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Asthma and heart palpitations: Palpitations (Fluttering In Chest) And Wheezing


Persistent asthma linked to increased risk for heart rhythm disorder

(FatCamera/E+, Getty Images)

People with persistent asthma could be at 1.5 times higher risk of developing a heart rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation than those without asthma, new research shows.

The study used data collected on 6,615 people in six areas around the country who were followed for nearly 13 years. When the study started, none of the participants had heart disease. Researchers concluded that the 150 participants with persistent asthma – those who required medication daily to control their condition – were more likely to be diagnosed with AFib than those without asthma.

Inflammation is a risk factor for both asthma and AFib, and the study found people with persistent asthma had the highest levels of inflammation. But the research also suggests there may be more than inflammation connecting asthma to an irregular heartbeat.

“We initially suspected that the link between asthma and atrial fibrillation may be explained by high levels of common inflammation markers in the blood at the baseline of the study,” said study author Dr. Matthew Tattersall, an assistant professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. “These inflammation markers are higher in asthmatics and independently predict atrial fibrillation.”

But when he and his colleagues adjusted for those inflammation blood markers, the relationship between asthma and AFib did not significantly change, Tattersall said. That led them to believe “there may be specific unique patterns of inflammation not identified or even other non-inflammatory pathways that may be driving an increased risk.”

Previous studies done in other countries also have found a link between asthma and AFib. One study in Norway, with 54,567 adults, found having asthma was associated with a 38% increased risk of AFib.

The new study is the first in the U.S., according to study authors, and the first to include a racially diverse group of people; 27% of participants were African American, 12% Chinese and 22% Hispanic. The research was published Tuesday in the American Heart Association journal Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology.

At least 5.2 million Americans are living with atrial fibrillation. The condition is marked by a quivering or irregular heartbeat called an arrhythmia. It can cause heart failure and other heart-related complications, as well as blood clots. If a clot leaves the heart and travels to the brain, it can cause a stroke.

People with untreated AFib are nearly five times more likely to have a stroke than those who do not have this heart problem.

Over 25 million Americans have asthma, a chronic disease caused by inflammation in the bronchial tubes, or airways, in the lungs. People with persistent asthma are prescribed daily controller medications to keep their airways from tightening up and prevent coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath or chest tightness.

Patients and doctors need to know about the association between asthma and AFib, said Dr. Marc Miller, a cardiac electrophysiologist and an assistant professor of cardiology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. But he cautioned the study doesn’t show asthma is causing AFib.

“The theory is they both have a common origin – systemic inflammation,” said Miller, who was not involved with the study. “But we don’t know if that is the reason asthma patients get atrial fibrillation or if it’s the therapies being used to treat the asthma that are inducing the atrial fibrillation.”

Tattersall said the connection between the two conditions suggests doctors should be talking to their asthma patients about the importance of heart-healthy behaviors, such as exercise, maintaining a healthy weight and eating a heart-healthy, low-sodium diet.

“Being aware there is this association means we need to help patients focus on these primary prevention things we know we should be doing but that are often the hardest things to do,” Tattersall said. “But they can help with asthma and they can also reduce risk for atrial fibrillation.”

If you have questions or comments about this story, please email [email protected]

Asthma Meds Linked to Heart Arrhythmias in Young People – Asthma

TUESDAY, May 22, 2012 — They halt airflow obstruction by relaxing airway muscles during asthma attacks — thereby allowing the person with asthma to breath easier — but inhaled anticholinergics (IACs) may have a heart rhythm–related downside.

Researchers from the University of Chicago have linked IACs to a heightened risk of heart arrhythmias in young people with asthma. Arrhythmias are irregular heartbeats, and sometimes go undetected. The study was presented today at the American Thoracic Society (ATS) 2012 International Conference in San Francisco.

When they do cause symptoms, arrhythmias might make your heart race, skip a beat or bloop. On the other hand, if your heart beats too slowly, you might feel weak or lightheaded. Certain types of arrhythmia can increase one’s risk of heart failure (if the heart can’t pump blood properly for a long period of time) or stroke (if an irregular heartbeat causes blood to clot in your arteries).

IACs are a go-to treatment for asthma, recommended by National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP) guidelines. While they’re traditionally used in emergency situations, recent studies — specifically a report on the TALC trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine in October 2010 — show their success in routine asthma management.

But that’s not the only anticholinergic-related research out there. Some raise concern about IACs and heart risk in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). U of Chicago researchers wanted to see if the theory held any weight among asthma patients.

“Historically this class of medication hasn’t been used to treat asthma,” explains study author Todd Lee, PharmD, PhD. “That may be changing. We’re expecting to see more use in asthma patients, and we were concerned because of some research in patients with COPD.”

Why did they study young people? “People with COPD are generally older and have a different risk profile,” says Dr. Lee. “We felt if there’s a signal, it may be clearer in kids. We also don’t want to induce harm in kids and adolescents with asthma by giving them these meds.”

Investigating Heart Risks Associated With Asthma Meds

Using records collected by the IMS LifeLink Health Plan Claims Database the researchers looked at new users of controller medications between ages 5 and 24. Excluding patients with history of arrhythmias or congenital heart disease, they ended up with 7,656 cases of arrhythmia and 76,304 controls, roughly 10 controls for each case.

“We were relying on pharmacy records,” says Lee. “While we can’t be sure they were actually using the medications, we know they had a sufficient amount of this medicine on-hand the day they experienced their arrhythmic event.”

Active IAC use, characterized by having the drugs on hand, was associated with a 1.56-fold increase in arrhythmia risk compared with non-active users and non-users, they found. Lee says duration of use and association varied. It could have been a few days or a longer period of time.

Theories about what’s causing arrhythmias is unclear and controversial, Lee says, but while the risk is there, “the actual number of events is quite low.”

“Patients and physicians trying to decide the benefit of using IACs to control asthma have to think of the overall picture. It might be more important to control asthma symptoms than to worry about a small chance of an arrhythmic event,” says Lee.

Why Am I Having Heart Palpitations? 14 Possible Causes


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American Family Physician: “Diagnostic Approach to Palpitations.”

American Heart Association: “Illegal Drugs and Heart Disease.”

Cardiovascular Drugs and Therapy: “Nicotine and sympathetic neurotransmission.”

Clinical Methods: The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations. 3rd edition: “Chapter 10: Palpitations.”

Current Topics in Behavioral Neuroscience: “Nicotine withdrawal.”

Harvard Medical School: “Caffeine unlikely to trigger palpitations in healthy people.”

Johns Hopkins Medicine: “When to Evaluate Heart Palpitations.”

Journal of the American Heart Association: “Consumption of caffeinated products and cardiac ectopy.”

Mayo Clinic: “Heart arrhythmia: Symptoms and causes,” “Heart Palpitations: Definition,” “Heart Palpitations: Symptoms,” “Heart Palpitations: Tests and Diagnosis,” “Heart Palpitations: Treatments and Drugs,” “Hypoglycemia: Symptoms.”

Michigan Medicine: “Premature Ventricular Contractions (PVCs).”

NHS: “Heart palpitations and ectopic beats.”

NHLBI Health Topics: “Heart Palpitations.”

National Institute on Drug Abuse: “What Is MDMA?”

National Institute of Mental Health: “Panic Disorder: When Fear Overwhelms.”

Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology: “The acute effects of daily nicotine intake on heart rate–A toxicokinetic and toxicodynamic modeling study.”

Robert, G. Synopsis of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, 2002.

Thyroid Foundation of Canada: “The Heart and the Thyroid Gland.”

University of California San Francisco: “Blood Sugar & Stress.”

UpToDate: “Epidemiology of and risk factors for atrial fibrillation.”  

Heart Palpitations, Causes, Symptoms, And Treatments

Heart palpitations can cause light pounding, flutters, or skipped beats and they may or may not signal  a serious disease. Knowing the symptoms and your health history will help you decide whether or not to call your doctor.




Heart Palpitations: Stress

Stress is the catalyst for many illnesses and heart problems is one of them. Intense emotions can trigger the release of hormones that speed up your heartbeat. Your body gets ready to face a threat, even if you’re not in danger. Panic attacks are intense bouts of fear that can last a few minutes. Symptoms include a racing heart, sweating, chills, trouble breathing, and chest pain. A panic attack can feel like a heart attack. If you’re not sure which one you’re having, get medical help.


