Recommendations for Private Asthma Clinic

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  • Recommendations for Private Asthma Clinic
  • Premier Icon readikus
    Subscriber

    Hi,

    I have been having a number of on going asthma problems recently, and whilst the NHS have been taking it seriously and are referring me back to the hospital, they are also rather slow. So I have started looking into going private to get

    According to the charts, my peak flow chart for someone of my height/age (5ft 10/32), I should be around 635, yet I am only blowing around 400-450 (the equivalent of an 85 year old). To try and stablise the problems, I took a 2 week course of strong steroids, and had yet another lung function test this morning, which showed a significant reduction in lung power. Somewhat concerning, considering they usually prescribe 1 week’s worth of those steroids to people after a major attack!

    Anyone had similar problems or experiences with private asthma clinics?

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    If you’re happy with the consultant you have via the NHS (but not the timescale you’re being seen in) then just find out if they have a private clinic locally and use that.

    eyerideit
    Member

    You could maybe try exercising your lungs these are meant to be brilliant.

    http://www.powerbreathe.com

    Have a friend with asthma – load of family on his dad’s side died from it, he woke up in hospital numerous times after serious attacks – nowadays, he’s a veggue, avoids processed food & sugar, eats all organic stuff. No meds, inhalers steroids, or anything else, and no more attackes.

    Premier Icon readikus
    Subscriber

    wwaswas – good call.

    eyerideit – thanks for the suggestion. I have been looking at Powerbreathe for a while, however I am spectical of it due to the lack of positive scientific evidence for it from anyone other than the person who started the company. Have also been told that the devices can make asthma worse, so I am holding off that option until later. Do you know anyone who has used one who also suffers from asthma?

    Premier Icon readikus
    Subscriber

    Have a friend with asthma – load of family on his dad’s side died from it, he woke up in hospital numerous times after serious attacks – nowadays, he’s a veggue, avoids processed food & sugar, eats all organic stuff. No meds, inhalers steroids, or anything else, and no more attackes.

    This interests me massively. One of the big things I think I need to be able to identify is what triggers the asthma. Been veggie for 11 years, but still have a reasonable percentage of processed food. Might be worth trying a few weeks of purely organic food and monitoring my peak flow. Mind you, a private medical clinic might be cheaper 😉

    kevin1911
    Member

    Don’t think my peak flow has ever been more than 450 in the 20 odd years I’ve had one. Just presumed it was how things are. Is there really anything that can be done?

    I tried a powerbreathe a few years ago and must say I did feel that it made an improvement but then came down with a hideous chest infection. Not sure if it was coincidence or if there were lurgies growing in the thing, but haven’t used it since.

    willyboy
    Member

    I have a really low peak flow but have run a marathon, have completed the helvellyn tri and done the kielder 100. I also used to do lots of road racing too. Don’t worry about your peak flow too much, its not really that much of an indicator.

    The best thing you can do is to do plenty of exercise (swimming is best i find) and minimise all triggers as redikus says (carpets/ pets/ dust mites etc); get a good vacuum cleaner :D. I practically don’t take my inhaler now. Also not being overweight/ overeating and not drinking too much alcohol helps more than you think.

    Premier Icon readikus
    Subscriber

    willyboy – I mean this most sincerely – but do you have any medical qualifications? Aerobic fitness is generally based on how your body handles oxygen – the more you can process. So an increased peak flow leads to increased oxygen uptake, thus hills are climbed quicker, surely?

    I too have completed Kielder past 3 years, Strathpuffer solo, been on the podium at D2D, and typically train 12-18 hours per week, so I am not really sure more exercise would work.

    Unfortunately asthma is a condition that affects people in different degrees. Whilst some fortunate people can overcome their symptoms with exercise, the last time I rode without taking my inhalers for a few days gave me a massive attack and needed to see a doctor.

    willyboy
    Member

    No i’m not medically qualified, but a peak flow test isn’t a measure of fitness. Peak flow is about getting maximum air volume out of your lungs fast; you would be better looking at a VO2 max test – this will be a better indicator of your fitness level.

    I’m not suggesting you do more exercise/training, i’m just saying that swimming will be very beneficial to lung strength/ conditioning.

    eyerideit
    Member

    readikus, I grew up with asthma, from the age of 3 or 4 due to a bought of pneumonia, so I’ve had it all my life.

    To make things worse I smoked from my late teens to my early 30’s as well. After university I moved to London to work, smoked, went out ‘on it’ at weekends (so 20+ fags on an all nighter, then weed, booze and more fags for the remainder). The one positive thing I did was commute to work by bike wearing a Respro mask. I rode the main roads from Tottenham to Oxford Circus 8/9 miles each way so they were plenty of exhaust fumes.

    Within 6 months I stopped using my inhalers, still smoked etc but when I drew a breath I could feel my lungs filling with air (you know the good strong pulls you get after your inhaler kicks in). I’ve had stinking chest colds, pleurisy over the last 15 years, but never had to get a prescription for inhalers. I’m sure it’s down to riding with a mask and the extra work my lungs had to do to draw air in.

    Apart from ride with a mask I did everything that would increase the use of preventative drugs. I lived in a huge dirty city, smoked, spent my weekends in night clubs/pubs and generally abused myself as much as my mates.

    So I can’t vouch for powerbreathe but I know that restricting my airflow and making my lungs work harder certainly helped me. They just seem like they could work, the same as wearing a mask did for me.

    But as you’ve said everyone is different, so what worked for one may not for another.

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    Willyboy – Not sure you are right there.

    When I had Pneumonia last year, and Asthma like symptoms post infection, my peak flow went down to about 250. Its now back up about the 600 mark.

