Hello all…

I may be suffering from asthma. My doctor thinks it may be acid reflux disease. I dont feel it is that because I have taken the acid reflux medicine for 4 days and nada has subsided. I want some input with symptoms that people feel when they have an attack and all what meds and or supps you take to help combat it.

Here is my symptom. Shortness of breath and very difficult to take a deep breath.

I just went for a high end stress test with an echo and I passed with flying colors so that rules out the heart for now. In my gut I feel it is not acid reflux disease at all.

Any and all help is much needed and appriciated.

Hey! I have had asthma all my life, yeah, difficulty to inhale and being weezy are definite symptoms of asthma…your doctor probably means that the Acid Reflux is stimulating the asthmas attacks. I was getting Heart Burn and it was triggering asthmas attacks in myself because the reflux comes back up and irritates the trachea. As far as acid reflux goes… change your diet… Milk may give temporary relief but it will actually make it worse. The Doctor had me on some Acid reflux pills they were pretty expensive. As far as drugs for asthma, there are alot, the main one tends to be salbutamol(ventalin Inhaler) but theres also a whole bunch of other ones and preventative inhalers(they range in price from 12 dollars to over 100 dollars. Another thing is that there is caffiene in the inhalers and caffien irritates the acid reflux therefor irritating the asthma more… so it can be a shitty deal… Coffee Helps with asthma attack when your in a tight situation… But dont let asthma worry you… Ive had it all my life and I have never let it get in my way.

As an asthmatic, I’ve never heard of a doctor getting mixed up between it and acid reflux disease. Either you’ve got a crap doctor or you don’t have asthma at all.
Asthma will include difficulty in catching a full breath, a feeling of tightness in the chest and wheezing. During an attack, you would have to stop whatever exercise you are doing. It may subside over a period of five to ten minutes unless it’s chronic, in which case it will get worse until treated.
Standard treatment is with a Ventolin salbutomol inhaler. Which incidentally is ‘abused’ by many pro-athletes because it increases your lung capacity, at least temporarily. Aside from inhalers, there are other tablets, up to and including steroids, that have to be taken depending on its severity.

I dont get any wheezing however. Its tightness in the chest and shortness of breath.

I almost had a panic attack and lost it the second time it happened. I didnt know what the hell was going on.

Coffee?!?@ How so?

Right now I cant even yawn because the air wont get down there. I do get some acidity feelings in my throat BUT only after I take a nap during the day. Yeah go figure thats the ONLY time it happens. This is the first time EVER I have been short of breath. I have also developed slight alergies this year, sneezing on the golf course. I’m stumped and it is definitely scary.

Are the over the counter bronchodilators useful for exercise induced asthma or will they make you too jittery?

there is a good chance your doc’s right for several reasons. one, acid reflux (GERD) can simulate asthma. two if your taking a proton pump inhibitor, like protonix,nexium, etc. they can take a couple of weeks to work. three, asthma is a lifelong disease, usually not something that just starts with adulthood. Here’s some other things you can try 1. elevate the head of your bed 15 degrees, this keeps stomach contents from being aspirated while you sleep, and it needs to be your bed elevated not just pillows or a wedge because that will increase intraabdominal pressure and won’t help. 2. avoid caffiene, cig’s, peppermint, carbonated beverages, spagetti sauce. 3. don’t eat anything 4 hours before bed

I have played soccer all of my life including college soccer. I have had asthma (exercise induced) all of my life. I would first get it diagnosed properly and then I would try to find out what triggers it.

Bronchiodialators work well to alleviate the wheezing and shortness of breath but something that has really help me lately is fish oil (EFA’s). It has really helped my asthma symptoms. There is a ton of new clinical research on the subject.

Here is a link to some of the clinical research in well known medical journals:

I wish I would have known about EFA’s in my playing days. It would have helped me out greatly.

Fish oils reduce athletes’ asthma symptoms

Don’t want to criticize ya Ryan, you are right on just about everything you said but you may need to research a few more things concerning your asthma. As such, I can only assume that your asthma is not severe. Hopefully that is the case.

Difficulty inhaling and wheezing are indeed symptoms of asthma, both however are a direct result of the real culprit, which is the inability to expel CO2 from the lungs due to muscle spasms and constriction of the airway.
The inability to take a deep breath is the result of not being able to expel the air already in your lungs (you cant take any more air in if you dont have the lung capacity).

Do you experience coughing prior to when you have these asthma-like events? That might be indicative that it is related to acid reflux. As suggested, I would look at your diet for awhile. Might also look at any allergy triggers that may be present. I didnt catch that you experience any wheezing. That also makes me shy away from an asthma diagnosis.

I have never heard of any asthma medications that contained caffeine, however, there are a lot out there. Maybe Ryan is referring to over the counter medications like Primatene Mist (which I highly advise against by the way).

I currently take ALBUTEROL (Ventolin) and Advair. The albuterol is a fast acting relief inhaler and is relatively inexpensive (depending on your insurance copay). If you can swing some sort of sample from your doctor you may experiment with its effects. The advair is a preventative and theoretically should eventually lead to you not requiring the rescue type inhalers. It is very expensive if you dont have insurance.

In the past, I have also used Theophyllin pills, Vanceril, Intal, Serevent, Pulmacort, and a couple other inhalers that I cant think of right now. All with varying success. The combo I have now seems to control it the best.

