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Old 03-19-2005, 01:02 PM   #1
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geekgrrl HB User
newly diagnosed with coughing variant asthma and I have some questions

Hi Everyone, (sorry this is long)

I am 28 years old, and I was just diagnosed with coughing variant asthma. When I was a teenager I coughed a lot and my doctor thought that I had coughing astham and gave me an inhaler. I went off to college and the asthma didn't bother me again for about 10 years. Then, last year, I got a very bad cold and cough and the cough just never went away. I went to an asthma/allergy doctor and I am not allergic to any of the main allergies they test for. But, my lung capacity changed drastically before and after I used albuteral. So, the doctor perscribed me the inhaler to use as needed and also advair to see if that helped over time. I had to stop using the advair as it changed my voice drastically (my voice changed in pitch and got very weak). I also tried the flovent (same steroid as advair, but not a powder form) and the same thing happened. So, all I am taking right now is my inhaler as needed. I just don't think I have very good control over this yet so I am seeking advice.

I know cold, dry air triggers my asthma. When I have to walk a lot in the cold, I have an asthma attack (no weezing, but I get breathless, lots of phlem and cough a lot) unless I use my inhaler first. So, knowing that I use my inhaler and have been able to avoid such attacks. But, I also use my inhaler after I eat. I read that eating can trigger asthma by putting pressure on the lungs, but I can't find too much about this. Eating has been a trigger even from when I was a teenager- I used to joke that I was allergic to all food as it would make me all phlemy and I would cough after most meals. I have no known food allergies. I also eat primarily organic, low-processed foods. I don't eat meat, but I do eat dairy. I thought it could be the dairy, but even after dairy-free meals I cough a lot. I haven't been able to nail it down to any single kind of food either.

So, my question is- can just the act of eating trigger asthma? Or does it have to be triggered by an allergy to a specific food? Is there any way to avoid these kinds of attacks? I would rather not use my inhaler before each meal as it always makes me jittery as hell. Does anyone else experience eating as a trigger?

Also, I want to start biking to classes this spring (about 6 miles each way), but since being diagnosed with asthma, I am not sure if I should go ahead with this or not. I have never been very physically active (I'm not a total couch potato but I don't exercise regurally either). If the cold bothers my asthma, would it be safe to think that biking in the warmer weather would not be such an issue?

Any advice for alternative treatments to asthma? Or places where I might find info on such things? I have never been one to take a lot of prescription medicines and since the steroid messes with my voice anyway, I wonder if others have had long term help with any other treatments.

thanks so much!

Last edited by geekgrrl; 03-19-2005 at 01:10 PM. Reason: edited to ask another question

 
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Old 03-19-2005, 07:19 PM   #2
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Howitt44 HB User
Re: newly diagnosed with coughing variant asthma and I have some questions

I am the same with food. Just as soon as I think I have it nailed down to a certain food that is the cause, some other food causes it!. After I eat (most foods, not all) I can cough up phlegm and have to constantly clear my throat. I think the closest I have ever gotten to the root is dairy and wheat. I am for certain that dairy causes mine. But I love dairy, so still eat it occasionally. As far as the inhaler, I have heard it is not good to use the fast acting inhaler often. You can develop a dependence on it and it can actually make your asthma worse. You have to get to the root problem of most asthma, which is inflammation. The inhaled steroid is the only safe medicine for this right now. I know what you mean about the voice, mine has changed also, but I think that is the lesser of the two evils. My breathing has improved so much since I have used Advair. I will contend with a few side affects. Hope this helps...

 
Old 03-19-2005, 07:40 PM   #3
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geekgrrl HB User
Re: newly diagnosed with coughing variant asthma and I have some questions

Thanks for the reply- its good to know I am not the only one who coughs and coughs after eating!

I need to call my doctor about alternatives to the advair and flovent. I just can't take the voice changes as I am a grad student and teacher, and I have some major conference presentations coming up. When I take the advair my voice gets so weak that it take energy to talk and then I sound like a smurf!

I sometimes think also it may be wheat and dairy- I almost always eat bread/pasta and/or dairy with every meal. But, just tonight I had chinese (crab rangoon) with dairy and wheat and no problems! I wonder sometimes if it doesn't have more to do with the act of eating- either too fast or too much at once sometimes. If I eat dinner with friends (like tonight) I take my time and talk a lot between bites and no asthma.

 
Old 03-23-2005, 10:15 AM   #4
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Jiloa HB User
Re: newly diagnosed with coughing variant asthma and I have some questions

Hi! I have noticed for the last several years that I get short of breath after eating. For me, I think it may just be the act of eating that triggers the asthma. The more full I am, the worse it is. So, I am trying to eat smaller meals, and more snakage.

 
Old 03-23-2005, 02:43 PM   #5
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Howitt44 HB User
Re: newly diagnosed with coughing variant asthma and I have some questions

When your stomach is full it will press up on the diaphragm and give you the feeling of shortness of breath. It is similar to the feeling when you are 9 months pregnant, for those of you who have been there. I have a slight hernia that presses on mine also.

 
Old 03-26-2005, 11:03 AM   #6
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Re: newly diagnosed with coughing variant asthma and I have some questions

Have you been evaluated for acid reflux? The symptoms you describe after eating are common for that. Also there is a high correlation between asthma & g.e.r.d. (reflux), many asthmatics have both. You can buy prilosec otc now, you might try it out for a couple of weeks & see if the coughing after eating gets better. If so, you can tell the dr & he/she will treat the reflux, which will usually help the asthma too. You can have reflux without feeling heartburn or anything.

 
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