1580703 tn?1651904887

Asthma, can't breathe even on inhalers!

If I am having breathing problems even after using symbicort, singulair and my FEV1 is in the low 80s how bad is my asthma?  Does this mean my lungs are permanently damaged and will get worse with time?  thanks very much
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180749 tn?1443595232
Take one teaspoon of turmeric powder in hot/warm water, twice a day. Also follow this breathing technique#9twice a day), to help with the breathing problem.
Build up your timing gradually.If you feel tired or dizzy, stop and resume after one minute.
Anulom Vilom pranayam –
Close your right nostril with thumb and deep breath-in through left nostril  
then – close left nostril with two fingers and breath-out through right nostril  
then -keeping the left nostril closed  deep breath-in through right nostril
then - close your right nostril with thumb and breath-out through left nostril.
This is one cycle of anulom vilom.
Repeat this cycle for 15 to 30  minutes twice a day.
Children under 15 years – do 5 to 10 minutes twice a day.
You can do this before breakfast/lunch/dinner or before bedtime or in bed.Remember to take deep long breaths into the lungs.You can do this while sitting on floor or chair or lying in bed.
July 29 ,2011
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1580703 tn?1651904887
there is this salt that you can use to kill dust mites and fungi
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1580703 tn?1651904887
have you ever had a respiratory allergy panel done like by an allergist/immunologist?
I had mine come out positive for some Class III allergies like dust mites (I have really old carpet in my home):
Dermatophagoides farinae
Dermatophagoides pteronissinus
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1580703 tn?1651904887
I'm so sorry to hear about your ER visit and asthma suffering
you can get deglycirizzed licorice root with the sugar taken out at vitaminshoppe which might not have any long term effects-
it may even be an expectorant helping rid your lungs of mucus that could damage them.  you can find licorice root in teas too- maybe the whole root is more effective and I should try that.  VS told me to take Boswellier extract but I'm not sure if it does anything.
one person I talked to with asthmatic bronchitis has a supply of prednisone to stop bronchitis from developing.  I take singulair for my asthma and also Allegra D now.  I want to take advair but the docs always put me on symbicort for some reason?
I like doing elliptical machine since it's less stress than running and easier on the shins and knees
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Avatar universal

I would definitely not recommend stopping the prednisone early - stopping it too abruptly can cause even more damage to the adrenals than taking it.  Prednisone basically takes over the work of your own adrenals, so by tapering it down, it gives your body to start doing its own job again.

No, the 120 mg of prednisone daily is NOT safe - it's way too much.  Unfortunately, at that time, I didn't know any better other than to just do as my doctors were telling me and was also in a really bad space physically with the asthma.  I had tried several times to wean down off of it, but was not able to without severely increasing my breathing problems.  My doctor finally admitted me to the hospital and was able to get me weaned down with IV steroids and then a lower dose of the oral steroids when I was able to leave the hospital.  He did it that way because of the fear and risk of complete adrenal crisis by lowering the steroid dose too quickly.  It did have a crisis, but because I was already in the hospital, they were able to treat it quickly and avoid a horrific outcome.

I've been told that how fast your adrenals recover depends on many factors - how long you've been on the steroids, what dose you've been on, how many times you've been on them (no matter at what dose) - as well as your own body.

Doctors usually are a bit reluctant to give the steroids for long term or at high doses (obviously that one doctor I had wasn't!) becuase of the side effects (not just with the adrenals), but unfortunately too, prednisone is one of the best meds when you're having a bad asthma attack.

Have you ever tried Advair instead of the Symbicort?  If not, maybe talk to your doctor about giving it a try to see if it works better for you than the Symbicort.  sometimes just a change of medication can make all the difference.

Were you taking the Singulair strictly for the asthma or for treatment of allergies?  I know it can be used for both.  If you were using it for allergies, perhaps another allergy med might help?  It's also my understanding that Singulair is something that definitely works better when taken on a daily basis as opposed to only when needed.  Were you taking it daily or only when you were having symptoms? (only asking because you said "sometimes" regarding the nebulizer, proventil and singulair).  I don't understand why your doc won't refill it for you - seems strange to me, especially if you noticed an improvement with it.

