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gina9871 04-22-2006 10:53 AM

More newbie questions - Asthma
I am being treated for adult on-set asthma but I don't get any relief from my breathing shortness and/or chest tightness/lung-area pains with the use of the albuterol rescue inhaler. These symptoms have all just began in the last 6 weeks or less.
I am also now on a corticosteroid inhaler which I'm not sure if this is masking other problems or not since I don't see my new rheumie for 2 more weeks.

Has anyone else been wrongly diagnosed with asthma in the early stages of being diagnosed with lupus or suddenly developed asthma as a part of lupus?


goldenwings 04-24-2006 07:11 AM

Re: More newbie questions
Hello Gina,

Yes I have late onset asthma. I am not allergic to anything, but I do get very breathless on exertion and so on. I take 3 different types of inhalers, and again like you sometimes think they are not actually helping. The thing is with these inhalers, you really need to have the right instructions on how to take them. Twice I have had asthma checks with my practice nurse to find out that the way my inhalers have been prescribed was wrong. Hey ho !! Thanks a bunch, no wonder I couldn't get my breath.

I am in the UK so I can only speak of the names of my own medications. I use a Ventolin inhaler first, which opens up the airways. Then 15 minutes later I use Atrovent, which again opens the airways, followed by Serotide Evohaler which is what is called a 'preventer' and 'protector', this contains steroids. I use all 3 first thing in the morning and last thing at night. I then use the Ventolin if I do overdo things and get breathless. The Atrovent I also take mid day.

Just one thing you speak of which I would like to reassure you about, the steroids contained in these inhalers would not mask any other physical symptoms of any other illnesses you may have. I obviously am not a medical doctor, and I am only giving you this information in response to your request for help on this topic. I only talk from my own experience.

My diagnosis was made because I had had heart surgery and the doctors thought my breathlessness was because of the result of the exertion on my cut, stitched and stapled chest hee hee !! I had the usual lung function tests and hence my asthma diagnosis.

My asthma has never been put down to my having SLE, which I have had for over 30 years. I would honestly think if I was going to develop asthma as part of my SLE, then it would have come on a lot sooner than a couple of years ago.

Hope this helps.

Take care,

goldenwings :angel:

nickkaylee 04-24-2006 10:10 AM

Re: More newbie questions

My asthma has never been put down to my having SLE, which I have had for over 30 years. I would honestly think if I was going to develop asthma as part of my SLE, then it would have come on a lot sooner than a couple of years ago.

I just wanted to say that this is not necessarily true. Youe Lupus symptoms can change and/or be added to at any time over the course of the illness. It can even change/ad systems in which it is active. For example you can have nothing but joint pain for years and then all of a sudden it can start acting on your kidneys, heart, lungs, or even brain.

goldenwings 04-24-2006 10:21 AM

Re: More newbie questions
Hello Nick,

I appreciate what you are saying, but as I stated in my post I am talking from my own personal experience. I do actually have multi organ involvement - heart, liver, kidneys and also cns problems. I also have other problems which are are as a result of having SLE, but my main concern with this post was only to speak of my own symptoms of asthma. This is why I state I am not a medical doctor, but I always make it clear that my posts reflect only my own life and how I am affected as I have had SLE for 30+ years.

The question from Gina was about asthma though and this is what I responded to. I also have problems with pleurisy frequently, and this affects my ability to breath, but my asthma was identified as primary, and not secondary to SLE, and I wanted to share this information.

Take care.

goldenwings :angel:

kidd123 04-24-2006 11:47 AM

Re: More newbie questions
Hi everyone,
Just to add to the discussion, I had my very first asthma attack after leaving the rheumies office my very first visit on April 5th--was diagnosed with Lupus just 2 weeks before. When I called the office back and told them, they assumed that I had a history of asthma, but I told them NO, I have never had asthma before. (Knew what it was because my husband and daughter have asthma). So this is something that I attribute to Lupus because the asthma happened right after being diagnosed.

gina9871 04-24-2006 05:39 PM

Re: More newbie questions
Thank you Nick, GoldenWings & Kidd,
I don't yet know if I have asthma, but it sure looks like several Lupus patients have asthma.
I have been questioning the asthma diagnosis because I don't seem to have any fluid or the typical "asthma attack", although what I do have could be mild bronchial spasms. I don't get much relief from albuterol but I too am on a preventative inhaler called "asmanex" which is a steroid inhaler (mometasone furoate and I take it twice a day) so I thought that maybe the steroid is something that would be used to treat the inflammation in a Lupus patient, therefore, possibly masking (treating) the symptoms that may prevent a diagnosis.
I guess by the fact that you all have asthma, it is not uncommon for a Lupus patient to also have asthma. I just started having bronchial spasms about a month ago (and other Lupus symptoms in the last 3.5 months) but no diagnosis yet.
I so do appreciate you sharing your personal experiencing with me as I try to "box-in" my condition.
I'm open to any and ALL advice and/or experiences!
Thank you so much.

VeeJ 04-24-2006 05:50 PM

Re: More newbie questions
Gina, I'm not sure if this is similar to your bronchial spasms. I had for years something I thought of as esophageal spasms. My esophagus would contract rapidly, with pain speading throughout entire chest & unable to breathe properly---happened when I was trying to swallow normally. I get very little of this in the last 5+ years, since Dx & Plaquenil.

For what it's worth, from Vee

gina9871 04-24-2006 06:29 PM

Re: More newbie questions
Thanks Vee,
I'm thinking that because I don't get relief from my rescue inhaler (albuterol) that [U]maybe [/U] I don't have asthma and especially because I don't have any wheezing or fluid in the lungs. It is possible that the albuterol is just not the right prescription for me.
I do, however, have tightening in the chest and I may even lean more toward esophageal spasms because sometimes I can feel it up into my throat. I do have difficulty breathing, the rapid heartrate, heart fluttering, and a "HUGE" need to get a good, cleansing breath. I find myself taking big, deep breaths about every 5 minutes and straightening my entire torso upward (automatically) as if trying to fill my lungs and breathe out deeply in addition to having the pain and soreness in my lower lung area. (This all just started recently)
I probably mentioned in my other post that I am also scheduled to see a pulmonologist (in addition to a rheumatologist) in the next 2 weeks.
I'm a bit frightened because I do have so many Lupus symptoms but at this point, I'd feel better with a diagnosis (one way or another) so that we can treat the symptoms but I realize that this animal if very hard to diagnose. I feel pretty sure that it is some type of connective tissue disorder, though.

Thank you all so much.

VeeJ 04-24-2006 07:15 PM

Re: More newbie questions
Gina, Forgot to say that I've wondered about a possible connection with swallowing problems & the anti-Ro antibody. I know anti-Ro is also the one seen in Sjogren's, which can do vrs. nasty things to swallowing, among other things. And I was eventually Dx'ed with Ro-positive lupus = the SCLE subset (as opposed to SLE with anti-DNA or anti-Sm, etc.)

Anyway, I hope you're evaluated for ALL the various autoantibodies, subsets, and related primary & secondary syndromes, too. Best of luck with your upcoming appts! Take good care, Vee

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