Discussions By Condition: Medical Stories

possibly misdiagnosed with asthma

Posted In: Medical Stories 0 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • September 30, 2007
  • 00:25 PM

I am a 27-year-old female. I smoked for 6 years, but have been a non-smoker for almost 3 years now. About seven months ago, I noticed mild pain/tightness in the left side of my chest. I went to the doctor and after several tests, I was told that I probably had pleuresy. A couple of days later, I was walking through a store parking lot and I suddenly felt like I couldn't catch my breath. I was breathing very shallowly, and only with a large effort was I able to get a deep breath. This feeling lasted all day and into the next day. My husband took me to the ER where they did an EKG and a CT scan of my chest. Both things came back completely normal. I went on a follow up visit with my doctor the next day and he had me do a breathing test. He told me that it showed mild emphysema, but that he wasn't convinced that that was what it was. He referred me to a pulmonologist. The pulmonologist ordered a barrage of tests including an ECG, venous doppler of the legs, complete blood panel, and methocholine challenge. Everything came back normal except the methocholine test. I did experience airway restriction, but only after having the methocholine administered 4 or 5 times. Based on this, my pulm diagnosed me as having adult onset asthma. I don't understand this as I don't have attacks, but just a chronic feeling of difficulty breathing. He prescribed an inhaled corticosteroid in combination with an albuterol emergency inhaler. After doing some research of my own, I realized that a majority of asthma cases are due to some sort of allergy. So, I went to see an allergist. I was given a full panel of allergy tests and everything came back negative. I am allergic to nothing. One thing that I haven't mentioned is that I'm about 100 lbs overweight. I don't know if that has anything to do with it, but I have read studies about the correlation between being overweight and getting misdiagnosed with asthma. I am currently doing Weight Watchers in order to lose weight. My medicine doesn't really seem to be doing anything for me. I still feel very uncomfortable with my breathing the majority of the time and get winded very easily when doing any exercise. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I should do next or what this might be?

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