Avatar universal

Asbestos Exposure

Dr. Parks,
I am writing a new post as there was no way to replay to your previous resaponse. Old Name Nar70
I previously wrote" on sept 18th 2013. (Sorry so lengthy)

"I'm male 43 and in good health. I came in contact with asbestos during a home renovation 2 months ago.. I removed approximately 7 feet of insulation. Immediately after I felt something in the back of my throat which made me cough. It was gone by the next day. Following that I experienced burning in my throat and chest that lasted for several weeks. It comes and goes for a short period of time This prompted me to go my doctor and get checked out. I had a complete physical, EKG, blood work and a chest x-ray. All came back good. I did have some chest pain and the doctor gave me Omeprazole for acid reflux.  Went to the Pulmonologist and all tests were normal. Both my DR and  Pulmonologist said not to worry as my exposure was brief.
-I still have chest pains occasional
-Burning sensations in chest area..
-After waking from a nap heart rate is elevated.
-Sometimes a hoarse voice.
-Flutter in my throat.
The above seem consistent with some Mesothelioma symptoms.
Could Pleural thickening be happening to make my chest hurt?
My doctor said  the above could be due to anxiety, but the pessimist in me thinks otherwise. I am going to see the cardiologist next week and we will see what he says.
I understand that asbestos related illnesses take years to develop but could these be precursors of what is to come or could I be a special case and my brief expose get me sick so soon. Hopefully I will never get sick, but I am extremely worried and have been since I was exposed. A constant worry and internet searches. I've been reading about acute exposure but really haven't found much...Is this going to get worse...better or kill me...

Thanks for your thoughts"

Your Reply;

Asbestos and other dusts can be quite irritating to your nasal passages, trachea (throat) and airways in lungs.

The lag between the time of exposure to asbestos and the development of pleural thickening or mesothelioma is years (>10-20 on average). So, with a normal chest xray, it is very unlikely that pleural thickening is associated with your symptoms.

Have you been evaluated by the cardiologist?

How are you doing?

~ Dr. Parks

This answer provided to you is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. The information presented in this Medhelp.org posting is for patients’ education only. As always, I encourage you to see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

My current response;
Dr. Parks,

Thanks for your reply.

Yes, I have been evaluated by a cardiologist. He said my heart was fine. My Blood Oxygen level was normal, EKG normal. He did not perform a stress test which was kind of odd. I need to reschedule and get one.

Other Doctors seen,

Primary Care Physician – No major issues

Ear, Nose & Throat – No major Issues


                Endoscopy – Gastritis

                Colonoscopy –  Constipation, hemorrhoids

(2) Pulmonologists. The PFT’s were in normal range.

In any event my chest still hurts and I sometimes cannot take a deep satisfying breath. I’m sure my constant worry isn’t helping the matter. All of the doctors I have been to have assured me that this is not asbestos related and there is a latency period, that asbestos doesn’t work like that. I truly want to go with that, but my symptoms still persist and are consistent with asbestos related symptoms. I have spoken with many advocates from particular asbestos related web sites regarding this issue. They all have said the same thing as the doctors, so I am at a loss for what is happening to me and feel that all the symptoms are related to the exposure. Believe me, I don’t want to be sick or any correlation, but the timing is impeccable, no symptoms prior and health was pretty good.

Also, my stomach is always bloated now. I had and endoscopy as noted above and  the “GI” diagnosed gastritis. I have been regurgitating a lot and maybe that is adding to my chest pain. But even when I don’t have to regurgitate the pain is there.  Again, all this post exposure. I don’t remember it being like this prior. On a good note is my appetite has not diminished and my weight remains. “Knock on wood”

My exposure was in July 2013 but still have symptoms. Have you ever heard of anyone getting sick or showing symptoms so soon after exposure. I hope this is not a precursor of what s to come and that it may all in time just go away.. Worried sick over this whole experience.  

I can’t help but notice that any of the other post related to asbestos pretty much involve the same symptoms after brief exposure. The disconcerting part is there are no replies on how the people who wrote the posts are doing now several years after writing their posts. I hope for everyone’s sake, well!

Again, not looking to be sick just trying to find a definitive answer/solution.

Basically after my  exposure. (Not sure if all are related to exposure, but no symptoms prior, that I can recall)

- Chest Pain, sternum, just below, and across chest.

- Cannot take a deep satisfying breath: at times.

- Increased indigestion.

- Bloated stomach.

- Constipation, had C-oscpy all normal, very mild constipation now.

- Burning sensation in throat and chest – very minimal now. Comes and goes.

- Hoarseness, comes and goes.

- Flutter in my throat, I notice when I clear my throat.

- Post nasal drip.

Any thoughts are very much appreciated!

Thank you so much!

6 Responses
1780921 tn?1499301793
There are several factors that are involved in how asbestos exposure affects an individual. These include:

How much asbestos a person was exposed to
How long the person was exposed
The size, shape and chemical makeup of the asbestos fibers
The presence of other lung diseases
Smoking also increases the risk of problems related to asbestos exposure.

