Finally seen a specialist

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After suffering reoccurring chest infections including pneumonia since October my GP has finally referred me to a specialist he has suggested a volume CT scan and a spirometry test, lung volumes and Gas Transfer tests. So fingers crossed! So far I've only had a spirometry at the GPs which showed FEV at 74%, which I know is really good compared to others, I just want a break from the chest infections! I would like to know if others benefited from these tests?

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  • Posted

    Hi Jo

    Good to know you are getting testing to determine what is going on. The more information the better. Pneumonia sure isn't fun, and it is very tiring as well as draining.  It will be a relief for you to know what is going on.

    Spirometry testing is really important and gives much information on its own...used as an important tool in diagnosing COPD as well as reactive airway disease and determing, at the same time , what stage it is at.  Spirometry testing is easy to do and quick but gives measurements of capacity, volume and rates which draw a picture of the lungs' conditions. It can also be compared to previous ones.

    CT scans are able to fine tune the picture and look for physical abnormalities and tissue and structural conditions.

    It sounds as though you are having some important information gathering that will surely help determine what future treatment should be.

    I hope you will let us know how these tests go, if you are willing. I would appreciate the opportunity to learn something from you! smile

    No doubt you have been on several antibiotics since December trying to rid this pneumonia. Just a thought to read up on Probiotics, that can help restore the normal flora in your gut.

    Antibiotics can destroy many of them, and leave us with some gastro intestinal upsets. Probiotics can help. Just a thought.

    Hope to hear back when you are able jo!

    Lill

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply Lill, I will definitely let you know what the results are. I'm looking forward to the CT scan as I have a lot of pain in the left side of my lungs but all the infections have been on the right side. I will look up probiotics to try and improve the healthy bacteria in my stomach.

      Jo

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    • Posted

      Glad you will be getting more information Jo.

      If you like yogurt, the Greek style that indicates 'live culure' on the label, this a couple times a day can aid in regaining the natural flora as well...ask you dr if this would be ok to have when he puts you onto the antibiotic that proves sensitive to your bacterial growth..

      Good wishes

      Lill

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  • Posted

    That's great news Jo, its best to know for sure what ails you, I do think everyone should be referred to a specialist consultant, CT scan and other tests will reveal more accurately which lung condition you have, where the lung damage is etc.  

    74% FEV is still very good but to have recurring chest infections including pneumonia is not good and if left unchecked could cause further lung damage.

    Pulmonary rehabilitation is also something you can ask about the consultant or GP can refer you for this to help you manage symptoms and lung health better so long term you can have a better quality of life.

    CT scan revealed I have emphysema, the rate at which my lungs were working through the gas exchange measurement (transfer test) also known as DLCO reading, blood oxygen levels were ok and my heart was doing ok too.  Its good to have thorough tests done, nothing worse than not knowing for sure what is wrong, knowing for sure gives confidence in having the condition treated properly, you can see your way forward better by researching the condition and what things are found to be helpful, without a proper diagnosis you can't do that, the spirometry test can't diagnose which lung condition you have, it only measures how much air you can exhale and how quickly.

    Best wishes to you V

     

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    • Posted

      Hi V

      Thanks for your reply, I really need to know what's going on in my lungs, at times it's hard to explain to people especially my employer why I feel so ill when I don't fully understand myself. People just assume you are just out of breathe and think if you just rest a while you will be fine.

      I will post my results on here.

      Take care

      Jo

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    • Posted

      Great advice Vee2.

      With spirometry being such an important test, it actually does help diagnose which lung condition a person has, be it COPD, Asthma or an overlap of both, (also known as Reactive Airway Disease)

      The variety of measurements taken help determine which condition is present, staging and also helps to assess if treatments are working or not, as well as progression.

      Another great aspect of spirometry testing is it can actually detect COPD before symptoms present themselves. Which is a very  important ability of the testing, although I wonder to what degree it is used in very early detection.

