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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 11:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:25 pm
Posts: 233
Location: Winnipeg
My son has been complaining of "funny" feelings in his chest. He has also described the feelings as 'fluttery', 'heavy' and 'hurting'. At first he only complained at times of stress (for example after a big fight with his brother, or on a trip when he was feeling carsick), and we chalked it up to just that- stress. He's a very sensitive, excitable little kid.

As his complaints became a little more frequent, and seemed to also come with exertion, I thought that maybe it was his asthma. But he isn't coughing, or congested at all, and when he had his allergist appointment 2 weeks ago he passed his breathing tests with flying colors (we didn't mention this then, because it was a new development,and as I said, we thought it was a stress thing). But when I gave him Salbutamol it didn't seem to bring him much relief.

Yesterday his complaints were quite frequent, and he was looking really pale and peaky, and just generally unwell, and I did start to notice that he was also a little short of breath at times. I started to get quite worried and got him into the doctor today (pediatrician). The doctor said that his heart sounded fine (that was my big worry), and thought that yes, it was asthma causing these symptoms, although he couldn't get a spirometer reading to confirm it (DS can't always manage a good blow), and his lungs don't sound congested.

So this is unfamiliar territory for us. His asthma has never presented in this way before, and has never gone from good control to no control so quickly without a virus or something to precipitate it. So I guess this was my very long and roundabout way of asking if anyone else is familiar with asthma presenting in this way...discomfort in your chest, very slight breathlessness, but no coughing, wheezing or congestion? And with mild to moderate stress as a trigger?

_________________
1 son allergic to eggs, peanuts, green peas, chick peas, lentils and tomatoes
(avoiding tree nuts and most other legumes too)
1 son allergic to eggs, and has outgrown peanuts
Both with many environmental allergies, asthma and eczema


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 6:27 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6429
Location: Ottawa
Yes, chest pain can be seen as a symptom. The description is an elephant siting on your chest.
Our daughter never had wheezing associated with her asthma and it's really hard to be aware of it until she was in a full blown attack.
Our daughter is not good at recognizing that her symptoms are getting worse either. I suspect it creeps up on her and/or she just doesn't have great lung function and is used to it?
You should also be aware that there is an increase in asthma attacks towad the end of September. Researchers have notice this but not been able to identify the reason. Their best guesses are that with school starting the individual is introduced to more allergens in the classroom and also suseptible to increased colds as they are in closer contact with more people.

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 8:34 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 12:17 pm
Posts: 246
Location: Niagara region, Ontario
Twinmom,

We have no experience with asthma in our family, and I would imagine if your son has asthma, it is likely that presenting in a different way. However, I thought I would tell you of my son's experience with chest pain, in case the asthma angle does not seem to play out.

A couple of years ago, I noticed my son would play soccer with his hand on his chest occasionally. When I asked him about it, he said he had a cramp in his chest. Then on several occasions, he would complain about his heart racing, and this was often when he was at rest. During these episodes, he would complain that it was hard to breathe. Of course, I was freaked out!! He had a couple of ECG's and also an echocardiogram, but everything was fine. The doctor then did bloodwork and noticed his iron was low. He was put on high dose iron for three months, and now I give it to him a couple of times per month as a precaution. I also give him a multivitamin with iron daily. Since getting his iron levels up, he has had no more episodes of "heart problems". I read on the internet that low iron can cause palpitations. But I also read that some kids just seem to have it and can grow out of it.

Anyway, this may be totally unrelated to what your son has, but if keeping asthma under control doesn't seem to help, maybe you can ask your doctor whether this could be a possibility. Wishing you and your son all the best!

Soccermom


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 12:12 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2928
Location: Toronto
Twinmom,

Newer research shows that stress can be a trigger for asthma and, of course, you mention another possible trigger - exertion.

FYI, in the new issue of Allergic Living mag - out next week - I did a story that explains the "September asthma spike" that Susan refers to.

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 12:24 pm 
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Site Admin

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2928
Location: Toronto
Here's a link to a story about the well-known UK study that found significant stress quadrupled the incidence of asthma attacks. It was originally published in the medical journal Thorax. To find more on it, try Googling: Sandberg, asthma, stress

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/health/healthmain.html?in_article_id=328225&in_page_id=1774

Aside: Could someone remind me how to embed a URL on these boards e.g. so I can just use a word such as "here" instead of a lengthy address?

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 1:10 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:25 pm
Posts: 233
Location: Winnipeg
Thanks for the link to the article. I was aware that big stresses can trigger asthma (when he was little he had tantrum-ed his way to an asthma attack a couple of times!).
Like the article said:

"The children were followed for 18 months, with their parents regularly interviewed about stressful life events, including moving house, births, deaths, trips to hospital, separations and changes in family relationships."

We did have a move about 8 months ago, but since then it's been smooth sailing for us (knock on wood). His chest pain seems to be triggered by mild to moderate stress...like an argument with his brother or misplacing a toy. And school starts for us next week, and he finds school very stressful (:idea: that underlying stress of the school year looming closer is probably what's causing the little things to set him off, duh!). The article mentioned it becoming a vicious cycle, and I think that's where we're at right now. I'm very concerned about how he will do with the extra stress of starting a new school year, and then also adding in all of the viruses that he'll be exposed to? We haven't even hit that September spike yet!

I guess I'm just thrown for a loop, because we've had his asthma under excellent control for 31/2 years, and this snuck up on us quite unexpectedly. For now we have maxed his Flovent (as per his action plan's instructions), and will see if the pains go away. If not we will follow up again more closely with his heart (thanks for sharing your son's experience Soccermom), anxiety etc.

_________________
1 son allergic to eggs, peanuts, green peas, chick peas, lentils and tomatoes
(avoiding tree nuts and most other legumes too)
1 son allergic to eggs, and has outgrown peanuts
Both with many environmental allergies, asthma and eczema


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