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Anyone else? I've had it since I was 6--it's such a part of my life that I often don't pay attention when reaching for my inhaler. However, I use my rescue inhaler far too often and am starting to think that it's time to rethink my approach in terms of meds and such.

Anyone else have asthma and want to chime in about your experience?
 

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I was diagnosed with asthma in grad school, but probably had it untreated for a long time before then.

I've got it *really* under control now (finally) and use Advair and carry the Albuterol around just in case...

Hope you can find something to get it under control!

Good luck,
Laura
mom to Alexander - 10/20/2003
 

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I was diagnosed back in '88, but I knew what I had was asthma for years before that. My mom was diagnosed around then too.

I just saw an allergist again, after over 10 years, last week to get my meds upgraded and to find out what I'm really allergic to, since I've developed new ones since the last time. No surprises on the skin tests. I have to call them tomorrow for the blood test results for the really serious issues. Tree pollen and dust are not to be ignored, but they won't kill me the way shrimp or the wrong nuts might.


He got me started with Advair, wonderful stuff since now I got both meds I was taking before under one co-pay instead of two!
I think I need to restart the Singulair though. Luekotrines may only account for 10-12% of the allergic reaction, but I've been sneezing and stuffy for the last week now, coinciding with stopping the Singulair. hmmmmm Maybe that 10-12% was making a difference for Me.


One nice thing I've learned about being on all inhaled meds: I asked about them at Hale's site back when mere moms were allowed to ask questions directly, and found out from the Good source that they are a nonissue while nursing.


I agree that if you're using your rescue inhaler more than once or twice a week, you need to get your meds and condition re-evaluated. I rarely need my MaxAir. The canisters expire without ever being emptied. That's control!

I hope you get there too.
 

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I've had asthma since I was 2. I remember my parents trying for hours to get me to take my Marax when I was little. I can't even stand the thought of taking cough syrup now. Then I was on Theophalin (sp) and had the albuterol and vanceril inhalers for about 20 years. I was needing the albuterol daily. About 2 years ago my Allergist started me on the Advair Diskus. It made such a difference. I stopped all the other things. I haven't needed the ventolin inhalor since. I don't even think I have one anymore in fact. I am trying to wean myself off all meds. I use the Advair about once every other day. I have been wanting to try some alternative treatment to get off the meds all together, but haven't yet. My biggest fear is that my dd will get asthma. I guess with the meds available today it won't be as bad as when I was growing up, but I hope she doesn't have to deal with it at all.
 

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I was diagnosed when I was 18 (am 32 now). I always thought it was rather well controlled, and would have a flare up sometimes in the spring and then fall and have to do a course of prednisone (yuck).
I lived in Northern IL all my life then a year ago or so dh got a job transfer and we are in the southern part of the state. Whoah it damn near killed me.
I am now on Singulair, they switched me to Advair and Albuterol when needed. That switch was only made a couple of months ago and I cannot believe the difference in how I feel. Great. What a difference and I did not get sick and end up with the usual springtime illness/course of prednisone.
Actually, poor dd ended up with pneumonia instead this time.
I am afraid she will end up with it. Though myself and my mom have it my two brother do not at this time. I guess I can keep my fingers crossed and know what to look for, so far.....so good!
 

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I was diagnosed just this year--well, I had problems last year, but got a handful of different diagnosis and treatments and recommendations--didn't settle on a dx of athma until I saw an allergist the beginning of this year.

I think my asthma is kind of atypical--in that I don't have allergies and my main symptom is a cough. If I wheeze at all, it's on the inhale, not the exhale, and I never have attacks at night. My worst times were when I had bronchitis (twice in the past year.) Doc wanted me on steriods, but I refused. Once the bronchitis was over, he wanted me on inhaled steriods, but I hesitated because I seemed to be improving -- I wanted to see how good I'd get without the meds. I did try Singular, but it did nothing for me.

Presently, the only time I have a problem if when I'm exercising or doing something strenuous--and then I use a puff of Proventil. Doc told me if I needed it more than 3x a week he'd want me to switch to something like Advair, but so far that hasn't been necessary.

I've found that I'm more prone to problems just before my period (anyone else?) and that Licorice Root helps with chest congestion when I'm sick. I see a chiropractor regularly, and would, of course, love to be off of all meds....
 

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Not a mama yet - so don't know if I count.


I was diagnosed when I was about 12 - I had excercise induced at that point. Since then I have notice bad allergy days ( I have general hayfever) or bad pollution days I have a harder time breathing. I also have found the milk products - mostly just milk - make it worse.

I got walking pneumonia over Xmas and that was not fun, but it cleared right up with antibiotics. I had some really bad allergies this spring and my doc put me on Flovent - which was amazing. I had no asthma attacks at all while I was on that. But it was a one time only deal and has since run out. I currently take Serevent (which I need to refill) and have my rescue inhaler. And that usually controls it very well. I hardly ever have an asthma attack unless I am doing somehitng strenous or I get really stressed. That is the other thing we have found is that when I get stressed, I carry tension in my ribs, which makes them really tight and also causes my diaphragm to tighten up as well, making me more prone to asthma attacks. Sometimes DH can rub my ribs and diaphragm and everything will ease - no meds neccessary.