Heart Palpitations: Caffeine

Caffeine has many positive health benefits but can also cause health trouble. For example, too many cups during the day, or very string coffee can lead to heart issues. Caffeine is a stimulant that raises your heart rate. One study found that caffeine from coffee, tea, might trigger palpitationsthem in people with heart rhythm problems.


Heart Palpitations: Nicotine

The addictive chemical in cigarettes and other tobacco products, nicotine raises your blood pressure and speeds up your heart rate. Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your heart. Also, patches and other nicotine replacement products can make your heart race. Palpitations can also be a symptom of nicotine withdrawal, but they should stop within 3 to 4 weeks after you quit.


Heart Palpitations: Fever

When you have a fever during an illness, your body uses energy at a faster pace than usual. This can set off palpitations. Usually your temperature needs to be above 100.4 F to affect your heart rate.


Heart Palpitations: Medicines

Some prescription and over-the-counter medicines cause palpitations as a side effect, including:

  • Antibiotics
  • Antifungal medicines
  • Antipsychotic drugs
  • Asthma inhalers
  • Cough and cold medicines
  • Diet pills
  • High blood pressure medicines
  • Thyroid pills


Heart Palpitations: Low Blood Sugar

Skipped a meal can also lead to palpitations. When your blood sugar level drops, your body releases stress hormones like adrenaline to prepare for an emergency food shortage. Adrenaline speeds up your heart rate.


Heart Palpitations: Overactive Thyroid Gland

An overactive thyroid (called hyperthyroidism) can make too much thyroid hormone. This speeds up your heart so much that you feel it beating in your chest. Taking too much thyroid hormone to treat an underactive thyroid gland (called hypothyroidism) will also rev up your heartbeat.


Heart Palpitations: Heart Rhythm Problems

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) happens when the heart’s upper chambers, called the atria, flutter instead of beating normally. This can signal serious heart issues that can eventually lead to a stroke or heart attack.  Get it checked out fast.


Heart Palpitations: Alcohol

Alcohol can affect your heart. If you drink a lot, or just have more than usual, you might feel your heart beating faster or fluttering. Small amounts of alcohol may also trigger heart flutters even when they only drink a little bit.


Heart Palpitations: See A Doctor

Make a doctor’s appointment if they come more often or you also have symptoms like these:

  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting

Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment


What are heart palpitations?

Heart palpitations are a feeling like your heart is “racing, pounding”, or like you have missed heartbeats. You can feel palpitations in your chest, throat or neck.

Palpitations can happen at any time, even if you are resting or doing normal activities. Although they may be startling, palpitations are not usually serious or harmful, but they can be related to an abnormal heart rhythm.

Symptoms and Causes

What causes heart palpitations?

Heart palpitations can be caused by:

  • Emotions, such as anxiety, stress, fear, and panic
  • Exercise
  • Pregnancy
  • Caffeine
  • Medical conditions such as an overactive thyroid; low levels of sugar, potassium, oxygen or low carbon dioxide in your blood; fever; anemia; dehydration; blood loss and shock
  • Medications such as asthma inhalers and decongestants, beta blockers (taken for high blood pressure or heart disease), thyroid and antiarrhythmic medications, some cough/cold medicines, and some herbal and nutritional supplements
  • Some weight loss or diet pills
  • Illegal drug: such as cocaine and amphetamines (speed)
  • Nicotine
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Sometimes the cause is not known

Symptoms of palpitations are more likely to be related to an abnormal heart rhythm if you have:

  • Significant risk factors for heart disease
  • Heart disease
  • An abnormal heart valve

Are palpitations a symptom of a more serious health problem?

Palpitations may be a sign of a more serious health problem if you also feel:

  • Feel dizzy, confused or lightheaded
  • Have trouble breathing
  • Pass out when you have palpitations

Call 911 right away if you have these symptoms or if you have pain, pressure, or tightness in your chest, neck, jaw, arm(s), or upper back; shortness of breath; unusual sweating; or symptoms that are new or get worse.

Diagnosis and Tests

How are palpitations diagnosed?

Keep track of your palpitations. Note when they happen, how long they last, how you feel and what you are doing when they start. Bring this log to your appointment.

Your doctor will review this information along with your medical history, symptoms, diet and the medications and herbal products you may take. Your doctor will also listen to your heart and lungs.

You may need tests, such as blood and urine tests, electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG), stress test, chest X-ray and echocardiogram (heart ultrasound). You may need to wear a monitor after you go home so your doctor can get more information about your heart and symptoms.

Other tests to check for a heart problem include an electrophysiology study and cardiac catheterization. You may also need to see an ++electrophysiologist++ — a doctor that specializes in abnormal heart rhythms.

Management and Treatment

How are palpitations treated?

The best type of treatment for you depends on what causes your palpitations. You may not need any treatment. If the palpitations are related to certain foods, you should avoid those triggers. If you have heart disease or an abnormal heart rhythm, you may need medication, a procedure, surgery or a device to correct the problem. It is important to keep all follow-up appointments with your doctor.

If your palpitations get worse or suddenly happen more often, call your doctor.


What can I do to prevent palpitations?

Depending on the cause of your palpitations, these tips can help you have them less often:

  • Reduce your stress level (using deep-breathing and/or relaxation exercises, yoga, tai chi, guided imagery) or biofeedback techniques.
  • Avoid or limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
  • Avoid or limit the amount of caffeine in your diet.
  • Do not smoke or use tobacco/nicotine products
  • Exercise on a regular basis (Before you start, ask your doctor what exercise programs are good for you).
  • Avoid foods and activities that trigger palpitations.
  • Control your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.


Doctors Who Treat

Doctors vary in quality due to differences in training and experience; hospitals differ in the number of services available. The more complex your medical problem, the greater these differences in quality become and the more they matter.

Clearly, the doctor and hospital that you choose for complex, specialized medical care will have a direct impact on how well you do. To help you make this choice, please review our Miller Family Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute Outcomes.

Cleveland Clinic Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute Cardiologists and Surgeons

Choosing a doctor to treat your abnormal heart rhythm depends on where you are in your diagnosis and treatment. The following Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute Sections and Departments treat patients with Arrhythmias:

  • Section of Electrophysiology and Pacing: cardiology evaluation for medical management or electrophysiology procedures or devices – Call Cardiology Appointments at toll-free 800.223.2273, extension 4-6697 or request an appointment online.
  • Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery: surgery evaluation for surgical treatment for atrial fibrillation, epicardial lead placement, and in some cases if necessary, lead and device implantation and removal. For more information, please contact us.
  • You may also use our MyConsult second opinion consultation using the Internet.

The Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute has specialized centers to treat certain populations of patients:

Learn more about experts who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of arrhythmias. For younger patients with abnormal heart rhythms:

See: About Us to learn more about the Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute.

Resources & Patient Information


If you need more information, click here to contact us, chat online with a nurse or call the Miller Family Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute Resource & Information Nurse at 216.445.9288 or toll-free at 866.289.6911. We would be happy to help you.

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Diagnostic Tests

Diagnostic tests are used to diagnose your abnormal heartbeat and the most effective treatment method.



Our webchats and video chats give patients and visitors another opportunity to ask questions and interact with our physicians.


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Why choose Cleveland Clinic for your care?

Our outcomes speak for themselves. Please review our facts and figures and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask.

Cardiac Asthma: Overview and More

Cardiac asthma is a term used to describe asthma-like symptoms that can occur with left-sided heart failure, a condition in which a lower chamber of the heart (called the left ventricle) is unable to pump blood efficiently. When this occurs, it can cause respiratory symptoms such as shortness of breath and wheezing that can easily be mistaken for asthma.

Jessica Olah / Verywell

Because the causes of asthma and heart failure are different, a correct diagnosis is vital: If cardiac asthma were to be treated with certain asthma medications, the heart failure may get worse.

