Results of recent X-ray-Early signs o... - Lung Conditions C...

Lung Conditions Community Forum

52,677 members63,620 posts

Results of recent X-ray-Early signs of COPD non acute

Debs4 profile image
20 Replies


Would firstly like to say I feel for anyone struggling with this disease. I personally feel quite shocked that I have probably got it!

I’ve recently been told that my chest X-ray revealed that I have early signs of COPD but that it is non acute.

I think I had two Covid infections this year one in March and one in June. I say think because I tested negative for one but the symptoms were very similar.

Anyway, the cough lingered and I started experiencing the phlegm problem at the back of my throat so was sent for an X-ray. Btw I’d had ‘walking pneumonia’ in 2015 and any cold or infection has always gone straight to my chest since then but had never experienced the throat problem before.

My question is, ‘Is the throat thing one of the most significant symptoms of COPD?’ And, is a spirometry test the main tool used for diagnosing?

My GP has said that I don’t have a definite diagnosis and need further testing but he will not send me for a CT scan until I’ve had the spirometry test which there is a long wait for. It may be in January or longer before I get one. God knows how long the wait for a CT scan will be! So I’m feeling in limbo and quite

anxious about all this. I have had a terrible cough for 3 weeks now and reluctant to take more antibiotics but wondering if this will ever go without them?

Any, thoughts or suggestions or advice would be so welcome.

Thank you in advance!

20 Replies
Lol1944 profile image

Please do not worry yourself into a frazzle. Request your gp to refer you to a respiratory specialist. Not really sure how your gp suggests copd from an x ray! The sooner he refers you the sooner you will get some experienced attention.

Debs4 profile image
Debs4 in reply to Lol1944

Thanks for your reply Lol1944 I think it feels worse because there are such long waiting lists just to get tested these days let alone treated. My GP won’t refer me to a respiratory specialist but I was referred to the asthma nurse who said the same thing as you. She doesn’t understand why the radiographer made the comment ‘early signs of COPD’ on the X-ray report as she said it’s impossible to diagnose it from an X-ray.

Think I might have to pay for a CT scan but they are about £500 in this area 😉

Lol1944 profile image
Lol1944 in reply to Debs4

You requested a referral and this was refused??!!Make a complaint in writing to the practice manager. If still refused come back to this forum.

Karenanne61 profile image
Karenanne61 in reply to Debs4

I think guidelines state you have the right to be referred to a specialist. As Lol1994 states, complain!

peege profile image

Hi, I read with alarm that you've considered the possibility of not taking antibiotics to rid yourself of continuin infections. I promise you from experienc that that's not a good idea.

I had many bouts of bronchitis as a child, a regular barking cough (which I rea.realisenow was asthma) & a very bad case of measles at about 6 years old. Useless parenting, a teacher told me I should see the doctor, took myself at 8, was given a piece of paper which I didn't understand which was of course was a prescription for abs that didn't get taken to the chemist around the corner.

Fast forward, my lungs are damaged from years of acute bronchitis every year. I used to think I'd let my immune system fight them, I suppose I was in misguided habit of not seeking help from a GP either. It took years of continuous infections, several bouts of pneumonia, every single cold would go to my chest berore I found this forum and gain some knowledge from the wonderfully supportive members.

My asthma is now under control, I take a lot of vitamins and supplements to help keep my immune system fighting fit however, the lungs are damaged, I have Small Airways Disease (or Bronchiectasis ) and CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome brought on from all those infections, pneumonia and viruses). Life is often shi**e and all because I thought I knew better.

People including GPs will tell you a cold is a virus, yes of course it is however, when we've got dodgy lungs and immunity is diminished the mucus sitting in the wet warm wet environment of lungs can easily become a bacterial infection .

IMO (and we're not medics here) you need a specific antibiotic specific to the bacteria you're growing in sufficient dose and fir a least 2 weeks. Insistbthst your sputum is tested, it's the least they can do. Very best wishes, Peege

Debs4 profile image
Debs4 in reply to peege

Thank you for your reply and advice peege

ghousrider profile image

good morning meet your mate they told me i had copd 2013 i lost my job through it i had to down size from house to flat in witch i do like better / waiting for medical app is a joke when you turn up there not a lot they can do / you go on exercise classes & catch other people health problems so if your doing execises do themm at home if can / read in to copd it does go to the big {c} a mate of mine lost his mrs to copd 5 years ago i did not make me feel any better in fact i felt low after what going to hapeen to me i thought & still feel that way there no cure for copd just keep smiling & talk about in a group of mates if you can ghoust rider

Debs4 profile image
Debs4 in reply to ghousrider

Thank you for your report ghousrider

Alberta56 profile image

Try not to worry (easier said than done.) The possible diagnosis sounds dodgy. If it is COPD it is controllable; people still live active lives with it. Just be gentle with yourself till that cough goes away. Would ordinary cough mixture sooth it, one with guaifenesin perhaps?

Debs4 profile image

Thank you for your kind reply Alberta56.