While adult onset asthma does occur, I doubt that you have it.

You can do your own internet searches, but here are a couple articles I have found interesting…

Yahoo | Mail, Weather, Search, Politics, News, Finance, Sports & Videos /healthnews?lb= s&p=id%3A59989

Yahoo | Mail, Weather, Search, Politics, News, Finance, Sports & Videos /healthnews?lb= s&p=id%3A59628

Get a second opinion. But, I do agree that a good doctor should know the diffrence between acid reflexs and Asthma.

I have asthma. When I was diagnosed w/ cancer. Symptoms were shortness of breath, trouble breathing especailly when I walked up a flight of stairs, chest pains, night sweats.

Maybe what you could do is keep taking the acid reflux medicine in case thats the cause of your problems. You might also try to get ahold of an albuterol inhaler and see if that helps. This is the most common treatment and it’s cheap. If so, it probably is asthma. You might also consider allergies triggering asthma, although if you’ve never had asthma before it’s unlikely. But not immpossible. Try the albuterol and maybe something over the counter for allergies like claritin, they won’t hurt and you can see if either works to give you an idea of where this breathing trouble is coming from. Keep seeing the doctor, maybe get allergy tests, the lung capacity tests and just keep it up till you find out what it is. I know it suck to not be able to breath and not know why and what to do about it. Good Luck.

Hey, there, PGA. I was doing a search on DGL (Dyglycyrrhizinated Licorice) for you, as it is helpful with acid reflux. However, it seems there is a relationship of sorts between how you breath and acid reflux disease.

Quoting in part, “Those suffering from acid reflux disease, which is related to the inappropriate relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter, will be interested to know that how we breathe may well influence this disease. A study published in The American Journal of Physiology (May 30, 1995), for example, discussed the relationship of partial expiration and hyperventilation on the gastroesophageal junction. The abstract of the study concluded by stating: “The breathing patterns of partial expiration and hyperventilation have significant influence on esophageal motor function. Abnormal breathing pattern may be involved in the pathogenesis of esophageal motor dysfunction.” Another study at the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville concluded that the inhibition of the “crural diaphragm during transient lower esophageal sphincter relaxation may play an important role in facilitating flow across the gastroesophageal junction.” In other words, there is some evidence that an overly tight crural diaphragm (the part of the diaphragm composed of muscular strands that attach to the lumbar spine) causes inappropriate relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter.”

I’ll include the link, I think the topic is worthy of further research.

Re the allergies, I’ve got a recommendation that hasn’t failed me yet. Work your way up to 5-8g of MSM x 2. Start at 2g x 2, next day 3g x 2, next day 4g x 2. You get the idea. The fact that MSM is helpful with allergies is a little known fact. It’s just a case of finding the right dose for you. A fringe benefit is that it’s great for your joints, too.

Don’t take MSM too late at night or you won’t be able to get to sleep. It can be taken with or without food. Buying powder is cheaper than buying capsules. It mixes well with hot or cold liquid.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. Good luck!

TT you really should become a doctor (then again I’m not sure I’d wish that on someone I like).

Rather then trying to get diagnosed over the internet, please find a competent internist, ask them what they think is going on AND WHY. Why do they think it is reflux disease and not asthma or vice versa. Part of diagnosing asthma involves listening to your lungs…and barring some interesting technological innovations, that is not possible for us on the forum.

If you do have asthma, ask about cromalyn. It is a drug that I think is not widely used, but can actuallly prevent attacks.


ScottL, ahhh, but I’d pay a lot more for your advice than I would mine. (grin)

PGA (and everyone else), you can pretty much take anything ScottL says to the bank. He’s my go-to guy when I have questions about supps, health, drugs, mechanisms of action, etc. We’re really lucky here on T-Nation to have as many docs online as we do.

My dad has had a close call with a ephogus (no idea how to spell) tear, and thank god he didnt. but this is a very very bad thing to go through. He had to eat from his I.V in bags, and looked horrible the intire way. He also had very scary “pain attacks” that would lead us into the E.R. Just wanted to let you know whats ahead of you if you dont stop what ur doing and take care of this right now. BTW he and i have had asthma all our lives.

Go Bettis! Asthma hero!

Get tested for allergies. Things like dust mites can trigger it. Have you changed something in your life lately? A job where you’re exposed to stuff can cause asthma or a new pet? The daughter of a friend of mine took up horseback riding w/o telling him. He had a severe reaction to the horse dander that was on her! So, it could be anything like that. Good luck!

TT Glad to see you’re still here!

Everyone thank you for the input and advice. There is a lot to soak in. I need to find out exactly what is going on. Six days on acid reflux (zantac) meds and nada improvement with my breathing.

Some other tidbits. The doc heard no weezing when I saw him last week. I put a call into him letting him know there is zero improvement. I had a chest x-ray done last week and the results should be in today. As I said before the stress test showed nothing wrong with the heart.

Sometimes but very rarely when I would play basketball a few years back I would feel some of the symptoms of asthma, like the tight chest nad shortness of breath. I dont know if that was normal or not. After a few minutes it would subside.

You’re right TT we do have a great little community here. There are some very intelligent people on this board and it is nice to get informative, helpfull and intelligent answers.

Thanks again everyone. I’ll update when I know something new.