Cardiac Asthma Symptoms

The respiratory symptoms of left ventricular failure can mimic those of asthma, particularly in the earlier stages of the disease. They may include:

For some people, the respiratory symptoms of heart failure may be the first or most prominent symptoms. But, more often than not, they will occur alongside other symptoms, some of which may be missed or attributed to other causes, among them:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Persistent weakness
  • Shortness of breath when lying flat or exercising
  • Unexpected weight gain with fluid retention
  • Lack of appetite or nausea
  • Edema (tissue swelling, mainly of the lower extremities)
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Increased need to urinate at night (nocturia)

Symptoms like these, particularly ones that are persistent or worsening, can indicate something other than asthma is involved. Cardiac asthma is especially common in the elderly, nearly a third of whom will present with wheezing when first diagnosed. 

Asthma attacks tend to develop and end abruptly, and the majority of people fully recover with no lasting effects. The chronic, progressive nature of heart failure is such that symptoms like shortness of breath, cough, and fatigue may improve for a short time, but will almost invariably persist until the appropriate treatment is received.


Left-sided heart failure occurs when decreased cardiac output causes fluid to accumulate in the body. The backup of fluid into the lungs (called pulmonary edema) can manifest with breathing problems as the airways and tiny air sacs of the lungs begin to fill with fluid.

While these effects may seem similar to those that occur with asthma, they are instead owed to inflammation and narrowing of the airways.

Certain risk factors also differentiate the two diseases. Broadly speaking, heart failure will usually occur with other chronic health conditions, such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Coronary artery disease
  • A previous heart attack or heart injury
  • Heart rhythm disorders
  • Heart valve problems

Asthma, on the other hand, can affect even the most healthy of individuals.


Because the symptoms of cardiac asthma mimic those of true asthma, misdiagnosis is possible. Aside from the fact that the diagnosis of asthma is complicated, some practitioners jump to asthma as the cause based on symptoms alone. A review of risk factors, medical history, and non-respiratory symptoms can suggest other possibilities.

Even if the initial symptoms point to asthma as the cause, an evaluation of lung sounds using a stethoscope can often differentiate asthma from other conditions like heart failure.

With left-sided heart failure, popping sounds (called rales or crackles) can often be heard when air tries to pass through fluid-filled airways. There may also be a so-called “third-heart sound” in which the two normal heartbeats are accompanied by a vibrating noise as the ventricle fills with blood.

These sounds are not characteristic of asthma. Even during an attack, asthma chest sounds are usually limited to wheezing (a high-pitched whistling noise) during exhalation.

Lab Tests and Procedures

Based on initial findings, your doctor will order tests to investigate further. If asthma is suspected, you would generally be referred to a pulmonologist or pulmonology lab for evaluation with in-office spirometry and other pulmonary function tests (PFTs).

If heart failure is suspected, a number of common lab tests, imaging studies, and procedures can be performed to confirm the diagnosis. You may get these initially or only after pulmonary tests have been conducted and reviewed:

  • B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP), a blood test that detects a hormone released with increased ventricular pressure
  • Echocardiogram, a non-invasive ultrasound test that can visualize how well your heart is pumping
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG), used to measure the electrical impulses during heartbeats to detect irregularities
  • Stress testing, in which your ECG and respiratory function are evaluated while exercising on a treadmill or stationary bike
  • Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a detailed imaging study of the heart using powerful magnetic and radio waves
  • Computed tomography (CT) angiography, a 3-D imaging study using a series of X-rays to map the structure of the heart
  • Chest X-ray, generally less useful in diagnosis but that may help exclude other causes of heart dysfunction

It is important to seek a full and proper diagnosis of your condition whether heart failure or asthma is suspected.

A 2017 study in the journal JAMA reported that no less than 33% of adults previously diagnosed with asthma were, in fact, misdiagnosed. Of the 213 participants in the study, 12 were found to have a serious cardiorespiratory illness.

Because some doctors will presumptively treat mild asthma based on symptoms and non-specific PFTs (like pulse oximetry), you need to intervene if a diagnosis is rushed or doesn’t seem right to you.


The treatment of left-sided heart failure depends largely on the severity of the disease and the degree of cardiovascular impairment. Cardiac asthma symptoms may also be treated, but never in isolation.

The treatment of heart failure typically involves medications to improve cardiac output, reduce blood pressure, and alleviate structural stress in the affected ventricle. This alone can help relieve cardiac asthma symptoms in many people, particularly those with less severe disease.

Drugs commonly used to treat heart failure include:

Cardiac asthma symptoms may be directly treated but generally in those with advanced heart failure. Although some doctors have been known to prescribe short-acting beta-agonists (a.k.a. “rescue inhalers”) to relieve acute symptoms, there is no evidence they are useful in people with cardiac asthma.

People with cardiac asthma who are inappropriately treated with asthma medications run the risk of “masking” the symptoms of heart failure. Moreover, the use of long-acting bronchodilators, often prescribed to people with persistent asthma, may increase the cardiovascular risk in older people.

In more advanced cases, fluid aspiration (extraction with a needle) may be needed to relieve pressure on the heart. Intravenous nitrates (delivered via injection into a vein) may also be recommended along with oxygen therapy.

People approaching end-stage heart failure may need morphine. The drug works by relaxing airways and blood vessels and can significantly relieve breathing impairment.

A Word From Verywell

Cardiac asthma is a misleading term and one that highlights the confusion that can arise when diagnosing asthma-like symptoms. As a symptom of heart disease, cardiac asthma is not treated on its own. It requires the care of a cardiologist able to diagnose, treat, and manage left-sided heart failure. With appropriate care, the respiratory symptoms of heart failure can ease along with the other symptoms.

Heart palpitations – Illnesses & conditions

There are a number of possible causes for heart palpitations. Some of the most common are covered below.

Lifestyle triggers 

Lifestyle triggers can include:

Feeling nervous, anxious or excited

If this is the cause of your palpitations, it’s sensible to try to reduce your stress levels. 

Try relaxation and deep breathing exercises.

Find out more about stress management


If you smoke, giving up is probably the greatest single step you can take to improve your health. 

People in Scotland can get help to stop smoking by calling Quit Your Way Scotland free on 0800 84 84 84 (7 days, 8.00am to 10.00pm) or visiting our smoking section

Drinking large amounts of caffeine

If this is the cause of your palpitations, it’s sensible to try reducing your intake of caffeinated drinks such as tea, coffee, cola or energy drinks. 

Using illegal or recreational drugs

Whether you’ve taken drugs, are thinking of taking them, or are just curious and want to know more, it’s important to know the real facts about drugs.

Find out more on the Know The Score website

Drinking too much alcohol

If you need help now about an alcohol related issue or you just want to chat to someone about your drinking, please contact Drinkline on 0800 7 314 314 (7 days, 8.00am to 11.00pm).

More about drinking alcohol responsibly

Being overweight

For advice on how make healthy changes to your diet, visit Eat Better Feel Better.

Panic attacks

If you experience palpitations regularly and you also have feelings of anxiety, stress and panic, you may be experiencing panic attacks. 

Panic attacks can be very frightening and intense, but they are not dangerous. However, it may help if you discuss these with a health professional.

More about panic attacks


Less commonly, palpitations can be a side effect of some types of medicine, such as asthma inhalers or tablets for a thyroid problem. 

This may be particularly noticeable if you have just started taking the medication. 

Speak to your GP if you think medication may be responsible for your palpitations. Don’t stop taking a treatment without consulting your GP first.

Periods, pregnancy and the menopause

Sometimes the hormone changes that happen during a woman’s period, during pregnancy or around the menopause can cause palpitations. 

These may only be temporary, and are often nothing to worry about.

Medical conditions

The following conditions can make the heart beat faster, stronger or more irregularly, so can be a cause of heart palpitations:

  • an overactive thyroid 
  • low blood sugar level  
  • anaemia (low red blood count)  
  • some types of low blood pressure 
  • infections
  • diabetes
  • dehydration (not enough fluid in the body)
  • a heart problem

Heart specific problems

All palpitations should be discussed with your GP. They might want to do a few tests and ask you some questions to rule out heart problems, especially if you have had a heart problem in the past.  

Some heart specific problems are covered below.


It could be found that you have a heart rhythm problem, also known as arrhythmia. 

