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Old 11-14-2006, 05:17 PM   #1
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What does a pulmonologist do that regular MD does not?

I am 33 years old and was diagnosed with asthma 6 years ago. I am so sick of having asthma. I have an albuterol inhaler & the doctor put me on the 6 day steroid pills for the first time. I stopped running a year ago and recently stopped Pilates because I get so winded even when I walk down the hall at school. I am at my WITS end. It does not happen all the time, but any time I get allergy related problems, a cold or I am around something like strong perfume or smoke I get the cough, wheezing and shortness of breath.

My "attacks" happen with a persistent cough until I use the inhaler. I used it ten times yesterday and went to the Dr. My blood pressure was 167/96 and the doc put me on the steroids, Z Pack & told me to keep using the inhaler as much as needed! URG! What do you all take that you find has helped? Are there any nutrition things, exercise or holistic anything that might help me? Thank you!

 
Old 11-14-2006, 07:21 PM   #2
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Re: What does a pulmonologist do that regular MD does not?

You need to get to a pulmonologist ASAP! You should be on a daily preventer not just the rescue inhaler. And you should use the albuterol (2 puffs) 20 minutes before any cardio. Get to the pulmonologist and get straightened out.

 
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Old 11-24-2006, 09:35 AM   #3
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Re: What does a pulmonologist do that regular MD does not?

I can swear by Advair. I was diagnosed with Asthma about 7 years ago or so..I am 39. I was told to use a rescue inhaler when needed also and that was the extent of it. I found myself using 4-5 times a day. I am told the Albuterol inhalers also have the potential to speed up your heart rate so I was very worried that I took it so much. It wasn't until I had a few major asthma attacks (I mean 3) before I found a doctor that put me on Advair.

I love it because it is preventive and I do not need my inhaler. In fact, the only time I might need it is in cold weather. I think you should see a specialist for sure. Using an inhaler too often means it is not under control.

Best of luck

 
Old 11-30-2006, 11:31 AM   #4
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Re: What does a pulmonologist do that regular MD does not?

Basically a pulmonologist can tell the difference between asthma, emphysema, lung cancer, pulmonary fibrosis, etc. My mother (died 23 years ago) was first diagnosed with asthma by her MD. After a few months on the same medications I take for asthma, she had no relief and I made her go to a pulmonologist. He found the pulmonary fibrosis (terminal) but at least we knew what we were dealing with.

If you are using a rescue inhaler that often, you are in serious trouble. I have had asthma for over 23 years. I have done clinical trials for exercise induced asthma, environmental asthma, allergy related asthma and various drug studies. You name it: I've probably been on it. I was getting so bad in Ohio that I was hospitalized 5-6 times a year for ten days at a time. Right before I left that state, I had to take a 3 month leave because my lungs just wouldn't recover. I now live in Nevada and I have been hospitalized only once in ten years and that was two weeks after I got here.

Advair works for me combined with Singulaire for allergies and Flonase to keep polyps out of my sinuses. I very seldom need albuterol but have it as an inhaler and with nebulizer just in case. At least once a year I catch a "cold" or some other upper respiratory bug and my asthma kicks in. Sometimes I have to go back on prednisone for a few weeks but overall I feel I am in control of my asthma--it does not control me.

Get to a pulmonologist now! Get started on medications that will help you control your asthma and live your life. Also take a hard look at your triggers: plants, foods, stress, exercise, weather. You might have to make some adjustments to your lifestyle--moving to a dry climate changed my life. Good luck.
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This too shall pass (like a kidney stone, but it will pass!).

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