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Old 10-15-2008, 12:10 AM   #1
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Asthma Or Anxiety?!?!

For the last two weeks I have been experiencing intense chest pain/tightness and shortness of breathe. I have had asthma off and on since late 2006 and have been taking meds for depression/anxiety for the last year or so.....but it seems like the only thing that makes me feel normal is when I take something like Xanax or Valium, which my Dr. is 100% against prescribing. I am currently working with my allergy specialist to try and remedy the problem from that angle but doesn't have much effect on my condition. Through this dr. I am taking Singulair, Xoepenex (my inhaler), Platanase(for my sinuses), prednasone ( to reduce swelling in my chest), and Allegra D as needed. Still feel like i have to fight for every single breath from the moment i wake up to the moment i fall asleep. My regular physician has had me on Propanonol, Cymbalta, and I just currently stopped taking lexapro for the second time, none of these have had any noticeable affects. It is becoming almost impossible for me to function on a normal level...just want to run to the ER and beg for relief...even spoke with a confidant on Baker Acting myself because there is a three month wait just to see a psychiatrist in my area ( i dont have insurance) and i know i cant make it three months like this.....I NEED HELP!!

 
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Old 10-15-2008, 05:34 AM   #2
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Re: Asthma Or Anxiety?!?!

Todd:

The two most common underlying triggers of asthma are allergies (which it sounds like you're getting some help with) and acid reflux. Ironically, some of the common asthma treatments, like prednisone, can cause acid reflux to flare up and actually lead to an increase in asthma symptoms so you might consider whether you ever have heartburn (or any other symptoms of acid reflux), and if so, try something like PrilosecOTC to get the acid reflux under control to see if that helps with your asthma symptoms.

You mention that you're taking something called "Platanase" for your sinuses - I'm not exactly sure what you're referring to, is that a nasal steroid spray or something else? The one thing I notice that you're not taking is an inhaled steroid like Flonase or Advair, either of which might also help you keep your asthma under control.

 
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Old 10-15-2008, 10:56 PM   #3
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Re: Asthma Or Anxiety?!?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gcsmithjr View Post
Todd:

The two most common underlying triggers of asthma are allergies (which it sounds like you're getting some help with) and acid reflux. Ironically, some of the common asthma treatments, like prednisone, can cause acid reflux to flare up and actually lead to an increase in asthma symptoms so you might consider whether you ever have heartburn (or any other symptoms of acid reflux), and if so, try something like PrilosecOTC to get the acid reflux under control to see if that helps with your asthma symptoms.

You mention that you're taking something called "Platanase" for your sinuses - I'm not exactly sure what you're referring to, is that a nasal steroid spray or something else? The one thing I notice that you're not taking is an inhaled steroid like Flonase or Advair, either of which might also help you keep your asthma under control.

 
Old 10-15-2008, 11:37 PM   #4
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Re: Asthma Or Anxiety?!?!


no reflux problems....and have started taking Advair 250 as of yesterday which has helped a bit for my chest painsand using my Xoepenex(Levabuterol) consistently twice a day in addition, is this too frequentl?...the Patanase in an antihistamine spray to replace the Nasacort which was a steroid spray that was actually irritating my throat. still trying to recruit help from an anxiety angle.....find out what the true cause is...could it be my asthma?? Also curious about a few things in realtion to my allergies, they seem to be most prevalent around fall thru winter? is this normal in Florida? are sever allergies common in Florida? will be in the Philly area during Halloween and am curious if i should expect my asthma to react in a negative way to the change in air humidity and temperature as i do so now to high levels of heat and humidity (eg. bronchial spasms/ wheezing and anxiety related to the asthma)

 
Old 10-16-2008, 05:33 AM   #5
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Re: Asthma Or Anxiety?!?!

Quote:
using my Xopenex (Levabuterol) consistently twice a day in addition, is this too frequent?
According to the prescribing information you should be able to use it every 4-6 hours (so twice daily should be fine, but hopefully the Advair will allow you to use it less over time).

Quote:
they seem to be most prevalent around fall thru winter? is this normal in Florida? are severe allergies common in Florida?
It all depends on what you're allergic to but I checked and grass and weed pollen counts are very high for Florida this time of year (and allergies are common anyplace that has pollen counts that high). You might check around to see if you can get the pollen counts for your local area to see how your symptoms follow the counts.

Quote:
will be in the Philly area during Halloween and am curious if i should expect my asthma to react in a negative way to the change in air humidity and temperature
It's hard to say. If you asthma is mainly allergic the change in climate could actually help (by Halloween the pollen counts in Philly should be way down). On the other hand, changes in air temp and humidity aggravate some people's asthma.

 
Old 11-08-2008, 12:58 AM   #6
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Re: Asthma Or Anxiety?!?!

I have had trouble in the distant past with acid reflux and im sure my symptoms are of another nature. The meds that i'm currently on now for my asthma/allergies are : Advair (twice a day), Xoepenex (3 to 4 times a day), Singulair (once a day), and Patanase (antihistamine nasal spray, twice a day), for my anxiety I was prescribed for 10 days(a result of a trip to the ER) lorazepam which I just finished and Atarax which I was given a 30 day prescription. How should I be looking at this? AM I having panic attacks or asthma attacks?? Anytime I have called 911 and gone to the ER because I thought I was going to stop breathing the doctors have told me it was anxiety. Tonite I am afraid to sleep because every time I manage to fall asleep I wake up gasping for a breath. Both my gp and allergy specialist think I should be seeing a psychiatrist/psychologist to address this issue but due to the fact that i dont have any insurance finding the help i need is almost impossible. the only facility that i can find locally and charges on a sliding scale has a three month wait! Do i live with the chest pain and difficulty breathing til then?? Any ideas on help?

 
Old 11-08-2008, 06:03 AM   #7
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Re: Asthma Or Anxiety?!?!

Have they eliminated the possibility that your GERD is actually causing the asthma flare ups? Acid reflux is a common trigger of asthma and asthma meds aren't as effective against reflux-induced asthma. Usually getting the reflux under control will improve the asthma symptoms singnificantly.

 
Old 11-08-2008, 01:52 PM   #8
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Re: Asthma Or Anxiety?!?!

I second what gcsmithjr is asking. I have significant asthma problems from reflux. My reflux is "silent". I don't get any heartburn at all. I just get an aggrevation of my asthma.

Have you had any allergy testing to confirm what you are allergic to?

Does FL have any state insurance for adults?

Have you kept a log of your symptoms? It may help you to find any patterns for triggers of your asthma? For example: weather, pollens, stressors, food, etc...

Stress can also play a role in aggrevating asthma, although that is more rare.

 
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