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Old 03-18-2011, 05:50 PM   #1
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Unhappy kinda getting worried...

Hi, I'm new here and I chose to post this because a multitude of doctors cant seem to fix me. I'm 23 years old and for about 8 months now, I've had difficulty breathing. I've also had heavy post nasal drip and occasional reflux from all the mucus gathering in my stomach. The main problem is that I can't breathe though, ALL THE TIME. I had a spirometry test done and I had 118% capacity with 30% flow rate, which all my doctors diagnosed as allergy-induced bronchio-spasms/asthma. BUT, I've taken clarinex, singulair,xopenex, pulmicort, omnaris, and several inhalers. None of which helped at all. Does anyone else have this problem? Also, I smoked marijuana pretty heavily for about a year and a half until these symptoms began at which time I completely stopped.
EDIT: also, i scored "severe" on every allergen that my allergy doc tested me for...

Last edited by icannotbreathe; 03-18-2011 at 06:20 PM.

 
Old 03-18-2011, 11:16 PM   #2
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Re: kinda getting worried...

I've had similar symptoms. I used to test 130% of expected on PFTs. I have severe allergies all year long, etc, etc. I'm on several maintenance medications. Things have been worse for me in the past couple years, but I think that's because of where I'm currently living. Could it be the region in which you live just has too many allergens and triggers for you? When you talk about your doctor is this a PCP or a specialist? If you haven't seen a specialist yet, this might be the time to start.

 
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Old 03-19-2011, 08:20 AM   #3
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Re: kinda getting worried...

I've seen an allergy/pulmonary specialist lately.

Last edited by icannotbreathe; 03-19-2011 at 08:22 AM.

 
Old 03-20-2011, 10:06 AM   #4
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Re: kinda getting worried...

If you use xopenex and get no relief from chest symptoms at all, that is peculiar. Have you ever tried Symbicort? I find it works better than the rescue inhalers.

Also, what are you doing to control allergens in your home and reduce exposure?

 
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Old 03-20-2011, 11:05 AM   #5
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Re: kinda getting worried...

I have severe breathing problems at times with above "normal" PFT's and "severe" allergies to most things tested. It took years, but I found I needed a combination of treatments to find some "control".

It seems like you are hitting the allergy route pretty well. The only questions I have for you there are: Are you looking at immunotherapy as a long-term help? What are you doing in your life to try to minimize exposure to some of your triggers?

You might want to consider seeing a gastroenterologist or possibly an ENT to see if your acid reflux might be worse than you know. PND can influence acid reflux some, but more often, reflux can trigger PND when the acid gets up into your nasal and sinus passages--a viscious cycle. Acid can also irritate the lungs as well. Most people with this type of acid reflux have what is called "silent" reflux. With this type of reflux, you usually don't have "typical" symptoms like heartburn. It is called silent because you don't feel the acid, but do have symptoms. Shortness of breath and asthma can be symptoms for silent reflux. (You might try researching LPR or Laryngopharyngeal reflux). I was actually first diagnosed with this through my Pulmnologist. Endoscopies are often normal with this reflux. I found that a Barium Swallow/ Esophagram was the first test that confirmed I had acid irritating my lungs. It was also confirmed through a "normal" 24 hr pH test and most recently an upper pH test that measures acid in its gaseous form.

In my case, I work to resolve my breathing issues with a Pulmonologist, ENT/Allergist and a Pulmonologist. At one point, I was on 4 allergy meds, immunotherapy, 2 daily asthma meds and emergency asthma meds and various meds for acid reflux.
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Old 03-20-2011, 11:08 AM   #6
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Re: kinda getting worried...

Quote:
Originally Posted by janewhite1 View Post
If you use xopenex and get no relief from chest symptoms at all, that is peculiar. Have you ever tried Symbicort? I find it works better than the rescue inhalers.

Also, what are you doing to control allergens in your home and reduce exposure?
Never tried symbicort. I recently cleaned a TON, and continually dust/sweep/vacuum. I haven't gotten an air purifier, would you recommend one? I feel like it's not so much my chest area as a little higher, like esophagal or throat or something. And I also feel that its really closely related the PND. Also, I used to get "traditional" sinus allergies like sneezing, pressure, runny nose etc. But now it's all dripping backwards and killing my breathing with none of my previous symptoms. Strange...

 
Old 03-20-2011, 11:15 AM   #7
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Re: kinda getting worried...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MountainReader View Post
I have severe breathing problems at times with above "normal" PFT's and "severe" allergies to most things tested. It took years, but I found I needed a combination of treatments to find some "control".