Your GP will be able to arrange for you to have an electrocardiogram (ECG) to assess your heart rate and rhythm. This may confirm whether there is a problem, and whether treatment is needed. 

However, often the ECG is entirely normal especially if you aren’t having palpitations at the time. Further tests may then be needed, which can be done by your GP or by your local hospital. 

Atrial fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm problem, affecting approximately 1,000,000 people in the UK. 

It can cause episodes of a fast, irregular heart rate, which can feel like a persistent heart flutter, and you may feel dizzy, short of breath and extremely tired. 

Atrial fibrillation is generally not life threatening, but can be uncomfortable and often needs treating.  

Atrial fibrillation often requires medical assessment. Some people may need treatment to control the condition, particularly if they are at higher risk of developing a stroke.

Find out more about atrial fibrillation

Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT)

A similar heart rhythm problem, called supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), also causes episodes of an abnormally fast heart rate, but the heart rate is normally steady and not irregular. 

Attacks of SVT are usually harmless and tend to settle on their own without treatment. However, if they are prolonged or you feel unwell or experience symptoms such as dizziness or shortness of breath, you should seek help from a doctor.

Pulmonologist Natalya Yurievna Kopovaya spoke about the symptoms and causes of bronchial asthma

Bronchial asthma is a chronic disease of the bronchi. The disease is currently manageable, and with adequate treatment, periods of remission can last for several years. We talked about bronchial asthma with Natalya Yurievna Kopova, a pulmonologist at the National Medical Research Center of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation.

How does bronchial asthma manifest itself?

The main manifestations include an attack of suffocation, with predominant difficulty in exhaling, “wheezing” wheezing, paroxysmal cough, dry or with sputum (more often at night), shortness of breath.With an exacerbation of bronchial asthma, these symptoms may be accompanied by a swelling of the chest, difficulty speaking, drowsiness and a rapid heartbeat. In atopic bronchial asthma, asthma attacks are often accompanied by a runny nose (congestion or watery discharge, sneezing) and itching, especially upon contact with an allergen (for example, when staying in a dusty room, as well as during the flowering period).

Bronchospasm in asthma is reversible, an attack of suffocation can be stopped after disconnection from the “guilty allergen” and under the influence of drugs.After the cessation of an attack of suffocation, the disease itself does not go away.

How common is this disease?

Bronchial asthma affects about 6% of the world’s adult population. In Russia, the prevalence of bronchial asthma is in different regions from 2.6% to 20.3%.

Why does asthma occur?

The main role is assigned to an overreacting to various factors: allergens (house dust mites, pollen, molds, food) and nonspecific irritants (pungent odor, tobacco smoke, exercise, cold air, viruses, bacteria, stress).Chronic inflammation develops in the bronchial mucosa and a tendency to bronchospasm is formed. This feature of the bronchial response to allergens can be inherited and is called atopy. An allergen causes the formation of antibodies. When the allergen + antibody complex affects the cells of the bronchial mucosa, histamine and other biologically active substances are released, which cause an attack of suffocation. This form of bronchial asthma is called atopic; it is often combined with allergic rhinitis.There is also an infectious-dependent form of bronchial asthma, in which there is no clear influence of the external aspect. This form is often combined with chronic bronchitis, has a more severe course, and is more difficult to treat. Sometimes seizures can be triggered by taking medications (eg, aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).

How dangerous is bronchial asthma?

Exacerbations of bronchial asthma can be very severe and life-threatening.In an acute attack of suffocation, which is characterized by rapidly progressing shortness of breath, cough, wheezing, chest tightness, respiratory failure may develop, leading to severe oxygen starvation of all organs, including the brain. If treatment is not started in a timely manner, a serious life-threatening condition may develop – a prolonged attack of suffocation, which cannot be removed within a few hours by using conventional anti-asthma drugs. This condition requires urgent medical attention.

You can make an appointment with a pulmonologist at the Federal State Budgetary Institution NMITs TPM of the Ministry of Health of Russia by calling 8 (495) 790-71-72.

(P Continued. )

Asthma and tachycardia: treatment, diagnosis, symptoms

The most severe consequences of bronchial asthma are failure of the cardiovascular system.Asthma and tachycardia often accompany each other, burdening the patient not only with attacks of suffocation, but also with a rapid heartbeat, which radiates throughout the body and frightens the patient. With a severe stage of the disease, there is a huge load on the heart, which can lead to disability or even death. It is a chronic disease that requires continuous treatment and a specific lifestyle approach.

What is the relationship between tachycardia and asthma?

Only children can be completely cured of bronchial asthma.When diagnosing a disease in adulthood, the patient has no choice but to control and influence the course of the disease.

Indicate your blood pressure

With the right treatment and a responsible approach to their own health, a person can make it easier for seizures and life in general. However, with negligence, a person develops respiratory failure, which each time becomes more prolonged and more dangerous. Asthma attacks contribute to the failure of not only the lungs, but also the heart.

Violations of the frequency and rhythm of heart contractions in asthmatics occurs against the background of asthma attacks. The more severe the form of the disease, the longer the attack of tachycardia lasts and the higher the pulse rises. With respiratory dysfunction, pressure rises in the lungs, and an insufficient amount of oxygen enters the tissues and organs. The cardiovascular system begins to work more actively, compensating for its lack: the heart beats faster in order to pump more blood and provide the body with the necessary amount of air.

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Symptoms of diseases

Often a patient with bronchial asthma comes to the doctor with complaints of fatigue, pain and heaviness in the chest, palpitations. In 90% of patients, sinus tachycardia is diagnosed in parallel with the underlying disease. Symptoms of bronchial asthma in combination with tachycardia include:

  • A sharp increase in heart rate during an asthma attack. A person feels a strong heartbeat, which “gives” to the whole body.
  • Respiratory failure. The patient suffocates, shortness of breath and heaviness in the chest.
  • Swelling, dizziness, weakness.

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Diagnosis of Asthma and Tachycardia

For diagnostics, a method such as auscultation of the heart is used.

It is difficult to diagnose “tachycardia” in bronchial asthma by the symptoms, because the symptoms of the disease are very similar. Therefore, if there is a suspicion of a violation of cardiac activity, the doctor prescribes the following diagnostic methods:

  • electrocardiography – analysis and registration of the electrical activity of the myocardium;
  • auscultation of the heart – listening to sounds during the activity of the heart with a stethoscope;
  • echocardiography – ultrasound diagnostics of changes, diseases and heart defects;
  • X-ray of the heart.

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Treatment of tachycardia in asthmatics

Treatment of an illness that threatens human life must be carried out under the strict supervision of a physician. Self-medication is categorically contraindicated.

Drugs of the group of inhibitors, as well as some traditional medicines, are safe for asthma. They help to reduce the duration of an attack of tachycardia, improve pulmonary hemodynamics, and restore normal heart rate. The most effective medicines are shown in the table:

Hydrolic acid »
Medicines Herbal medicines, tinctures
Ivabradine Hawthorn

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Risk of complications

Tachycardia in an asthmatic can lead to the following consequences:

  • collapse of the lung;
  • thrombus formation;
  • stroke;
  • heart failure;
  • acute respiratory failure;
  • pneumonia;
  • rupture of the lung;
  • frequent loss of consciousness;
  • sudden death.

Most often, asthmatics die precisely because of violations of the cardiovascular system. Therefore, when confirming the diagnosis of bronchial asthma, a person must constantly monitor blood pressure and heart rate. Continuous monitoring of the heart will help, if necessary, to take up treatment in a timely manner, avoiding many complications and increasing the quality and duration of life.

Indicate your pressure

Treatment of bronchial asthma – articles about health

Table of Contents

Bronchial asthma is a recurrent chronic disease that affects the airways. Usually, the pathology is first diagnosed in children and adolescents, but it can begin to develop at any age. Since the disease is quite dangerous, poses a threat to health and life, you should contact an immunologist-allergist at the very first signs of it (after the first attack).


Bronchial asthma in adults and children is a multifactorial disease, its development is due to both internal and external causes. As a rule, pathology occurs against the background of exposure to specific allergens such as:

  • Plant pollen
  • Fungus
  • Animal wool
  • Various food products: citrus fruits, honey, nuts, seafood, etc.
  • Household dust
  • Pliers

Also, the development of bronchial asthma can be provoked by dyes, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, beta-blockers, aspirin, as well as heavy metal salts, polymers, household chemicals, etc.

