Early signs of COPD

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Hi, I have been told by my GP that a chest x ray has shown that I have early signs of COPD. My spirometry is normal and I have no obvious symptoms. However I do have days where I experience extreme tiredness,where even climbing the stairs can be exhausting. Also,my legs in particular get very tired. I wondered if this could be due to decreased oxygen in the blood? I am 48yrs old and have never smoked but have had exposure to passive smoking. I am just a bit shocked by this news and looking for some reassurance from someone who is possibly in a similar situation.Thanks

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16 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Leo, I've been on here a few months, during the illness of, and after the passing of my Mother.

    On my opening post, a very kind gentleman informed me that he had been wrongly diagnosed in the UK as having COPD, and went on to be correctly diagnosed with Pernicious Anemia. I'm not trying to say you have been wrongly diagnosed, moreover it may be worth doing some further research/reading, and perhaps further testing, if you feel you may have an incorrect diagnosis. Equally I would recommend you read up on the 'common' symptoms of COPD, www dot nhs dot uk has some good information, which may help you confirm in your own mind whether you believe you have the correct diagnosis.

    Please let me know how you progress.

    Kind regards and *hugs*, hanb

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    • Posted

      Thank you very much for that hanb. I will do some more reading and bear your comments in mind.

      Regards, Leo

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  • Posted

    you are right the tired legs are due to deoxygenation and your lungs are not reoxygenating the muscles as quickly so you become tired. You are still in the early stages so don't panic.

    Richard

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    • Posted

      Thanks Richard. At least I know I am not imagining things. I am trying to be positive and not panic but it is hard not to worry about what the future holds. I try to remember that I am otherwise fit and healthy and can do lots to keep it that way.

      Regards, Leo

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  • Posted

    I would get further testing and consult from a pulmonologist.
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    • Posted

      Thank you. I will continue to monitor my symptoms and consult my GP and request specialist referral if I feel there is a deterioration of any kind.

      Regards, Leo

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  • Posted

    Hi Leo I really hope you haven't got any lung disease but if you have - don't panic.  While they are progressive you can do a lot to hold them back, especially COPD.  

    No more passive smoking,  exercise,  good diet and taking any prescribed meds can hold it an early stage for many years.  I was diagnosed around 7 years ago (I am 60 now) and have just gone into the moderate stage and still have 2/3rds lung function and manage very well albeit a bit slower.  

    I am on a couple of COPD sites and there are a number of people who weren't diagnosed until they were severe but they are still here and manage to have quality of life.  You will live for many years yet and will probably die of something else!  

    Most important of all is to keep your sense of humour and carry on enjoying life as much as possible.  xx

    Ps.  Please don't google indiscriminately - stick to recognised sites otherwise you might scare yourself to death.  Let us know what the diagnosis is please.  Good luck with it all.  x

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    • Posted

      Thanks Hypercat, it is so reassuring to get such positive feedback. I am trying to do as you say with the diet and exercise and no more passive smoking. I will stick to this site for information and support. I will keep everyone up to date with any progress. Thanks again.
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  • Posted

    Hi Leo!  

    GREAT advice from both hanb and hypercat!  Another really important thing....don't dwell on "the future".....it can drive you nuts!  Concentrate on EVERYTHING that can keep you "status quo" and slow the progression.  Do everything that your medical people advise you to do.  This is a wonderful site to learn what others are going thru and HONEST experiences that can be beneficial.  Keep in touch and good luck!!

     

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    • Posted

      Hi Sandy, Thanks. Yes it has been very helpful to have feedback from people who are in similar situations and even in the short time I have been on this site I feel reassured. I am trying not to dwell on what might happen but rather how I am at present and keeping healthy but it is hard. I will keep in touch. Thanks again.
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  • Posted

    I think he should do a pulmonary function test on you before scaring u like that...just an XRay is not enough. But if you do have early signs then u are blessed bc it can be very manageable at that stage. 
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    • Posted

      Thanks Ladyjack, I have had a lung function test which was normal so I just have to monitor my symptoms and report any changes which I will do. Thanks for your feedback.
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  • Posted

    I agree, your Pulmonologist should give you a Pulmonary Function Test (pft), and a cat scan. The pft will allow him to see how much air you put out of your lungs and retain, and more, and thecat scan will show what type and extent of damage, if any, on lungs. I had both, and went to Radiology and requested for them to copy me DVD of my cat scan...went home and looked up various pictures of other cat scans and compared to mine...it actually made me feel better, since 'the truth sets us free' and it helped me understand every detail about all my discomforts, and why and how I get them, and helped me realize future goals, and how they will help, such as 'coils', or lvrc (low volume reduction coils), or, lvrs (low volume reduction surgery), etc. I felt so much better after that. Also, the pft helped, since after retrieving a copy of it, read it throughly, and had a through understand about my exchange of gases, etc. I still ask questions though. Also, I am beginning my pulmonary rehab in three days, and their will be 36 sessions..I am a little bit nervous, I must admit!
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    • Posted

      Hi Brenda, hope your rehab goes well. I have had a lung function  test which came back normal so no further tests are being offered at the moment. I just have to keep an eye on my symptoms and report any deterioration. Thanks for your message.
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  • Posted

    Leo, you are welcome, and I am hoping everything goes well for you...also, thank you for the wishes regarding my rehab too!
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    • Posted

      Hello Leo, this is brenda...forgot to add....congratulations to a very good report on your lung function test....a normal score...so nice, and so happy for you! Also, I hope you do not have any more symptoms too. xoxo

       

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