Yes some of the symptoms of asbestosis usually include:

Chest pain
Blood in the sputum
Swelling in the neck or face
Difficulty swallowing
Loss of appetite
Weight loss

The time between initial asbestos exposure and mesothelioma commonly has been 30 years or more. But still with that being said I do not think you have anything to worry about. After all the test you have been through I would think a doctor would of found something by now. Just to let you know a lung biopsy, in which tissue is removed by surgery, is the most reliable way to confirm the presence of microscopic asbestos fibers because X-rays cannot detect asbestos fibers in the lungs. But as I said before I do not think you have anything to worry about. You only removed 7 feet of insulation. Hope this helps to ease your mind.

Avatar universal
Thanks for your response..

As of late I am feeling SOB as I can to take a deep breath. It even appears that my fingernails are purplish/bluish very light. Never saw it before. I really hate to say it but I think I am showing symptoms.
I am very scared.

From my previous visits to the doctors they assured me that I could not get sick from my exposure as it was brief. With the way I am feeling now, I think they are wrong. What I can say is that my stomach is always tight and somewhat bloated. Not sure if that has anything to do with it..I am going to a pulmonologist today. I’ll see what he says…

As I type I feel like I cannot breath…With what is going through my head and the way I feel I want to give up…I won’t I’m not like that…But dam, I did not work around this stuff all my life…it was brief…I wish this on no one…You can’t do anything for me, I just need to vent…I’m 43 and I’m scared of what tomorrow will bring if it’s what I think it is…

Avatar universal
Please keep us updated... I am freaking out because I didnt know this stuff was a problem and I pulled up all my flooring in my old house and then in my newer house everyone was telling me it was fine because it was built in 1984 so I pulled those floors up too.  Now later I am reading all of this and freaking out too!!!! I also had a sore throat and drainage and cough after! They seriously need to make this more public with commercials or something because not enough people are aware.  My mom's best friend died of this because her father worked with it.  I am so scared of it!!!
1059521 tn?1432461164
Shallow breaths due to acute panic attacks. Your skin and lips will turn blue and your breath will sound asthmatic. Breath into a paper bag . You're gulping and swallowing a lot of air. Another symptom of anxiety and panic attacks. That's why you feel bloated and are having gastro problems use a straw to drink all your beverages to cut down the amount of air you are swallowing instead of breathing.

You fear the worst and that's normal, but you haven't been able to let it go. You've become fixated on it. It's always in the back of your mind. Your body is getting the signals from your subconscious to react a certain way. Our bodies are very astute They do and learn what we tell them to do and learn... You've been mentally Seeking and searching for symptoms, documenting and chronicling, investigating every kink, spasm, cough, dry irritated sensation looking for comfort by trying to confirm your worst fear.

You've been clenching up your torso like it's been wrapped up by a boa constrictor for 2 years now. It's not mesothelioma, but if you keep telling your body that it is, it WILL listen and manifest itself. Let go. Stop being trapped by your own body.

Get a large medicine ball and lay on it. gently relax your muscles so you can open your chest and diaphragm back up. Roll back and forth loosening your back muscles. Slide to the side, lower your arms until you are on your hands and knees. Slowly stand up. Just stand and be still. Close your eyes and plant your feet. make them a strong sturdy base. have your legs a little wider than shoulder width apart and fell your weight pull down the centers of your feel rooting you into placed. Just relax and breath.
Start the following phase breathing sequence.
When you breath in, let your abdominal muscles relax. Let your belly go. Stop sucking it in to look fit. stop contracting your muscles. Let it all hang out..breathing in, send your breath to your belly button. a steady slow breath. Inhale.
and exhale. a shallow breath should produce a small "buddha belly".
Inhale. Send this breath to the area below your belly button now. exhale. Try sending that air to the area of your back behind your navel now. Try not to let your upper body, expand. relax your shoulders. Don't crowd your ears with them. Let gravity pull them down your sides creating lots of space for your neck. keep your ribcage still but don't tighten your muscles. try isolating your ribcage and only letting your lungs and internal organs control the movements your belly is making.
You should be able to feel your lower back muscles stretch a bit. let them expand all the way down the length of your back down the sides of your ribcage. Like your filling up a long balloon.

Focus on sending your breath to your lower back. during a long 3 step inhalation send the first breath to your tailbone and create room. the 2nd step should fill your lower lungs causing them to push your internal organs forward into your belly.

the final stage of breath should be all you can take in. and just when you think you're full of air, breath in harder and send it into each pectoral muscle until you feel like your circulation is cut off at your collarbone because you're filled with so much breath.

Exhale in reverse order, sending out all the toxins from your upper body, chest and shoulders. Continue to exhale as you squeeze your ribcage inwards and downwards. Pushing it all out and you have no more breath, keep exhaling until that breath you send down to your tailbone is squeezed out in a final push. Keep exhaling as though you were sucker-punched in the gut and your lungs start to burn. Until your body begins to remember how much it loves the taste of sweet, sweet air.

Then, inhale like you've never inhaled before. Suck in all that glorious clean air again and fill up all those new rooms you just made. Keep cleaning "house" in this manner. Just like clutter, you can make room for anything else to enter into your life until you clean out the clutter.
1059521 tn?1432461164
You can't change the past. Living in fear of the unknown isn't living. Nobody knows what the future brings. Enjoy the health you have instead of giving it up for the possibility of illness.
Avatar universal
Hey nar, how is it going?  I had a similar experience and reaction to you and am seeking answers!

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