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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Follow up about thrush

Mmmmm, doesn't my medicine look yummy?!

Last time, I blogged about thrush and asthma medicines. I realized I had thrush and I knew I needed nystatin to treat it (thrush is an infection that you can get from using your maintenance inhaler.) If you use a daily inhaler or discus for your asthma medicine, it's VERY important that you rinse your mouth out after using the medicine. Those medicines are made with a yeast base, so you can get an infection in your mouth from using them. To prevent that, I rinse my mouth out and usually eat something after using my medicine or brush my teeth to make sure my mouth is cleared out.

Last week, I had  nasty head cold, so I wasn't thinking clearly. I must not have been as careful as I usually am, because I ended up with thrush. 

If you have thrush, your tongue will be white and you may also have sores on your tongue or throat. It's VERY uncomfortable. And my food tastes weird too.

 There are different forms of nystatin, my doctor prescribes the liquid form. I swish it around in my mouth and then swallow. I do that three times a day.

It really works!  If you or your kids take a daily maintenance medicine for asthma, make sure you follow the directions and rinse your mouth/have the kids rinse their mouth out afterwards. If your kids complain about their mouth hurting, check and see if their tongue is white. They can also have little sores on it. You can find lots of pictures online that shows what someone looks like that has thrush. Some of the pictures are pretty gross, so fair warning!

If they do, call your doctor to get a prescription for nystatin. I was feeling better by the second day. And my food was tasting better again!

Sigh. You know, some days asthma can be a real pain!!!!!

Monday, March 24, 2014


What is thrush?

Thrush is a yeast infection that can cause white patches on the tongue. Sometimes it can also cause sores if you try to scrape off the white patches. Babies and older adults are more likely to get it because their immune systems may not be strong.

(I was going to try to find a photo of thrush to add to the blog, but all of the pictures on Google Images are pretty gross. You can see a photo on WebMd's site ) They also have some information about the side effects of inhaled corticosteroids

If you have asthma, and use inhaled corticosteroids you can get thrush. I'm usually VERY careful when I use my controller inhaler. Corticosteroids are made with a yeast base, so it's important to rinse your mouth out after taking your medicine. I also take mine before breakfast so I can eat something afterwards, then brush my teeth. That will usually eliminate the risk of thrush for me.

BUT, I was sick last week. I had a cold that hit my lungs and made it hard for me to breath. I was taking a LOT of extra medicine, so I wasn't thinking clearly. And I wasn't as careful as I normally am when I take my controller medicine.

So, I got thrush. Argghh! It's really bothering me, so I'll have to call Asthma Doc and see if he'll call in a prescription for an anti-fungal medication, Nystatin.   The last time this happened, he prescribed a bottle of nystatin liquid. I had to swish a couple of spoonfuls in my mouth and then spit it out. I had to use it twice a day for 10 days. 

Fun!!!!! I really don't need anymore excitement in my life......

Follow the recommendations listed on WebMd's website, and be VERY careful and you may be able to avoid  getting thrush. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Follow up to entry about migraines and allergies

What is with technology?! I saved this photo right side up, but when I put it on the blog it turns sideways??!! Argggghhhh!!!!

Anyway, this is the Reader's Digest magazine I was looking for, it is the current issue. Inside is the article I mentioned last week about the link between migraines and allergies. 

You may be able to read the article here They have free 30 day trials of Reader's Digest for Apple iPad, Amazon Kindle, B&N Nook and Android devices.

In the article, they quote the American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention Study  This is just a one page summary of the study. 

I found the original study, but couldn't download it because it required a membership fee. 

The Reader's Digest write up about the study says that the lining of the nose is connected to a nerve (the trigeminal nerve), which is connected to migraine pain.  The researchers think that when allergies flare up they irritate the nerve endings, which triggers pain. 

They mention that treating the allergies with allergy shots or allergy nose spray may help decrease migraines. If you have migraines AND allergies, talk to your doctor. It's amazing how so many things in our bodies are connected. Who knew??!!  Wouldn't it be WONDERFUL to reduce the number of migraines by treating your allergies first?

Sign me up!!!!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Kristin Chenoweth and counters on inhalers


I just read a story on Know Your Count about Kristin Chenoweth, who is an amazing singer! She shared her story about singing during rehearsal and shows, and having a difficult time breathing. Well, that's not a good thing if you sing for a living!! 