Environmental factors also play an important role in the development of the disease. Most often, pathology is diagnosed in areas with a high population density, frequent temperature changes, heavy industry, and stagnant air masses.

Even physical exertion and a negative emotional state of the patient can provoke an attack.

For the first time, increased sensitivity of the trachea and bronchi is usually caused by a large number of allergens. In the future, a small part of substances dangerous for a particular patient can provoke an attack.

Symptoms of bronchial asthma

The clinical picture of the disease is characterized by 3 main features:

  • Respiratory Disorder
  • coughing fits
  • remote wheezing

Seizures often occur at night.

Also, signs of bronchial asthma include:

  • shortness of breath
  • panting with inflated nasal wings
  • excited state
  • sweating
  • heart palpitations
  • cyanosis (redness of the integument of the skin)

Before the onset of symptoms of pathology, their precursors appear. After contact with an allergen, the patient may complain of signs of rhinitis, conjunctivitis or pharyngitis (sneezing, nasal secretions, coughing).Only then the patient begins to feel squeezing in the chest. In this case, breathing becomes hard and shortness of breath occurs with rapid and intermittent inhalation and prolonged difficult exhalation. From the side, you can see that a person strains the abdominal wall and the upper shoulder girdle. To facilitate exhalation, the patient tilts the torso forward and rests on his hands. Usually at the end of the attack there is a cough and “vitreous” sputum leaves.

The most formidable form of bronchial asthma is an asthmatic condition, into which a prolonged attack can turn.It is characterized by an unproductive cough and increasing resistance to therapy.

Specialists today distinguish 2 forms of asthmatic condition:

  • Anaphylactic. Severe attacks of suffocation occur in this form. This type of pathology is due to immunological and pseudo-allergic reactions
  • Metabolic. This form of bronchial asthma is characterized by functional blockade of certain allergic receptors.It occurs under the influence of unfavorable climatic conditions, with the rapid withdrawal of corticosteroids and other factors. First, the patient complains of cessation of sputum discharge, then pain appears in the peritoneal region, chest and shoulders. As a result of the development of the disease, the lumen of the bronchi is blocked by a viscous secretion

Important! Treatment of bronchial asthma should be started as early as possible. For this reason, it is important for patients to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Any self-medication is prohibited, as it can complicate diagnosis and delay therapy.


A disease such as bronchial asthma is detected on the basis of a number of indicators. First, the doctor examines the patient’s complaints, features of his life and medical history. Then an examination is performed, the main purpose of which is to assess the reversibility of bronchial obstruction. Allergy diagnostics are also required. It consists in performing skin tests and determining a specific immunoglobulin class E in the blood serum. As part of the diagnosis, concomitant diseases are excluded or confirmed.

The main survey methods are:

  • Studies of the ventilation function of the lungs
  • Identification of increased bronchial reactivity
  • Allergic tests

Patients are prescribed spirometry. An important indicator in this diagnosis is the forced expiratory volume in the first second of the maneuver. It determines the degree of blockage of the bronchi. In the framework of an allergy study, substances dangerous for the patient are identified, contact with which can cause an attack.Other examinations are performed if necessary.


It should be understood that the disease cannot be completely cured, but it can be successfully controlled by preventing the development of seizures.

The main goals of the treatment of bronchial asthma in adults and children are:

  • seizure control
  • prevention of risks of exacerbations
  • maintenance of indicators of external respiration close to the norm
  • minimization of side effects and unwanted consequences from taking medications
  • elimination of patient restrictions on physical activity

The main treatment of bronchial asthma includes 2 stages:

  • Symptomatic therapy for emergency
  • Basic therapy to control the course of the disease

Patients are prescribed inhalation and other drugs, as well as nebulizer therapy.Particular attention is paid to nutrition. To prevent asthma attacks and relieve the patient’s condition, he is advised to follow a special diet with the exception of citrus fruits, seafood, nuts, bee products, chocolate, white bread and muffins, as well as dairy products. Eat small meals frequently and avoid overeating. It is very important to stop drinking alcohol and smoking.

Relatives of people with bronchial asthma should master the basic principles of emergency care in an attack.At its beginning, it is necessary to calm the person down, open the collar or completely free the upper body from embarrassing clothing, and provide an influx of fresh air. The patient should take a comfortable sitting position (usually with the support of the arms and elbows apart). You should also use an inhaler without fail.

Important! If there is no effect from the measures taken or if the condition worsens, you must immediately call an ambulance!

Particular attention is paid to the treatment of complications of bronchial asthma.It is carried out exclusively in stationary conditions. The patient receives large doses of special drugs. He is prescribed symptomatic and infusion therapy. If it is not possible to stop status asthmaticus at the first stage, the patient is transferred to artificial ventilation. Sanitation bronchoscopy is also performed.

Important! Treatment of bronchial asthma is largely determined by the stage (degree) of its development and is selected exclusively by an experienced physician. Therapy is always complex and individual.It takes into account the characteristics of the patient, his lifestyle, working conditions and other important factors. Only a well-chosen treatment can give a pronounced result and reduce not only the number of attacks, but also the risks of developing complications that are life-threatening.


Primary prevention

Its purpose is to prevent the development of hypersensitivity to certain substances. Particular attention is paid to patients who have a hereditary predisposition to acute reactions to allergens.

Secondary prevention

It is carried out among patients with already formed hypersensitivity to allergens, but so far no asthma symptoms. This group of patients includes people with allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis and a family history of bronchial asthma.

To ensure effective prevention, it is first of all necessary to minimize the impact of external factors that can provoke the development of the disease.

Experts recommend:

  • Avoid contact with allergens
  • Lead an active lifestyle, play sports, maintain an optimal level of physical activity
  • Have a good rest
  • Eat right
  • See your doctor regularly. It should be observed not only by a therapist, but also by an allergist-immunologist

It is also important to undergo all the necessary examinations to identify allergens to which an acute reaction of the body is observed.

Advantages of contacting MEDSI

  • Experienced doctors. We employ qualified specialists who are able to timely identify pathology and carry out its treatment. In addition, doctors are also engaged in the prevention of bronchial asthma in patients with various forms of allergic reactions
  • Expert grade diagnostic equipment. We have the capacity to perform all types of necessary laboratory tests and instrumental examinations, allowing timely identification of various pathological conditions
  • Multidisciplinary and fast diagnostics. You do not have to sit in line or travel to several centers to undergo a comprehensive examination
  • Complete patient management. This reduces the risk of complications and frequent seizures. The patient receives comprehensive support from the first day of treatment until the improvement of his condition
  • A comprehensive and individual approach to therapy. Treatment of patients with bronchial asthma is carried out using modern methods and tactics, involving the experience of colleagues and the introduction of our own developments

To make an appointment at the clinic, just call +7 (342) 215-06-30 The specialist will answer all your questions and select the optimal time to visit the doctor.

What causes heart palpitations?

The heart of a healthy person works precisely, evenly, with the same frequency, producing an average of 60-80 contractions per minute. When the work of the heart accelerates to 100 or more beats, we are talking, according to doctors, about tachycardia, or, as we say in everyday life, about a rapid heartbeat.

“The heart seems to be about to jump out of the chest”, “something is splashing in the chest”, “beating like abnormal,” is how people describe a rapid heartbeat.How dangerous is it, what does it indicate and in what cases should you see a doctor?

Tachycardia is not a separate nosology, and is considered a symptom of various diseases, which are mainly associated with the cardiovascular system.

Is heart palpitations really dangerous? Not always. It all depends on why it occurs.

Physiological causes of rapid heartbeat

Often in a healthy person, the heart can work quickly, as a physiological reaction of the body in response to certain factors.In this case, they talk about physiological heart palpitations. The reasons for this:

  • physical reasons: lifting weights, running, climbing to a height, playing sports, etc.,
  • overwork, insomnia,
  • strong mental shock, both negative and positive, fear, anxiety, joy, feeling happiness, stress,
  • energizing and tonic drinks and food, energy drinks, coffee, strong tea, chocolate, spicy food,
  • smoking, alcohol,
  • overeating (rarely in a healthy person),
  • late pregnancy, childbirth,
  • taking certain medications,
  • fever, stuffiness.

