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Undiagnosed Asthma(6 Posts)
I was born at 29 weeks and my mother smoked around me from birth. Not a great combination I know! A few years ago I started to struggle with my breathing a lot. I’d find if I was in the shower for a while and it was hot my chest would get very tight. When I got colds they were horrendous and I found it very hard to breathe. I got given an emergency reliever inhaler and was supposed to go for a full asthma test but never got a call back. I recently changed doctors and my GP just laughed and shrugged me off because of my age. Didn’t even use a spirometer. I’m really struggling. I can’t workout as I’m breathless within 5 mins, I can’t be around people spraying deodorant and such as it gets caught in my chest and I feel like I can’t breathe. I never used to feel this way so it’s got progressively worse. I don’t smoke or anything like that and am fairly healthy. Would my GP take me seriously if I mention I was very premature and my mother exposed me to years of secondhand smoke?
Although the background is probably relevant I don't think it matters. Your current synptoms should be enough for them to take you seriously as your breathing is affecting your every day life. Go back and insist on further investigation.
Call asthma uk and talk everything through with them.
Then ask if the Gp surgery has an asthma nurse and ask to make an appointment with them. Many gp surgeries have handed asthma on to the nurses, but most asthma patients are already diagnosed.
I struggled to get diagnosed (though it was hard to tell I was actually asthmatic as I rarely wheezed till I was really bad.) just many many infections and making exhaustion.
Interestingly I had very low birth weight and my parents smoked when we were young. One of my children was also very low birth weight and has just been diagnosed but only really as I noticed similar symptoms to mine.
Would you be able to buy a peak flow meter (£10 from Amazon). If you could measure your peak expiratory flow rate twice a day (early morning and late afternoon) for two or three weeks and record the measurements in a diary (www.asthma.org.uk/globalassets/health-advice/resources/adults/your-peak-flow-diary.pdf), along with any instances of being woken up at night or feeling particularly breathless, this would help you in your discussions with the doctor/nurse. You're likely to find an asthma nurse more helpful than a GP, if your practice has one and if you can get an appointment.
Bear in mind that you might have a respiratory condition related to your early life experiences that isn't asthma, so try not to pre-judge the outcomes.
I was diagnosed with asthma at 55. The asthma nurse said that the oldest person she had diagnosed was 72.
You don't say how old you are. I was born in 1957 and my parents (mainly DM as it happens) puffed away merrily until the early 70s because smoking was considered safe until then. TBF DM stopped as soon as the proof that smoking causes lung cancer was published.
But I agree with what other posters have said; with your symptoms you need proper investigation. It doesn't really matter how you got to this state, what matters is that you are in this state.
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