She went to her doctor and was diagnosed with asthma. Luckily, she doesn't have persistent asthma, so she doesn't have to take medicine every day. BUT, she does use a rescue inhaler. And for all of you that use rescue inhalers, you know that you never want your inhaler to run out! 

She uses an inhaler that has a dose counter on it, so she knows how many doses (or puffs) are left. It gives you a chance to get a refill before you run out. 

How do you know if your inhaler is empty? 

The Know Your Count website (sponsored by TEVA respiratory and Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America) says that: 
".....just because an inhaler is still spraying does not mean it still contains medicine. When an inhaler is out of medicine, it will often spray a “propellant” that is used to help get the medicine to your lungs, even if the inhaler is out of medicine."   

Well, that' scary! If you are having an asthma attack, you need that medicine! I don't want to end up in the emergency room because I have an empty inhaler and I'm having an asthma attack!!! (Two million people end up in the ER each year due to an asthma attack.)

Check your inhaler and see if you have a dose counter. If it does, see how many doses are left. Give yourself time to get to the pharmacy and get a new inhaler.

If there's one thing I NEVER leave the house without, it's my inhaler. My inhaler has been to Disneyland, the Grand Canyon, Chicago, Washington DC and Paris. It should quality for frequent flier miles now....

Check your inhaler and make sure it still has medicine in it. And if it's time for a refill, request an inhaler that has a counter on it. 

Just keep breathing, just keep breathing, just keep breathing....

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Asthma & allergies lead to headaches?

I just read a new article in Reader's Digest about allergies causing migraines. Who knew?! I had a horrible migraine last week and missed a day of work. For all of my fellow sufferers, you know how bad migraines can be......

Everyone is a little different, but most of us get severe, unrelenting pain with sensitivity to light, sound and smell. I don't know how it works, but once I throw up it seems to relieve the pain. It also  makes me very tired, so I sleep for a couple of hours and wake up and - presto! The pain is gone.

Of course, it makes for a VERY miserable day. The day after my migraine, I happened to read an article in Reader's Digest about allergies causing migraines. The article is in the latest issue, which is somewhere in my house.....I can't seem to find it. 

I found another online article that talks about the link between asthma, allergies and migraines.  ACHE (American Headache Society) has a long technical article about the link.

The basics of the article are:

  • Histamine is released when exposed to an allergen and histamine can trigger migraines
  • People with allergies are 10 times more likely to have migraines (oh great......)
  • Asthma attacks can be triggered by an allergen....which releases histamine....which can then cause a migraine
  • Some allergy medicine can cause headaches, especially if taken frequently

There is much more to the article. It stresses treating all three conditions- allergies, asthma and migraines. Since they can be intertwined, make sure your doctor knows if you have problems with all three of them.
And to think, Spring is just around the corner. Does this mean more allergies and therefore more migraines? I hope not! The budding flowers and smell of my lilacs are so wonderful. 
I'll just keep a box of tissues handy, stay on my allergy medicine, and be really careful to watch for migraines. Sometimes if I can feel one starting, if I treat it right away, I can keep it from going into a full blown migraine. 
I'll just keep repeating our family mantra, "Things Can Always Be Worse." 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Allergies = lower risk of heart attacks??!!

 I was reading some updates from the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology's (AAAAI) annual conference. The one that caught my eye is:

Wow! Finally! Something positive can come out of having allergies?!

The article also states that:
"In addition to heart attacks, the study also found that those with allergic rhinitis were also at lower risks for cerebrovascular disease { stroke} and all-cause mortality" If I am reading that right, if you have hay fever, you have a lower risk for heart attack, stroke and death. (Not sure why)
But when I read further, it said:
"The asthma patients were found to have a higher risk of heart disease, although they had no
significantly increased risk of cerebrovascular disease {stroke} or all-cause mortality." So if I have asthma, I have increased risk of heart disease but no increase in risk of stroke and death. 
What does that mean for those of who have allergies AND asthma??!! If you just have allergies, you have lower risk of heart attack, stroke and death. But if you have asthma, you have a higher risk of heart disease (but no increase in stroke or death).  I'm so confused.

I'm hoping I can read the entire study in a medical journal. Until then, I am left to scratch my head.  

If anyone else can make sense of that story, let me know....