I am currently trying to conceive my first, and have been for the last two years. I wonder sometimes if the meds I have been on since I was 12 have scrambled my eggs.....
 

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I know I need to make an appointment about getting on something new. I've had athsma for years and have been using Ventolin twice a day, every day since then. I know meds have come a long way since I was first diagnosed. I guess I've put it off because I don't want to muck around with meds.

~Daednu
 

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daednu- boy can i relate - i've used my inhaler at least 2 or 3x per week forever. i *hate* the idea of going on any steroids or other daily meds - especially if i am nursing (my d almost 2yo son is starting to wean) or preg (which i am hoping to be again soon!) at the same time i don't want to be risking my health! i recently moved and am hoping to find a good nd/md that i can hook up with.

all you daily med users - how were you able to reconcile yourself with taking them? i have a feeling that will be the ultimate solution but i do dread it - i mean i hate taking tylenol because of all the filler crap in that!

mona
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by davmon
all you daily med users - how were you able to reconcile yourself with taking them? i have a feeling that will be the ultimate solution but i do dread it - i mean i hate taking tylenol because of all the filler crap in that!

mona
I am glad I switched to Advair before TTC. I took 4 different meds before that. Advair cut me back to just the one. I am supposed to take it twice a day, but I have found I am fine using it about once every other day. I talked to some other women who took it during pg. and my allergist to make sure it was ok to use while pg and nursing.

Something I wonder about though - I was induced at 38 weeks due to interuterine growth retardation. My dd was only 4 lbs 6 oz. She was perfectly healthy. They never found any reason why she was so small but I wonder if it was connected to the meds somehow.

But making sure I could breath and get enough oxygen to the baby was more important than the smaller risks of side effects from the meds. My dd is the picture of health so far though (knock on wood).
 

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There's a greater risk to your unborn baby from lack of oxygen than from the meds that you are taking. You've got to take asthma seriously, especially when pregnant.
My 5 miscarriages were all unexplained, despite much testing. My allergist thinks there's a possibility they were related to low oxygen due to my asthma and he changed my meds (another commercial here for Advair and Singulair) and I went on to carry my daughter to full term.

fwiw
 

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Not a mama yet but I've had asthma for 23 years (YAY!
)

Daily medication is FAR safer for you than relying on Ventolin (albuterol). Daednu - PLESE PLEASE go see a Dr. to get on some meds to get it under control. If you were on daily meds your body wouldn't have to go through the asthma it needs to to tell you to take your inhaler. Many people have died from relying on inhalers - their lung muscles got so tired they just quit! My mother's best friend's son died because of it.

Secondly - daily inhaled steroids give you FAR less steroids than not taking them but having to take oral steroids even just once a year. The daily dose is so small. Remember the saying "A ounce of prevention is worth an pound of cure"? That goes here. And yes, more oxygen to the baby is more important. When DH and I are TTC, I'll make sure to stay on top of my meds so that the pregnancy (and the labor) go well.

Right now I take Singular and don't need my inhaler any more. As a child, I took Theophylin (horrible side effects) and then switched to Intal - no side effects and currently the safest preventative inhaler on the market - it's been out for over 20 years. The reason I switched (as an adult) from Intal to Singulair is that one pill a day means I take it reliably, whereas with Intal, I couldn't remember to take it 2-4 times a day. However, if I had a child with asthma, I'd probably chose Intal for him/her.

My mother is very concerned about what will happen when I'm pregnant, so to make sure I'm safe, and to get her to not be concerned (read: NAG NAG NAG), I'm doing it right starting now so I'll be in the habit when preggers.

ETA - Daednu - I had to fix the spelling of your name. For some reason when I see it, I think of the Hebrew "Daenu" so that is what I'd typed.
 

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What Snow said.... When I'm not on my meds for asthma (or if I get forgetful) it gets really bad. I've had too many trips to the hospital where I thought for sure I was going to die. My OB and my GP made me promise to stick with the asthma meds when I wanted to stop after finding out I was pregnant. I was told that the stress an attack would put on a baby was much, much worse than the medicines.

Laura
 

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I have had asthma since I was about 12, but was actaully diagnosed when I was 15. Mine is almost exclusively allergy induced. I have *horrid* allergies, but I resist taking meds (for both conditions) due to nursing.
I am currently on Zyrtec-D for allergies and I use a very, very small dose albuterol via nebulizer when needed. I have found that when I keep my allergies under control, my asthma is pretty much under control. I have an asthmacort inhaler as well, but it makes my blood pressure bottom out for a few seconds and I nearly blacked out a couple of times, so I dont take it often.
We took out all of our carpet and rugs, no pets, and are careful about foods, weather and pollens. Beds ahve non-allergen bedding and we use an air-contitioner to keep the bedroom cool (too hot, and I have trouble breathing.)
Aidan has resp. problems as well, which is one reason why we are nursing for so long... He uses a Xopenex neb. about 5x a week.
My *worst* attack ever was when I was about 7m preg with Aidan... I should have gone to the hospital, but didnt... DH was scared... he called my parents to come over (they live next door) at 2AM. My lips were blue, and I was so sick feeling! That was brought on by contractions and stress... Luckily, a few puffs on my rescue inhaler was enough to clear my lungs, but talk about a wake-up call! I definetly keep track of my meds better now.
I really need to go have another allergy test done, and then when my babies are weaned, I will be able to take a stronger allergy scrip.
 