It seems like you are hitting the allergy route pretty well. The only questions I have for you there are: Are you looking at immunotherapy as a long-term help? What are you doing in your life to try to minimize exposure to some of your triggers?
I've never looked into immunotherapy. Ill google it and ask my dr.
Basically, just cleaning.

The silent reflux thing seems like it hit the nail on the head. What should I ask about or take to see if it's the culprit? I did the whole apple cider thing a while ago when I suspected reflux to no avail.

 
Old 03-20-2011, 12:17 PM   #8
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Re: kinda getting worried...

Immunotherapy is commonly referred to as "allergy shots". Basically they introduce a tiny bit of the allergens into your system to help you build up a tolerance to them very gradually. In theory, eventually your reactions to allergens would lessen. I'm about 3 1/2 years into my second go-round on the shots. I find that I'm able to wean off some of my allergy meds as the years go by on the shots.

There is good information on LPR on the acid reflux board. An internet search of LPR might alsp prove useful.

For most people with true LPR, prescription PPI's twice a day seem to be most effective. Lower doses of the OTC PPI's usually don't do much. The ACV is something good to try, but isn't effective for everyone. There are also lifestyle things that may help a bit such as a diet change, not wearing tight clothing around the waist and sleeping on an incline.

Honestly, when my silent reflux gets to the point my breathing is impacted, I find the PPI's twice a day with some supplementation of Gaviscon, Pepcid or Zantac at night as well works best. There is no good cure though.

In my case, I usually get problems with a chronic cough as well. The coughing pushes more acid up and keeps things in a viscious cycle. I'm usually on higher dosages of asthma meds at the same time since my lungs can become so severely impacted.

I'm not sure why, but I'll have a major acid/asthma flare for months on end, then things will gradually get better for a while until somethings triggers things to get bad again. I have had testing confirm that I have severe acid problems 24/7 year-round though. I'm not sure why my symptoms are so much worse at times than others.

You might want to seek out a GI doc. Ask about having an Esophagram & Barium Swallow. It is a procedure where they have you eat various foods and drinks that have Barium in them. They then do video x-ray to see what is happening when you chew and swallow and to see what happens when it hits your stomach. It was the test that showed the acid coming up to irritate my lungs and throat. 24 hr pH testing can be useful as well. There is the "normal" pH testing with probes that measure liquid acid when it comes up above your lower esophageal sphincter and sometimes your upper esophageal sphincter. I recently had a test with a newer probe by ResTech above my UES that measured the acid hitting my throat in a gaseous form. I think with LPR, that really provided good information. That last test was done by my ENT. Also, Manometry tests will measure the pressure of your LES and UES to see if they are functioning properly. If the sphincters dno't close, it allows the acid to continually come up.
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Old 03-22-2011, 06:31 PM   #9
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Re: kinda getting worried...

Have you tried or thought of cutting out dairy from your diet? I have had asthma as a kid and I used to have sinuses problems ALL the time. Finally I decided to cut out diary because it makes SO much mucus and I was miserable!
I started out by doing a test. I went 2 weeks without any dairy... NONE. A ton of mucus came out of me in that two week span it was scary! After that I could breath really well, I felt better too.
I then ate some ice cream (remember this was my test) the next morning I woke up my nose was clogged, my throat was sore and I had such a awful headache.

My GP was glad I stopped dairy, she said only baby cows should eat it. Now when I want a glass of milk I drink Almond Milk, it's delicious!

Give it a 2 week try!

 
Old 03-26-2011, 06:30 PM   #10
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Re: kinda getting worried...

Yeah im not really much of a dairy person. Especially after all the mucus stuff. But I recently went to an ENT and he stuck a camera up my nose and said my voicebox was irritated and assumed the rest of my esophagus was too. Also, I told him about my bluish fingernails and he had no answer... does anyone know about bluish fingernail beds? But I'm on omeprazole now, assuming its silent reflux, which I really hope works. Actually, I think I'm gonna post a complete list in case anyone can elaborate further:

*Tight feeling in throat/esophagus/chest
*Not difficulty w/ deep breathing, but it feels like I can't totally "inflate" my uppermost airway (like espohagus/throat)
*bluish nail beds
*difficulty breathing all the time (main problem)
*post nasal drip
*anxiety seems to make it all worse
* also, it feels like I can't make a 'full' yawn
*tightness in chest

 
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