Doc thinks i have asthma and allergies - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 5 Old 06-06-2004, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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For the past 6 months (yeah I waited way to long to see a doc!) I have had some bad hives, dizzy spells, and trouble catching my breath after walking up stairs or reading the kids a story.

Since we moved out of our old apartment and into a brand new housing development on base (we also switched states) the hives are definitly better, almost non existant except once in awhile. But the dizzy spells and breathing troubles are still here. Well doc thinks I maybe allergic to mold and since we had a really old base apartment and were in georgia where mold is a big problem he thinks that was what was causing the hives and possibly brought asthma to the forfront (i think I may have always had it will explain further down) Anyway he wants me to start taking Zyrtec and Tagamet for the hives, he said it's an ulcer med that has antihistamine in it and it might help. I'm allergic to benadryl so I guess it's my only choice. I did take the zyrtec but I don't want to take the tagamet so I haven't started it yet..

He wants me to do some blood tests next week and keep a food diary and write down what happens when I eat stuff- hives, breathing troubles, heart racing or nothing and maybe we can pinpoint what the problems are. Sadly it seems caffine-coffee especially affects my heart a bit and my breathing . But if I"m taking 2 allergy meds won't that mask any symptoms????

As for why I think I may have always had mild asthma is because as a kid I totally sucked in gym class, couldn't breath after running, never did good in sports. Dh used to tease me because even blowing up a balloon takes a lot out of me. I used to think I just wasn't athletic but now I wonder kwim? My mom and grandma smoke, sometimes both of them smoked in front of me so I'm guessing I got it from secondhand smoke my whole childhood, I've never smoked and there is no family history. I thank goodness very rarely get sick so I never had a bad attack or anything and we lived up north for my whole childhood where mold isn't as much of a problem and the cold air helps sometimes. Now that I have lived in the heat and mold of the south for almost 3 years it's starting to cause me problems .

Any advice or ideas on the meds or what maybe going on with me? This week he wants to do a fasting blood sugar level and he is going to check my thyroid too because my cycles are off and I keep having hot and then cold flashes.
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#2 of 5 Old 06-06-2004, 05:23 PM
 
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The doctor within

click on Allergies -

You might want to look at this, I just happen to come across it.
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#3 of 5 Old 06-06-2004, 05:36 PM
 
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Food diary and other observations are a good way to start getting a clue as to what triggers your symptoms. Allergy tests are the next, and most comprehensive, step in figuring this out. Avoidance of the triggers is the best way to avoid symptoms, but if that's not possible, meds short-circuit or prevent the reaction process once you've been exposed to an allergen.

It's good IMO that he's checking into other aspects too. Our body systems do not function in isolation from each other.

I hope if you do have allergies that they're mild enough that you don't need daily meds, that avoidance and a back-up/"emergency" med is enough.

"What will you do once you know?"
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#4 of 5 Old 06-06-2004, 11:40 PM
 
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Aloha Piles! Your story is very similar to mine. I lived in old base housing with large tree roots that blocked the sewage lines. We ended up with a breakage and mold and I got really sick and was diagnosed with asthma after 3 bouts with wheezing after a virus hit. Ended up on Zyrtec for my allergies but was able to wean off it after we moved to a healthy house. I also sucked at PE in school, couldn't run very far because I got short of breath, I always thought it was because I was out of shape. ANd a few years ago I had wheezing with a cold but didn't go in to the doctor and it went away. I guess we really don't want to admit we could have this problem. Anyway, now that I have an inhaler, if I use it before exercise I can do so much more, it's great.

What you can do to help yourself:

Keep the food and symptoms diary (citrus and dairy are most common problems but it could be anything) I used to break out in hives when I exercised and finally discovered I was allergic to oranges. I always drank oj in the mornings because i thought it was healthy. Then I noticed my mouth felt tingly after eating an orange. Stopped oranges, no more hives!!!

Notice when/where your symptoms are worse/better (for me I was better in the am's in our new house but worse after being outdoors in the pollen all day)
Notice any sneezing, watery eyes and when they develop
Move to a healthy house - dry area, minimal trees, no flowering shrubs with lots of pollen, lots of sun, not in the shade, no known mold problems and newer construction. I know moving is tough but IT IS SO WORTH IT!
Get a house with hardwood or pergo floors, carpet is bad for allergies
Do you have pets? ARe they contributing to the problem?
Get an air cleaner, at least for your bedroom and make sure you change the filter when it needs to be changed. If you use window a/c's make sure they are disinfected with bleach at least every 4 wks or at the first sign of mold.

Take the meds to get this under control. This constant inflamation is only making things worse. Once you are feeling better, it is easier to wean off some of the meds. I took Zyrtec for almost 2 yrs continuously and now don't need it unless the pollen is really bad. You need to breath well now! Get an albuterol inhaler to dilate your airway so you are not short of breath and tired. You will need it if you have an asthma attack as an emergency medicine anyway.
Ask your doctor if you can go for pulmonary function testing - that will give him a better idea of what is going on. ASthma is the most mis-treated disease out there - a lot of docs really don't know what is the best treatment for it.
I hope this helps some. I know it's hard to think of having this disease but it is really managable once you get it under control.
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#5 of 5 Old 06-07-2004, 12:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for the support and suggestions!

siddie,
This week the doc will do a pulmonary function test, I just have to get an appointment . I tried the zyrtec, the past few days and it's actually making me feel worse. I don't have any nasal allergies or problems with my sinus' but since zyrtec is that kind of med it's drying out my nose so much it's unbelievable I feel cruddy. It's also making me very tired. So I don't know what to think, for now I will keep taking it but I will mention that to the doctor. The tagament I'm not taking until I figure out what is causing the hives, but I think it was mold since the move I rarely get them anymore and I was getting them badly every day before.

My symptoms are always worse after I drink coffee so I think I need to cut that out. I'm also worse after doing too much chasing the kids and whatnot. I don't seem to have any pollen allergies, it's more mold and possibly food/environment related like paint dust etc.

We only have carpet upstairs and that doesn't seem to bother me, downstairs we have hardwoods and linolium. We don't have any pets either . Thanks for all the suggestions they help!

Another thing I forgot to mention in my first post, doc tested me with a peak flow meter and even taking very deep and forced breaths after 3 tries my best was only 375, he said as a neverr smoker and being young (I just turned 22) I should be better than that, he would like to see 500. He said I'm ok, not in the danger zone but not as good as I should be so that's what made him want to test pulmonary function and the suggestion of asthma. He did a quick ekg in the office and said my heart is ok so it's a lung thing.
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