I have been having breathing problems. It is mostly feeling like I can't get a deep breath - especially upon exertion. It is also a big problem with singing (which I only do in church). I was hosptialized for an irregular EKG and my mitral valve has a moderate leak but they told me that is not the problem with my SOB.
My cardiologist ordered a pulmonary function test and I got a copy yesterday, the only thing that is shows abnormal is there is curvature to the flow volume loop suggesting minimal small airway disease. It also says while the vital capacity and total lung capacity are within normal limits, the RV/TLC ratio is increased. The conclusion : Minimal airway obstruction suggesting small airway disease.
I do not see my doc for two more weeks. Is anyone familiar with this and could this be the problem with my breathing difficulties? I don't have asthma which is what I get each time I search small airway disease through any search engine. I do have lupus but I can't seem to find a connection there. I just know that something isn't right with the way I feel.
Any insight you can give would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Bern
Asthma is considered one of the "small airway diseases". In fact, the small airways is where asthma shows up first and most significantly. I have asthma. I was diagnosed at 41 years of age and by two asthma/allergy specialists. My only abnormal readings on my PFT was my small airway function. Did a doctor tell you that you don't have asthma? I would certainly rather have an asthma diagnosis instead of some other lung disease. Also, mitral valve prolapse can indeed cause shortness of breath. Do a google search and look up ALL the symptoms.
Thank you so much for your reply. I have not yet seen my doctor, I just got my report results in the mail. During the test I did get two shots of Albuterol and the report says there was no difference before or after. I am thinking that if it were asthma, I would have done better after the puffer - but I could be wrong in my thinking.
I don't have mitral valve prolapse but I do have mitral valve regurgitation. I did find a few comments about this causing breathing problems but it is always just a little blurb.
I just know that it is frustrating to feel like this. I did call the dr.'s office on Wed. to ask about my results since they don't know I requested a copy from the hospital (which I do with all of my tests). I am anxious to see what she says but she hasn't called back yet.
I have been dealing with lung issues for almost 8 years. I have always had allergies and hayfever, so after several bouts with bronchitis, I went to an allergist. They performed allergy tests on me and found I was allergic to numerous things: dog, cats, some trees, grasses and ragweed. I was on weekly allergy shots for 4 years. After that I went in for a retest only to find that the allergy shots did virtually nothing for me! I was just allergic as before I started! They did a PFT also at that time and told me I now had asthma. My response after the puffer medication was minimal, but they said that was normal for having asthma that has been untreated. I guess you have the inflammation that has to be dealt with first, so the puffers can work properly. So I started on Advair daily, which is an inhaled steroid and dialator combination. I have been using it for about 2 years now and the doctors have noticed some improvement in my lung capacity, but it is still not normal. My small airways, that is. They don't seem concerned, still stay it is asthma, but tell me I need to get my acid reflux under control and lose weight. My most recent allergist told me that excess weight is now linked with asthma. I am about 70 lbs overweight, so I'm hoping that is the case. I can certainly lose weight if I think I can breathe better. My symptoms aren't sudden asthma attacks, but shortness of breath with exercise. I don't wheeze, cough (unless I'm sick) or have trouble sleeping. I have never smoked or live with a smoker. I am very interested in holistic medicine and after reading everything I can get my hands on trying to find out why, at 41 years of age, I would develope asthma, I have come up with some possible conclusions. I am one that has to find the root cause, because I think with almost every chonic disorder there is a root cause. I'll write what I have discovered in another post, if you're interested.
I am definitely interested in hearing what you found out. I am always researching for causes for what is happening with me. I am 48 - I have had lupus for 14 years and also have rheumatoid arthritis associated with my lupus. I had a stroke last year at which time I found out a I have a clotting problem so I am now on blood thinners. I have the mitral valver regurgitation that I mentioned before and I have tachycardia. The lupus has started to affect my kidneys which has caused high blood pressure. Within the last month we have discovered that my two strongest lupus medications are raising my liver enzymes so I am off of those which is now making my lupus worse. It is all a crazy cyle - but I am a positive person and I am okay dealing with it. This breathing problem though is really bothering me - I guess I can deal with things better once I know what they are.
I will look forward to reading more about you and what you have found in your research. Thanks again, Bern
Sorry to hear about all your medical complications. I assume you are on quite a few medications. Your breathing issues could possibly be from an interaction of some of these medications. I know medical doctors try to conduct studies to see if there are interactions between medications, but in reality there are just too many possibilities out there and it's impossible for them to know about all of them. I am trying to find a holistic doctor for my asthma. They treat the "whole" person, not just the symptoms. They try to find the root cause of disorders and then try to prescribe diet and lifestyle changes instead of traditional medicine. Sometimes traditional medicine is necessary, but maybe you can cut down on dosages by making some changes. I have read in numerous places that the root to our 21st century diseases (heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, auto-immune problems) is inflammation. I read this in Times magazine, so scientists are actually confirming this now. Our lifestyle and diet in America are killing us slowly and surely. We eat too much and move around too little. So one of the really easy ways to change our diet. I know I said "easy", but it's not. An anti-inflammation diet is loaded with vegetables and fresh fruit and lean meat. Cut down on the sugar, white bread and rice, pastries, cakes (white flour stuff). I have the beginnings of arthritis (osteo) and I notice a difference in the way I feel if I have eaten too much sugar. I definitely feel worse if I have over indulged. Also, take Omega 3 Fatty Acid supplements. You can find them anywhere. If you do these two things for 6 weeks you might feel improvement and might eventually be able to cut down on your meds. Oh, by the way, the supplements are great for inflammation and heart problems. Even doctors are prescribing them now. Eating right is really hard for me, but I tell myself daily that in order to feel better, I MUST make these changes. I am fortunate that right now at 49 (I'll be 50 in December), I have no other problems than my asthma. If I want to stay on that track, I have to exercise and eat right. I have been taking magnesium and chromium picolinate for my blood presssure and this morning it was 119/68. Just read all you can about alternatives for your health. They can really make a difference.