Asthma and Breathlessness

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/27/2014 4:10 AM (GMT -6)   

I have been just diagnosed with Asthma. I am 48 years. I have been given nebulizers for my treatment. However, there are sudden times when I get the cough followed by "Breathlessness", during this time, I do not know what to do.

I have couple of questions around the same;

1) Can asthma lead to lung failures?

2) Can the "Breathlessness" be lethal?

3) During such stage of "Breathlessness" what can the asthma patient do? What can the family members do to help the patient come out of "Breathlessness".

Thanks In Advance,

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/28/2014 11:08 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello and welcome to HealingWell.  To answer your questions to your concerns - first of all remember you are newly dx and perhaps the breathlessness feeling causes your anxiety to rise which also causes you to feel short of breath.
This is just info for you so please keep in mind your Dr. is the expert in answering your questions. Severe asthma is a serious health concern that can lead to respiratory failure.
Breathlessness is something most of us experience, to some degree, on a regular basis; sweating it out at the gym, sprinting for a bus, lugging heavy shopping bags. Most of the time, it's completely normal.
Anxiety can contribute to breathlessness in multiple ways. Long-term stress and anxiety can impact physical health, and could be a factor in why you feel more breathless than usual, while panic attacks - an intense burst of anxiety - can lead to sudden rapid breathing and possible hyperventilation, often accompanied by chest pain, shaking, rapid heartbeat, dizziness and disorientation.
I would like to suggest you talk with your Dr. re  developing a asthma action plan for you.  Because asthma varies from person to person, you'll need to work with your doctor to develop a plan that's customized for you.
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and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.

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Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 1/28/2014 4:09 PM (GMT -6)   
John, I will experience breathlessness and coughing whenever the air is very cold or if there is a lot of particulate matter (pollen, dust, etc.) in the air.

I'm surprised your doctor didn't prescribe a rescue inhaler. These are usually albuterol or similar fast-acting drug that will dilate the airways when they go into spasm. The spasm is what causes the feeling of breathlessness. A rescue inhaler is used when that feeling appears and doesn't pass quickly; if your asthma is well controlled you wouldn't have to use it often. I think I've used mine once in the past year. You may want to ask your doc about this.
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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 1/28/2014 8:23 PM (GMT -6)   

I get really breathless when I have an active infection. I get chronic infections and I have problems controlling my asthma.

When I get to this point I need to have someone perform percussion therapy on my back after I use the nebulizer treatment. The cold air makes this worse for me, but keep in mind, brisk walking helps clear the airways. Deep breathing exercises also help clear out the lungs.

I also get the breathlessness sensation when I consume things that I may have an allergy to--like dairy.

I hope this helps and good luck.

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2014
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 2/11/2014 3:13 PM (GMT -6)   
New to asthma. Started out with Singulair and Symbicort for
one month. Before I took these medications I only had digestive tract swelling, and mild breathing issues. After taking them, I had full fledged allergies to the extent I had to quit eating many things. Lost 20 pounds, but only because I was afraid to eat. My Liver enzymes went sky high also after taking these two medications. I could breath more easily, but developed chest pain when using the Symbicort, so stopped both. The Liver enzymes really concerned me. I tried Advair, which gave me relief for a while, then developed mouth sores and pain. Of course I stopped Advair cold turkey. 250/50. Was told I would not have problem stopping cold turkey, but have since not been able to breathe well at all. Total shut down at night. Pro Air is the only thing that would open airways slightly. Now I am using Pro Air every night and I have read this is not a good thing. My asthma exasperates and I really get into trouble. My family Dr. prescribed antibiotic and prednisone. Both bad for my digestive tract as I have major candida issues. I am trying Spiriva now because I read you should have a backup to quitting Advair cold turkey. That using the inhaled steroids causes your natural steroids in your body to stop producing. So now I am in wait for my body to try and develop it's own steroids again. The medications really concern me. Not sure what to do. I have stopped the foods I show I am allergic to. Mostly Wheat and Yeast. I am thinking Leaky Gut. MD's don't help much.

Joan M
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 2052
   Posted 2/21/2014 4:49 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been quite sick...went to doc and she tested me with the baby test (not the spirometer). Well, the first two I got 70 which is on the miracle level. On the third I had blockage and got 50. ASTHMA IS NOT PSYCHOLOGICAL. However, it is best not to dwell on the mess. Try to do something fun. I have had asthma since 1983 which was definitely exacerbated by fumes in the workplace. However it is 2014 and I am still alive! Only a Mack truck could kill me and that is maybe. I take singulaire every day and use the advair discus as needed. My best wishes to you and everybody.

