Secondary conditions

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No doubt most asthmatics have at one time or another, dealt with some of the nasty side effects associated with steroids, such as high blood sugars, adrenal problems, osteoporosis, etc. But you may not be aware that there are also secondary conditions that can develop down the road as a result of the disease itself. […]

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UMPC Asthma Support Group

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Starting this month and every month going forward, I’ll be posting the minutes from the UMPC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) Severe Asthma Support Group conference calls. The calls are sponsored by the Asthma Institute at UMPC and moderated by Dr Sally Wenzel Pulmonologist and Deborah A. Gillman PhD, Clinical Psychologist. If you have difficult […]

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Asthma Phenotypes

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Physician researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Asthma Institute at UPMC are now using molecular and genetic information to identify asthma phenotypes and customize therapies in order to improve patient outcomes. If you have asthma and would like to contribute to this on going research, please consider volunteering for

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Tour De Badass YVR

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“Badassmatic (adj.): Person with asthma better defined by badassery. Possesses insatiable desire for growth, change and adventure.“ ( Brought to you courtesy of Kerri Mac Kay) ***For more Badass adventures check out last years trip to Churchill *** Related Posts: Guest Post by Kerri Asthma Phenotypes24 Hours in the life of an AsthmaticSelf Service What’s […]

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24 Hours in the life of an Asthmatic

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Check out Kerri’s vlog post and follow us through a typical day living with asthma. Related Posts:Asthma Phenotypes Guest Post by Kerri 12 month Update The letterBehind that finish line smile Bound for Beantown#97 , misinformation and a virus from Hell

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How to run like a severe asthmatic, by Bill Swan

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Saw this blog post by Bill Swan and liked it so much I just had to re-post it here. Bill provides us with a step by step instruction guide on how to run like a severe asthmatic. ( I think the photo says it all, don’t you?) Read more about Bill on his blog at […]

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Self Service

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Just one of the advantages of being an asthmatic Respiratory Therapist, though the hospital staff might not be so thrilled. They get a little grouchy when the patients start adjusting ventilator settings Now for the serious educational part: The rational for using non -invasive bipap therapy during a severe asthma exacerbations is simply to reduce […]

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So,what brings you here?

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Over the years Ive built up a pretty loyal following of friends who are interested in what Ive been up to and how I’m doing health wise , but the bulk of visitors to this blog still get here while searching for answers to asthma related questions or topics. The following (in order of popularity) […]

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Lunch with Sally

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Had the great fortune of having lunch last week with one of my most favorite people in the whole world. Dr Wenzel was in town for the annual AAAAI convention in San Francisco and managed to squeeze in some private time with me in between her busy presentation schedule. Although we keep in close contact […]

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A Cookbook for Asthmatics!

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Friend, Award-winning Chef , severe asthmatic and fellow SARP alumnus, Sheila Brillhard, wrote me the other day to tell me about her new cookbook . She created it for people who have to take prednisone for their asthma or other medical conditions. What a cleaver idea! I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how […]

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Best Lung Blogs of 2010

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Introducing the “Breathinstephen Blog Awards” Once a year around the holiday season I like to put together a list of my favorite lung blogs. This year I thought it would be fun to give an award to those bloggers as well. If your blog is on list, feel free to copy and paste the code […]

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Breathin Basics—ABG’s

“ABG’s” is another one of those medical acronyms that you hear all the time when you have asthma or lung disease. And if you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to be hospitalized for your asthma, no doubt you’ve had one of these tests done on you. ABG stands for “Arterial blood gases”. An ABG is a […]

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Breathing Basics —O2 Saturation and Oximeters

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Today’s Breathing Basics review is all about Oxygen Saturation and Oximeters. If you have lung disease of any kind, no doubt you’ve come across the words “Oxygen saturation” or “O2 Sats” , “Pulse-Oximeter”? I use those terms on my blog all the time, but do you really know what they mean ? I suppose you […]

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Most frequently asked question

"Can you have an asthma attack with a normal sat reading"?
The answer is..YES!
While it's a little unusual to see a person with a perfect O2 sat of a 100% during a severe exacerbation, its pretty typical to see sats in the 94-97% range. The reason for this, is that asthma is a disease of the airways , not the alveoli where gas exchange takes place. Most asthmatics dont desaturate during the early stages of an attack,unless theres a secondary problem such as pneumonia. You have to be extremely ill with asthma if your sats are low.

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