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Old 04-28-2008, 08:48 AM   #1
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Went to ER, said it was asthma attack

I am a 34 year-old female with no history of asthma except for a couple of cold weather induced "incidents" of trouble breathing, one in 1999 and a couple in 2003/2004 and never anything since. I hardly ever get colds and recently lost a lot of weight (40 pounds), started eating far healthier and juicing, exercising, lots of water, etc.

I felt like i was losing my voice last Friday night and it did seem to be laryngitis, which I get once a year or so. No big deal. Coudl feel throat mucus which I hate so I drank lots of water and took Guafinesin (however u spell that) to thin secretions. Then sinuses were messed up, like sinus infection with the sore throat/laryngitis. Didint think too much of it.

Felt some chills Sunday night and was kind of tired. Had a cough Monday and all this past week but felt it wasin my throat, very mucus-y in throat and me trying to cough it up. DId not realize it must have also been in my lungs at least in part.
Just figured I had some sinus infection with throat involved too.

Friday I was out driving somewhere and felt ill at ease. I have a long history of acid reflux disease and felt severe acid in my breastbone.... not long after, i had trouble breathing that I thought was just anxiety. Then I realized no, this was something more. My chest felt tight in the center, right behind breastbone, and I was having trouble breathing. Asked someone to call for help, 911 was called and i was finally taken to hospital. They said I was having an asthma attack though never in my life has anything like that happened.... i was in serious distress and frightened/alarmed.

They gave me 2 Nebulizer treatments and some Prednisone with a RX for an Albuterol inhaler and more Prednisone for a few days and to follow-up with my Primary doctor.

My question is, I have had severe reflux for YEARS and never had any asthma from it in my life. I definitely felt bad acid in my chest just prior to this attack on Friday plus i was recovering from this sinus/throat/cough thing.... Do u think this asthma attack was an isolated incident based on my illness and the acid just kind of put me over the edge? Like my lungs were already messed up due to infection/whatever this whole thing has been, and the acid irritated the lungs further, causing a full-blown (and my FIRST EVER full blown) asthma attack???

I feel better today, a few days after the bad attack but I am shaken and worried that I have asthma now or something. IN the past, i have never had asthma when i had a cold or infection or anything else, this was truly a new thing to happen to me. I dont even get coughs hardly ever.... usuaully my stuff is all sinus or throat when i get it (I have post-nasal drip and have for years and again also the reflux badly).

Any advice? I am nervous and fearful, afraid of having another attack. I dont see how anyone can live this way, i am afraid to even leave the house now.

Thanks,

FG

 
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Old 04-28-2008, 10:36 AM   #2
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Re: Went to ER, said it was asthma attack

Acid reflux is a very common trigger of asthma and asthma-like symptoms, and the fact that you may have had a virus could also have contributed.

It's very possible that what you experienced was an asthma-like reaction to the acid reflux. While that doesn't mean that you have asthma, it's probably important for you try to get your acid reflux under control so that this doesn't happen again - it can be a recurring problem.

 
Old 04-28-2008, 11:16 AM   #3
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Re: Went to ER, said it was asthma attack

FarmGirl,

Did the ER breathing treatments provide you with immediate relief? Do you treat your acid reflux with any type of medication?

I am sorry for your suffering and fear. I have asthma and severe acid reflux (am going through quite a SEVERE ACID episode for the past 10 days and the Prevacid I take is not even TOUCHING IT). At times it can make my breathing difficult - my problem seems to be that when it is caused by the acid - my rescue inhaler does not help at all.

I am wondering if the breathing treatments and prednisone helped you? Also, did they put you on any type of antibiotic for the infection?

Hope you feel better soon.

Vanessa

 
Old 04-28-2008, 01:33 PM   #4
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Re: Went to ER, said it was asthma attack

Vanessa & Farmgirl:

One thing you might keep in mind - Prendisone tends to make the acid problems worse, not better, and if your asthma symptoms are reflux-related the albuterol may not help much either. Getting the acid reflux under control will probably help more than either medication.

 
Old 04-28-2008, 02:12 PM   #5
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Re: Went to ER, said it was asthma attack

That makes a lot of sense. I had to take a course of prednisone for severe bronchitis a little over a month ago. I never really felt that it helped my breathing. And though I have been off it for quote a while - it made my reflux act up and I am unable to control it now- even on a strong PPI... Also, I lose my voice when the acid acts up badly -like now I sound like a frog!

I am going to have tests done (scope, barrium swallow, etc.) to find out why the Prevacid is not working and why I am constantly refluxing.

Any idea why if acid is making your asthma act up the rescue meds don't really help?

