Respiratory Disease

Not rare, but not known well enough to easily identify this respiratory disease! AERD: Aspirin Exacerbated Respiratory Disease

Thu Oct 7, 2021

Six Years of No Diagnosis...

To understand AERD, you need to be able to visualize the pathway in the body that is affected.  Please see the drawing and watch the video posted below.

I have two primary issues going on with my respiratory tract, histamine intolerance is one. However, the one that has had the most severe impact on my health over the last six years is AERD. There are some supplements that are used as natural antihistamines that I have found to be causing worsening of my respiratory disease.

The reason AERD/NERD/Samter’s Triad, NSAID Exacerbated Respiratory Disease is so bad is because of the severe respiratory reactions from COX-1 inhibitors.

I recorded my reactions here:

My very first reaction was to ibuprofen end of May 2019. I ended up in the emergency room at 70% oxygen. They didn’t know why it happened. Within 30 minutes of taking it I was vomiting profusely into the toilet, I had hot and cold flashes, my heart literally felt like it was beating out of my chest. Afterwards I crawled to my bedroom and woke my husband by touching his face. I was still struggling to breathe well. He broke open a Benadryl capsule in my mouth, which seemed to help some. He asked if I could stand. As soon as I stood up I blacked out for about 30 seconds. My husband rushed me to the emergency room. Seven hours later, after a course of prednisone and oxygen, a chest MRI, they couldn’t tell us why it happened.

End of 2020 I tried Aspirin:
Aspirin constricts my breathing and swells my sinuses, so I can’t breathe through my nose. It takes 4-6 hours to calm down. I have not needed to go to the ER. None of my inhalers or nebulized albuteral even touched the reaction. I finally figured out on my own, in February 2021, that I have AERD.
I had been seeing a sinus doctor for 5.5 years. All he said was that aspirin was known to increase nasal polyps in some people. (Talking to his nurse over the phone, after I figured out I had AERD, she said oh you mean Samter’s Triad) ?????

Sense of smell is starting to return!

One week after stopping the last of the medications and supplements that are cox 1 inhibitors, my sense of smell is great! So this is what it is like to smell! My nose is being assaulted by diverse smells, that have exploded on my senses! It’s amazing! It’s been six years of no sense of smell, to just a whiff of smell here and there. I’m hoping that my increased sense of smell continues.
This is AERD!

My sense of smell has been broadening in it's depth of smell as well as range of smells. I love being able to smell everything! I walk into a building, and the building has a unique smell to it. That is a smell that has eluded me for the last six years. I can smell the shampoo scent from my daughters hair. I smelled someone barbecuing in my neighborhood and it brought back memories of my summers camping with my family in childhood. Smells are an every day part of life that I have severely missed! Two weeks of a better sense of smell and counting!
This is AERD!

Emily Boudwin
Understanding myself, I am able to see what is going on in my body.