* Do our loved ones & friends KNOW ?
* Note: Taken from Health Sciences Institute e-Alert – Melissa Young – 1/23/17
After recovering from a lung infection several years ago, Becky Hollingsworth started to suffer from shortness of breath.
Her doctor said he knew what it was. The 72-year-old from Ontario, Canada had “post-pneumonia” asthma.
Only she didn’t. Actually, she didn’t have asthma at all.
Hollingsworth is just one of an untold number of patients — of all ages — who have been misdiagnosed and immediately put on risky prescription drugs to treat a condition they never had in the first place.
And when you hear one of the big reasons why this is happening so often, you may not believe it.
Waiting to exhale
For four years, researchers from the University of Ottawa carefully studied and monitored over 600 Canadians who had been told by their doctors they had asthma.
And they found a shocking 33 percent were misdiagnosed as having the lung disease.
Dr. Shawn Aaron, head of respirology at the university and lead investigator of the study, said that the big take-away is that many of these patients were “misdiagnosed because they’re not being properly investigated to begin with.”
In other words, it appears that a whole lot of doctors are coming to a snap decision that patients are suffering from asthma based on a cough, wheezing or shortness of breath. And then zipping them off prescriptions for drugs just as fast.
But while there is a simple and fast diagnostic tool, called a “spirometer,” that measures how much air you can blow out of your lungs, many doctors don’t use it. Dr. Aaron believes that’s because they either don’t know how to do the test or just don’t have the time.
As he commented, before anyone would be diagnosed with diabetes, they would have their blood sugar tested. Well, the same logic applies in diagnosing asthma.
And the consequences of being told you have the disease are huge. Drugs commonly prescribed include steroids, which have loads of side effects that include fungal infections, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, eye diseases such as cataracts and glaucoma, and even diabetes.
In addition, bronchodilators used to open up airwaves can cause anxiety, tremors and a rapid heartbeat.
As I said, the research done to determine that these patients didn’t have asthma was very extensive. For example, first, all test volunteers received a spirometry test. Those who tested negative were given an asthma trigger. If they didn’t react to that, their medications were tapered off and eventually they stopped taking the meds altogether and were tested again.
And if you’re wondering what was really wrong with all these patients, their actual conditions ranged from seasonal allergies to heartburn — with 28 percent having nothing wrong with them whatsoever.
Only two percent were found to have other serious conditions such as heart disease.
So, if you’ve been diagnosed with asthma, Dr. Aaron says there are two very important steps you need to take.
#1: Insist on a spirometry test to make sure you’re not treating a condition you don’t have.
#2: If you do in fact have asthma, and it’s under control, ask your doctor to reassess your condition and find out if it’s possible to wean yourself off of any drugs.
That also jibes with practice guidelines stating that if asthma is well-controlled for three months doctors should always reassess a patient with the goal of cutting down on drugs whenever possible.
Obviously, there are many reasons why you may be having episodes of wheezing and trouble breathing, asthma being just one of them. Also, children with mild asthma frequently outgrow the disease entirely, and even adults often go into remission.
Right now, around 25 million in the U.S. have been diagnosed as having asthma, with the numbers on the rise.
Imagine if just a fraction of those cases were misdiagnosed! We may never know how many patients are now taking incredibly dangerous drugs for no reason at all.
To Breathing Easy,
“Asthma may be misdiagnosed in one out of three adults: Study” Katrina Pascual, January 18, 2017, Tech Times, techtimes.com