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The first time I remember having an asthma attack was when i was 12. It was so bad, i couldn't lie down. I had to sleep sitting up. My step father wouldn't let my mother take me to the hospital/doctor. Nice, huh? I was diagnosed around 13, i think. My dad said I've always had breathing problems.

Before I had ds, I needed the albuterol at least 4 times A DAY! After I had ds, I hardly ever needed it. It was wonderful. But, sadly, it's starting to act up again. I've been needing it about 2 or 3 times a day. :-(
I hate being on meds and I don't like the idea of Singulair or advair because you aren't supposed to take them if you have high blood pressure.

So, not sure what to do. I suppose I should start taking allergy meds again and maybe that will help with my asthma. I'm quite overweight and that doesn't help any. Although I weigh less now that i did when I got pregnant.
Who knows.

Hugs,
Liz
 

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Liz - you should look up Intal

Oh, and I also am careful about allergens - we have all hardwood floors, a HEPA air purifier and a HEPA filter on our mini vacuum cleaner, a dehumidifier to help with mold, wash sheets often, etc.

One thing that killls me is when I know kids who have asthma who have about ten thousand stuffed animals in their bed. Dust Mites Disneyland!
 

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Quote:
all you daily med users - how were you able to reconcile yourself with taking them?
When the alternative is death, it's not a difficult decision. Asthma kills. People die from it. I want to see my children grow up. I want to be able to run and bicycle and play with them, not sit on the sidelines wheezing. I want to see their children grow up too, maybe chase them down a time or two without having to sit down and wheeze.

As Emily pointed out, the level of medication in the inhaled meds, whether corticosteroid or other, is So small, especially compared to the oral corticosteriods that it may take to knock the respiratory system back into working order after a bronchitis or during a bad allergen season. Add into that what a friend whose wife is a Physician's Assistant learned at a seminar, that only about 10% of the med gets into the lungs...and yet that 10% works!...and you can see that they're not that big a deal.

Having adequate oxygen in your body isn't just good for a baby, it's good for you. Nothing like having all the braincells oxygenated!

In avoiding the daily meds that in small doses keep your system working well, you're opening yourself up to 1) long term damage, 2)needing stronger meds with nasty side effects for some people, BTDT one too, 3)not being able to do everything you might want to or need to because you're always short of breath.

I've BTDT and it sucks. Truly it does.

We need to do better at dedustifying the house, but hardwood floors are not an option. We stick with no pets, A/C to keep the air filtered....changing the filters, using the dryer...
 

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Ooooh I knew I was going to catch trouble for that!
My problem is I don't want to go on steroids (I never need to use them, not even once a year) and I don't want to hop around on different meds.
Funny thing is the only thing I can use is Ventolin. I've tried the generics and for some reason they just do not do it for me. I recently found out it's the same for my mum. She can only use real Ventolin.
I don't have this problem with anything else. I use generic Metformin (for PCOS), Tylenol, anything.

~Daednu
 

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I've also had asthma since I was two; also took theophylline as a child (marax is actually a combination of theophylline and a sedative, I believe, to combat the side effects!) and have really bad seasonal (and nonseasonal) allergies.

Now for the true confession: I went to school to become a respiratory therapist, in part because I have a deep-down understanding of what it feels like to have to fight for breath.

How's that for geeky?


I'll just add my .02; ASTHMA KILLS! There are a whole bunch of physiological things that happen with asthma, both acutely (when you're having a major asthma attack) and chronically (when you blow off controlling your asthma with meds). None of it is pretty. When you don't control your asthma you can have what they call "airway remodelling" where your airways become compromised because they are always in a reactive state; you basically lose some of your lung capacity because some airways just cease to exist. This is not reversible. There's also the fun of congestive heart failure.

if you have an acute attack that is bad enough/goes on long enough you'll start to affect your body's pH balance which can lead to all kinds of dreadful side effects such as confusion (oxygenate those brain cells!) heart arrythhmias and yes; death.

The inhaled steroids are not something I'm particularly happy about taking but I'd rather take them all year than take prednisone for one day. I've read the material on them exhaustively; basically you end up absorbing a truly miniscule amount of them; especially if you rinse your mouth every single time (a good portion of inhaled medicine ends up splattered all over your orophrynx and just gets swallowed) This also helps to prevent candida overgrowth which is a very definite side effect of these meds.

It's grass season here right now; I really need to give singulair a try.

Wonder if we can agitate to get a little MDI emoticon created?
 
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