Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Are These Conditions Related: Allergic Rhinitis, Sleep Apnea, Asthma, Reactive Airway

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 13 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • April 26, 2008
  • 07:32 PM

Hi, I am getting hit with all kinds of conditions that my Doctors think are Unrelated. Does anyone know if all of the following are related or caused by each other?

Angina, Asthma, Allergies to Weeds, Depression, Grasses, Pollens, and some foods such as Wheat, Allergic Rhinitis, Chronic Sinusitis, Reactive Airway Disease, Sleep Apnea, Deviated Septum, Severe Headaches, Chest and Cardiac pain, Cardiac Syndrome X.

I've been diagnosed with all of the above and I'm also receiving medical treatment for all of them. I'm a disabled Veteran on a very low income. The VA is treating me but they refuse to accept or believe that all of the conditions are related or even caused by one another as a kind of SnowBall effect.

It's really difficult to be told that I'm unemployable but receive no financial help from the VA or Social Security because they say the conditions are not related.

So far I've had the VA Decision makers grant Service Connected disability compensation for:
Seasonal Allergies and Allergic Rhinitis, Chronic Maxillary and Sphenoid Sinusitis, Deviated Septum, Reactive Airway Disease and Asthma.

Is it possible that those conditions just listed could have caused me to develop Severe Headaches? Could they also have caused me to develop Sleep Apnea? Could the Sleep Apnea have led to me having Cardiac Pain, Angina, but clear main arteries on the Angiogram? I had a Nuclear test of some kind on my heart that showed positive for Ischemia in several places in my heart. That led to the Angiogram which showed clear main arteries. I also failed the treadmill test due to pain, shortness of breath and funny lines on the graph. I think they said something about ST elevation or something like that. Then they said that I had Cardiac Syndrome X or some kind of Microvascular problem that didn't show up on the Angiogram or Cath.

I thought that since they all involve my breathing system from the beginning and later on the Heart Problems and Sleep Apnea that they were all related or caused by each other some how.

Please help if there is anyone out there with some medical knowledge in those areas, I would be very grateful for someone to sort out the confusion for me. Once again, thanks!

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13 Replies:

  • I just wanted to bump this up a bit and to say I am sure sorry you are having so much trouble! I am sorry I do not have much advise to offer except to say that I do agree with you it is strange that they all seem to be related to breathing system. You are a disable vet...where were you? It it possible you may have inhaled something that is now causing problems to your system...including "natural" things like another country's air or pollution? It may be hard to tie all that to one giant "cause" but it does look like you have allergies. For self help, try cleaning up your diet. I had a doctor once tell me if you are allergic to a food even the tiniest little grain can give you a reaction....even days later. Talk to your doctor (you can do this on your own too!) about trying a very bland but healthy diet to try to eliminate foods that are know to cause problems and some you already know about....things like soy and wheat and peanuts and there are many others. Then after a month or so on that you can add one by one foods back in and see if you are sensitive or have any allergic reactions. And by the way, since you mentioned wheat you may want to be tested for Celiacs disease.... I hope others have some good suggestions for you. I am so sorry you are not feeling well...keep researching and asking..there will be help and an answer for you. Joan
    Joan5555 316 Replies Flag this Response
  • Many of them could be seen to be related in some way by looking at them on google or in other areas, although this is not the most reliable way to find out. Have you asked a different doctor? Anyway,Allergies are known to cause Rhinitis, as in your case which is why it is Allergic Rhinitis. A Deviated Septum is a major cause of Sinusitis as the sinuses are unable to drain properly if the midline of the nose is not straight. The severe headaches you experience could definitely be sinus headaches, part of the Sinusitis as the sinuses are inflammed and painful. A Deviated Septum also causes Sleep Apnea as it makes breathing much more difficult. A Deviated Septum, can be a congenital defect, or can be caused by a blow to the face. Reactive Airway Disease, is much like asthma, except it occurs after a single exposure to irratating fumes or gases, like chlorine and the two have similar symptoms. Asthma could be contributed to or worsened by Reactive Airway Disease, your allergies, your Rhinitis or your Sinusitis. Cardiac Syndrome X is a condition in which you experience Angina Pectoris, a bad chest pain, as if your chest is being squeezed or suffocated. Angina Pectoris is synonomous with CAD - Coronary Artery Disease and Cardiac Syndrome X has the same symptoms, but in the case of Cardiac Syndrome X the arteries are completely normal and not blocked (CAD). This is what causes your chest and cardiac pain. The cause of Cardiac Syndrome X is not known for sure yet although there are a few thoughts. http://www.texasheartinstitute.org/HIC/Topics/Cond/CardiacSyndromeX.cfm Many of these conditions come back to you allergies, so maybe if you get them under control with anti-histimenes and other meds some of the other conditions may improve. I hope I could help, even though I am no expert (I am only 14 years old), I do have interest in medicine and enjoy researching things, as I am determined to study medicine after completing school.
    randomboy123 6 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi and THANK YOU for some interesting information Joan5555 and blaze! When I was in the Military I served in the U.S. Army as a Military Policeman for several years. In the course of my duties I provided security for Nuclear Munitions. I later reclassified as a Track Vehicle Mechanic. It was easier to get promoted in this field and I also retained Military Police as my secondary job. After checking the links you provided, I don't live near a Cell Phone Tower or Antenna. The nearest one is more than 4 miles away. I hope that information may assist you. Once again, Thanks!
    Disabled Veteran 4 Replies Flag this Response
  • Thank you randomboy123! Good answer and good luck with your future that you want to pursue in the medical field. I've got a theory myself but don't know if it would be accurate or not. I believe that since I started out with the Chronic Sinusitis and Allergic Rhinitis at which time the Deviated Septum and other Allergies were also diagnosed, these conditions were the beginning. Next came many tests and a diagnosis including the above was confirmed and after seeing one specialist and getting referred by him to another, Reactive Airway Disease was diagnosed in spite of negative PFT's. Then they did exercise tests and a Methacholine Challenge that resulted in a confirmed diagnosis of Asthma on top of everything else. Immunotherapy was implemented for the Allergies. Maxillary and Sphenoid Sinus Surgery were performed. Within 8 months the Sinus Problems were back worse than they were before, especially the Severe Headaches. I then began to snore really loud. So much that the guys in the Army complained they couldn't sleep in the same tent with me. The wife at that time also complained bitterly. (She's since been replaced!) This all happened in a two year time period. I then moved to England for about 12 years or so. During that time period my conditions continued to get worse over the years. The British medical system is a Social System and it just doesn't work very well. I was denied Immunotherapy by them in spite of my allergies due to costs. About 6 years ago I did manage to have a skin test for food allergies after much complaining and a few years on the waiting list (Social system for you). That was when I discovered that I had an allergy to wheat. During the twelve years it became more and more difficult for me to do anything physical to the point I'm at now where I get severe chest pain and shortness of breath without even doing anything. My British GP (Local Doctor) referred me to Cardiology for the Chest pain and shortness of breath. I had to wait almost two years to see Cardiology who decided that I needed an Angiogram or Cardiac Cath. I was put on another waiting list with a minimum wait of 18 months. That was when I decided to move back to the good ole USA. I didn't want to die while getting passed around on waiting lists. British doctors bury their mistakes and patients who need costly treatment! In all fairness it's not all their fault, the Social medical care system is at fault. Thats another very long story! About a year or so before leaving England my Doctor began treating me via medication for Arthritis. I was getting to the point I couldn't use my arms or legs very well because of the joint pain. I was on holiday visiting my parents and looking for a house when I had a bad attack and