Physiological tachycardia goes away with the cessation of exposure to the factors that caused it.

Pathological causes of palpitations

Seizures of palpitations can be caused by various diseases:

  • cardiac arrest and malfunction, malformations, heart failure, myocardial infarction, ischemic disease, myocarditis, heart disease, arterial hypertension cardiomyopathy, hormonal changes, endocrine disorders: hypothyroidism, menopause,
  • diabetes mellitus, hormone-generating tumors,
  • infectious and inflammatory diseases accompanied by fever,
  • significant blood loss, anemia,
  • bronchial asthma, allergies,
  • mental and neurological disorders, depression, neurosis, panic attacks,
  • vegetative-vascular dystonia.

Nocturnal heart palpitations

The causes of a heart palpitations at night may be the same as those that occur during the day. However, there are also some factors:

Decreased tone of the vagus nerve (vagus). It is the main nerve of the parasympathetic nervous system. Night is the time of his activity. If the tone of the vagus nerve is lowered, the activity of the sympathetic nervous system increases, which means that blood pressure and heart rate increase.This leads to attacks of rapid heartbeat at night.

Night panic attacks. In people with nervous disorders, overexcitation of the nervous system during the day leads to anxiety. Night darkness, complete silence lead to an increase in this sensation, which causes a panic attack and, accordingly, the onset of tachycardia.

Nocturnal hypertension. An increase in blood pressure at night may be due to the wrong choice of the dosage of the antihypertensive agent, overweight, and an uncomfortable posture during sleep.However, it can be a manifestation of renal failure or diabetic nephropathy.

Apnea. This term is called respiratory arrest. Sleep apnea overloads the heart, which contributes to tachycardia.

Night knots are more difficult to carry over than day ones. A person wakes up with a feeling of fear, in a cold sweat, with a feeling of heaviness in the chest, suffocation.

For a person with cardiovascular disease, this condition can be dangerous, especially if it occurs in the morning.According to doctors, the most dangerous time is from 3 to 6 in the morning. It is at this time that most cases of myocardial infarction and other serious cardiovascular complications are observed.

Rapid heartbeat after eating

An attack of rapid heartbeat sometimes occurs immediately after a meal. In a healthy person, it can be caused by simple overeating, a full stomach, very difficult to digest and spicy food. This attack goes away on its own in a few minutes and is not dangerous to health.

An attack of rapid heartbeat after eating may be associated with the simultaneous use of alcohol.

Obese people may experience heart palpitations quite often. Along with an increase in heart rate, pain, dizziness, cold sweat occur in the region of the heart. This condition is called “gastrocardiac syndrome”.

Gastrocardial syndrome is also inherent in patients with gastric ulcer, tumors of the stomach and esophagus, hernias.

An increase in heart rate after a meal is also characteristic of dumping syndrome, during which there is a rapid evacuation of undigested food from the stomach into the intestines. Dumping synroma often occurs after gastric surgery.

What to do in case of a rapid heartbeat?

If tachycardia occurs rarely, then it is due to external causes (physical activity, emotional distress), and there is no need to worry.

Rapid heartbeat in pregnant women is considered normal, however, if in this case there is pain in the heart, nausea, vomiting, loss of consciousness, numbness of the body, you should consult your doctor.

If attacks occur for no apparent reason, accompanied by unpleasant symptoms (shortness of breath, weakness, dizziness), then it is necessary to be examined to identify the causes of the pathology.

Especially dangerous is a rapid heartbeat caused by diseases and pathologies of the heart.

It is necessary to call an ambulance if during a strong heartbeat symptoms such as:

  • chest pain, pain in the heart and shoulder blades,
  • accompanied by cold sweats, shortness of breath,
  • feeling of shortness of breath,
  • cough, discharge of pink sputum,
  • rhythm disturbances.

During an attack of tachycardia, you must:

  • rinse your face with cold water,
  • open windows for fresh air to enter the room,
  • lie down in a comfortable position, taking off the clothes that restrict breathing,
  • press several times eyeballs,
  • perform several cycles of breathing exercises: take a deep breath, hold your breath, exhale slowly.

To prevent tachycardia, you need to lead a healthy lifestyle:

  • stop smoking and alcohol,
  • move more,
  • eat in moderation,
  • avoid stress,
  • put in order the work and rest schedule …

90,000 May 1 – International Asthma Day

Bronchial asthma in children and adolescents – the achievement of clinical control of the disease is the result of joint efforts of the doctor and parents.

Your child has been diagnosed with bronchial asthma. For some parents this diagnosis came as a shock, for others it was a logical explanation of endless “coughs” and sleepless nights. The task of parents is to learn how to control the child’s illness in such a way as to prevent exacerbations.

One of the most common questions: will asthma go away with age? Symptoms of bronchial asthma can change, sometimes decrease until they completely disappear, can persist or even worsen. But even when the symptoms of bronchial asthma disappear, this speaks only of remission of the chronic disease. Therefore, it is necessary to competently deal with allergic inflammation, bronchial hyperreactivity, and correctly carry out preventive measures.

What is the human respiratory system?

The main function of the respiratory system is to deliver oxygen from the air to all organs and tissues, ensuring their normal vital activity.The upper respiratory tract is the nose, pharynx, larynx. When inhaled, air enters the upper respiratory tract, where it is warmed by the large number of thin-walled blood vessels. Dry air is humidified and purified in the nose. In inflammatory processes in the nasopharynx, cold and unpurified air through an open mouth enters the lower respiratory tract and has an irritating effect on the bronchi. The continuation of the larynx is the trachea, which in the chest is divided into bronchi, ending in the smallest air sacs – alveoli.It is here that the exchange of gases takes place: the supply of oxygen and the release of carbon dioxide from the body.

Inhalation and exhalation are carried out with the participation of various muscles. The diaphragm and diaphragmatic breathing play an important role in breathing. The diaphragm is the largest and most powerful muscle in the human body, separating the chest and abdomen. When it rises, air leaves the chest, descends – air enters the lungs. The diaphragm usually works in a free mode, imperceptibly for a person, providing calm breathing.However, a person can partially control its work, slowing down or reducing breathing with the help of special exercises. With an increase in the load, ventilation is enhanced, the muscles of the chest, neck and abdomen begin to act on inhalation and exhalation. The inner surface of the bronchi is lined with a mucous membrane consisting of ciliated epithelial cells. Fluctuations of the cilia during breathing help to remove foreign particles from the bronchi, as well as mucus. The surface of the epithelium is covered with layers of mucus, which is produced by special cells of the mucous membrane.Mucus serves as a barrier to infection, and its amount increases with the development of inflammation. Under the mucous layer is the muscle layer that regulates the lumen of the bronchi. Under certain conditions, the muscles contract and the lumen of the bronchi narrows. Spontaneously or with the help of drugs, the lumen of the bronchi is restored.

In bronchial asthma, the following changes occur in the bronchi . The main symptom of bronchial asthma is shortness of breath, shortness of breath, feeling of lack of air.If you breathe through a cocktail straw, then after a few minutes there is a feeling of lack of air, fear, anxiety, and increased heart rate. The same is experienced by children with an attack of bronchial asthma. The lumen of the bronchi in bronchial asthma is narrowed due to spasm of smooth muscles, edema of the mucous membrane and increased production of thick, viscous mucus. Air penetrates with difficulty into the bronchi and with even greater difficulty comes out, creating a characteristic noisy “wheezing” breathing. The accumulating carbon dioxide enters the respiratory center of the brain, has an exciting effect, as a result of which breathing becomes more frequent, shortness of breath increases.

