Just got Chest X-Ray Results - Could it be COPD?

Posted , 10 users are following.

This discussion has been locked due to a period of inactivity. Start a new discussion

Some background: I've had breathing issues for about 3 years now and it's gotten worse over the last year. If I do mild exercise such as hitting a ball in a batting cage, sometimes it takes every amount of effort to not faint even though it's not rigorous exercise by any means. If I do something like sprint down the block, it takes me an hour to recover with my breathing. I also wheeze about 75% of the time I breathe even when I'm just sitting down and will sometimes struggle a bit for air even when just lying around.

The doctor I'm seeing now thinks it might exercise-induced asthma. I've been on meds for about a week for it and just got a chest x-ray. The results concluded: "No pneumonia. Slight flattening diaphragms, may be seen with airways disease and hyperinflation".

Everything I read about flattening diaphragms points more to COPD than asthma, but could it be both? My doctor is slow to respond so wanted to see if anyone had an idea before I eventually hear back from him.

Thanks!

1 like, 13 replies

Report

13 Replies

  • Posted

    Unable to advise, COPD is a possibility (often goes with hyperinflation), but much more depends on your age, history of smoking, bodybuilding or excercise mania, any childhood asthma and so forth.

    Would you like to say more about your past? COPD is manageable in most mild cases, but you will need more tests.

    Report
    • Posted

      Hey thanks! I'm 30, non-smoker, but did smoke pot regularly in high school and am an occasional cigar smoker. No childhood asthma. I'm average weight and height (5'9" and 160).

      Was fairly in shape before the breathing issues. Would play sports and exercise regularly. 

      Report
  • Posted

    I also can't say what's wrong with you but long before i had COPD i had a lower respiratory infection which mainly manifested as difficulty in breathing upon exertion and eventually led to fainting upon standing up, very embarrassing as someone then always felt obliged to call for an ambulance. No fever, no coughing, no preceding cold or sinus issue. Did they check your blood gases?

    One might hope for a lesser diagnosis than COPD.

    Report
  • Posted

    Hi Dave:

    When my granddaughter was 4, she said "Mamaw, what is that funny noise you are making".  I was wheezing, but ignored it.   Eventually, when my breathing was labored, I went to the same doctor and was diagnosed with asthma. 5 years later, when my oxygen level hit 72, I went to a different doctor who did extensive testing, sent me for CT scan and I was diagnosed with COPD.  I feel there were 5 years wasted because of an incorrect diagnosis.  Dave, please go to a Pulmonary specialist or insist that your doctor order a CT scan.  The earlier that you catch COPD, the more effective your treatment will be.  It is manageable, although there is no cure. 

    Report
  • Posted

    Hello Dave

    Yes, it could be both...COPD and what is referred to as Reactive Airway Disease (RAD).

    Your statement about "...it takes every amount of effort not to faint..." just by hitting a ball draws my attention.

    Has your physician done any cardiac testing on you? Such as EKG or cardiac ultrasound? Feeling like fainting after hitting a ball and sitting down does not lead me to the thoughts of COPD nor even asthma...unless you also find yourself extremely short of breath at the same time and are hyperventilating to try to get enough air in, then that would make you feel as though you could faint.

    Wheezing is found with asthma and RAD that is for certain...Perhaps you have more than one issue going on.

    Please, give us an update if you learn anything more.

    Would be interesting to know what meds he has given you and if you have noticed any changes in the short time you have been on them.

    Lill

    Report
    • Posted

      Good point Lill.  I have a friend who began to have the same symptoms as described and had a rare heart muscle disorder that was blocking blood flow from his heart.  I cannot remember the name of it, but he said it is what causes sudden heart attack death in young people who are in shape.  He just had open heart surgery and will be fine now.  
      Report
  • Posted

    Even I am interested in knowing what it is. I am also sailing in the same boat as you are. I am 31. Having similar symptoms as you. 
    Report
  • Posted

    Hi Dave,

    Sorry for your suffering.

    I have severe asthma as well as COPD.  I had the asthma first, from birth, and later in my 30's, I was also labeled COPD.  Your symptoms are my symptoms.  I have thoroughly treated the asthma and the medications they have developed for COPD are quite fantastic.  Breo and Spiriva are fantastic!  If there is an asthma component I recommend that you see an allergy/asthma specialist.  

    Fear not!  You live in an age with fantastic medications to help you feel normal again.  Beware though, try to avoid the use of corticosteroids except for intermittently.  The injections are less damaging over time than the oral and intravenious methods of delivery.  Short sporadic oral doses are fine.  I am now suffering some heavy debilitating side effects from 30 years of sometimes heavy steroid use.  My price to pay for trying to breathe has been high.

    Hope you get to the bottom of this soon and that treatments help you greatly if you need them!

    Dawn, USA

    Report
  • Posted

    This response is for lill............Lill, you always give very informative, uplifting, helpful suggestions and answers.  Bless you!!  I love seeing what you write!!
    Report
    • Posted

      Hello Sandy!

      Well, thank you so much...that is quite a feather you have put in my cap.

      smile

      You have made my entire month with such a generous light. I am very interested in teaching others and get much enjoyment from it. I hope to help someone if I can ....life is not easy for so many and, also, each of us, at some time or another, need a little extra help.

      Bless you to Sandy

      xoxo

      Lill

      Report
  • Posted

    Hi you are very young at 30 to have copd.  It can happen at this age but it would be most unusual. Most copders are in their forties and older. 

    It is possible you have another lung disease.  If you have not already had one you need to ask for a spirometry test which will show any reduction in lung function.  If your symptoms aren't explained by that then I would expect you to be offered a CT scan which is much more comprehensive.  

    Exercise induced asthma is an official condition so it might be that.  I have heard of it before.   x

    Report
  • Posted

    JAMES IS RIGHT SPIROMETER TEST FOLLOWED BY LUNG X RAY SEE GP NOW  Nurse does the testing. You`re to young, unless previous asthma problems. stay on grass etc.  me too used to live in morrocco now off to INDIA for 10 weeks and NEPAL. good luck to you and all other COPD  sufferers
    Report

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion

Report as inappropriate

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up