My girlfriend suffers from bouts of shortness of breath where sometimes she can't breathe for periods of about 30 seconds which is really scary. I think these may be asthma attacks but how can I diagnose asthma? She's been to the hospital twice recently when having these attacks but they told her to check her heart. Also, when she takes salbutamol, her pulse races really fast and her hands start shaking and trembling. I never know what to do when she has these attacks and can't breathe. She always finds it hard to breathe and I never know what to do. She has had some blood tests which indicated she is low on iron so she takes an iron supplement every day which seems to help. Could the shortness of breath be due to her red blood cells being low ie. low iron transporting the oxygen around her body. Her last attack was really scary, I thought at one point she was going to die. Can you please help with some advise?
Asthma is an inflammatory disorder of the airways, which causes attacks of wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing.
Does the salbutamol (ventolin, albuterol) inhaler help her breathing? If yes then you can assume she probably has asthma. Only a doctor can diagnose asthma based on a series of test results and medical history.
Tremor is a common side effect of Salbutamol as is palpitations and increased heart rate - these effects may subside as she gets use to the medication.
Low iron levels may cause light headedness and shortness of breath.
You are doing all the right things ... see your doctor again if you are still concerned.
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