COPD ... or not ...

Posted , 13 users are following.

Dear All,

Just over a week ago, I decided to go visit my local doctor because I was/am not able to continuously inhale as deep as I would like to. 

The doctor used his stethoscope but was unable to hear anything and recommended that I should go get an X-ray. I did that the same day and was able to call in for the results the day after. The receptionist told me that they did not find any fluid/moist behind my lungs (indicating heart failure), but they did see some symptoms of COPD which gave them reasonable doubt. 

As I was literally scared sh*tless at that time, I called the local doctor for a new appointment in which he explained a bit and that I should be better off visiting a lung specialist in the hospital. Luckily I was able to get an appointment quickly, but I did have a lot of stress during that weekend. Considering I'm 31, you do not want to be diagnosed with COPD.

The lung specialist then listened to my symptoms (basically just not being able to inhale completely all the time, no coughing/mucus/slime/out of breath symptoms) and striped through the diagnosis that the Radiologist wrote down. He took another look at the X-ray and informed me that the x-ray was very normal and that there was nothing extraordinary to see. He also told me that the diagnosis COPD was often given way too quick.

Obviously I was relieved to hear that everything was supposedly OK, although he did want me to do a lung-function test since I did check in with the complaint of not being able to inhale as much as I'd like.

The appointment for that is scheduled on the 11th this year and a telephone consult the day after.

Anyone care to comment on this?

My symptoms are:

- Not being able to inhale "completely" everytime I want to.

- I am not out of breath.

- I had a cold early this year and about 2-3 weeks after the cold was over I had a very bad cough, resulting in a lot of slime for about a week. This was months ago and I have not had any coughing since then.

- No blood/slime/mucus in my cough (if i have to even cough).

I'm 31, have occasionally smoked, more of a youth sin. I dont think that it I have ever smoked a pack a week, let alone be addicted. There have been years that I did not have a smoke at all. My condition is normal ... I did 23km on my MTB on the street yesterday in 50 minutes, without getting out of breath at all.

There is no COPD in my family as far as I know. One of my aunts has Astma, the other one has Bronchitis. My grandma had bronchitis as well, my dad has neither of those. 

I was assuming that a Radiologist knows what he's doing, but the same goes for a Lung specialist. The specialist I talked to was >50 and has published many publications regarding Astma, COPD and has written books about it. I'm assuming he knows the symptoms of COPD when he hears them. 

My "stress" and fear for what is to come has luckily decreased a lot, but this disagreement is not very satisfying either.


1 like, 27 replies

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27 Replies

  • Posted

    Ask to have a Spirometry test.  This is the one usually used to establish COPD, as it meausures how much you can exhale in a given time.  I am no expert, just someone who has COPD, but it doesn't sound to me that from what you say you have this chronic disease.

    Hope you get it sorted, a proper diagnosis and youyr stress lervels drop.

    Take care,



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    • Posted

      Hi Michael,

      Thanks for your reply.

      I also forgot to add that I dont have a wheeze at all, and never had one.

      Most of the time I more or less get the feeling that i want to inhale more, but tension in my upper body is preventing that. During my run or bike exercises i dont inhale fully, but it seems like i inhale enough to keep going and not get out of breath. After exercising my breathing and heartrate goes back to normal reasonably fast...

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  • Posted

    You will know a lot more after the lung function test. It tests a number of aspects of your breathing. You are lucky to have gotten in to see a lung specialist so quickly. I'm glad for you that your stress levels are now reduced. I remember how I panicked when I heard copd. I have both asthma and copd called ACOS Asthma copd overlap syndrome and luckily it's mild. Symbicort has helped very much with my shortness of breath. Good luck. Do let us know the results of.the testing. smile
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  • Posted

    I think thats the test they are going to do.

    Anyway, could it be something less heavy as COPD as well? Astma for example?

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  • Posted

    I know it's hard not to panic, but COPD isn't an immediate death sentence - it's possible to live reasonably well with it for decades - and it is definitely manageable.

    The important thing will be the result of the spirometry test and I don't know why that wasn't done before an x-ray:  it's a simple test which can be done by most practice nurses and will indicate your lung function percentage.

    To give you my own personal example of living with COPD, I was stupid enough to smoke for 40 years and a few years after giving up was diagnosed with 30% loss of lung function from emphysema-COPD about 3 years ago:   I use my medication, I walk every day and do the breathing and other exercises I learned at pulmonary rehab:   my lung function loss is still 30% and I'm nearly 69.

    Good luck with the spirometry test and please, try not to stress about it, as there's a chance at can affect the result. 

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    • Posted

      Thanks, i was really interested in how it progresses over the years. As I am 31, i would really love to be around for 50 years at least .... Lol
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    • Posted

      Hey slow down, you haven't even had the spirometry test yet!  I panicked when first diagnosed too, until my then gp told me to calm down, she'd just been to the funeral of a patient in her 80's who'd had COPD for decades.

      Personally, I reckon it's highly unlikely you do have COPD, but only the spirometry test will tell.  Take care of yourself until then and please let this forum know how you get on:  there's a lot of good support and knowledge here if you do need it.   


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  • Posted

    My lung x-rays were clear, it was spirometer test that confirmed copd.....and I did smoke heavily for a lot of years, had given up 12 years when diagnosed...good luck with the test
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  • Posted

    I was btold not too long ago that i was stage one lil hard to exhale at time but no other symthoms. I take Spiriva once every 24 hours Im doign well and I plan to stop smoking soon just not ballsie enogh to yet. Dr said i should be fine as long as I stop. I hope this helps.
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  • Posted

    Havent had one for over a year... And even then i took only a couple of siffs from a cigarette as it tastes crap...

    Cant remember the last time i had one at all.

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