Tags: allergies, asthma, drugs, expect, health, heard, medications, methacholine, mondaywhat, prescribed, reading, sounds, unpleasant
Methacholine test on Monday...what to expect?
I've never heard of this kind of testing until it was prescribed to me. I did some reading about it and it sounds rather unpleasant. So, I'm going to be pumped with chemicals that intentionally make me unable to breathe at least three different times? How long does this loss of breath last, or will I be given something to counter it? Is there any way I can be allergic to the chemicals used?
I apologize for asking what probably seem like silly questions, but I freak out badly when I can't breathe, even if the doctor is right there beside me. I want to do this so I can find out if I actually have asthma and get on medication to control it, but I am not looking forward to having an asthma attack induced.
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- 7 Comments
- It isn't bad. The chemicals don't have a taste, and they measure your breathing carefully. If you *do* react - and not everyone that is eventually diagnosed with asthma does - they give you a fast acting medication (usually albuterol, I think) right away. They don't allow you to have serious breathing difficulties - don't let things progress that far.
As an FYI - the technician and my pulmonologist - told me that the methacholine challenge will not diagnose certain types of asthma. I have been diagnosed with nonallergic asthma; my tests were within normal range.#1; Wed, 19 Dec 2007 18:52:00 GMT
- I've never heard of non-allergic asthma, but I checked it out and I'm wondering about the possibility of my having it. The couple of times I've had a lot of difficulty breathing, I had not been in contact with anything different than what I come into contact with on a daily basis...I really don't think I have allergies. So, if my test results appear normal, will I be given further testing, or will I be told I'm fine and be sent home?
How is non-allergic asthma diagnosed if the methacholine test results come up as normal?#2; Wed, 19 Dec 2007 18:53:00 GMT
- They diagnosed me by excluding other possible causes for my symptoms. That meant a test for pertussis (whooping cough), CT scans, blood tests, exam for acid reflux disease, a bronchoscopy. The pattern of symptoms fit the asthma diagnosis, so did the fact that the inhalers seem to help. Nonallergic asthma is not an easy diagnosis or treatment. You need a good pulmonologist.#3; Wed, 19 Dec 2007 18:54:00 GMT
- Is the treatment the same for non-allergic asthma? For example, a friend of mine has allergy-related asthma and he is on something called Flovent. Would I possibly be prescribed the same thing if I were to have asthma not related to allergies?
Also, the one time I had a period of very difficult breathing, my inhaler didn't seem to help me (I puffed on it 2-3 times every 10 minutes and I still could not breathe, but I did eventually feel better). I have no idea why that occurred - is it possible I developed an immunity to the inhaler? My doctor at home is a family practice physician, so I understand he did not have the power to prescribe me something specifically for asthma. However, he gave me an albuterol inhaler and had me use it as if it were a long-term medication (eight puffs a day - two puffs every 4 hours), which I found out is quite a lot for a rescue inhaler.
But I found I don't need my inhaler nearly as much as was prescribed - in fact, I've only used it twice in the last month (was originally given the 'puff 4xdaily' directions about 3 months ago). It didn't feel like it actually helped me either. :confused:
But thank you so much for the information. I feel a little more at ease about the testing - I was just very scared that the doctor was going to induce a full-fledged asthma attack and let me lay there gasping while jotting down stuff on a notepad and wondering if I have asthma or not.#4; Wed, 19 Dec 2007 18:55:00 GMT
- Yes, the meds for any type of asthma are the same: inhaled steroid, spiriva or singulair as a daily med and albuterol or naponex as a rescue med. I would imagine most people have non-allergic asthma, although even it can be exacerbated by allergies. Mine is that way. Since my allergies are pretty well under control, it's rare that they cause a problem with my asthma. I assume you're now going to a pulmonologist? If not, you really should.
Good luck.#5; Wed, 19 Dec 2007 18:56:00 GMT
- Some people have asthma that is triggered by things like acid reflux and chronic sinus drip - I do, so I also take meds for those conditions - helps to control the asthma.
I use xopenex as a rescuer - this is newer, a bit more pricey than the older rescuers. But it doesn't seem to have the side effects of the original albuterol.
I also use a long acting bronchodialtor - Serevent. So...your doc may have to experiment to find meds that work for you...
(I just had a mental picture of a patient with a methacholine induced asthma attack, gasping for air, while the technician cold heartedly takes notes..."ahh. she's still alive. hmmm. how many more drugs should I give her?" It really isn't like that at all. Honestly. Just be sure to follow the instructions about backing off on any meds you are using - you need to do that for a period of time before the test).#6; Wed, 19 Dec 2007 18:57:00 GMT
- Thanks for all the information again.
Unfortunately, the test I was supposed to have today never happened. I scheduled my appointment three weeks ago, only to find out when I arrived this morning that there was no one available in the pulmonary lab to do the test :mad:. Also, there was a conflict because my registration paperwork said NO methacholine testing (PCP test instead, whatever that is), and my prescription said specifically methacholine testing, NO PCP.
Soooo, I have to wait another few weeks before I can get treatment. Thankfully, I'll be going back home for my school break and I'll be able to go to a competent hospital. I'm so glad what I have is not severe, because I would be SOL right now.#7; Wed, 19 Dec 2007 18:58:00 GMT