Lack of Allergies and COPD

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I will be tested for COPD in March 2018 as the doctor thinks I may have COPD.  I quit smoking 27 years ago ( I am 61 years old. ) and worked in a job that had no chemicals of any kind and my work space had less dust then all the rest of the building. I had requested an allergy test and everything came back negative.  No dust or mites or pollens or molds showed any reactions so my question is can a person with no known allergies still have those things trigger a COPD attack. While in the woods camping I developed a cough that stuck around for weeks and ended up taking steroid inhaler and a puffer.  It did help.  I occasionally have a pressure in the center of my chest and a cough that doesn't stay for long.  FYI, I was also tested for all possible  tree and grass pollens all negative.   Any thoughts about this?

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Jane - what happens when you walk up a few flights of stairs? Are you a little out of breath or a lot out of breath?

    I'm new to COPD myself but that's one of the questions my Doc asked me after looking at my less than good chest e-ray. 

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    • Posted

      Steve, I am still not sure what is wrong with me.  the tests haven't been done yet.  But, I don't have problems on the stairs or walking.  I don't run so not sure what would happen there and my X Rays were clear as far as I know.  I still have to wait 3 months for the test so going to be awhile before I am officially diagnosed with COPD.  There are others on here who do have it and they may be able to answer your question for you.  Jane

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  • Posted

    Hi Jane

    You don't get COPD attacks.

    People with asthma get asthma attacks.

    People with COPD experience a worsening of symptoms when there is air pollutants, extreme temperatures etc.

    No sure why your doctor will want to wait till March 2018 to test you if COPD is what he suspects.

    What tests have you had done so far?  Apart from the allergy tests that is.

    If you were inhaling camp fire smoke that will affect breathing and worsen symptoms for both asthma and COPD  Any smoke will, passive smoking, campsires, fireworks, etc etc.

    Diagnoses of COPD to ask questions here really, otherwise without a diagnoses you will be getting answers relating to COPD which may not apply to you at all.

    So with already being prescribed inhalers as you mention above, what lead your doctor to prescribe those prior to the allergy tests?  

    Do you have an asthma diagnosis already?

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    • Posted

      Outside of having an Xray done and having the doctor listen to my cough nothing was done.  Asked me a few questions like if I have acid reflux much and how long since I smoked last ( 27 years ) and I don't sit near the fire pit even thought I love the smell of campfire smoke.  I had some sign of infection when I coughed and tightness in the chest.  that was pretty much it.  and where I live, you could be dying of a curable cancer but by the time you got the diagnoses it would be too far too late to treat it.  Everything here takes a long time .  Found out almost 4 months after it happened that i had fractured 2 vertebra and had 2 bulging discs.  Still waiting to see the specialist about that!  sucks to live where I live when it comes to medical help. everything else about this place is fine. Sorry just frustrated with the waiting.

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    • Posted

      Do you live in UK ?

      They only found i had Emphysema from a routine CT Scan i have got to have another soon for something else getting old really does suck the last 2 years i have had loads of health problems.

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    • Posted

      I am in Eastern Canada on an Island were most medical professionals don't like to live I guess which means that if you want a second opinion as the few specialist that are here are old and not up to date on the latest on anything, you must travel to the other side of the Island which is a long 9 hour drive with a bad back or you have to fly off the island to go to another province and the expense is great and most of us can not afford that. Only retired in January and at that time I was just fine so this definitely sucks big time for me. 

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    • Posted

      I am not sure what you can do then sorry. It sounds like the place you live is not very good when you need medical help.
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  • Posted

    Where do you live Jane?

    Sounds like you were being treated for a chest infection.  Whilst chest infections are fairly common in COPD patients,  chest infections are not uncommon in elderly folk or among people with compromised immune systems relating to other health conditions.

    The vetebrae and cracked ribs would be under an entirely different health issue. Referral rheumatology for Dexa scan etc.

      

    Oral steroids can cause bone thinning taken long term, but the dose for clearing a chest infection (now and again) along with ABs would not cause this unless you are having a lot of chest infections and oral steroid treatment throughout the year.

    Other health issues and drug treatments, diet deficiencies, lack of exercise all impact on bone health.  You might want to ask for vitamin D deficiency check if you have not had one done.

    Just to clarify, I am not a medical professional, I am purely speaking from my own experiences and awareness of how my own health is affected by different health issues I have.

    Your cracked ribs for instance, may or may not be a result of bone thinning, only way to check that is a Dexa scan.  But I suspect your doctor will advise you further if you ask what tests and scans he has already actioned on your behalf.

    Chest infections clear up after time and thus further xray results will likely show your chest is clear.  CT scan on the other hand shows lung damage and only symptoms can be treated and hopefully the condition stabilised.

    To read more about lung health and COPD, asthma, or bone thinning and osteoporosis you may want to search patient uk site or go the recognised organisations in the country you reside.

    In UK that is: 

    Patient UK (use the search box top right)

    British Lung Foundation website

    Osteoporosis and bone thinning check patient UK, NHS choices or the Osteoporosis Society website

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    • Posted

      I live in Eastern Canada and for the most part our medical is pretty good.  Just seems like because the area I live in is cold and snowy and on  an Island that we don't get many specialist and have to travel out of town to find a decent one.  The words ( get use to it ) is too often said to patients here but by leaving this area and traveling to get a second opinion we seem to find help.  Again this all takes time and time seems long when you are in pain or just not sure what is wrong with you.  Scares me that I might have lung cancer or something like that and by the time March comes for me to get the test done to check for COPD it will have only gotten worse.  I think you get what I am saying.  I still don't have an answer about weather or not that fact that I am not allergic to anything still means that I should be going to extreme measures to reduce dust, mites and because I have a cat I guess the pet dander that may or may not be causing flare ups of what ever it is I have.

      ?As far as the rest is concerned, I know I have weak bones and that heavy lifting caused what happened to my back.  Forgot I am no longer 30 smile  Lifted something without help and now paying the price.  Just hate that it takes so dam long to get diagnosed with anything!  they might have been able to help while the injury was new and fresh compared to now when over 4 months have gone by and still haven't seen a specialist about that either.  Again, everything here takes too long to be treated leaving people like me in pain longer then necessary.

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  • Posted

    Now you mention flare ups, so if you are getting these regularly just use your inhalers as prescribed and if you suspect a lung infection check in with your doctor straight away.  You actually only need a GP to treat those symptoms.  Here in UK it can take 4-6 months to see a specialist nothing any one can do about that unless a patient wants to pay megabucks to see a specialist privately.

    Having  flare ups, lung infections or COPD doesn't automatically lead to lung cancer.  

    I have no thoughts about your allergy testing, you have not yet had a diagnosis of COPD so any information offered here may not apply to you at all.

    As for you not having an answer about the fact you are not allergic to anything, quoting what you have said:-

    "still means that I should be going to extreme measures to reduce dust, mites and because I have a cat I guess the pet dander that may or may not be causing flare ups of what ever it is I have".

    Its entirely up to you if you think you should go to extremes or if you think its the cat that is causing your flare ups.  If you are pretty sure it is the cat, or if suspects something else, then again its entirely up to you what to do about it.

    I mentioned the osteoporosis society earlier, they have information of coping with pain regarding fractures, although I am sure osteoporosis canada website has similar guidelines.

    Best wishes in resolving your health issues.

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