Cardio does help with lung capacity, but it's also common for asthmatics to have increased symptoms with acitivities such as running or fast walking.  Many of us (including me) find that activities such as swimming are a better form of cardio exercise.  My doctor explained to me that one reason for this is that with the swimming, you are in a moister environment, which helps keep your airways moist, whereas when you're running or walking, because of your increased breathing, your airways can get dried out, which in turn can cause or aggravate your asthma symptoms.

Thanks for the info on the licorice root - unfortunately, I don't think I'll be able to use it because of blood pressure issues.  I know that black licorice is definitely not good for someone with high BP, so I kinda presume that the licorice root would be just as bad, if not worse.  I will ask my doc about it though.

I wish I had more ideas/suggestions for you.
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1580703 tn?1651904887
Is 120mg of prednisone/day really safe?  it seems like too much.  My one endo told me that adrenals can recover after 3 months of steroids but my pulmonologist was reluctant to give me more than 2 weeks of prednisone at 10mg/day because of long term side effects
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1580703 tn?1651904887
I also take licorice root which is supposed to be a natural steroid (the deglyccrized form is better since you won't get high blood sugar or diabetes in the longterm)- you can get this in teas or tablets like from the vitamin shoppe.  I think the cardio might help increase lung capacity
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1580703 tn?1651904887
I also am trying to do 30minutes of walking/running cardio, but it doesn't seem to be helping my chronic fatigue and brain fog and sleep apnea
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1580703 tn?1651904887
Thanks so much for the help!!!  I'm so sorry to hear about your terrible asthma and I hope that you are ok.
I have been on about 4 courses of prednisone in the last year at 10mg/day usually but now 30mg/day taper to 20/wk2 10/wk3.
So should I stop the prednisone early to prevent adrenal damage?
I take symbicort 160/4.5 and sometimes proventil, nebulizer, singulair but I have breathing problems after stopping the singulair.  It's terrible this pulmonologist wouldn't renew my singulair prescription when I was having breathing problems.
The pulmonologist was saying that the 80% reading could have +- 15% error but I still can't breathe even after a year of symbicort.

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Avatar universal
Long term or high dose use of prednisone can cause adrenal damage and atrophy - that's why it's very important to do a taper with it, especially if you've been on it for a while (more than a week or two)  Even many short term rounds of prednisone can do damage to your adrenals, especially if not properly tapered.

Prednisone wont' help with chronic fatigue - in fact, one side effect of prednisone, especially during a taper or right after a round of it - is fatigue.  Excessive fatigue after use of prednisone can also be a signal of adrenal damage/atrophy.  However, getting your asthma symptoms under good control could help with the fatigue.  I know when I'm having trouble breathing, my energy level definitely takes a nose dive (although I also have other health problems, so sometimes it's not easy for me to determine exactly what is increaing my fatigue)

How often have you been on the prednisone and usually for how long?  At one point in my life, I was on 120 mg (yes, I DID say 120 mg) daily of it for well over 1 1/2 years.  Needless to say, at that point, my asthma was HORRIBLE (I had been intubed for it 3 times in one year) and also needless to say, due to me having to be on it so often and especially that time when I was on such a high dose, my adrenals are a complete mess (along with my bones/joints/metabolism, etc.)

Obviously the idea of asthma control is to be able to control the symptoms and flares without steroids or with as little of them as absolutely possible.  While the inhaled steroids (such as is in the symbicort) still pose a risk of adrenal problems, problems with lower immunity, etc., their risk is somewhat lower than IV or oral steroids.

Out of curiosity, what strength of the symbicort are you using? The 80/4.5 or the 160/4.5?  If you're using the 80/4.5, you may benefit from trying the higher strength one.

You may have hit the nail on the head about the carpeting.  If there is any mold/mildew, etc. in the carpet and you are sensitive or allergic to that, then it certainly wil continue to exacerbate your asthma symptoms.  It could be at the point where even getting the carpet cleaned may not help, especially if any mold, etc., has basically seeped into the padding or even the flooring underneath.

You definitely may benefit from seeing an allergist to rule out allergies as a cause of yoru asthma symptoms.  This could possibly help you elminate things from your diet and enviroment that could be setting you off without you even realizing they are bothering you.

