Desparate for diagnosis

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Hi there, I have been reading everyones experiences and as I am now so desperate for help felt I should see what people suggest. 16 years ago, when I was pregnant with my 3rd child I developed wheezing, breathlesness and coughing. I was started on asthma treatment. Over the years I have progressively got worse, numerous courses of steroids and antibiotics which as they are only a 5 day course don't seem to be long enough to really have any benefit! sad 2 years ago I was finally referred by my GP to a respiratory specialist at local hospital. All he did was put me on seretide and montelukast - which gave a short term improvement in my condition. A year ago I was desperate, every day I cough up phlegm, sticky mostly white but sometimes green stuff, I have had 2 hernia ops, the hernias I know are caused by the coughing and I now have 2 more hernias. I have for the last 10 months been seeing a Thoracic consultant who initially I thought seemed OK but now I think he must be blind or stupid! He has put me on omeprazole to treat the heartburn that I get, eventually decided to do blood tests and a broncoscopy which found bacteria and fungus on my lungs. Then after more blood tests and a CT scan has dismissed me for 3 months to see how I go as he thinks at the most my bronchiectasis is very mild. I totally disagree with his diagnosis and don't know what to do next. Help!! This is really affecting my life badly I cannot work anymore, find going out socially embarrassing as I cough at the slightest thing and I'm so tired and my ribs ache from coughing. :cry:

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  • Posted

    I am sorry to hear about your bronchiectasis and in my experience Consultants are not that good sometimes in treating this disease. I too have asthma and bronchiectasis which was described as 'mild'. Since bacteria and fungus have been identified have you been treated with antibiotics and antifungal drugs?

    Do you submit sputum samples to see if the infection has returned?

    There are also several treatments which help reduce lung inflammation,open up the airways and thin out the mucus.

    Physiotheraphy is useful to clear out the mucus.

    I take the following treatments:

    Seretide inhaler to open up smaller airways and reduce inflammation.

    Spiriva inhaler to open up larger airways.

    Mucodyne tablets to thin out the mucus.

    Acapella and Flutter hand held mucus clearing devices.

    Continuous antibiotics to keep lung infection at a low level

    Physiotheraphy twice a day to clear mucus from lungs

    You may of course not need all of these treatments but I have reached this point after having had bronchiectasis for many years and many hours of carrying out internet searches and making myself a nuisance at the doctors surgery! Keep bugging your Consultant/Doctor because improvement is possible.

    Hope this helps and let me know if you want more info

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  • Posted

    Sorry forgot to add that the most important improvement I made was going from intermittent antibiotics to continuous. The sputum samples do not always show that there is infection present even though you might be feeling ill with tiredness and lethargy. This is a common limitation of the sputum test and I would go on how you feel rather than test results to determine if there is infection present.I had about 10 sputum tests last year and only got one positive result but only felt well when going to continuous antibiotics.

    All the best

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  • Posted

    smile Thank you. I've seen my GP and was prescribed a 10 day course of antibiotics as well as I have been put on mucodyne. Also referred for physiotherapy and to some respiratory nurses too. At last I'm getting somewhere. A shame my consultant didn't do something like this sooner. Back to see my GP on Thursday to find out results of sputum sample.
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  • Posted

    My mother got post nasal drip after 3 courses of antibiotics destroyed her gut bacteria and led to GERD (gastric-esophegal reflux disease), which meant she had sticky phlegm on her vocal chords constantly, worse at night.. ENT department could not see link to acid reflux and phlegm/mucus overproduction - I asked a chemist what I should give her for GERD/acid reflux, and they said Gaviscon. One mouthful and my mother's PND/mucus disappeared. I also get her to take acidopholous/digestive enymes as recommended by a homoepath, who says you should always take a 2 week course of enzymes following antibiotics as they destroy all good gut bacteria as well as the infection they aim to treat. GPs are now beginning to recommend the same, or at least probiotic yoghurts etc to restore the stomach's bacteria - otherwise it needs to produce extra acid to digest food, hence acid reflux, and excess mucus production in response.... my theory is that this is the body's way of preventing acid entering the lungs, by preventing it rising beyond the windpipe....but then i'm no doctor!! I do notice that I get a phlegmy cough myself if I drink something really acid such as black coffee, and antacids cure this. ..
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