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 2/26/2014 10:10 AM (GMT -6)   
I wanted to share what helped my daughter's asthma go away so that hopefully others can benefit. She was diagnosed at age 6 but had slight wheezing on occasion. She tested positive for typical allergens (pet danger, dust, mold, dust mites) at an allergist and was given Singulair, Zyrtec, Nasonex, Albuterol, and Flovent. My search for a cure started immediately.

Over the next six years she got more dependent, it seemed, on these medications including needing a nebulizer at times. I researched for years and tried everything to cure her asthma. I finally discovered, after 6 years, that her gut was damaged from anitbiotic use when she was younger.

We went to a Naturopathic doctor and discovered wheat and dairy was causing her asthma. The proteins can leak into your body and cause allergic reactions. We took her off of wheat and dairy and her asthma was improved greatly. She also began taking gut healing supplements and slowly began removing her medications. I am excited to say that after just after 5 months she is no longer on any medications and she can eat wheat and dairy again.

I will say that if she eats a lot of wheat for a few days in a row, her wheeze comes back but we can stop it with a few sips of coffee or chamomile tea. Too many people are just given medications by their doctors like we were and told there is nothing else to do. But I refused to believe that. Even when she went back to her doctor recently for a physical he looked at me like I had 3 heads when I told him she was off the medications and doing fine.

It breaks my heart to hear other peoples' stories because I know how scary asthma can be. I just wanted others to know that what worked for us may work for them.

Joan M
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 2052
   Posted 2/27/2014 5:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Frankly I agree with skyline to a great degree. I had a wonderful allergist who advised me to be careful with the drugs...tread lightly with the usage. Unfortunately I was involved in an industrial accident and lost about 4 months work. I believe my overuse of bronchodilators in pill form caused by GERD. I look at it this way ... the eshopaghous
(spelling) is near the breathing area.

Also the pill is systemic rather than local so would cause a great deal of dilation basically everywhere.

Singular has been an excellent pill for me but I try to curb my use of the advair disc. I must advise all to rinse their mouth after using the disc.

Some sort of virus came last year and made me belch like crazy. It started with throwing up which thank goodness is a rarity for me. Now I have to take tons of reflux pills. What a pain in the neck. They keep everything down so I can not get mucous up.

Now I am trying to lower my use of the reflux pills.

Well...I am a long time sufferer and am ok but kind of beat from the whole mess.

New Member

Date Joined May 2014
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 6/7/2014 10:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Leavenless

I am fairly new to this forum too and just wanted to make a suggestion: have you considered sulfites as a potential culprit for your asthma ? My husband became asthmatic at the age of 40something like you and we only found out why last year. There are sulfites in many of the processed things you eat and also maybe in the medications you have been taking... You can look this up on this forum, there are a couple of people who have good advice on it. Mine: try to make your own food from scratch, because labels do not have to mention sulfites unless they are above a certain level. Hopefully you will become like my husband : asthma and medication free!

New Member

Date Joined May 2014
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 6/7/2014 1:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Leavenless

about your candida issue: there is an interesting site you might want to check.

As a matter of fact, it might explain why my husband's allergies went away after we changed our diet to avoid sulfites. My motto now is : cook and be healthy!

I have heard that GSE (grapefruit seed extract) can be helpful in case of candida. Have you tried it? Here at home I have used it very successfully for skin problems and just recently as antibiotics for my dog who had a urinary tract infection. It was cured in two days, I could hardly believe it. If you do try it, make sure you get something pure. I can't advise you on a specific brand though.

Good luck. I wish you better health.

Post Edited (Joƫlle) : 6/22/2014 1:13:38 PM (GMT-6)

Joan M
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 2052
   Posted 6/22/2014 1:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Just to add to this ... I had a continuous sore throat and used cough drops all the time. Whenever I told a doc about the throat, nobody seemed to care. Finally when I pointed to my throat, I saw an ENT. There was a cyst there and that was removed. This was after two years of complaining about my throat.

After an industrial accident I started to take a lot of systemic bronchodillators and my throat still hurt a lot. Again everybody said it was not much.. It was so called silent GERD.

It is a shame that the docs are so busy, callous or misled that they don't know what is going on. PLEASE don't depend on them completely. Buyer beware!
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