      Lill

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    • Posted

      I understand jo, next time you have an infection ask for your sputum to be tested, this can reveal which bacteria is resident in your lungs, good to know this especially if it is one that only responds to a specific anti biotic.  Having the correct antibiotic prescribed can avoid some recurring infections.

      Maybe if you have a problem before seeing the consultant you can get a sputum test done before you see the consultant.

      Also I forgot to mention above, any tests you have done, including the sputum test results ask for a copy of those so you can be aware yourself of the diagnosis, etc etc.  also how well you are doing whenever you are retested.

      Best wishes V x

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    • Posted

      I have to disagree lill even though patient uk site says spirometry can help diagnose different lung conditions, only a ct scan can reveal the actual nature of the lung condition / damage along with other more in depth testing than a spirometry test can provide.  A CT scan provides hard copy proof of emphysema for instance and shows the actual lung damage, where its located etc. the spirometry test can't and doesn't do that.   

      I know a lady who has never seen a consultant who has been told she has COPD but she doesn't know if she has emphysema or chronic bronchitis, or even bronchiectasis, there are slight to quite varying difference between these different lung conditions even though two of them come under the same banner of COPD. All will show airway obstruction or restriction to one degree or another which a spirometry test can measure.

      I personally think its helpful for patients to know which lung condition they have as it does affect them differently and it helps the patient should they want to research their particular lung condition themselves.  

      Spirometry is a helpful test no doubt.

       Best wishes V

       

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    • Posted

      Hello Vee2

      Are MRIs routinely done there where you are  to diagnose COPD?

      It is my understanding that Spriometry is considered to be the

      Gold standard on an international level for diagnosing and managing COPD as well as lung function assessments in general.

      Because spirometry can differentiate between asthma and COPD, define the degree of obstruction,confirm the response to bronchodilators, helps to monitor progression of disease, can provide information for prognosis and suvival as well as provide proof that COPD is not present.

      Do you think MRIs would be more expensive, take longer to achieve and require more effort than spirometry as I do?

      However, on an international level there would certainly be variations as amongst other disease approaches.

      It certainly is a learning process though!

      Lillconfused

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    • Posted

      Hello Vee2!

      I stand corrected. My deepest and most sincerest of apologies. I appreciate you pointing out my grave error.

      Regardless, CT scans are more expensive, take longer to obtain, and not easily accessible to everyone.

      Spirometry is considered the Gold standard for diagnosis and monitoring, on an international basis as far as I know.

      Lill smile

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    • Posted

      Referral to specialising consultant is the best way forward for anyone who has repeated lung infections, or whose lung health is unstable.  The consultant usually does request CT scan, cardiac check, gas exchange etc etc.  We are fortunate in the UK at this time we still have the NHS so a referral to a specialist can mean a better understanding of what is going on with our lung health and for those patients referred treatment, scans, xray, and other tests and checks are a cost born by the NHS.    
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  • Posted

    Hi it's good to know that you're having these tests done cos you know that they are covering all aspects of your lungs.The year before last sep -Feb I was having recurrent chest infections my GP was giving me atibiotics which weren't working until my specialist put me on Co amosicillin and instantly they worked have you tried these
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    • Posted

      No I haven't tried them Jackie, my GP is waiting for the results of a sputum test before she prescribes any more antibiotics.

      Thank you all for your comments/advice, this forum is invaluable.

      Jo

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  • Posted

    Hi jo hun, pleased you have many replies, ur 1st action is lung Xray  good then spirometer test  GET THE RESULTS NUMBER THEY NORMALLY TRY TO HIDE IT FROM   GOOD LUCK will read laterxx
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    • Posted

      Hi Michael

      Thanks for your reply I've had 2 chest X-rays when I had pneumonia. I've also had spirometry test with my GP, the specialist now wants a Volume CT scan, lung volume and gas transfer tests for a more detailed view of my lungs. I will post the results on here when I have them.

      Jo

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    • Posted

      Hi jo, Good Luck, Am trying same today  ur correct with the three tests ur info has been written down and hopefully at my specialist today will do similar, ta 4 info great stuff much help to me  hun x
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