You are so right - it's very important to not let your doctors dictate your care completely.  I think it's a total shame and irresponsible for them to have made you wait weeks before giving you an inhaler.

How often are you using your proventil?  How often are you using the nebulizer?  What medication do you use in the nebulizer?

What does your pulmonologist say about your PFT readings including the FEV1?
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1580703 tn?1651904887
Don't let your terrible doctors screw with you.  Get a PFT test and if you have obstruction see a pulmonologist and get inhalers RIGHT AWAY!!!
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1580703 tn?1651904887
This seems common that the inhaler doesn't help, but I do get wheezing and trouble breathing sometimes.  It could be the very old carpet in the house which wasn't cleaned for years
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1580703 tn?1651904887
I am tapering the dose after a week and it seems to be helping but not with the chronic fatigue.  I was having recurring infections and want to get tonsil surgery.  I'm not sure if the prednisone eventually will cause adrenal damage or atrophy?  
I had moderate obstruction on one PFT test and I was waiting weeks until my ridiculous doctor gave me inhalers and sent me to a pulmonologist.
I've been using proventil for a while now and it doesn't seem to do much.
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Avatar universal
Is this a "new thing" with your proventil rescue inhaler not helping?  Or has this always been the case?  If it has always been that way, I might possibly question the diagnosis of asthma.  That's usually one criteria they check with asthma, how your breathing is pre and post use of a rescue type inhaler.

However, if this is a "new" thing with it not helping, then I would definitely say you're in a bad flare of the asthma.  Are you showing any signs of an infection such as fever, increased mucous production (especially colored), body aches?  If so, you may have an underlying infection that is aggravating your asthma and you may need to be put on antibiotics.

30mg a day of prednisone is a relatively low dose.  Typically when I have to go on the prednisone I start out with 60mg a day for a few days and then do a taper.  How long have you been on the prednisone?  If it's been more than a couple of days and you haven't noticed any improvement in your breathing, you shoudl call your doctor and let him/her know - you may need an increase in it to basically "kick start" it.  I've also had times when my doctor will try the oral prednisone and it doesn't work well, so I end up getting an IV dose of it to kick start and then can go to the oral - I'm not saying this is what you need, just telling you something that I've done in the past.

I couldn't remember what the FEV1 values were, so I googled it and it seems that with your FEV1 in the 80's that this shows a normal  to mild obstruction reading.  The ratings go:

greater than 80% - normal
60-79% - mild obstruction
40-59% moderate obstruction
less than 40% - severe obstruction

So on that note, it doesn't appear that you've got too much trouble with obstruction, which is a good sign.

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1580703 tn?1651904887
Yeah I've been on 30mg/day prednisone for 1 week.  I also have cough syrup to clear my lungs so the mucus doesn't damage my lungs.  The proventil I use doesn't seem to do anything, nebulizer seems to help a little.  I also had a sleep study done and was diagnosed with sleep apnea and have a bipap machine but it is difficult to use and I have chronic fatigue.  I was around a lot of 2nd hand smoke for a few months so maybe that damaged my lungs
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Avatar universal
Do you also have/use a rescue inhaler?  Neither the symbicort nor singulair will help during an attack - they are basically to help prevent them or decrease the severity of the attacks.

If you don't currently have/use a rescue inhaler, I woudl definitely ask your doctor about getting one - typically it is an albuterol.

Are there specific things that trigger your asthma such as foods, dust, pets, etc.?  If so, it's important to avoid these triggers as much as possible - for obvious reasons.

Have you just recently been diagnosed with asthma or have you been asthmatic for a while?  Sometimes, people can "grow out" of their asthma, especially if it's child-onset asthma - however, some people never outgrow it and for some, it does get worse.  The goal is to find the right treatments/medications/lifestyle changes that help to reduce the severity and number of attacks.

I, personally, have had asthma for 30 years and this year has been a particularly BAD year for me, so it's possible that you also are just having a "bad year" with it.

But it's very important to keep in contact with your doctor and keep him/her informed as to how you're doing and if you're noticing an increase in your asthma symptoms.  I sometimes need a round or two of prednisone to get my attacks under control when they're really bad.

Let me know how you're doing.
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