Avatar universal

Need Help finding out why I cant breathe!

I am having a very difficult time finding out what is wrong with me. But here is my back story. I was first diagnosed with asthma when I was around 3 years old. The doctor heard wheezing and gave me a nebulizer, I got better and everything was fine for many years. Then I got symptoms of shortness of breath when I was around 12, doctor gave me inhalers, like Flovent, Advair, and they helped. The thing is my Spirometry test result is very high. I have 'super lungs' according to the doctors. But I still have such a hard time breathing. Well going back, I was fine after a few years and then got the symptoms again a few years ago, when I was around 22. I get this feeling I cant breathe all the way in and that I will suffocate. I also start coughing for such a long time I needed a steroid shot. The thing that helped was Symbicort, it took away the symptoms but my current specialist said that with my test results, its not likely asthma. Then what is it?! I also have nasal congestion that gets very bad and sometimes goes to my throat that will make me start coughing. If anyone can please help me figure out what is going on that would be a life saver. I've been dealing with this for many years and want to really know what is going on with me. Is it asthma? Is it something else? Am I going crazy? Please help! To add to this, I have problems eating wheat/gluten. I get constipation and bloating and it gets worse when I eat those things. Also started when I was little and the tests for celiac were negative. Guess everything is negative for me, but I still have problems. Its driving me nuts.
3 Responses
746512 tn?1388807580
You need to ask for a special test (the golden standard in diagnosing asthma) - methacholine challenge.  It measures how reactive your lungs are to a substance called methacholine - asthmatic patients react at a much lower dosage than normal people.  There can be other lung problems that cause similar symptoms even if it is not directly asthma.  

Regular inflammation can cause lung problems to slowly build up and cause problems - symbicort would still help with this because steroids lower any cause of inflammation and the other ingredient (forget what it is called) widens the lungs and allows more air in.  

Your symptoms sound exactly how I started with my lovely journey.  I also test negative for celiac disease but over the last year and a half I have determined how extremely allergic I am to wheat (however not spelt and kamut so it is not a gluten issue but another protein), let's just say I took ONE advail liquid gel and was super sick for three weeks - guess what? The gel cap is made from a wheat derivative but their website says they are gluten free .....   My naturpath even is super confused why I am not celiac because I have almost every symptom.

Now, I did not start with that strong of a reactive, I live in North America and ate wheat at almost every meal!  It started with tight lungs and asthma like symptoms that slowly progressed to the point I had three daily medications and 2 different rescue inhalers and still using pred tapers every so often for bad flare ups.  My chiropractor convinced me to try dropping dairy and it made a huge difference for the mucus production (sinuses, lungs everywhere).  I then had that methacholine challenge test from a pulumologist and it came back negative, wtf?  I have asthma symptoms!  He got me on a bunch of vitamins (best one was NAC which helps to break down mucus), I also decided it was time to try a naturopath and see if anything could help .... She immediate came up with the wheat allergy in testing and I slowly tried to cut down (took about a year, wheat is in everything and I mean everything), my breathing got better and better and I was able to stop ALL the asthma meds.

Now, do I still get asthma symptoms - yes and still have a rescue inhaler.  My lungs react at the tiniest amount of wheat - in food or in the air - I do react if I spend too much time near the bakery areas in grocery stores.  My lungs also probably are a bit damaged from all the inflammation and my adrenal system is not great because of all the steroids I took.

Moral of the story - if you know wheat bothers your stomach, it is likely also causing problems in your lungs.  No matter what the celiac tests say - your body cannot deal with wheat.  You need to cut it out from EVERYTHING - watch sauces and treats they like to hide wheat in a lot of things, even lotions and lip balms can have wheat protein in them as I unfortunately have found out.  No cheating either, it takes me over a month to have all the inflammation settle out of my body after a small lapse and longer depending on the amount of wheat consumed.  

Let me know if there are any other questions and good luck :)
Avatar universal
Thank you for your comment!
I have had the methocoline challenge test done once before like ten years ago. It came back negative, but the pulmonologist still said I have asthma. My current pulmonologist would like me to do it again and I have it scheduled in a few weeks. Im off all inhalers right now and am just on singulair and a nasal spray. So far im okay however I get symptoms much easier than when I was on the daily inhalers. I will talk to him about my sensitivity to gluten/wheat. I am sure that might be doing something. I also however get symptoms from dust, mold, cold air, perfume, smoke, etc. Its very confusing. It all sounds like asthma symptoms but so far tests didn't show it. I was the same with the celiac test, I have symptoms but the test was borderline. Maybe I am the same way with the asthma. We will see, I just want to know whats going on and feel better.
7976661 tn?1395924426
Methacholine challenges have a small chance of resulting in false negative. Commonly pulmonologists will order either Mannitol challenge or cardiopulmonary exercise stress test to determine if your lungs are reactive when they really believe you do have asthma, but want definitive data to prove it.
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Asthma Community

Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Find out what causes asthma, and how to take control of your symptoms.
Find out if your city is a top "allergy capital."
Find out which foods you should watch out for.
If you’re one of the 35 million Americans who suffer from hay fever, read on for what plants are to blame, where to find them and how to get relief.
Allergist Dr. Lily Pien answers Medhelp users' most pressing allergy-related questions
When you start sniffling and sneezing, you know spring has sprung. Check out these four natural remedies to nix spring allergies.