The characteristic symptoms of bronchial asthma are : shortness of breath, wheezing, paroxysmal cough, chest tightness and an attack of suffocation. During an attack, the child takes a forced position, the shoulders are raised, the chest is swollen. In this position, air enters the chest more easily. The neck muscles are tense, the mouth is open. The muscles of the neck and chest are involved in breathing. An attack of bronchial asthma in mild cases can go away on its own, but more often it is necessary to take medications that are prescribed by a doctor.According to the severity, bronchial asthma is classified as mild, moderate and severe. The severity corresponds to the frequency of occurrence, the severity of attacks of bronchial asthma, attacks, and the same measures that must be used to treat the disease. Asthma attacks rarely develop suddenly. Most people develop a number of warning signs before they experience a choking attack. These symptoms, preceding bronchospasm, are individual. Knowing your “harbingers”, you can avoid an attack of bronchial asthma by taking preventive measures.

One of the prerequisites for the successful treatment of bronchial asthma is constant self-monitoring of the state of breathing, the patency of the airways. Self-control of the condition avoids exacerbation and is used for many diseases. For example, in diabetes mellitus, regular self-monitoring of blood sugar levels; with hypertension – self-control over the level of blood pressure.

All patients with bronchial asthma need to carry out a daily self-assessment of their condition .To do this, you need to keep a “Diary of observation” and note in it the symptoms of asthma, heart rate and respiration rate, medications taken. The patient’s sensations and clinical symptoms do not always correspond to the true state of broncho-obstruction, and it is necessary to determine how narrowed the bronchi are. For this purpose, a portable, easy-to-use device is used – a peak flow meter. The peak flow meter allows you to measure the volume of passing air during exhalation per unit of time, i.e. peak expiratory flow (PSV). PSV is measured in liters per minute.

There are certain norms for this indicator, which depend on gender, height and are determined from the table. If there are any changes in the airway, such as inflammation, the peak expiratory flow rate will decrease. Regular measurement of PSV helps to assess the degree of airway patency. Measurements are taken in the morning and in the evening. This should become the same routine procedure for a patient with bronchial asthma as brushing your teeth.

The peak flow meter can be used by children mainly from the age of 5, sometimes earlier, 3-4 years.

Important to know:

1. Peak flowmetry is useful and informative with regular (2-3 times a week, daily if necessary) and long-term conduct

2. Peak flowmetry should be performed 2 times a day (morning and evening), at the same time (in the morning before taking medication, in the evening – after).

3. The device – peak flow meter is designed for individual use.

4. The results are noted in the graph.

Rules for using the peak flow meter.

  1. Regardless of the type of peak flow meters, the rules for their use are the same.
  2. Place the mouthpiece on the peak flow meter.
  3. The patient should take measurements while standing with the peak flow meter horizontal. Make sure the arrow slider is at the start of


  1. The patient should take a deep breath, clasp the mouthpiece with his lips and exhale sharply, as quickly as possible.

Mark the result. Repeat p.2-4. Select the highest score and mark it. Compare the data obtained with the data required for each child, determined from the table. Children need to explain that they need to exhale into the device as if extinguishing the candles on a cake on the occasion of a holiday.

Most common peak flow errors:

  1. Mouthpiece not tightly gripped, air escaping from the corners of the mouth.
  2. The mouthpiece is covered with the tongue or lips, and the readings are very low.
  3. Exhalation is long, slow, not strong, short.
  4. The peak flow meter is directed towards the floor, not horizontally.

Rules for using the table : Determine the height of the child. Find the value corresponding to the child’s height along the horizontal line. The point of intersection of the vertical line and the peak flow rate is the normal reading for the child. In accordance with the standard deviations, the values ​​within the fluctuation range will also be normal.

In many children with bronchial asthma, the PSV value in the period of remission is normal or exceeds the norm. This is a period of well-being, the absence of any symptoms of bronchospasm and allergies. If the PSV indicator during the remission period is higher than the tabular indicator, then it is more correct to focus not on the tabular indicator, but on the child’s best indicator.

The indicator of positive dynamics during asthma is the stability of PSV values ​​during the day, i.e. so that the difference between the proper indicators of PSV and PSV of the child is minimal, and the daily deviation rate does not exceed 15%.This last indicator of broncho-passability is called broncho-lability. Even if the child’s PSV values ​​are normal, and brocholability (BL) exceeds 15%, this will indicate an unstable course of asthma.

For a clearer control over the condition of the child, a system of color zones is offered.

Green Zone . Green indicates well-being, i.e. PSV indicators are 80-100% of the norm, bronchial lability indicator is less than 20%. There are no symptoms of asthma.The child’s sleep and activity are not disturbed.

Yellow zone . Yellow means “Attention. Carefully”. The PSV indicator is 50-80%. The bronchodilator rate is 20-30%. These are signs of deterioration, the patient and parents should be careful, since the symptoms of bronchospasm may be absent or insignificant. Indicators in this zone can also indicate an incorrectly selected treatment. In this case, you need to follow the treatment plan:

  • remove the provoking factor;
  • Take the medicine prescribed by your doctor for an exacerbation of asthma;
  • Consult a doctor.

Red Zone . Red color – alarm. This zone of peak flowmetry corresponds to a pronounced deterioration of the condition, an attack of bronchospasm. The PSV indicator is below 50%. The bronchial lability index is more than 30%. During this period, there is an increase in the symptoms of bronchial asthma. Urgent consultation with a doctor, medical supervision, treatment in a hospital may be necessary.

Regular peak flow measurement makes it possible to monitor the effectiveness of therapy.

Only with the joint efforts of parents and a doctor can one defeat uncontrolled bronchial asthma, put it under control with drugs, and ensure a full and joyful life for a child suffering from bronchial asthma.

90,000 Bronchial asthma – signs, treatment and prevention

26 September 2021

Bronchial asthma is a chronic lung disease in which there is a violation of the bronchial patency

Bronchial asthma is a chronic lung disease in which there is a violation of the patency of the bronchi.In healthy bronchi, the lumen is free and allows inhaled and exhaled air to pass through the respiratory tract unhindered.

Due to the development of inflammation, edema of the walls of the bronchi occurs, it thickens, at the same time there is a contraction of the muscle fibers of the bronchi with the development of bronchospasm. In the spasmodic bronchi, an accumulation of mucus occurs, which disrupts the process of free passage of air flows, there is a feeling of lack of air, shortness of breath, wheezing.

In modern society, asthma is considered a serious problem due to the progressive course of the disease, which worries patients with frequent attacks and causes a deterioration in their quality of life.Today in the world more than 100 million people suffer from bronchial asthma, which on average for each country is 4-8% of the adult population. Asthma causes 250,000 deaths every year.

The mechanism of development of a spasmodic reaction of the bronchi is always an allergy. There are many reasons for its development, in addition, there are a number of factors of bronchial asthma that contribute to the development of the disease as a whole and the occurrence of individual attacks: a hereditary predisposition, which is observed in a third of patients.

If one of the parents is sick, then the probability of this disease in the child is about 30%, and if both parents are sick, then more than 70%; bacterial or viral infections constantly present in the body; any violations of the immune system; bad habits, primarily smoking; work in an atmosphere contaminated with fine particles; life in poor environmental conditions; chronic malnutrition; uncontrolled intake of pharmacological drugs.

For an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment, bronchial asthma is divided into several factors.With regard to its origin, the following varieties are identified: allergic; non-allergic; mixed; unspecified.

Symptoms of bronchial asthma

What should alert you? Among the early signs of bronchial asthma, the following are noted:

Choking or shortness of breath. The condition can occur both against the background of physical exertion, and in complete rest, as well as when inhaling air with impurities of allergenic particles.

Cough. It occurs simultaneously with shortness of breath and has a harsh character.The cough is unproductive, and only at the end of the attack is it possible to separate a small amount of sputum.

Shallow breathing. An asthma attack is accompanied by frequent shallow breathing, inability to breathe deeply

Wheezing. They accompany the breathing of a person during an attack and are sometimes heard even remotely.

Orthopnea Pose. This is a posture that a person reflexively takes during an attack – sitting, legs dangling, hands firmly grasping a chair, bed or other object.This posture promotes a deeper exhalation.

With an exacerbation of asthma, these symptoms may be accompanied by swelling of the chest, difficulty speaking, drowsiness, and rapid heartbeat. In atopic bronchial asthma, asthma attacks are often accompanied by a runny nose (congestion or watery discharge, sneezing) and itching, especially upon contact with an allergen (for example, when staying in a dusty room). The symptom intensifies during active games, stressful situations (during crying, fright), at night.


