Shortness of breath after I quit smoking, WHATS WRONG WITH ME?!?

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I am 28 years old (about to be 29) and I have been smoking since I was 14.

2 years ago I quit smoking. About a month after I quit, I started getting these short bouts of shortness of breath(SOB)-mainly when I was relaxing. As time went on the bouts. Of SOB got longer and longer and eventually it got to the point where it lasts all day. One stressfull day it almost knocked me out and i went to the hospital for a breathing treatment.

The told me to go to a primary care physician (PCP)

I went to the PCP and they gave me a pulmonary funtion test (PFT) and my doctor said "you have very early stage of copd". My PCP gave me an emergency inhaler-albueterol- and a management inhaler-breo-i didnt take it because it scared me-and a round of steroids-prednisone for 1 week- and sent me to a pulmonologist for further testing....the pulmonologist did his own test and said no copd-"maybe a little bit of asthma, and I think you have a LOT of stress going on which attributes to it.

After a year and 2 months of quitting smoking I started again...I was tired of feeling like couldnt breathe. But now I have another pulmonologist, just got him, and he has talked me into quitting smoking again....ibgo in next friday for another (pft) in my heart I know something is wrong...im scared, I finally started taking the breo and im undecided on it yet.....

ANY ADVICE??? WHAT MEDS WORK FOR YOU ALL???

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Smoking is the worst thing you can do . If you have an inhaler and you need it , use it it was given to you for a reason . I use Salbutamol and Tiotropium inhalers , but what works for some doesn't work for others .

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  • Posted

    I don't know I have never had breo ellipta . Sometimes it may take several changes of medication to find the best one for the individual . Whatever medication suits you best smoking is a deffinite no .

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    • Posted

      I know, Ive told the doctor that im going to quit again. Ughh it just sucks not being able to breathe....I really want to exercise to see if it helps but I get light headed so easily...so im scared to

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  • Posted

    Exercise is good , and helps with your breathing . I have started to exercise and am feeling the benefit , but don't over do the exercising . Good luck with you quitting smoking , it's not easy but it is worth doing .

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  • Posted

    I would also like to suggest, being your one doctor told you that you do not have COPD, that perhaps you should look into other causes too.  I know anemia and hypothyroidism can cause SOB, as I have both, but not COPD and I feel SOB quite often.  Both disorders are actually pretty common.   Just a thought...
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  • Posted

    Hi it can be difficult to tell early copd and asthma apart and even doctors can't always do it.  It could be that you are borderline copd and have slipped just out of the range again.  It is very unusual for someone at your young age to be diagnosed with copd as it is usually after decades of smoking.   If you are diagnosed with copd make sure you ask for a simple blood test to determine if you have a genetic cause as this should be give you at your young age.  Genetic is pretty rare though so I hope not.

    I am wondering what type of work you do?  Some occupations such as construction,  the rag trade etc. (google the full list) can cause lung problems in sensitive people.  This might be worth looking into. 

    If you are given meds then please take them.  All they will do is help you to breathe better. Well done for quitting smoking the first time,  you have proved you can so now you need to do it again.  My advice is to do it slowly using something like patches,  champix etc. as this weans you off the nicotine more gradually and you may find this easier than cold turkey. 

    However if you continue having breathing problems just because it might well not be copd doesn't mean there is nothing wrong as there is a whole raft of lung diseases out there,  though fortunately most of them are not common.  A CT scan should show if anything is wrong so maybe you could ask for one of these.  Good luck.

     

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    • Posted

      Hypercat,

      I am so gracious for your reply. This has been a terribly difficult time as im sure you can imagine. I work in a massive bread factory without A/C, just huge fans that suck in that massive amounts of dust and dirt that surrounds us...so yes work may have something to do with it. My new Pulmonologist (whom ive only seen once BUT I REALLY LIKE HIM) told me "I really dont want you working there, but if you must than I want you to wear a mask while you are there. I may quit and just drive for Uber and Lyft as that may suit me better in my condition, however, I dont think they offer health insurance! 

      I have already taken 1 ct scan but that was about 1.5 years ago and I would like to take another as well ad more blood work. I cant tell you why I didnt take the managment inhalers, other than the fact that I read "more likely to die from asthma related problems when on this medicine. I shouldve given it an honest chance. But im on it now and have cut way back on smoking and plan to be smokefree by my next appointment w/ the pulmonologist, this friday.

      I will say the prednisone steroids make me feel like a million bucks but the doc only gives me 1 week and out of the last 2 years ive done it twice. I wish they could give me that stuff long term.

      I was also prescribed Lexapro for anxiety and depression...because I've been really down on myself lately amd thinking terrible thoughts....but thats another medicine Im not to keen on...ive never taken something like that, and a medicine that messes with your brain chemistry,again, scares me. But ill try it.

      I am really scared. But I am going totry my best to fight back! Do you do any exercising? What should I try? 

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  • Posted

    Hi William

    I'm sorry you're having breathing problems.  I'm also sorry that you started smoking so young, as it is much worse to start ad a young teen than to start in one's 20s.  This means that no matter the cause/ source of your current problems, it is even more imperative for you to quit smoking than for people who started at 20-25.  My ex started at 9 so we've heard chapter and verse on this.  Until I got bronchiectasis last year, his COPD was so much worse than mine despite the fact that he quit in his late 30s and I quit at 53.

    Do your inhalers and see the doctor.  Inhalers are the 1st drug any doc is going to give you.  If the canister sits in a drawer, doc's have no way to know what else to suggest. 

    Good luck.

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  • Posted

    You will find that people need different types of medication. If you feel that yours is not helping go to your doctor and explain there are so many different types that it could take time to find the best one for you. Well done on giving up smoking and now try gentle exercise size such as swimming or walking this will be of great benefit to you it might be hard to begin with but in a short time you will feel the benefits from it then you can and will begin to enjoy life again .
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