Suspected COPD

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Hi, I've been suffering from breathlessness, dizziness when walking, and shoulder and chest pain for the last 10 months. I had a spirometer test done 3 weeks ago, I also had a chest X-ray and I go for the results in 2 weeks time. My practitioner nurse not sure if asthma or COPD. She gave me a salamis spray which doesn't help much, I get very funny headed and I now have to have energy drinks to get me through a working day. I'm 47 female and any help would be appreciated. ( I'm an ex smoker been stopped 2 years and when I was very young I worked on a farm ) x

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  • Posted

    It could be asthma or allergy. I have COPD and have never heard of a salamis spray, Both asthma and COPD are usually treated with Salbutomal inhaler or a preventative such as Budesonide. Hopefully having stopped smoking for over 2 years, it will not be COPD.

    Hope you get it sorted with your results in 2 weeks time. 

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    • Posted

      Ummmmm ..... I'd stopped smoking for 4 years when I was diagnosed with COPD and that's very common, and for even longer periods of time, up to 20 years for some people.    COPD eats away for quite a while before we notice any symptoms, and it's really time Government Health Authorities updated their Quit programs to cover this:  I really believed that I could stop any time and my lungs would recover - unfortunately NOT TRUE
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    • Posted

      That's for asthma, so if it's not working you don't have asthma you probably do have COPD and the nurse shouldn't have wasted your and/or your government's money prescribing it:  as I said earlier, it's easy to tell from a proper spirometry test whether or not you have asthma, by doing the test with and without ventolin.

       

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  • Posted

    Your spirometry test should've included a test with ventolin to indicate whether you have asthma, because if so ventolin will affect the test restuls.

    I can't find out anything about salalmis on google:  is it for asthma?  The symptoms listed at the start of your post plus the tiredness later on do indicate possible COPD, which is easy to diagnose with only a sprimetry test, so I guess the ex-ray is to rule out anything more serious.

    Lay off he energy drinks if you can;  they're really bad for your bddy and your mind.  It's quite common to be diagnosed with COPD some years after quitting cigarettes:  those Quit ads which tell us our lungs will return to normal after a certain time are lying, because it depends on how long we've been smoking before we quit.

    If you do have COPD try not to panic:  it is very very manageable especially if you get yourself to a rehab to learn the correct breathing techniques and mental approach.  For example, you just can't "soldier on" with COPD, you need to be very aware of your energy levels and adapt to them.

    IF the energy drinks are allowing you to push yourself when the tiredness is telling you to slow down and rest, you're doing yourself more damage and supporting the disease rather than the management of it - am I making sense, it's earlly in the morning here ...

    All the best

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply, when I had spirometer test I had a test then asthma spray then another test 20 minutes later, she said the spray hadn't caused any improvement. She wanted to show my results to a senior nurse, I know the energy drinks aren't any good and I hate the taste of them but I'm scared of not being able to work, if I didn't have one I would literally fall asleep at my desk I am that exhausted.
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    • Posted

      Then I don't understand why she wd give you an asthma spray .... there are others which are very effective for COPD.

      Are you pushing yourself with the tiredness and breathing difficulties?  Bc if so, that just doesn't work with COPD.

      Maybe your tiredness is fro another cause?  Medication for another condition?  EG statins for cholesterol reduction will do that & so will other medications and energy drinks won't help at all in the long run.

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    • Posted

      I worked for many many years after being diagnosed with COPD in my early thirties and worked until I was nearly 60 yrs old. A lot depends on the type of work you do. Although mine took quite a lot of energy and I was often put on steroids (Prednisolone). I never drank any energy drinks as I didn't need them. What does your work entail? Although tiredness is a factor, you seem to be lacking sleep if you are that exhausted. Best to see your GP and get a proper doctor's opinion and some tests done. Nurses can only do so much, Specialists can do much more.
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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply, that makes me feel better. I work for a bank, a desk job not physically hard but mentally stressful! I am seeing the doctor again in a few weeks and will list all my symptoms and how they are getting worse, and ask for a referral to a specialist.
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  • Posted

    Your symptoms need thorough checking.  Check in with your GP who can refer you for thorough checks, cardiac, bloods, blood pressure, diabetes etc.  any number of things depending on what other symptoms you are presenting, write everything down so you can communicate these to your GP

    Your symptoms may not be anything to do with respiratory.

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  • Posted

    Hi Jo

    I know how stressful it can be to have to do any sort of work when you are feeling ill or tired. I sympathise with you. Also by the way, giving up smoking might not repair any damage done, but it DOES stop things getting worse. I gave up in 2012 after a stroke and then a heart attack and, believe me, it does make a difference to your breathing, even if damage is already done, you WILL feel better for it as time passes. I had asthma at 18 months old until it turned into  COPD in my thirties. I smoked for many years from about 14 yrs old. If I hadn't given up, I reckon I might be dead now at 72, so never think it wasn't worth it!!!

    Regards, Val.

     

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    • Posted

      Thanks Val

      I'm so glad I stopped smoking 2 years ago, just imagine how worse I would be! I've had a good couple of days, but did too much housework today and hoovering the stairs had mme coughing quite bad for an hour or too!

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    • Posted

      Do it a bit at a time: : I know it means your entire house won't all be clean at the same time, but who cares?    Even better, Is there no-one else in your household who can do the hoovering?

      Also, dust masks are a good idea .... I always forget to use them and then I'm sorry later.   Vacuuming stairs was always the most tiring part of the job when I worked as a cleaner, long before I had COPD.

      Can your local council help with the cleaning?  I have someone from a health service about to start coming once a fortnight just to do the floors and the soft furnishings where dust collects and it made a huge  difference when I had council cleaners doing it, except this new service is free (I'm in Australia) and I couldn't afford the subsidised council cleaning.

      Take care of yourself:  you're more important than your floors unless the dust is making your COPD worse.

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    • Posted

      To Jude and Jo

      You are so right. Dust is a big contributor to asthma and COPD. I used to employ a cleaner at one time to do the heavy work like vaccuming and moving heavy furniture. In the UK you can pay a home help if you are on DLA or PIP...a disability allowance. It used to be free, but alas no longer. Eventually my son took a large redundancy package to become my carer.

      As you say, housework is here for ever, but you are not, so take it easy and only do a certain amount each day nd if there is anyone to help you, let them help in any way they can. The dust mask is another good idea, as is "wet" dusting to avoid breathing in the dust. Another tip i use is to use bicarbonate and soda mixed with lemon juice for cleaning surfaces. Much better than using chemicals that can affect your breathing

      Hope this is helpful, regards to both, Val.

       

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    • Posted

      Yeah, that sort of thing used to be free in Australia too, also grasscutting, but no longer and the amount of time the workers are given to clean isn't enough for it to be done properly.

      I haven't used chemicals for years for environmental reasons but I find keeping the dust down with wood heating is difficult and now that summer is here there will be more dust from the environment and if we're unlueky, bushfire smoke.   And no, I wouldn't move to the city because the air pollution there is year round, at least here in the mountains it's seasonal.

       

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    • Posted

      I've just come back from the GP who confirmed I do have COPD, I had a flu jab and pneumonia jab. They took loads of bloods and I also have a Tiotropium bromide inhaler. Also Fev1/fvc 66%

      Fev1 74%

      And my chest X-ray has shown a chest infection. To be honest I feel very bewildered!

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