Diagnostics is based on analysis of complaints, history of life and illness, medical examination data, laboratory tests, special functional and allergological tests. A careful study of complaints and history of the disease (especially first-time attacks) allows asthma to be suspected in 70% of cases. For this, there are special questionnaires developed by allergists. Instrumental diagnostic methods are also widely used: X-ray of the chest and sinuses; electrocardiography; study of the function of external respiration with peak flowmetry; diagnostic bronchoscopy; tests for bronchial reactivity under the influence of various drugs and physical activity


The main method for diagnosing bronchial asthma is spirometry (examination of the function of external respiration). Spirometry is also necessary to monitor the course of asthma treatment: it is necessary to focus not only on the presence or absence of complaints during treatment, but also on the objective indicators that spirometry gives. There are simple instruments (peakfluometers) for independent use by asthma patients.

During the interictal period, lung function may be normal; sometimes provocative tests are performed in these cases, usually with methacholine.A negative test with methacholine excludes bronchial asthma, but a positive test does not yet confirm this diagnosis. The methacholine test is positive in many healthy people; it can be positive, for example, for several months after a respiratory viral infection.

Chest X-ray is required for severe attacks, as it reveals hidden complications that require immediate treatment. To identify provoking factors, the allergic status is determined.According to blood tests and bronchial mucus, the severity of the disease is determined. The examination plan is developed by the attending physician individually for each patient, taking into account the recommendations received in consultation with the allergist, pulmonologist and ENT specialist.

Treatment of bronchial asthma

Bronchial asthma is a chronic disease that cannot be completely cured today. However, with the help of well-chosen therapy, a combination of various treatment methods, a long and stable remission can be achieved.

Inhaled glucocorticosteroids form the basis of basic anti-inflammatory therapy, prevent the development of symptoms and exacerbations of the disease. They are indicated for the treatment of persistent bronchial asthma of any severity and allow complete control, however, they do not cure asthma and stopping them often leads to the return of symptoms of the disease.

The effect is dose-dependent. However, with increasing doses of inhaled glucocorticosteroids, the risk of unwanted side effects increases.The strategy of adding drugs of another class to inhaled glucocorticosteroids turned out to be more acceptable. The most effective is the combination of inhaled glucocorticosteroids and a long-acting B2 agonist. Nebulized drug delivery methods are used to treat exacerbations.

In adults, the most common causes of bronchial asthma, as mentioned above, are chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic bronchitis) and prolonged contact with irritants (tobacco smoke, chemicals at work).In view of this, methods of preventing bronchial asthma in adults are reduced to eliminating irritating factors and treating chronic diseases of the respiratory organs. It is necessary to exclude the patient’s contact with an allergen that causes an asthma attack. To do this, you need to know which allergen causes an asthma attack in a patient (house dust, cockroaches, micro mites, pet hair, molds, certain types of food, plant pollen), etc. certain sanitary and hygienic rules, including regular wet cleaning in the living area.Patients are advised to avoid using perfumes with pungent odors and change jobs to one where they do not have to inhale a lot of dust and other harmful substances. The patient’s diet should be complete, varied, contain a sufficient amount of vitamins. For asthma, a gentle diet is recommended: foods such as herring, smoked meats, pickles, tomatoes, fried and spicy foods, as well as all foods that may cause allergies are excluded.

All these preventive measures will help restore the patient’s health and reduce the risk of new attacks.

Bronchial asthma in children | Articles Allergo City

One of the most common chronic allergic diseases of the respiratory organs in children is bronchial asthma (hereinafter – BA). This disease is associated with increased sensitivity of the bronchi to various stimuli. BA is manifested by shortness of breath, wheezing, attacks of coughing, episodes of suffocation.

Causes and provoking factors

  • Hereditary predisposition – the majority of children suffering from AD have hereditary allergic diseases: hay fever, food allergy, atopic dermatitis

  • Infections – viruses can be a trigger for asthma: ARVI, influenza, staphylococcus aureus, etc.However, it should be remembered that the use of antibiotics in children of the first year of life increases the risk of developing AD.

  • Environmental situation – particles of toxic products in the air, when dried, settle on the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract and can cause inflammation, leading to bronchial obstruction

Factors of exacerbation of the disease can be:

  • Tobacco smoke

  • Weather

  • Stress

  • Dust

  • Strong / strong odors

  • Physical exercise


Choking or shortness of breath can occur at any time, but most often it occurs at night.The main symptoms of AD include:

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Cardiopalmus

  • Wheezing

  • Suffocation

  • Cough with viscous phlegm

At the time of an attack, the symptoms change:

  • Cyanosis of the skin and mucous membranes appears

  • Pulse increases with inspiration, and decreases significantly with expiration.

  • Feeling tightness in the chest

  • You have to take a forced body position: sit down, rest your hands on your knees or any object

The attack is preceded by a period of harbingers, at this time there is anxiety, sleep is disturbed, headaches begin, a dry cough haunts, a stuffy nose.It can last from several days to several minutes.

The course of the disease in children

Depending on how severe the symptoms are, 3 types of asthma are distinguished:

  • Mild – can be episodic (attacks are rare, symptoms do not appear between them) or persistent (attacks occur more often than 1 time in 7 days, sleep and activity during the day deteriorate)

  • Moderate – attacks are almost daily, sleep becomes intermittent, activity decreases during the day

  • Severe – attacks can be several times in one day, the functions of external respiration are 40% lower than the norm determined for a particular age

Asthma and Sports

Parents often ask themselves: is it possible for a child with BA to play sports? Pulmonologists say that systematic physical education trains the diaphragm, helps to adapt to the lack of oxygen that occurs at the time of attacks.All this, in turn, helps to alleviate the course of the disease and to tolerate exacerbations more easily.

However, there is one important point here – it is possible to practice only in the case of a completely controlled course of the disease against the background of basic therapy and after consultation with the attending pulmonologist. The increase in load should take place under the strict supervision of a trainer, you should always take a bronchodilator with you to class.

Experts recommend choosing sports that develop respiratory muscles, for example: swimming, basketball, volleyball, tennis, martial arts.It is worth refraining from winter and strength sports, as well as athletics.

Diagnostics and treatment of bronchial asthma in children

To make a diagnosis, the pulmonologist collects a very detailed anamnesis, examines the clinical symptoms. Also, to clarify the diagnosis in AllergoCity, a number of special studies are carried out:

Laboratory tests of blood and sputum are also carried out.

Based on the test results, the pulmonologist / allergist gives recommendations and prescribes treatment.This can be a limitation of contact with provoking factors, a hypoallergenic diet, drug therapy. With the right treatment, bronchial asthma is controlled by the patient (or his parents) and almost does not impair his quality of life.

In the medical center “AllergoCity”, qualified specialists with extensive experience are receiving appointments. In our clinic, you can pass all the necessary tests, as well as undergo the procedure for assessing the function of external respiration (spirography).

Service code Name Price
Pool 01001 Reception (examination, consultation) of a pulmonologist, primary 1600.00
Pool 01003 Reception (examination, consultation) of a pulmonologist, repeated


BC 01003 Pulmonologist home visit


BC 010031 Departure of a pulmonologist at home, remote areas (including Pashino, Koltsovo, Akgorodok, ObGes, Berdsk)


KDU01004 Pulmonary examination:
Expanded blood o / a – hemogram, leukocyte count and ESR,
Rhinocytogram – study of material for eosinophilia,
Comprehensive study for parasitosis by enrichment method,
Eosinophilic cationic protein,
Diagnosis of FVD with a test with a bronchodilator (decoding without recommendations),
Repeated consultation with a pulmonologist,
Allergy panel to choose from: Pediatric OR Respiratory allergens OR Food allergens OR Miscellaneous allergens


KDU01005 Pulmonary examination for babies:
Expanded blood o / a – hemogram, leukocyte count and ESR,
Rhinocytogram – study of material for eosinophilia,
Comprehensive study for parasitosis by enrichment method,
Eosinophilic cationic protein,
Repeated consultation with a pulmonologist,
Allergy panel to choose from: Pediatric OR Respiratory allergens OR Food allergens OR Miscellaneous allergens


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