nearly collapsed. Dad took me to the VA Hospital. Within two days and many tests, they arrived at the diagnosis of Cardiac Syndrome X. This is because I failed the Treadmill test. The Nuclear scan showed Ischemic Disease in the Heart in a couple of places. The Cath showed Clear main arteries. They said it was probably Microvascular. This was added to the growing list of stuff wrong with me. Over the years I've become more and more depressed because I was very active. Now I'm 43 years old and many guys in their 60's and 70's are in better shape than me. A couple of years after that they finally did a sleep study. This resulted in a CPAP machine being prescribed for the Sleep Apnea. Having looked at the causes of Sleep Apnea I believe that condition was present for a long time because of the terrible snoring and other conditions or symptoms present, but that the Docs never really were too concerned about it and never did the Sleep Study for such a long time. So going on the presumption that Sleep Apnea was most likely caused by the first problems mentioned earlier; I believe that the Sleep Apnea (Untreated) for such a long time has led to the development of the Cardiac problems. Does this seem like a logical progression to you? Does anyone else think that my theory has any merit? I can't get the VA Decision Makers to agree but if they did, I would be entitled to Service Connected Disability income from the VA. It's simply more economical for them to disagree. That way a Veteran who has Served his Country is left out in the cold fighting poverty instead of enemies of the United States.
    Disabled Veteran 4 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi, I am getting hit with all kinds of conditions that my Doctors think are Unrelated. Does anyone know if all of the following are related or caused by each other?Yes one of my friend has this types of symptoms. But in her case it was stress & hypertension. after a heart scan we learnt that, however right now she is having a normal life.
    calina123 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi Calina123, Thanks for the info. That link is a good site for info about the heart. I appreciate that! Tell your friend good luck from me. Thanks again! Disabled Veteran
    Disabled Veteran 4 Replies Flag this Response
  • Veteran-This unfortunatley doens't provide any solution, but it may be useful to know that many of those symptoms are definitely common together. Sleep Apnea and heart conditions very often occur together. A deviated septum and allergies/allergic rhinis can certainly cause sinus infections and headaches. I don't think you necessarily need to link every symptom to a single cause- but many of these can make the others worse. I've seen research suggesting that lack of sleep can make allergic rhinitis worse, and I would guess it isn't great for headaches either.Have you looked into getting a CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) machine for the Sleep Apnea-- if your sleep is continously interrupted, it is understandable that you will be too exhausted to work and that it wll make you depressed. Read a few personal stories of people who gt their sleep apnea treated (often with a CPAP machine)-- many find it utterly life-changing.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • November 16, 2008
    • 09:26 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • The relation of sleep apnea to asthma or allergic rhinitis may be bidirectional. Patients who have severe allergic rhinitis tend to have worse sleep problems.
    dhaxelbarqs 3 Replies
    • January 4, 2010
    • 08:04 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • The relation of sleep apnea to asthma or allergic rhinitis may be bidirectional. Patients who have severe allergic rhinitis tend to have worse sleep problems.I too am a disabled Vet and have chronic rhinitis. Among the places I've been stationed overseas includes Thailand, England, Italy, and Turkey. I was told that my sinuses are basically deteriorated from working around jet exhaust and due to some of the extreme climates. While on active duty (30 years) I had many sleepless nights. The chronic rhinitis was diagnosed prior to my retirement. While on active duty, my wife complained about the snoring. I went to the Doc and I complained about snoring and many sleepless nights. No sleep test was conducted; however, they surgically (laser) removed my uvula. This did not improve the situation at all (I felt like I had strep for 30 days post surgery). My VA provider sent me for a sleep test and they said I stop breathing up to 58 times per hours. A C-PAP was prescribed and provided and it provides some relief, but I still wake up. I am currently on VA prescribed Ambien, Mucinex, Fexofenadine, and Nasonex; Ambien to help me sleep, and the others to provide some degree of relief day and night. I filed a supplemental claim and they want me to basically prove how the Apnea and Rhinitis are interrelated. I don't feel I was misdiagnosed while on active duty, but I feel it was an incomplete diagnosis. I have used the CPAP every night without fail for over three years, with a one-night exception when the humidifier tank started leaking. I stayed awake that night, because I feared trying to go to sleep without it. I received a replacement CPAP the next day. Any new information you receive would be greatly appreciate. I will continue to check this site.Respectfully,Hagar
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I can't find any medical source that points to Rhinitis, Sinusitis, or Deviated Septum as actually "causing" Obstructive Sleep Apnea. All of those (and a number of other conditions) are commonly identified as "risk factors" for OSA, but there's a definite difference between a risk factor and a cause.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 9, 2010
