Is it ASTHMA, ACID REFLUX or something else?

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New Member

Date Joined Apr 2016
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/26/2016 4:18 PM (GMT -6)   
I've had an asthma flare up last month (March 2016) due to sore throat and cold. I've went to see my doctor and he prescribed me Symbicort, Albuterol neb and Z pack. Usually, this medicine combination would work for me but this time it doesn't. After finishing my Z pack and see only a little improvement I went back to him and this time he prescribed me a Medrol pack. It helped with my breathing but not completely. I know there is still something wrong.

I finished my medrol pack but coughing and difficulty of breathing is still there. I have night sweats when I started Medrol and got a tinge of blood in my phlegm twice so he ordered chest xray cause he was thinking that I might have TB but chest xray is normal.

I've went to see him again after finishing Medrol and he prescribed me a second round of Z pack because my phlegm is yellow every morning.

Again, I've finished Z pack and nothing has improved except the color of my phlegm. I'm getting frustrated and anxious that time cause I don't know what is happening to me and why the medicines are not working.

The following weekend I was supposed to travel but I'm monitoring myself if my body is strong enough or not. Symptoms are still there so I decided to go to an Urgent Care because I cannot see my doctor soon enough. They prescribed me Prednisone for 7 days and a cough medicine. Unfortunately, I cancelled my flight because I'd rather not compromise my health. I went to my doctor for the nth time and every time he listens to my lungs it was perfectly fine but I would explain to him that my back is tight and I am still experiencing difficulty breathing. He can't even explain what was happening. He just told me to continue Symbicort and that's it. I was asking if he would add another or change my inhaler but he decided not to.

I decided to go to an ENT to have my throat check due to recurring sore throat and he performed Endoscopy and he said that I don't need to worry about my throat cause it was fine. He mentioned that it might be acid reflux that causing my throat irritation. He didn't prescribed anything but he advised me foods that I need to avoid.

I went for a second opinion for Pulmonologist and they performed PFT. The results were ok. Lungs are cleared and the doctor told me that acid reflux might be the underlying cause of all this. She also told me to stop using albuterol neb (I'm using it day and night) cause it might be causing the acid reflux and only use it whenever needed. She prescribed Pantropazole 40mg once a day. She also ordered some blood work if I have any allergies and because I told her I'm still having night sweats despite that I already finish my dose of Prednisone. Again, they wanted to rule out the possibility of TB.

I'm still on Symbicort and on my 6th day of Pantropazole and I don't see any improvement. I could have chest tightness or back tightness for the whole day everyday, it's either one or the other. Along with the night sweats, I would wake up very early (around 4 or 5) everyday with chest tightness or sometimes dry mouth and phlegm stuck in my throat. I only drink water or herbal tea since i got sick. I try to eat healthy and avoid foods that can cause acid reflux. I don't know but sometimes I'm skeptical if this is really acid reflux or something else. Sometimes I would think that there's still an infection left from my sore throat and cold in the beginning. It's been 7 weeks and i'm getting more worried. I forgot how it feels like to breath normally :( I'll have my doctor's appointment again on the next two weeks. Has anyone experience same symptoms??

Post Edited (seeeri) : 4/26/2016 3:28:37 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 1772
   Posted 4/28/2016 2:31 PM (GMT -6)   
One thing you can do to help if it IS reflux is elevate the head of your bed 6 inches. I did this using bed risers (you can buy them at places like Walmart), and it helped my nighttime reflux quite a bit.

Has anyone mentioned post nasal drip to you? While I do have both asthma and reflux, I had a lot of phlegm and chest tightness (I would sometimes wake up gasping for air in the middle of the night), and a cough, which turned out to be caused by post nasal drip. The mucus was running down the back of my throat all day and night, causing all kinds of breathing issues. I use Ipratropium nasal spray every day (it's and antichoergenic, which dries everything up), and when I have an asthma attack, I use an Ipratroprium inhaler (Atrovent) along with my albuterol. Again, it helps dry everything up. In addition, I use (as prescribed by my pulmonologist) an OTC first generation antihistamine called Chlortrimeton. The second generation antihistamines like Zyrtec, Allegra, and Claritin don't work as well for cough. Chlortimeton makes some people sleepy, but I do okay with it.

I have dry mouth, too, and I use Biotene gel at night for that.

I know all of these ideas are just a stab in the dark, but I was feeling pretty desperate myself, and they did help me. Hope you feel better soon.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5024
   Posted 4/28/2016 7:50 PM (GMT -6)   
The way to find out if you have reflux is to see a gastroenterologist. You can try over the counter acid reducing medicines, but since you have a serious condition it would be best to have a doctor organizing tests and treatment.

Blood tests are not very accurate for allergy testing. You should see an allergist and get skin testing.

Just eating bland foods and other food avoidance isn't right for everyone. Some people have certain foods that "trigger" reflux, but the only to figure out if you have that is to keep a food journal/diary.

Best wishes and let the forum know how it's going.
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