I'm just about at my wits end trying to figure out what's wrong with me and would greatly appreciate any help/ideas since it's beginning to ruin my life.
First a little background about me: I'm a 32 yr old male, about 6ft, 190lbs in good physical condition. I've been diagnosed with asthma since the age of 3 and have had a few serious bouts over the years but overall I've been able to lead a pretty normal life. I've always had a physical job and was able to exercise regularly. I'd use my albuterol rescue inhaler to curb an attack or to pre-treat prior to exercising. I've been prescribed Singulair, Flovent and Qvar in the past but my breathing didn't seem to improve one bit with any of them. I've never been tested for GERD but I've suffered from acid reflux for almost 10 years. It's been pretty mild up until a couple of yrs ago. I would usually get relief from taking tums but the only thing that seems to work these days is omeprazole 20mg which I'm currently taking daily.
About a week ago, my doctor gave me a sample of Symbicort 160/4.5 to try once in the morning and once at night. For the first 3 days on it, I needed to use my rescue inhaler only once which is a vast improvement for me. Usually I need about 4-6 puffs daily. I also greatly improved my diet a few weeks ago (no sugar, bread, coffee, fried foods, etc.). I've craved sweets my entire life and would often go on sugar binges that would make the average person sick to their stomach. My breathing would seem to get worse for weeks following one of these binges but my doc says that's just a coincidence.
Two days ago, I ate a large dinner (steak and potatoes) and had a terrible time breathing after I was done. I took a shot of my albuterol and didn't feel any better so I just walked around trying to relax, and after about 30 minutes of burping it seemed to get a little better. This has happened nemerous times in the past but not as severely as it's been lately. I always seem to have a problem with gas and bloating after meals. Actually, I even have gas first thing in the morning upon waking. Yesterday, my breathing was awful all day. It feels as though there is pressure (not pain) in the center of my chest making it
very difficult to get in a full breath. I'm starting to wonder if my problem isn't asthma related or if the asthma is mild and something else is the real culprit.
I've never had classic symptoms of asthma to begin with. I NEVER wheeze and NEVER cough which seems to confuse my doctor. Additionally, my lungs always sound perfect and x-rays don't show any signs of a problem. The other thing that has my doctor (and me) baffled is that following a sneeze, I have extreme difficulty breathing. Everything could be just fine and as soon as I sneeze, my chest will get very tight and breathing becomes very labored for at least an hour until things finally start to return to normal. I'm at the point that I'll actually force myself not to sneeze in fear of an attack. Is it possible that something relating to my diaphragm/stomach/breastbone is mimicking the asthma?
I used to look forward to every new day but now I'm starting to dread every minute. I haven't been able to work or exercise in over two months. I miss the person that I was and would do anything to be back. Thanks a million in advance for any help.