    When I asked the questions about what I could do to improve, all the docs said pretty much nothing as you have what you are born with. In fact it peaks quite early in life then steadily goes down.

    meehaja
    Member

    Having read this post, I’m not sure i can add much of value as im not asthmatic.

    peak expiratory flow rate is a measurement of volume of air that passess through airways at speed. Obviously asthma obstructs bronchial airways so a reduced pefr is indicative of narrowed airways. Like many medical tests, the numbers themselves are of no value. What is important is the number comparable to your normal figure, for example if you normally blow 400 when you wake up and today you blew 320, you know yours on for a bad day! Pre and post salbutamol administration should give you a good idea of how effective drugs are on you and can affect dos based on pefr given at times of reduced lung fun tion.

    to address your original question, have you considered a respiratory physiotherapist? As an active person (i assume you like riding bikes and stuff!) this puts doe special strains on your respiratory system and as such your treatment will have different requitements than a more passive person. Testing under strain and treatment management that allows you to carry on exercising may require more specialist attention?

    hope that all makes sense, stupid windows phone means i cant read what i typevery well!

    Premier Icon mattjg
    Subscriber

    nothing practical I can say other than: wheezers of the world unite, we have nothing to lose but our puffers!

    @readikus, best wishes for recovery, when you’re well you could try singlespeeding, it reaches parts of your lungs that haven’t seen oxygen for decades, it’s certainly brilliant airflow exercise

    Premier Icon gibber
    Subscriber

    I’ve had asthma since I was a small kid. As soon as they got the diagnosis my parents stuck me in a swimming pool to help strengthen my lungs (my dad has asthma too, so they took it seriously). I also played in brass bands until I was a teenager.

    This means I’ve got a silly high peak flow (650-680 – yes high enough to make the nurses look at me like I’ve cheated). BUT if I get a chest infection I’m like a 90 year old – really can’t breathe, blue lips, dizzy due to lack of oxygen.

    So there’s a difference between chest muscle strength (which the powerbreathe trains) and oxygen uptake (V02 max) and I guess everyone is different.

    I’ve always found the NHS to be good – but I give the doctors a good questioning, so if you go private, make sure you get your money’s worth. Ask for an allergy test to check what triggers the asthma. Dust does it for me – when I moved house recently I couldn’t breathe right for about 3 months as we’d kicked up all the dust in the house (and had to hoover the hell out of the carpet to get rid of it). Cold air under heavy exercise isn’t too good for me either.

    disclaimer – I’m not a medical doctor!

    Premier Icon readikus
    Subscriber

    Hi,

    Thanks for all the comments. One thing I missed off the original is that I have had all the usual allergy tests, and they have been taking the measurements using a full lung function test – not just peak flow.

    I also forgot to mention I was interested in recommendations for an asthma clinic run my certified medical professionals, not STW subscribers, but I thank you for your enthusiasm. I will now try taking up smoking and licking the pavements of London in an attempt to improve the situation.

    readikus – Member

    This interests me massively. One of the big things I think I need to be able to identify is what triggers the asthma. Been veggie for 11 years, but still have a reasonable percentage of processed food. Might be worth trying a few weeks of purely organic food and monitoring my peak flow. Mind you, a private medical clinic might be cheaper

    Yeah – I don’t believe he ever identified anything specific, though dairy & meat are top of the list in terms of what he avoids, and processed sugar as much as possible. Certainly worked for him, but as you say, triggers will vary from person to person, and it’s not easy to cut out everything.

    kevin1911
    Member

    There seem to be all sorts of theories about what foods trigger it. Dairy, processed carbs, gluten etc etc. I get really frustrated that there doesn’t seem to be have been much progress with treat and/or trigger identification in the last 10 or 20 years. In the grand scheme of things it surely can’t be that complicated? Same thing applies to eczema.

    Premier Icon Nipper99
    Subscriber

    I have had asthma on and off since childhood. I recently saw a respiratory physio at Morriston (Swansea) – highly recommended, who looked at posture etc – tight pecs meant I was shallow breathing esp during exercise, also found out I have a hiatus hernia which impeades diaphram movement again when exercising – all sorts of other underlying causes tacked onto asthma

    Premier Icon rosscopeco
    Subscriber

    OP. Don’t give up. I’ve just turned 40 and after 25 years of trouble free sports (Semi Pro Rugby, Climbing, Canoeing, running, cycling) my childhood asthma can back in late September. I ‘thought’ a wee chesty cold was basically taking it’s time in clearing, but after 3 doses of AB’s it was still lingering away.

    I eventually cashed in on my employers private medical cover and am now on a powder steroid inhaler 4 x times a day. I gave loads of blood samples and the results came back saying that my tolerance to dust mites is basically zero. (Mrs Rossco loved that one…the letter from the clinic is now framed in my man cave :lol:)

    I was getting really down about how long I was taking to get over things but after seeing the private medical Doc it’s all about ‘controlling’ the triggers. The above advice is all good and worth considering and at the very least gives you some options. I’d go with the above suggestion from wwaswas and enquire if the NHS Doc does private work.

    As for lung capacity…mine was also in the lower 400 when the Doc tested it, I don’t know what it was before this all happened so I can’t benchmark it. Regardless and TBH, I’d just get the head down and give it your all. Despite my ‘condition’ I’m making steady incremental improvements on all my PB times.

    there are some great respiratory consultants out there so the best way to find out whats near you is to look on your local private hospital website – that should give you an idea of who is available.

    The diagnosis of asthma is not based on maximum peak flow but of change in peak flow. the common test is to measure peak flow morning (when typically it is lower) and in the evening. a 20% or greater diurnal variation in readings is taken to be an indicator of asthma. if something else is the trigger (exercise/allergy) then the measurements should be taken when the symptoms have been triggered. so better to look at the change rather than a solitary peak flow rate

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