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Should Diabetics have a FeNO Test to Improve Asthma Treatment?

There are a number of complications of diabetes that can negatively affect your breathing. Kussmaul breathing (a rapid or laboured breathing – hyperventilation ) is a symptom of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) – caused by very high blood glucose levels accompanied by a high level of ketones in the blood.

Both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia can lead to serious health consequences, as high blood sugar may cause nausea, vomiting, or shortness of breath, whilst low blood sugar may cause confusion, dizziness, blurred vision, seizures, unconsciousness, or even death.

What is asthma? Asthma is a chronic inflammatory illness that affects the airways within the lungs. The most common type of asthma is allergic asthma. However, an attack can be induced buy a variety of other factors including infection, exercise, exertion and stress when exposed to triggers such as dust, smoke, physical exercise and cold air. The Airways bronchi contract causing breathing difficulties for the casualty. Constriction of the airways gradually reduces the amount of oxygen running through the body and effects its ability to function properly and an attack may become life threatening if it is prolonged. Prompt first aid response can help to stop the asthma attack in its tracks and may even save a casualties life. Recognising an asthma attack. As a general rule an asthma attack can be identified by the following symptoms – wheezing sound when breathing out, distress owing to breathing difficulties, difficulty communicating owing to shortness of breath, a blue tinge around extremities such as fingertips and lips.

It’s essential to diagnose and take asthma treatment correctly to safeguard long-term lung health, reduce disability and prevent avoidable deaths. Asthma causes inflammation in tiny airways, with wheezing, breathlessness, coughing and other symptoms that can vary from day to day, or overlap with other lung/heart conditions. Asthma can run in families and is often linked to hay fever and/or worsened by triggers including allergies, infections, pollution, steroids and stress.

It’s traditionally diagnosed from the symptom pattern, ‘blowing tests’ (peak flow rate or spirometry) and/or a trial of asthma treatments such as bronchodilator inhalers to open up the airways and steroid inhalers to reduce the underlying inflammation. The newer FeNO test analyses levels of fractional exhaled nitric oxide, which is normally present in our breath but increases when inflammation is present. NICE, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, has recently said it should be used for diagnosis and for deciding when steroid inhalers are needed and who might benefit from more biological asthma treatments.

For diabetics on the highest doses of asthma treatment – their risk increases by 64% – found that inhaled corticosteroids were associated with an increased risk of needing stronger medications to control blood sugar, an indication that diabetes could be worsening in those who already have it.

E303 – Should Diabetics have a FeNO test to Improve Asthma Treatment? –

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