Thanks!

Last edited by Vanessa74; 04-28-2008 at 02:13 PM.

 
Old 04-28-2008, 03:02 PM   #6
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Re: Went to ER, said it was asthma attack

I guess the rescue meds don't work because usually they eliminate the cause of the asthma symptoms [i.e. the constricted bronchial tubes]. If the acid reflux is acting up the reliever meds won't be eliminating this cause so the bronchial tubes will continue to be irritated. Even if the rescue meds relaxed them the acid would aggravate them again straight away.

 
Old 04-28-2008, 03:45 PM   #7
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Re: Went to ER, said it was asthma attack

Hi and thanks a ton for the replies....!

This whole thing has me depressed and ive been in bed all day

Yes, the breathing treatment (Nebulizer) DID help, a lot. THey gave me 2 treatments and i believe the med they used was a liquid form of Albuterol and also something else that I cant now recall. I dont know if the Prednisone did anything one way or the other and personally do not like steroids. The wheezing and chest tightness and difficulty breathing all subsided after the Nebulizer treatments in the ER.

I did take some antibiotics prior to this attack, like 3 days prior, and THOUGHT I was getting better... i had not been sure if my symptoms were due to a virus or a bacterial infection and was desperate for relief, so I managed to get some antibiotics from a local doctor. I still dont know if i had a virus or what.... or if i started getting better because whatever it was happened to run its course by the time i did get any medicine like that.

Ive had horrendous reflux starting in 2000 or so, mainly LP reflux (laryngeal/pharyngeal but also in the chest too). I have been on 4 different PPI meds and finally cured myself with Pine Nut oil a few years ago. After a period of time, the reflux came back I think due to poor diet and self-abuse. I went back the Oil and it got better again.

Then I developed Candida and it ended up in my digestive system and throat so the reflux was just insanely bad... until I could get the Candida under control (the Pine Nut Oil wouldnt help at all for this). Ive been taking Apple Cider Vinegar for the acid reflux and it seemed to be helping, then it seemed to stop helping for which I have no explanation.

I am seeing my Primary care doctor tomorrow for follow-up on all this and see what she thinks. Normally I put little stock or faith into mainstream medicine but i trust this doctor and she is always very open-minded and listens to all I have to say. She would not shove PPIs down my throat or tell me i need surgery or something else insane at this time.

I am using the Peak Flow Meter they gave me at the ER and trying it out every few hours. I blew like a 500-550 before and then it went down to 450. I was told 400 and up is what I want for someone my size/height.

I dont know why now after years of acid suffering an actual asthma episode would be triggered unless as i said or someone else said (i forget), my lungs were already irritated due to the illness i was battling and the acid just pushed them over the edge or something. ive had reflux today and yesterday and didnt really have any asthma that i could see, but i am always worried now that im going to get it because i can feel the acid in my throat and chest and the burning, etc. Im like obsessed with the Peak Flow thing and making sure i have the inhaler ready at all times and the Nebulizer clean and set up to go.

How in the world does anyone live with this as a chronic condition?? I spent hours praying to God to heal my lungs and bronchial tubes because I CANNOT live with this. I am hoping so hard it is a freak or one-time thing due to illness and then acid. I dont even want to leave my house and have already missed work, an appointment and canceled what was to be something fun for this coming weekend, all because Im afraid "what if i have another attack?" What a nightmare this all is. Thank u again for your reponses.

-FG

 
Old 04-29-2008, 06:51 AM   #8
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Re: Went to ER, said it was asthma attack

Hi Farm Girl,

I TOTAllY understand your apprehension and worry. I had severe asthma as a child - it 'went away' when I was 8 and then came back SUDDENLY out of the blue when I was 28. Just like you - I was driving and WHAM - could NOT BREATH....

That started my 'adult onset asthma' journey. It is scary in the beginning as you try to find the right medications and learn what your triggers are (allergens, illness, dust, pets, smoke, etc.) -- I too like you have SEVERE reflux. By the way - thanks for the tip about the Pine Nut Oil - I will give it a try!!! - NO PPI's are working for me...

A lot of times I cannot tell if my breathing is bad or if it is my acid acting up - so that can get scary.

Hang in there - your Dr. will work you to make a plan. This really COULD just be an isolated incident for brought on by sickness. Maybe just having a rescue inhaler with you is all that you will need. I will say a prayer for you - I know how scary it can be.

You will be able to return to your normal life once your questions get answered and you get your pulmonary function tests (super simple) - to see what is going on with you. That will give you some much needed peace of mind. There are GREAT medications out there if it does turn out that you do have asthma -lots of great treatment options. Maybe you will just need an allergy pill or something. Maybe nothing! I will keep my fingers crossed.

