Can somone help me interperate my Spirometry

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Hello everyone.

After worrying about the possibility of having COPD for months, i finally got tested. I'm almost 29 and have been smoking cigarettes on and off for 13 years. I would estimate my consumption at 9 solid pack years. In addition to this, I have been (and still am) a fairly heavy marijuana user for the past 3-4 years. I would estimate 1-10 small joints daily. There was a two year overlap where i smoked both cigs and the mj, but I eventually quit the cigs a few years ago.

I am a US Marine and combat veteran that took place in some of the roughest battles in the Iraq War. During several deployments I was exposed to constant smoke inhalation from burn pits and burning buildings, fired depleted uranium rounds, constant enemy mortar fire and smoke/tear gas, just to name a few. I am still constantly on edge and have problems with insomnia. I decided to use Medical Marijuana to help alleviate these symptoms instead of the prescription alternatives, Clonazepam and Ambien, both of which have heavily documented long term consequences. Unfortunately, i sort of got hooked on the mj for the past couple years and still smoke mj regularly. I have a regular cough that can be pretty intense compared to other smokers that i know. I haven't quit for a long enough time to know if this will go away completely.

I recently came down with Acute Bronchitis and decided to go to my families asthma/lung specialist to get treated and take a Spirometry to screen for COPD. Here were the results:

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The doctor said everything was fine, but a few things he said made me question his opinion. For example, he said the FEV1/FVC wasn't relevant because i was blowing at 92-93 percent in FEV1 and FVC. The criteria for GOLD 1 contradicts this statement. Also 92-93% doesn't seem that great since the range can go up to 120%. However, i did have a pretty bad case of Acute Bronchitis when i took the test today, would this have any impact on the results? Can anybody find anything in these results that should cause me alarm or can i let this go? I completely convinced myself i had COPD, but doesn't everyone that smokes have some type of regular productive cough?

Honestly, I had no idea you could develop a life threatening diseases in your 20s and 30s as a result of smoking. I was under the impression only lifetime users took that risk. Also, if i choose to continue to use marijuana when i get over this bronchitis, would vaporizing be a effective alternative? I would like to cut down to using it most nights right before bed., but honestly this whole experience scared me and i'm very hesitant to put anything in my lungs.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post,

Chesty

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Hello Chesty, so sorry to read that you are struggling.

    If you wish to stop smoking, I highly recommend reading 'The Easy Way To Quit Smoking' by Allen Carr (quite cheap through Amazon.

    Also, you can infuse marijuana as a 'tea', so you can get the benefits without the smoke, or consume in foods.

    I am a researcher, so will do my best to research your Spirometry results and get back to you.

    All best wishes.

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  • Posted

    are you hooked on mj or hooked on smoking it? Do you use a good quality tobacco? Yes smoking is the main cause of COPD but other fine stuff getting into the lungs can cause it too. Yes, It can be contracted in the 20's and 30's. I won't bother saying stop smoking, that's your business if you want to get well. Good luck, June
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  • Posted

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  • Posted

    Hello, me again!

    I've done some research, and Wiki (as ever), seems to outline and explain this in the most comprehensive manner - here's the link...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirometry

    I hope this helps!

    Any further questions, just ask me, or the person who 'read' your results.

    Best wishes.

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  • Posted

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  • Posted

    Hi chesty my uv had to deal with a lot in ur young life....if u can make it thro all the war I'm sure u will find the strength and courage to get thro this...think these days u need to ask more questions to the docs be bit assertive ....that's what I do as only way u get answers...I have copd for nearly 2yrs..I've accepted it and that it part of me now and I have to do best I can....I smoke an electric cig and have done since diagnosed....I know I wud feel a lot worse if I was smoking the real thing...I'm just trying to give myself a bit better quality of life however long that may be chesty..but that's just me.......I'm 57.....so I suppose I may see things different...I try to keep positive and just.keep plodding on as u do chesty....how u feel and what u can achieve each day is what I strive for.....anyway u keep well and don't be afraid to ask questions.....june 1415
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  • Posted

