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Old 07-13-2007, 10:11 PM   #1
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Asthma and diuretics

Hello everyone,

I am new to this board. I am 48 years old and was diagnosed with asthma just today. I have other health issues, including a severe hypertension. One of the rx blood pressure meds I am on is a potassium-sparing diuretic.

After months of being on five BP meds, INCLUDING a very high dose of a beta blocker, I developed edema about 3 weeks ago. We are just coming out of a heatwave. Today my calves, feet and ankles are hugely swollen. I don't think they can possibly get much bigger! In the three weeks since the edema started, it has never been this bad.

I keep thinking that perhaps the diuretics are to blame.
Is it safe for an asthmatic to be on this medication?
Is there anything I should start doing differently or avoid?

As you can imagine, I suffered and suffered on the beta blockers, barely able to walk a short distance to my car, short of breath when talking, eating, brushing my teeth, bending down to pull a weed..I was constantly gasping for breath and oxygen starved. I am so happy there's a known cause for my breathing difficulties, as strange as it may seem! (I suspected HF) I am off the beta blockers now so my SOB is not as severe. It will take about 10 days before the results of my pulmonary function tests & a report reach my doctor (who is on holidays) and I get my meds.

I know absolutely nothing about this condition. I find the information & personal experiences of fellow sufferers on these boards invaluable.
Your responses and tips would be much appreciated. I look forward to meeting new friends on this board.

Flowergirl

 
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Old 07-14-2007, 05:51 AM   #2
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Re: Asthma and diuretics

I am a little confused. First, you say you were diagnosed with asthma but that you have to wait for your doctor to return from vacation to get the results of your pulmonary function test. So how do you know you have asthma? And second, you say you've been on a diuretic med but you think it is responsible for your swelling. Diuretics are to help combat edema.

At any rate, the BP meds should not have an adverse effect on your asthma. I take Diovan HCT and have asthma (am on a daily preventer and have a rescue inhaler). No problems here.

 
Old 07-14-2007, 07:20 AM   #3
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Re: Asthma and diuretics

Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Titchou View Post
I am a little confused. First, you say you were diagnosed with asthma but that you have to wait for your doctor to return from vacation to get the results of your pulmonary function test. So how do you know you have asthma? And second, you say you've been on a diuretic med but you think it is responsible for your swelling. Diuretics are to help combat edema.

At any rate, the BP meds should not have an adverse effect on your asthma. I take Diovan HCT and have asthma (am on a daily preventer and have a rescue inhaler). No problems here.
I should have made myself clear. I was quite upset about the edema.
My tests were ordered by another doctor, covering for my regular GP. This lady doctor had read my medical records on her own time and then surprised me with an action plan. This plan included the pulmonary function tests, a new visit to my BP specialist (coming up), a visit with a nutritionist and a complete blood workup. My breathlessness was an old complaint of mine and she picked up on it rightaway. It helps to get another doctor's perspective. My GP does nothing for me and likes to wait things out, hoping they'll go away. It took five months before he finally referred me to a neurologist for my tingling/numb arm. (It did not go away as he had hoped). Time to change doctors, I think. Likewise, he did NOTHING about my breathlessness problem for months, though I brought it to his attention during every one of my weekly visits. I'd come into his office so out of breath...and he'd say I should learn better breathing techniques!

The lady who performed the pulmonary function tests was the one who told me about my asthma as she concluded her tests. I was relieved to learn I was not in a heart failure. She also said it takes about ten days for everything to be sent to my doctor. Her report will include which meds to put me on and in what dosages. By then my GP should be back from holidays. She suggested I go to ER if I run into any problems before then.

How can I go back to my doctor with ANY degree of confidence? I know I can do much better and get a doctor who will care and do the things for me that need to be done. I just don't know how to find one.

I guess I'll not worry about my BP meds effecting or interacting with my asthma. The one that's well known for that is the beta blocker and I am not on it any more. The diuretics I am on are for a blood pressure control. There are many rx drugs that can cause edema in people so I thought maybe they somehow did. I guess it's one of the others I am on.

PS. Both Diovan and Micardis (another ARB) caused me bad allergic reactions, including transient paralysis of limbs. I can't take them.


Flowergirl

Last edited by flowergirl2day; 07-14-2007 at 07:25 AM. Reason: adding PS

 
Old 07-14-2007, 07:27 AM   #4
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Re: Asthma and diuretics

Ok, that makes more sense now. Anyway, I'm not sure how you go about it in Canada since you have an NHS system but you should be seeing a pulmonologist for your asthma. I would NOT see your regular GP for it! Doesn't sound like he has a clue what's going on.

 
Old 07-14-2007, 08:53 AM   #5
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Re: Asthma and diuretics

Good. I just came from the hospital where I had bloodwork & another ECG done. I am on my way to the walk-in clinic for my edema, because it really scares me and is painful. I'll ask whichever doctor sees me about what I should do now. I know I need a referral to a pulmonologist but would like to get one before my doctor gets back. What if he decides to......WAIT.......

thanks for your help
Flowergirl

 
Old 07-30-2007, 02:50 PM   #6
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Re: Asthma and diuretics

Hi,

Just as I feared, my doctor, back from holidays, has decided to WAIT before he puts me on asthma medications. That's because I am having problems with my BP meds. (Again). He wants my BP controlled first (it isn't at the moment).

Can I ask a question? I wake up once or twice every night with cough. It is dry and non-productive. My throat always feels scratchy, 24/7. My breathing difficulties become most obvious when I walk as well as during exertion (doing pretty much anything). I don't get attacks (except for once) that would make me fear I'll stop breathing. My lungs hurt & burn sometimes and the chest feels tight.
My question is simple: does what I described even SOUND like asthma?
Wouldn't I be expected to have attacks? I still don't believe I have asthma as I did not have any breathing difficulties for 48 years. Does asthma just happen at any age?

Your help would be much appreciated.
Flowergirl

Last edited by flowergirl2day; 07-30-2007 at 02:51 PM.

 
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