By the way you mentioned that your candida went into your throat and digestive system -- I am suspecting that that may be part of my problem with this recent severe refluxing epsiode. How did you know it was in your digestive system and throat??

Thanks!!!

Vanessa

 
Old 04-29-2008, 05:03 PM   #9
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Re: Went to ER, said it was asthma attack

Hey Vanessa,

Thanks for your response! I so hope and pray that this is not the start of some adult-onset journey!! (But man, I am sorry it was for you... though u mentioned having had it as a child.... still, it is a lousy deal, huh?).

And yes, the acid can make u feel like you are having trouble breathing and its just acid.... like, lungs arent affected and can be hard to tell as u said. I had those weird sensations since I do have the reflux so badly and for so long but not until Friday when it happened to occur (severe acid in breastbone) and then BAM, the attack hit, that there was just no way for me to misinterpret what was happening and all. Scary stuff indeed! But I mean i know acid reflux can make u feel like youre having trouble breathing or something but you will be ok (just is very highly annoying... and when it is in your throat too... ug!).

At this point, my doctor didnt want to send me for pulmonary tests -- yet. She wants to see me in 2 weeks or so and in the meantime, have me do the Peak Flow thing every day and record it for her (morning and evening). See how my numbers are, see if I have any more "episodes", etc., and then take it from there. I also still seem to be healing from whatever all triggered this in the first place, whether it was viral, bacterial or allergy (or a mix of 1-2 of those?) and she feels pulmonary tests wont be accurate anyway until I am completely well from this "thing" (started out as like laryngitis and sinus, then a cough centered in the throat....).

Thank u very much for your prayers and well wishes!! I cant tell how how hard I hope and pray this will pass and it will not be some ongoing issue.... I am praying daily about that! (HOw are you doing by the way? Is your asthma under control now then? No more scary attacks I hope??).

The Candida.... I knew it was in my throat when I had horrific heartburn/reflux all in my throat and chest and NOTHING helped, at all, not even my trusty Pine Nut Oil. That was when I realized the Candida was bad in me (thru my own fault, very poor diet at the time and self-abuse, lots of beer, etc). When it was soooo bad and nothing worked, I knew it was Candida. And that eradicating the Candida was what had to happen for the LP (laryngeal/pharyngeal) reflux to be gone.

I started treating it with Probiotics and lots of yogurt and super healthy diet.... no yeasty foods, little carbs, no sugar as much as was possible and also I ate honey. Honey is sugar but I heard bacteria cannot grow in it, so I would drink/eat some each day, down the throat. Now I have just re-ordered Pine Nut Oil again after a long break.... I feel it ought to work again this time since the Candida is far less now (not sure about it being all the way gone but it is definitely better). I figure now the Pine Nut Oil will have more a chance to heal the lining of my throat and stomach... before, there had to have been so much Candida junk in there, that the Oil couldnt be of much help. (I Hope I am making sense here and if not, just ask and I will try to clarify for you!).

Oh, I also knew from experience.... years... of Candida, that I had it again in my throat and gut. Its something Ive dealt with on and off for a long time, so thats how I knew (please check out some online searches and learn more that way... not sure I can post links here).

Definitely go for Probiotics and get the kind u have to refrigerate (from a health food store; ask the owner or someone else knowledgeable who works there and mention Candida).

I pray GOd heals you of all ROOT CAUSES of your asthma!! I am sure the reflux just aggravates whatever already triggers it in you..... but that can be healed!

God bless you,

FarmGirl

 
Old 04-30-2008, 08:10 AM   #10
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Re: Went to ER, said it was asthma attack

Hello

I will pray for you that this was just an 'isolated' incident brought on by your illness and that once you are better it NEVER comes back.

It was VERY interesting what you said about the candida. I have been battling it ever since finishing a course of oral prednisone. I have begun to wonder that though I do not see it in my mouth perhaps it has progressed to my stomach and throat. Much like you I have severe GERD and the medications are NOT helping - so I was starting to suspect a Candida overgrowth. I will start the quality probiotic and switch to a low carb eating plan and see what happens - thanks

I also use Flovent two puffs twice daily as my asthma controller medication and I know that can contribute to thrush/candida as well.

I know what you mean about when your having a TRUE attack not being able to mistake it for anything other than what it is. It is scary - and I am so glad that you were able to get help QUICKLY and that you are feeling better. Your Dr. sounds GREAT and really in tune with you and the right things to do!

Thank you for your prayers - you are in mine TOO!!!

Nessa

 
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