    Thank you all very much for posting. Everything i have read says that my Spirometry is normal and that i do not have COPD. I was a bit concerned that my FEV1 and FVC are on the low side of normal, but again, i had Acute Bronchitis when i took the test so isn't it likely that these numbers would be a tad higher if i wasn't sick? Does it even matter since I fall into the normal range? Do you think I have anything to worry about?
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  • Posted

    well, there's no way they would have tested you when you had bronchitis in Britain, or if you had recently had a chest infection. My opinion, yes it would make a difference. Worry about? All smokers have something to worry about. you could buy a pulse oximeter, they don't need to cost much. You put them on the end of your finger and they show how much oxigen is in your blood and what your heart rate is that way you can see for yourself how you are doing. June
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  • Posted

    Thanks old oddbiddy. I really wish i could see hanb's reply =(

    Again, i gave up smoking 2 years ago and will never smoke another cigarette for the rest of my life. I do however sill smoke marijuana. Honestly my continual use of marijuana may be gotten me threw some sleepless nights but after a couple years i have accomplished nothing, gained 50 pounds, and am starting to get very depressed. Honestly, at this point if the Spirometry showed COPD i don't know if I would be able to handle it. I can't Imagine being 28 and having COPD in the back my head for the rest of my life. I need to get my shit together, set fitness goals, finish college and find a girl that will have me =(

    I'm probably a bit of a hypochondriac. My mother recently got her Vegas Nerve clipped on mistake during a routine fundoplication (this means she is stuck on a feeding tube the rest of her life) and my father recently developed Alzheimers. While caring for them, I am constantly questioning my own health, as i know my lifestyle choices the for the past 5 years have been less then ideal.

    I wish you all the best.

    Chesty

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  • Posted

    so sorry for all of your troubles. My son is my carer and he was getting despondent at one time, he got a dog and now he has her and two of her offspring ( and a pygmy goat) he is a lot happier plus he gets out for lots of walks. He smokes Maryjane sometimes but can happily do without. It's yoyur life but then you are asking for advice yes? Think about yourself more positively, get some goals and work towards them. You would like a girlfriend, so the work first. Lose weight and do some training to define your body girls like that. Try to make the mj a social thing and not all the time. It won't be easy but if you can see a better life ahead. Rule number one depression is your worst enemy, be too busy to get that way. Got to go. Have a good evening. June
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  • Posted

    Hey Chesty,

    The message contained the Wikipedia link that came up by Googling 'US Spirometry results explained. The second contained an apology for posting mid reply!

    Depression is a separate beast, which marijuana usage can exacerbate (speaking from experience of both - to treat naturally, and effectively, I 'suggest' the following; at least 20 minutes exercise per day, using enough exertion to make you 'pant' (in a good way, don't push yourself too hard), a balanced, regular diet including fish (especially salmon, halibut and tuna), jasmine rice, tart cherry juice, yogurt, whole grains, kale, bananas, chickpeas and fortified cereals (all these foods promote natural production of Seratonin and Melatonin - both crucial to combat depression and aid natural sleep), B100 Complex, this helps calm the nerves and gives real energy (unlike the nervous energy of caffeine), Garcinia Cambogia can combat anxiety, also lettuce is a natural anti-anxiety food, decaf tea contains an element called L-Theanine which has a calming effect, meditation and transcendental meditation really help with 'mood management' - type '1 hour guided hypnosis' into YouTube, I use the top link. Needless to say, no caffeine fore you go to bed. If you can't sleep, you can use self hypnosis - take a few deep, satisfying breaths and tell yourself "my body is completely relaxed: now." Deep breath, "my mind is completely relaxed: now". Deep breath, "I am in a deep sleep: now". Deep breath, "when the alarm goes off, or I am awoken, I will feel completely refreshed, as if I have experienced 8 hours deep, natural sleep".

    Hope some, or all, of this helps.

    Kind regards and best wishes,

    hanb

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  • Posted

    I looked at my paper today on my PET test. .. Your numbers are great. If your getting shirt off breath you are getting close to 30. Then at 40 you change. Then there's 50 [I'm 54].....lol my numbers are 28% then 38% out of 100 with a breathing treatment and a ten minute wait. If you want to treat yourself or if your lucky to live in a medicinal state then go with a vaporizer or eat it. Vaporizing is better than a nebulizer, imo. Good luck. .. I'm applying for disability at their encouragement. Sucks..I own my own Kenworth and want to drive it and a union electrician. Oh well things have a way of working out
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