    • 04:41 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Hi, I am getting hit with all kinds of conditions that my Doctors think are Unrelated. Does anyone know if all of the following are related or caused by each other?Angina, Asthma, Allergies to Weeds, Depression, Grasses, Pollens, and some foods such as Wheat, Allergic Rhinitis, Chronic Sinusitis, Reactive Airway Disease, Sleep Apnea, Deviated Septum, Severe Headaches, Chest and Cardiac pain, Cardiac Syndrome X.I've been diagnosed with all of the above and I'm also receiving medical treatment for all of them. I'm a disabled Veteran on a very low income. The VA is treating me but they refuse to accept or believe that all of the conditions are related or even caused by one another as a kind of SnowBall effect. It's really difficult to be told that I'm unemployable but receive no financial help from the VA or Social Security because they say the conditions are not related. So far I've had the VA Decision makers grant Service Connected disability compensation for:Seasonal Allergies and Allergic Rhinitis, Chronic Maxillary and Sphenoid Sinusitis, Deviated Septum, Reactive Airway Disease and Asthma.Is it possible that those conditions just listed could have caused me to develop Severe Headaches? Could they also have caused me to develop Sleep Apnea? Could the Sleep Apnea have led to me having Cardiac Pain, Angina, but clear main arteries on the Angiogram? I had a Nuclear test of some kind on my heart that showed positive for Ischemia in several places in my heart. That led to the Angiogram which showed clear main arteries. I also failed the treadmill test due to pain, shortness of breath and funny lines on the graph. I think they said something about ST elevation or something like that. Then they said that I had Cardiac Syndrome X or some kind of Microvascular problem that didn't show up on the Angiogram or Cath. I thought that since they all involve my breathing system from the beginning and later on the Heart Problems and Sleep Apnea that they were all related or caused by each other some how.Please help if there is anyone out there with some medical knowledge in those areas, I would be very grateful for someone to sort out the confusion for me. Once again, thanks!Hi Disable Veteran, hope all works out for you via the VA. If I may, what didi the VA rate you on your Allergies & Allergic Rhinitis???
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
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  • When performing swimming pool services I was exposed to a dense quantity of chlorine gas. I was diagnosed with asthma as a pre-existing condition but latter was found to be a misdiagnosis. In 2006 I was exposed to the chlorine gas and couldn't sleep well from that point on. I have recently seen a sleep specialist and had a sleep study. I was diagnosed with Sleep Apnea. However my doctor said it was not obstructive sleep apnea. It was due to chemical burns to the reaction between chlorine gas and the water in the lungs creating an acid which affected my oxygen absorption. After the years has passed my lungs have healed but found out that the brain has a trigger to wake you up when it feels that oxygen is not being properly absorbed. Since the healing process took years it put my brain into a state where whenever I fell asleep, it believed it was not getting enough oxygen giving me an average of 27 apneas an hour. My doctor put me on a cpap machine (a machine which gives enough pressure to your lungs to fill the with the proper about of air) which after one night made a world of difference. I am now close to sleeping 8 hr's nightly but need to remain on the therapy until my brain recognizes that I am recieving enough oxygen when I sleep. After almost 6 years of not ever going into REM sleep I have seen a world of difference with the cpap not letting my brain wake itself up. My eye sight before the indecent was 20/15, 5 years later it was 20/40, now with the cpap it is to 20/20 vision. Chemical exposure to the lungs can trick the brain into protecting yourself even when your lungs have healed and theropy with cpap has been my only solution. If you have ever had sleep apnea and have little reason to believe it is obstructive (overweight, deviated septum, enlarged turbines, ect) then a sleep study may show that the problem isn't in your breathing but in your brain. Consulting a sleep specialist has helped me in every aspect of my life due to the ability to achieve REM sleep. I hope my story of what went wrong with me helps someone out there to overcome the loss of REM sleep. Lack of sleep is torture and I hope this helps someone not have to put up with the problems I went through. God bless to everyone and may you all find peace in your sleep soon my prayers are with you.Sincerely,Kyle
    kilo41888 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hello everyone. Thank you for all the great responses. I needed a new computer and couldn’t find my way back to this page until now. Here’s an update. I have learned a lot over the past few years. When I was stationed at Fort McClellan, Alabama I was exposed to a lot of substances. The base is an EPA Superfund site and was closed under BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure). I’ve found a Face book group for former Veterans and there are a lot of us who are sick and many have passed away. 60 Minutes did a show about the area (Anniston) and called it the most toxic place on Earth. Monsanto Chemical company used to manufacture ingredients for Agent Orange and dumped a lot of toxins into the local environment which ended up in the local water supply. Also, a training area on Post that was widely used had radioactive material buried. I guess the Military ‘lost’ the material and it was later found and recovered. So all of us were exposed to pcb’s, ionizing radiation, and a whole lot of other nice stuff. So if you know anyone who was ever stationed at Fort McClellan, tell them please. We have legislation in Congress that keeps sitting in committee and going nowhere. It’s called the Fort McClellan Health Registry Act or H.R. 411. Spread the word and for those of you in the medical field it’s worth noting that any possible patients who are Veterans were most likely exposed to toxins in the course of their duty. It’s not isolated at Fort McClellan. There is over a 100 Military bases that are contaminated. Perchlorate is a chemical that is used in about 256 military munitions. It damages the thyroid and of course, my thyroid is damaged. I have cysts that continue to grow and Hyperthyroidism. There are also concerns for Depleted Uranium and Plutonium in Armor Piercing Rounds. When they hit a target they burn or aerolize into a mist and the radioactive material can be spread around within a few meters of impact but windy conditions can spread it for up to a reported 25 miles. I want to thank everyone again for their great information. I have learned so much and if you know anyone in the Military or treat patients who are Military or Veterans you’ll probably find that a lot of their health problems are caused by toxic substances they came into contact with during service. At least I know what has caused all of my health problems now. Thanks again! P.S. The VA has a program called the WRIISC or War Related Illness and Injury Study Center and they specialize in exposure assessments. I have an appointment in a couple weeks time to spend 3 days with them. Please tell any Veterans you know about this program administered by the VA.
    Disabled Veteran 4 Replies
    • November 22, 2013
    • 01:02 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
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