeared.

Theas18 Tue 14-Jan-14 13:11:30

The alternative brigade will help you with freezing soft toys/damp mopping /drust proof bedcover etc but I've said it before and I'll say it again, if your asthma isn't well controlled and breathing is hard work/you are waking at night go back to the GP and get a step up in treatment until you are well and can step down again.

Asthma is a total pain, it's also sometimes life threatening sad

pertempsnooo Tue 14-Jan-14 13:08:49

I am triggered by dust, stress, winter/central heating and pet hair.
Anyway, it's quite bad at the moment so I'm using ventolin inhalers blue and brown too.
I just want to sort myself out as although I can breathe with the help of the inhalers I don't feel comfortable. It still feels slightly laboured.
Anyone have any methods or advice for extra things I can do to help myself... aromatherapy/ fresh air/ worth getting a new quilt?? Any tips?

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