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Asthma or heart problems??
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Asthma or heart problems??

I read a post from 2002 about a woman who experineced the exact same symptoms and exact same treatments as I am going through now. I have chest tightness and pain, numbness in my hands, pain in my shoulder blades, shortness of breath, and rapid heart beat. I was diagnosed with asthma in 1993 and have been on various asthma medications since then - they are not effective. The pain still reoccurs at irregular and unpredictable intervals. I have had a chest xray - all normal, and ekg - also normal.

I don't believe that I have asthma, but my doctor does not agree.

Is this something to worry about? My doctor has basically told me I am a hyperchondriac, which is quite frustrating since my symptons are real. I am wondering what to do next?!
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To know for sure if your symptoms are due to asthma testing can be done.  Generally testing starts with a simple breathing test called spirometry.  This test provides detailed information about how your lungs are working.  It will show if there is obstruction in your airways.  To really test for asthma it is best to repeat this test after using a rescue inhaler, an inhaled bronchodilator.  This measures how much the bronchodilator helps your lungs by reversing the problem.  When there is a 20% increase the test is positive for asthma.  A pulmonologist would be the type of specialist to arrange for this testing and to help you get the best treatment.
4 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
What testing has been done on you to help determine exactly what your problems are?  For example, have you had a pulmonary function test and methacholine challenge?  What work-up have you had regarding any possible heart problem?  Some asthma meds CAN caused increased heart rate.  Asthma CAN cause chest tightness.
You need to work with your docs to get a proper evaluation so they can help you determine the cause of your symptoms.  If you are not satisfied with the diagnosis and treatment you have received from your current doctor, you can seek and obtain a second opinion, preferably at a large teaching hospital with a good cardiac and pulmonary department.

Best of luck!
Aloha,
Starion
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,

I've been diagnosed with asthma since I was 3/4 years old. My "so called" asthma went away when I was 16 and came back when I was 20 after having a couple of really bad colds.

My doctors put me on a medication called "Sybicort Turbohalor" which contains two medications - one which is known to cause rapid heart beating.

I was astounded that although I suffer with GAD (Generalised Anxiety Disorder) that my doctor did not suggest taking me off this medicine. I have since demanded to be moved back to Becotide and I have felt alot better for it.

Be careful what doctors prescribe you, sometimes they just simply don't have the time to read the small print (god bless them.)

It does certainly sound like your suffering from Asthma though, I think you should revisit your Dr for further evaluation.

Cheers,
Chris
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Avatar_n_tn
I have a comment to make to your problems. I have had the same problems for about 2 yrs, got put into the hospital 3x for shortness of breath, and chest pain. Heart rate of course up because of the pain. Well this last March my family practioner admitted me into ICU because my blood gas was at 42%, and I couldn't breath. He said pnuemonia (pneumonia) first, but they ruled that out, then it had to be bronchitis, ruled that out, then he said well it must be a blood clot, well ruled that out... after 40,000.00 later and 10 days of not getting much better I convinced him to run an echo on my heart,, he thought that I was crazy.. he said I think you just asthma, since this is what all the other doc's could come up with,, well long and behold, I have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, along with mitral valve and tricuspid valve regurgitation. I do not really know what to tell you except this,, go ahead and see a pulm. specialist to rule out asthma, but if your symptoms are still there and you don't have it have someone maybe a new doc do a work up on your heart. Not just and EKG, mine didn't show allot there, mine was only found on the echo. And to let you know my 11 yr old started having the same problems as I , and they just dx'd her with cardiomyopathy also. So hand in there it will get found,, just takes time and for me lots of money :) Lyn
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