please help! anyone else with this issue

I'm fairly new to the asthma site but I desperately need some input please. When any of you asthmatics gets bronchitis, do do you have difficulty raising the secretions from deep down in your lungs or am I the only one. I can't get bronchitis like a normal person, where they will cough a few days but then things loosen up. I'll take the antibiotics, steroids, nebulizer treatments and Mucinex and still have to work and work to get the stuff up, by coughing and chest PT. I can hear the flutter of secretions when I exhale as I lay down. Now I had the reflux surgery for GERD in August and that has improved but I still can't handle much Prednisone or my stomache will bother me. Now I went to sleep feeling fairly good at 10pm but then woke right out of a sleep at 12 midnight feeling short of breath. Did nebulizer which helped some, now some secretions came up but still feel tight. So frustrating as I have to get up for work at 5am. Took 20mg. of Prednisone with some toast so it won't bother my stomach. This is the pits. I know I need a higher dose of steroids but I am sick of needing them every 3-4 months. Never had issues with asthma till I was in my late 40's. Any advice.

Report post

135 replies. Join the discussion

My son came home with a cold he was able to get over in two days..I get something like this and I am down for a week..Have been having the same problem this week with coughing and shortness of breath, etc. with this new chest cold. Have started on the prednisone and a bunch of other medications, too, but like you not really sure how to deal with my lungs..Hate having to take so much medication because it upsets my stomach also, but it seems to help a little with the congestion. Got a cold last year and ended up on Z-pak for bronchitis and it seemed it took so long to get better. I also got asthma in my late 40's and am new to this..Was always able to blow off a small cold and go to work..Not anymore..

Report post

I have the same problem. When I get asthmatic bronchitis it may take weeks (sometimes months) to cough up thick mucus plugs deep in my lungs. My boyfriend has it even worse than me, he's a severe asthmatic. I also have the GERD issues and have been thinking about getting the surgery. I have tried everything that you have tried too. The only thing that works is very high doses of pred. then taper it down to nothing. I developed asthma in me early 40's.

Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.

Report post

I too have the same trouble with mucus clogging my breathing passages and am unable to get it out. I purchased a Flutter device online and that does help some. I was diagnosed at age 52 and its only been two years since then but the breathing gets worse and worse. I m on prednisone about every six weeks and that is the only medication that works for me. Symbicort,Advair, singulair, I've taken them all and they have no effect. All I can say to you is to keep fighting it. I haven't given up so far and found that most doctors will only dish out meds instead of exploring every possibility of what may be causing our breathing troubles. Im sorry i couldn't be more helpful.

Report post

vdubber69..Sorry to hear about your late diagnosis...Kind of discouraging to think about..Only been diagnosed for about 2 years myself and was hoping for a better outlook! Am on Symbicort twice a day and it is the only inhaler I have tried that works for me consistently until I get a virus...I hate to be on so much medication, but the alternative isn't so rosy either...Wish we could be of more help...

Report post

Cindybeckwith

Thanks for your reply. It is good that symbicort works for you as it does nothing, or very little, for me. I've had two hospital stays in the last 18 months and all they do is jack me up on steroids and run countless tests and c-scans. With the result being that I have severe asthma. Its discouraging at times but i'm not giving up yet. I'll fight this as long as I can and will always look for the doctor who is going to look for other options instead of just drugs, drugs and more drugs.

Report post

Good luck with your search for alternative methods for treating your asthma..I too, and searching for alternate methods and hope to find something besides the endless medications and side affects. Have not had any hospital stays yet, thank goodness, but a few trips to the ER...Not a pleasant experience, and I wish you well.

Report post

Thanks Cindy, sorry you are experiencing the same thing, but I thought I was just alone. I know when you have asthma it's a chronic inflammatory disease, so when you contract a virus or bacteria it makes sense that it takes longer for us to get rid of it, but jee when I was a kid you got bronchitis and was better in 3-4 days. I have to think our environment is killing us, so much more pollution, all those irritants adding to our inflammation. I know how you feel very frustrating.

Report post

Your right kittykat, high dose steroids is all that helps and exhaling hard to bring up those deep plugs, it's like feeling your lungs are not inflating all the way down due to the plugs down there, it's so annoying. Thanks for your response, at least I'm not feeling nuts.

