My numbers were 2.81 before the albuterol and 3.75 after. What does that mean? The doctor said I don't have asthma but didn't explain anything about the test. If someone can give me some info I would appreciate it.
Do you know if those numbers were your FEV1? (That stands for Forced Expository Volume in One Second, or how much air you can blow out in one sec.) A lot of times doctors use the change in your FEV1 after a bronchodilator to diagnose asthma. It is usually understood that you have a 20% increase in your FEV1 in order to diagnose it. Your baseline was 2.84. After albuterol it went up to 3.75, correct? If so, your baseline increased by .94 or according to my calculations a 33% increase...You can check what your predicted value of your FEV1 is via your height, age and gender. I usually breathe at about 35-45% of my predicted value and my lungs do reverse more than twenty percent after a bronchodilator. My lungs are also super twitchy... The gold standard test for asthma is a methacholine challenge. What they do is they take your spirometry and then they administer a super small dose of methacholine which is an irritant in smaller forms to asthmatic lungs than to those with healthier ones. If you don't react on the first dose they keep raising the dose until you do react. If it's in the asthmatic range, usually your lungs are more hyperresponsive. If you don't react by the--I think--the 15th or so dose, then you may not be asthmatic. If you don't trust the spirometry test you can have a methacholine challenge done.
By any means, I am not a doctor or health specialist, just merely a patient with a very severe form of asthma. If you don't trust your doctor, check into getting an asthma specialist. A lot of times allergists have a lot of experience with asthma. Pulmonologists (lung specialists) have asthma experience.
Hello! Thank you for the thorough explanation! I really know nothing about this. Where can I find my predicted FEV1 value? I'm 5'3" and 28 years old.
This all started after I had an allergic reaction in November to prostin E2 (I was induced due to a late miscarriage). I never had any problems before but I've had a constant dry cough and difficulty breathing during certain activities since then (I have the worst time when I lay down at night to go to sleep; not sure why this would bother me or if anyone else experiences it).
It seems very mild so would it benefit me to pursue diagnosis and get treatment? Does asthma worsen without treatment? I went to the doctor initially because I have other problems (undiagnosed at this point) and didn't know if it was related.
Due to the rules of this board, I can't post where you can find that, but I can tell you that your predicted would be somewhere around 3.2.
In my opinion, I would think that it may not be something that I would necessarily follow up on super quickly. Sometimes it can take a while for your body to get back to normal after an allergic reaction. It could be that it caused your lungs to swell or something. A lot of times asthma can get worse if you don't treat it. In asthma there is underlying swelling and so it can get worse. That inflammation is usually treated by an inhaled corticosteroid (like qvar, pulmicort, or a component in Advair, etc.). These have very little side effects because they're inhaled. You might ask your doctor about trying a medication like that if you're really concerned.
Just FYI, there is such thing as adult-onset asthma and it can come after an allergic reaction to something. Typically, though not always, asthmatics have nocturnal symptoms. I have trouble at night sometimes more than day. Especially if I'm doing poorly, I have those issues and I have to sleep in a recliner.
Another thing you might think about trying is getting a Piko meter. This measures a thing called your peak flow, and most importantly, your FEV1. They run for $25-$30 bucks. You can use that to track your FEV1 morning and night and if you have a certain change between night and morning (I think it's 15%, but don't quote me) or if your FEV1 is more variable than normal (again, could be 15%...) than it is also positive for asthma.
If you, in fact, feel that your doctor might have missed something, don't hesitate to get a second opinion. (And by the way, lol, as much as I like my opinion, I don't know that it counts much for a second opinion...lol)