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Asthma Comorbidities

A comorbidity is a condition that occurs in addition to a primary illness. For some people, comorbidities make asthma more difficult to control.
What comorbidities do you contend with in addition to your asthma? Share your experience with managing multiple conditions below.

  1. The delayed diagnosis of my asthma caused me months of gasping for air. During this time I started getting severe thoracic backpain.
    The ribs are connected to the intervertebrae discs with ligaments and have joints with the vertebrae discs. I have 3 disc potrusions in my thoracic spine now and one of the is indenting my spinal cord which not only causes a lot of neurological symptoms in my legs, but also symptoms that are very similar to heart problems and stomach ulcer.
    Have been send to hospital with chest pains several times now to rule out a heart attack even though I told the doctor that it's probably muscle spasms due to my back. Now had to have further heart tests to hopefully exclude underlying heart problems.
    Regardless of this, the muscle spasms of my chest feel a bit different then the bronchial spasms but sometimes it all feels the same and I have no clue anymore what's the cause of my pain and or shortness of breath.
    Anyone else developed thoracic spine problems due to uncontrolled asthma attacks?


    1. Hi,


      I'm very curious about similar experiences. I'm getting treatment with facet joint nerve ablations, from a pain specialist.
      I'm suing the hospital for medical negligence. I was left gasping for air for months, because they were so convinced I had anxiety that they didn't even used a peakflow meter and salbutamol to see if I might have bronchospasm. This is when the backpain started. My pain specialist is writing a legal report. However a recent MRI showed that there is more damage then initially thought there was and need to see a neurologist now to determine if an operation is necessary.
      It's a long process but hopefully I or one of my doctors get it under control.
      But that's why I would like to know similar experiences.

    2. All I can do is shake my head. So glad you are advocating for yourself and pushing for the support you deserve. The pain specialist sounds like a long-awaited asset. We're with you! -Melissa, asthma.net team

  2. I have many of the same issues, but my protuding diiscs happened before my asthma. Still have same pain and issues though, often aggravated by moderate ssthma with exacerbations. Been in the hospital several timesto rule out heart problems. I also told EMTs and Drs. It was a muscle spasm. I believe the asthma attacks made the discs worse


    1. Hi Annie,


      Thank you for your reply.
      It sounds very similar to me, telling the doctor that it's probably muscle spasm and the doctor calling an ambulance anyway to make sure I don't have a heart attack.
      Do have many disc bulges and herniated ones before in neck and lower back. So there is definitely a general weakness with my discs. But never had a problem in my thoracic spine. I'm convinced the prolonged ongoing untreated asthma attacks caused my dics to potrude into my spinal cord. The ribs are connected with ligaments to the discs. So excessive breathing will put excessive pressure on the discs.
      One problem leads to another and before you know it your in the back of an ambulance on the way to the hospital again.
      Are you still being send to hospital when you get muscle spasms in your chest? I had an echocardiogram and calcium ct score last week in the hope to rule out heart disease and not being send to hospital for that again. Where I live it can happen that you have to sit and wait in a chair for 24 hours while till the doctors have time and tests come back.

  3. I have a few cormoboditis. I have 2 different types of tumors in the brain. The one I had to get treated with radiation has left me with very rare, seen only in medical school textbooks, complication. I have sleep apnea. Just found out that my brain isn't able to process words anymore, just sounds. (So very little hearing in right ear? I have something wrong with the membrane in the back of my left eye, so going blind. Damn! I have more, but this is making me feel depressed, so I will stop at this for now

    1. Hi again, Bleu, and thanks for your latest response from yesterday. Once again, I hear you and also understand!! After all you've been through, it can take some doing (and some time), to regain your stamina. Keep at it - you will get there!
      Like you, it took me quite a while to recover from both MOHS surgery and radiation. It really knocked me for a loop. But, with the strong support and love of my family, I was able to methodically (and slowly) get myself back together. Now (and for the last 2-4 years), I have stuck with a regular exercise regimen (in the house), and, a vigorous walk on the boardwalk (where I live). I am happy to say I am up to 4 miles now each day. I plan to stick with that.
      You have all our support here at asthma.net.
      You are welcome to 'lurk' about all you like. We'll be here for you as well!
      Warmly,
      Leon L (author/moderator asthma.net)

    2. Your message of encouragement to others is invaluable. Sharing your positivity and reminding others to stay hopeful can make a world of difference in their journeys.

      Keep smiling, keep laughing, and keep spreading your light. Your resilience and positivity are beacons of hope for those around you.

      Thoughtfully, Rebecca (team member)

  4. Hi @DebbyAnn - the dry skin issues you are having are similar to mine. I can't get rid of the horribly dry skin and think it may be medication related (taking a plethora of meds for different comorbidities). I try and sit out in the sun for a half hour to get that vit D activated and it helps the dry skin, believe it or not. I was leery but it started getting better. And dehydration is a major issue here as well. I understand. Winter and the cold makes it especially difficult to manage. But I, too, am using different lotions and trying to drink plenty of water. Hoping you are managing well enough with the exercise for your spinal issues. I am moving a little more and it helps my asthma symptoms and other issues. Thanks for sharing - Rebecca (comm advc)

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