Carjim profile image

Hi Debs

I have had a chest infection for six weeks three courses of antibiotics and steroids a trip to A&E because I couldn’t breathe came off the antibiotics and steroids two weeks ago but couldn’t get rid of the cough or the mucus. Started taking vitamin c with zinc on Saturday feeling much better today not sure if it’s the vitamins or if the chest infection has run it course. But will carry on taking them anyway. I got the info for the vitamins off this web site for people with copd which is what I have. It’s worth investigating if they will work for you


katieoxo60 profile image

Hello Debs, I feel I must comment on your post and questions. The things you are being told are not necessarily correct. Your symptoms sound like Covid19 or something else. COPD does not usually have throat issues, a cough most often but so can severe uncontrolled asthma. The nurse is correct COPD cannot be detected by XRAy , However Xrays can rule out other causes. The only thing that can determine possible conditions is a CT scan and spirometer, or bronchoscope. Beware cough can be made worse by some drugs . a small hand fan close to the face can ease cough and breathing difficulties, throat can be eased with warm herbal tea or dry cough medicine from chemist. A diagnosis by a specialist respitary doctor is what you need and some diagnostic tests. Even a heart condition can cause some symptoms similar. Just as anemia can cause breathlessness. Sadly in the present situation waits are long, but in the mean time do try to find things that releive your symptoms and keep a record of symptoms and anything that makes it worse as this may help your doctor reach a correct diagnosis. Best Wishes

Debs4 profile image
Debs4 in reply to katieoxo60

Thanks for your reply katieoxo60 and for your thoughts and advice. I do suspect that since the X-ray I had was not that long after I had Covid, whatever was showing up on the X-ray could be a result of or related to Covid. I do need to get a diagnosis but there is such a long wait just for the spirometry test let alone CT scan etc that I may just have to pay for a private scan. I’ve heard though that there are even waits for private treatment as so many people are forced to resort to it. It’s very sad that we have had such a unique and special healthcare system but are losing it.

Anyway, thanks again and best wishes to you too.

katieoxo60 profile image
katieoxo60 in reply to Debs4

Good morning Debs4, Some people are using both routes now to get speedier treatment, still can take a couple of months , but some of the lesser tests are not too expensive. Scans range from £300 and look out for packages for younger people which can cover several things at once. You can also buy on your credit card or an extended package of credit to spreed the cost, Good luck I am one of those backing the campaigns to save the NHS but don't feel its working. Hope you start to feel better soon, try all suggestions in the mean time while waiting. Will be thinking of you

Debs4 profile image
Debs4 in reply to katieoxo60

Morning katieoxo60

Thanks for your kind reply. I’m also backing the campaign but although I’d like to stay positive it does look like we are fighting a losing battle.

I am fortunate in that this didn’t start during the pandemic so I have not been waiting for diagnosis or treatment as long as many people have. It feels scary that people are being left to fend for themselves. There is such a back log that although they have said they will start the spirometry testing in January I imagine it will be at least months before I would be seen. Apparently they only do one a day at the end of the day to avoid spreading any infections.

People on here have been very kind in offering support and advice and I really appreciate it. I think I’m more concerned than I would be as I’ve had about 4 spinal fractures due to osteoporosis. Any coughing is painful and carries the risk of broken ribs when it is as violent as it has been. I know there are loads with worse problems though! I have no mobility issues at all so I’m lucky there.

If I get no response from my GP this week then I will think about paying for a CT scan. When you say packages for younger people, how young are you thinking? I’m 67 so not sure it would apply to me 😉😂

But it is interesting that you mention packages as I was thinking it’s pricey for one area compared to two for instance. So worth a thought as the scan might just miss something if only one area is taken 🤷‍♀️

Anyway, thanks again and thank you for thinking of me. Best wishes to you.

katieoxo60 profile image
katieoxo60 in reply to Debs4

Hi again Debs4, just one answer to your question about age once you reach 70 most companies don't have packages it changes to older persons deals or none at all. Unless you already have a private health insurance. So basiucally for many older people NHS and what they can provide is the only way including the waiting times. Not very promising is it ? especially as people are living to much older ages nowadays.

Debs4 profile image
Debs4 in reply to katieoxo60

Ah see what you mean. No I don’t have private insurance and when I phoned to inquire they don’t cover any pre existing conditions and are stupidly expensive. Not sure what people are supposed to do 😉

Becktig profile image

Hi, it's frightening especially when you are first diagnosed, but I promise you that there are plenty of treatments and ways that you can live as full a life as possible. I have severe COPD and still work, still get around, still travel. I'm not saying it's easy, but it's not the end of the road. I'd echo what others have said here - you really should insist on getting proper tests to diagnose properly. The phlem at the back of your throat: I'm wondering whether it's what's known as Silent Reflux. That's acid reflux that doesn't hurt like normal reflux. It's very common in people with COPD. Do make sure you mention this phlem when you finally get to speak to a specialist, or even the practice nurse. If it is Silent Reflux, there's plenty of things you can take to reduce the severity of it. I didn't even know I had it, I'd got so used to clearing my throat constantly but my specialist pointed it out. It was affecting my voice - which frequently went squeaky or hoarse. It's a lot better than it was, and would be even better if I remembered to take the medication (my bad). With the severe underfunding of the NHS and the desperate shortage of GPs it's becoming increasingly necessary for us to fight our own corner when it comes to getting the treatment and care we need. It's not how it should be, but I'm afraid it's how it is right now. Sometimes it's a good idea to appoint a friend or family member to advocate for you - phone the doctor on your behalf and insist on a proper referral etc. I am brilliant at advocating for others, and absolutely rubbish at doing it for myself. Good luck, and in the meantime, remember, once you get a proper diagnosis and treatment, you'll be able to get on with your life.

Debs4 profile image
Debs4 in reply to Becktig

Thanks Becktig for taking the time to reply and for your advice. Sorry to hear you have severe COPD but happy you have been able to find a way to cope with it.

You are right I need to assert myself but it is so difficult these days even to get a telephone appointment let alone face to face. Take care.

Patk1 profile image

I'd not be concerned waiting only 2mths for spirometry - many people here waiting months- years! If you've had covid x2 and chest infections recently yr symptoms r probably related to that.have u put a specimen in? did gp diagnosis it + prescribe antibiotics? Id be reluctant to stop treatment! Tspn honeys gd to coat throat and help with cough.

You may also like...