Emphysema

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Hi,

I had a chest x ray a month ago and it said there were probably some emphysema changes. Went to a Pneumologist and had spiro test with a 96% result. I was sent for a CT scan which I had done 2 days ago and waiting on the results. I guess Iam writing today because Iam scared. I stopped smoking 2 weeks ago, I feel fine most of the time, not really SOB but this whole thing has me very stressed out.

Both my doctor and the pneumologist were kind of nonchalant about it, like its no big deal but when you look up emphysema it is kind of a big deal so not sure what to think about all this.

It's strange as I had FEV1 result of 96% so its within the normal range but then the x ray showed emphysema, just dont know what to make of all this....

Thank you for reading

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12 Replies

  • Posted

    To be honest, you need to supply a little personal information, as otherwise we are in the dark as to what your results might mean.  At minimum, would you tell us your sex, age, are you over or under weight, any other diseases or disabilities, do you regard your diet as good or bad, any drug habit, and how many years smoking?

    It sounds a lot, but all those factors are important to judge what the best advice might be for your particular case.

     

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    • Posted

      Thank you gbhall

      Iam male, 40 yo, slightly underweight, no other disease that Iam aware of except depression and social anxiety for many years. Diet was very bad for many years but trying to eat more fruits and vegs now. I smoked cannabis for many years and stopped smoking both cigarettes and cannabis 2 weeks ago. I smoked both since age 16.

      I guess I just wanted to talk as Iam feeling pretty low today, I've read a lot about emphysema and know that quitting, exercise and diet are very important.

      Thank you

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  • Posted

    Well done, you have clarified things greatly, and have just taken the first and most important steps to good health. Your smoking history makes it quite clear that there is some damage to your lungs, but you are young enough, PROVIDED you never smoke again, to look forward to eventually having a normal life expectancy.

    Do not do anything else to damage your health, because a full recovery of health can take not months, but years, as you will see if you google the search term 'stop smoking benefits timetable'.  There are lists of benefits by time, which start from a few hours and go up to some 15 years of continuing lowering of risks for things such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, stroke and cancer.

    For an example from this list, take where you are now, 2 to 4 weeks, and it says 'Cessation related anger, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, impatience, insomnia, restlessness and depression have ended. If still experiencing any of these symptoms get seen and evaluated by your physician.'  So you can see why you are feeling very down and stressed out at this time. It is withdrawal symptoms.

    Most people say they have no problem stopping smoking, they have done it dozens of times !!  An old joke I know, but you now have the ultlimate incentive to make it stick: you KNOW you have damaged your lungs.

    It is hard, and may I say that some people think using e-cigs will work, but in my opinion, you are just exchanging one addiction for another one. Yes, it is hard, very hard to give up for good, but it CAN be done.  Please do whatever it takes to succeed for your own sake.

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    • Posted

      Many thanks for a great message gbhall, I dont want to smoke ever again so I think Iam safe on that point, this whole thing scared me so much that I do not miss the cigarettes at all. I can feel the withdrawal symptoms but I dont mind them since the possible diagnosis has scared the hell out of me, so yes I feel more anxious and nervous due to the smoking cessation but I chew a couple of nicorette and Iam fine. The depression and social anxiety dates back to many years ago, way before this emphysema stuff which started only a month ago.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to reply and with such positivity, I really appreciate it and wish you a very nice day/evening wink

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  • Posted

    Probably your doctor and pneumologist were kind of nonchalant about it, like its no big deal because your FEV1 result was 96% which does indicate you don't have emphysema / COPD but if you have been diagnosed and have no SOB and feel file most of the time, such mild readings is really nothing to be stressed about and in fact will not help your health at all.

    If you have a definite diagnosis, be thankful that you have an early diagnoses and you have stopped smoking, its brilliant, you can as mentioned already lead a normal life and live to a ripe old age smile

    Eat a good diet, drink enough water, avoid smoke of any kind, exercise regularly generally look after your lungs and your health, and you won't go far wrong.

    Congratulations on Stopping Smoking.

    If in the future you do start to get symptoms just go back to your doctor for checks.

    Best wishes and may you live a long and happy life

    V

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    • Posted

      Thank you Vee2, wishing you all a stress-free day or evening. I very much appreciate all the advices and the kind words.

      Take care.