Report post

Dear vdubber69, I agree, know one ever wants to explore why this is happening. I am an NP and work in allergy and still don't have all the answers. I find for myself that certain foods will make me short of breath. For instance coffee, tea, wine, beer anything with sulfites, chocolate, all the good stuff, never had issues with these before. I would advise all of you to be keen on this and note if you notice any shortness of breath after eating certain foods. Preservatives also. I try to stay away from processed foods when ever possible. I am starting to wonder about gluten, but not sure on that one yet, although my daughter tells me I'm in denial.
I have a beautiful 25yr. old daughter that has an overlap of systemic sclerosis, lupus and sjogrens. She has swelling of the face and lips called angioedema from many foods and meds, She has a lot of the same food sensitivites and instead of coughing and bronchospasm symptoms like me, she gets swelling of the face and lips. She has not been able to ingest any animal protein for 5-6 months now. She lives on fruits and vegetables, can't eat legumes, nuts, eggs, milk. I'm sure we have something similar with our immune systems, but no one has been able to really help her yet and I have taken her just about everywhere. The immune system is a black box like Dr. Burt says, he's the one that does stem cell transplants at NW.
Yes I will try and keep fighting for sure. One thing I would like you all to be aware of is a site called "beyond pesticides", please get on and learn about our environment. I try to encourage all my patients to learn how harmful these things are in our environment and especially for us asthmatics. Chemicals are deadly for us, second hans smoke, solvents, etc.. That will be my mission in life as my daughter and my own disease was most likely caused from our exporure to a chemical plant, plus bad genes. I was pregnant for her at the time and lived 1.5 miles away from a chemical plant in CT.
Thanks for your help.

Report post

Vdubber69, have you ever been checked for auto immune diseases, what does your FEV1 run on your pulmonary function tests.? I can't take any of the long acting beta agonists either like Advair because they make me very shaky and I get a wicked headache in the back of my head, very bizarre, I even tried it again to be sure, Singulair has helped me but by day 2 I feel very foggy, tried that again, same thing happens. I do best with Flovent but so sick of inhalers. What is your asthma control med?

Report post

I live in Connecticut too...I hear our air quality has gotten an "F" rating, as I am sure you have heard. I was exposed to mold at my workplace and gave me asthma about two years ago..They were in denial too...3 other girls got sick also that I know of...I am sorry to hear about your daughter. You must be pulling your hair out!! It is frustrating enough to try and figure out what is going on with our own reactions in your body but it is harder when you do not know what your child is feeling..My son was SEVERELY allergic to milk products when he was born, but is 17 now and healthy as a horse! I am now the one who is trying different natural and drug therapies to help myself...I like the idea of tracking the items you listed as problemsome..I also had ideas I may have gluten problems, but everything but the allergy to mold that was found in my office was the only thing that was found to have made me sick..

Report post

Gee we are all in the same boat. Vdubber 69, I am sorry your asthma seems to get worse because that's what I'm experiencing too, more bronchitis more need for Prednisone,I've had asthma 4-5 yrs now, became worse after my hysterectomy. I belive hormonal changes must play a role as the majority of my patients are all in this age range. Guess we all need to move to Oregon, which is supposed to have the cleanest air. I will pray for all of us struggling with asthma, ahhh.. to be able to take that deep breath, I never take it for granted, Lord please bless us all and give us a good night tonight. Thanks for all the replies and my prayers will go out to all of you tonight. God bless.

Report post

Amen!

Report post

Cindybeck,
I lived in Ct. from 1986-1989, Wallingford, CT next to American Cyanamid. I never knew the plant was there when we purchased the home. I hear now the plant is gone and it is now a concrete landing site, so what does that tell you. There was a group called Sparrow that was very active on trying to check the air quality, and they reported many illnesses particulary in children. I recall that first Summer there, it smelled like a can of paint coming through my kitchen window. I had a geographic tongue almost the whole time I lived there. It was constantly irritated. I now live in NY but you can't escape the bad air anymore, that's why try to educate everyone you can. Ask your Dr.'s offices to ask patients to refrain from heavy colognes and perfumes that make us gag and short of breath, prevent harmful cleaning agents in our home and work place. We can make a difference together. Don't spray your lawns with pesticides, dandelions are okay.. they are decorative and the birds, turtles, frogs, bees and all life will thank you for not spraying that crap.
I've seen mold exposure make people very ill, asthmatics included. West is the place to be if one is mold sensitive. I felt great while living in Tucson Arizona, but had to return to NY for personal reasons. I think it's important to be aware of everything your body comes in contact with from the time you get up in the morning. If anything causes your asthma to be worse avoid it, tune into your body.. it can give you clues, from hair products to toothpaste, to soaps and environment, foods, etc...
Could go on and on, can you tell my Prednisone has kicked in. Good night all..time for my neb..

Report post

Autopilot and Cindybeck, What I have been doing is listing any foods that cause inflammation and avoiding them if at all possible. It's only been a month of this and I'm told by a nurse friend of mine that it could take a long time for my body to really change and adjust to this diet. It kind of has to cleanse itself from all the toxins and bacteria that triggers my symptoms. It's amazing how much better i feel, energy wise. Breathing is still tough but I don't have the fatigue I once did. I live in northeast PA and the weather has been so up and down lately that my lungs are going bonkers trying to adjust to it.

