Disorders that affect the lungs are spread far and wide in the U.S. But despite the prevalence of such diseases, a lot of people postpone going to see a doctor for many reasons.
Sometimes they might believe their symptoms are nothing to be worried about and they prefer to sleep them off. Other times they simply might not have the resources or time to get checked out. How are we supposed to know when it’s time to go to the doctor’s office?
First, we have to look at the three most common lung diseases before we get into 12 silent signs that could mean your lungs are in serious trouble!
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As well defined as these symptoms ARE, Lupus can STILL be incredibly difficult to diagnose. Some say impossible.
I began with THESE same symptoms about 12 yrs ago. I woke up one morning with my rt leg swollen so big I was not able to get a sock on y foot, or bend my knee. I get the classic rash, the butterfly across my forehead down my nose across my cheeks. I am exhausted all the time. I don’t sleep well, and my joints ache and get so stiff that I can’t bend them sometimes. Fibromyalgia, CFS, and I’ll get these ‘rashes’ in my eyes, like shingles. This comes in a “flare-up” that may last a day, a week or 3 weeks. These ‘flare ups’ may be months apart, or like this last one, 2 years since the previous event.
Oh yes, one more little thing, another classic symptom that is MY personal Favorite !
Raynauds Phenomenon. This is the most annoying and aggrevating of them ALL ! This is a reaction to a cold sensation. Might be a cold door handle. A cold glass or cold water. Even a puff of cold air in the face…..
you feel the cold for only an instant and the blood vessels in your hands and sometimes feet as well will collapse and close off stopping the blood flow thru your hands and fingers. Your fingers turn WHITE or BLUE where the rest of the hand turns red. Your fingers go numb, you cannot feel them, move them well, touch is gone, and the ability to use your hands stops for as long as the reaction last. 5 minutes to an hour, or longer. I’ve had it last 2 hrs and my hands and fingers ACHED like they had been smashed when they finally “thawed out” There is nothing that you can do to relieve the “frozen fingers” feeling. It’s like they are dead. They LOOK like they are DEAD….white fingers on a red hand? They tell me that everybody that has Lupus also has Raynauds. They go together. The only known treatment is to take a C-channel blocker medication, like a blood pressure med that keeps the blood vessels as open as possible. There is NO QUICK FIX….if you get an attack, you have to wait it out. I have to avoid the freezer at the stores, cold water, ice, anything thats cold to the touch. I can’t risk having an attack and be stranded for an hr or two. Hot water don;t help, neither will warm air. Sunshine don;t do much nor does a warm bed. Sometimes eating or drinking something HOT helps warm your core, and that SEEMS like it helps the blood flow to resume….
I KNOW that I have osteoarthritis almost head to toe, so I see a Rheumatologist and we did the usual test to rule out Lupus, she says Men DO NOT GET LUPUS !, but she agreed the symptoms were curious. My symptoms say YES. the Blood work says NO. Even though the ONLY thing that breaks a flare-up and calms it, is doses of prednisone The Dr believes the lab work so she says its just a series of coincidences. Other Dr’s say Lupus isn’t a well defined disease,, that it’s more of a “Syndrome” or a collection of symptoms that cannot be explained by other means. When they are all present at a similar time, it’s called “Lupus”. These physicians say that Lupus is the “catch-all” diagnosis when the symptoms are clear but the diagnosis is not. There is NO SPECIFIC test for Lupus. Just a series of test that IF they come back with certain results, then the Dr will label it as Lupus because they have ruled everything else out. Even now with my specialist (rheumatologist) stating that I DO NOT have Lupus, other physicians will say that I DO.
Where do you go from there?
Me, I just go about my business and when/if I wake up and cannot bend my legs of stuff my foot in a shoe, I deal with it and wait it out. What they want to CALL IT doesn;t matter so much to me, it’s more a matter of having a weapon to fight this, and I DO, so I accept that I HAVE SOMETHING… To me its like having blond hair. I have THAT TOO !
To all of you that MIGHT be burdened with this disease, see the arthritis Dr and get a trial script for some steroid to TRY so you can see if your immune system will respond to it. Thats all that LUPUS amounts to….a period where your auto-immune system goes crazy and does bad things for no good reason. It’ll do it for a day or a week then it just quits and you go back to being normal again. Like that misfire in your car engine that will NEVER do it when there is a mechanic there listening for it……Same thing.
Good Luck to you all ! ! !