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  • Posted

    Hello lol  Keep a smile on your face.  I don't know how old you are I do know this.  I have been out of the hospital about 4 weeks yesterday.  I returned home to Cypress from a trip to NC, Ga, and for 13 days I felt fine, just used my nebulizer but I NOTICED TWO THINGS.  My back (upper felt tight and by the 4th day my feet and legs were swollen to a point that I literally wanted nothing on them.  By the time the 29th of May flew on the Calendar we drove from Valdosta, Georgia  back to Cypress, Texas.  after 8 days I was in the doctors office with wheezing, coughing, and felt like I had run a marathon.  My pulse oxy levels  were not even 90 percent which sent me straight to the hospital.  I was in the ECCU for several days having CT scans with MRI with contrast... after the radiologist read them, I was sent to my room and the iv'S STARTED ROLLING IN.  This was my 3rd bought of pneumoccal pneumonia with sepsis and staff in less than a year.  My body is riddled....I had a broncoscopy on the third day and some cultures taken and genetic markers.  Come to find out I have COPD/Emphysema, Asthma, Severe Allergies and the lower lungs are completely gone....never to be repaired.  I guess I should have panicked but I DIDN'T and hopefully I won't (by the Grace of God go I)....it seems many years of smoking over 47 killed the lower portions of my lungs thus our retirement years are going to be quite a bit different than we had originally thought.  The doctors want me to move out West.  Well we have no family out west, we want to be back in Georgia....to be specific the Blue Ridge Mountains has been my husbands dream for years.  I cannot live in a bubble, but i HAVE QUIT SMOKING BECAUSE I KNOW THAT IF I DO SMOKE I WILL HAVE A LIFE EXPECTANCY OF ABOUT 6 TO 9 MONTHS.  WITHOUT THE SMOKING I MAY AND PRAYERFULLY HOPE TO SEE MY GRANDSONS MARRIED AND HAPPY.  There is no point in getting frightened, the packages warned us for years but we made the choice to continue smoking.  So now we have to deal with it.  You can handle this.  I started swimming underwater to build my lung functions up .  So every morning before noon I am in my pool doing laps.  holding my head underwater, diving, and exercising because i KNOW there is more to life than what man practicing medicine tells me.  I am grateful that I can breath without oxygen but I must be careful of heat, humidity, smog, smoke, refineries and all industrial things.  I keep my nebulizer and medications with me one portable and one to plug in.  I have only had to use the nebulizer 3 times since seeing the Allergist (which shows a flippant myriad of things I am so highly allergic to) and tomorrow we'll see if I can blow out the match.  My problem is not taking in oxygen, I cannot blow out....and that is serious...which causes the legs and limbs to swell and ache.  I am not out of the woods, but I am fighting with everything I have got.  My suggestion is to get comfortable with your doctors, know your body, mind and spirit.  Get involved in your own health and make yourself knowledgable....Because with COPD or emphysema you are at a high risk if you develope pneumonia or other diseases.  Know what your own immune system is doing.  Mine sucks, I pray yours is younger and that you can leave the smokes, and pollution out of your life for the rest of your days.  Just get aggressive, ask a lot of questions.  Remember this is your life....not the doctors or nurses.  You can say NO, sit down and let's talk...or get a new doctor.  I am comfortable in doing that...I am not intimidated by them.  God bless you and let's get on with living....S.M.

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    • Posted

      Wow - that is the most searingly honest post I have ever read on the likely results of long-term smoking. This lady (breathless) deserves all our prayers, even though she admits that ultimately her condition resulted from her own choice. I am glad to see she seems to have the resolve and determination so necessary for her future.

      Everyone with any lung condition, however mild, should take notice of her advice about avoiding chest infections and also lung irritants such as cleaning chemicals, scents, candles, fungus from damp in the home, any air pollution from vehicles, industrial plants and the like.  Avoid anyone with coughs and sneezes, especially young children who so easily pick things up.

      Here In the UK we are eligeable for annual influenza jabs from age 65 or anyone with lung disease at any age. We also now have a pneumonia vaccination with the same eligeability, which covers 23 of the most dangerous variations and should last 10 years. However, it is hard to prove it has had any success and was nearly abandoned on cost grounds. It may or may not remain available, but whatever you can get in your own case, and in your own country, do it !!

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  • Posted

    Hi,

    I got the ct scan results and there is emphysema. Not sure why my FEV1 result is within normal and can still have moderate emphysema.

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    • Posted

      Hi i had a ct scan for something else and then they found that i had mild emphysema and the doctor just said i take it you smoke and did not even seem to care about it and carried with my problems sad

      But i am going to see my doctor Monday, i have not stopped smoking just yet but plan to soon. i am 55 and smoked for over 40 years.

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  • Posted

    Hi Ellipse

    You say you were told there were probably some emphysema changes which sort of suggests you already have had a diagnosis yet you go on to say your spiro was 96% and you were scared when you read about emphysema !

    rolleyes

    Confused really have you not yet been diagnosed?

    The results of a CT scan will confirm either way and show if there has been some changes in the lungs.

    I expect your doc and pneumologist would be nonchalant with a 96% result on your spiro if that percent was indicative of your FEV1% predicted, this percentage is normal lung function.

    Do have another chat with your pneumologist about your results and what course of action you are advised to take.

    Keep everything crossed for your CT scan results.

     

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    • Posted

      cancel above reply, just realised I had already answered this previously.
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