I'm so sorry to hear of your daughters struggles. I know how it is to see our children suffer but as I see you are a praying person as I am and when God is for us who can be against us? Not even disease! Ill keep you both in my prayers. Keep us posted with any positive progress you may be experiencing please.

Report post

Vdubber69,
Glad to hear the diet has helped your energy level. Your right about the weather in the NE it has been crazy. I'm always worse in the rainy weather are you?
Thanks for your prayers. Yes without God we cannot lose.
Feeling better this morning, I did not feel that flutter deep down in my lungs last night, thanks God
Take Care and breathe well.

Report post

I lived in Middlefield for many years and had heard about the problems of air quality around the American Cynamid and complaints from the personnel that worked there...Sorry to hear that you were not informed before moving there...My father died of lung cancer almost 3 years ago, but never smoked a day in his life..He worked in chemicals at a shop in Wallingford when I was a kid and we always suspected it was the cause..Have had to retrain my way of life since the asthma since as you and Vduber69 were saying the crazy weather here in New England causes my lungs to go nuts..Smoke, perfume, cleaning products, diesel fuels all send my asthma into a tail spin...Did make comments and suggestions at work, but was not well received! I don't think people really understand when you say, "I really can't breath"! They take it as an insult or that you are being overly dramatic! It is a constant struggle...

Report post

Im so sorry to hear of your father passing. My former wife died 4 days before christmas of 2011. She smoked most of her life. She beat stage 4 breast cancer then they found it in her liver and she wasn't able to overcome it. So i was exposed to second hand smoke at times but she always smoked outside the house or away from me so i did all i could to avoid it but who knows what really causes asthma? I was fired from my job in 2010 because I had asthma and could no longer do certain functions at my workplace. Which is the reason that was given as to why they "let me go". They said I refused to do what I was told but it was only their way of getting rid of the sicko. Opps, I'm ranting. But you're right cindybeck, people either don't believe me or they say I'm faking it so i can be lazy, which I'm not. Sometimes I think all us asthmatics should have a get together somewhere and compare notes and give hope to one another in an atmosphere of people who really understand what it's like to live this way.

Report post

Wow...sounds like the people I used to work for, and no you're not ranting, just telling the truth!...After myself and numerous others complaining about the smell of mold and illness from it, I spoke up and asked to be moved from the building to another office location..I was refused and given no alternative but to clear out my desk...What about the Americans with Disabilities act?? When they finally did have the office tested, the man who performed the test stated the only people who make such complaints usually just want to "stay home" and not work....Sickening...Some of the girls that got sick also now have breast cancer...Scary for me to think about..Thank you for the thoughts about my father. He passed two days after Christmas also, so my heart goes out to you and your family...

Report post

I hope you don't mind if I add to your conversation.
I also live in the NE (Rochester) and have had a lot of trouble with my asthma this year because of the weather. I'm sorry that your daughter has to suffer so much. I have RA and Sjogrens. When I was in the process of being diagnosed my Rheumy asked me a series of questions, one of them being if I've ever been diagnosed with asthma. So there must be some sort of similar gene that triggers asthma and other auto-immune problems. And the gene stays dormant until a virus, the environment or hormones activates it. Maybe it's a combo of all of these triggers, who knows?
I've learned to avoid food and drink with sulfites early on. Red wine really makes me sick. It's interesting, autopilot that you bring up living near a chemical plant. When growing up, I lived about a mile from a chemical plant. Gosh, I almost forgot about this. In my family, my Dad had colon cancer and has Sarcoidosis, my (twin) brother has Ankylosing Spondylitis, neighbor next store (my age) died of leukemia at a young age, my neighbor (my age) across the street died of MS, and the neighbor who lived behind me and his daughter (my age) died of brain tumors.
I have had the same problem with Advair, I'm on Flovent two puffs twice a day, that seems to work best for me. I was real groggy at first with Singulair too. I tested negative for Celiac but I try to avoid gluten anyways because I have found that I breathe easier and my joints feel better without it.
Vdubber - I'm sorry your asthma is so bad. My boyfriend went to emergency twice last year and I was so scared for him and myself. I thought I was going to lose him. His lung capacity was only 40%. I happy to say that he is much better now. We are so much more careful about mold and his other triggers now.
Cindybeck - I think it's an absolute abomination that your employer isn't taking you seriously about the mold. It makes me sick just thinking about it!
I pray for all of you as well.

Report post

This discussion is closed to replies. We close all discussions after 90 days.

If there's something you'd like to discuss, click below to start a new discussion.

Things you can do

Support AAFA

Help the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America reach its goals and support people like yourself by making a donation today.

Donate to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America

Discussion topics

Public Service Announcement

Links and Resources from AAFA

Community leaders