NOT ASTHMA

Last winter I was on antibiotics from September to March intermittently. Won.t bore you with all the details as I have been asking my GP for a Chest Ex-ray'during all that time. Anyway He still hasn't arranged one. I eventually gotl the phlegm, I constantly have been coughing up since September, checked and it came back this September say no bugs. So GP just accepted that and decided no more antibiotics. I told him then that my Bricanyl had no effect on my lack of breathing which he rubbished. I am also on Seretide 500 one puff twice a day and Montelukast. Anyway during my appointment for flu jab the Sister said what about a Spirometry test. That was carried out last week and yesterday my GP phoned me to say I have COPD. Why didn,t the GP think of that earlier I do not know. Anyway during the call he said to make an appointment to see him which I am sure he could have made on his timetable anyway the appointment is for the 16th December so I guess I just keep taking my Seretide till then. Why I am writing this blog is to say to all Asthma sufferers to think of this test sooner if they don't feel well even though I am still harping on about a chest ex-ray. Sorry I had to make this so long but it has been a long road and I feel they could have found this sooner especially when I said the Brycanyl was not working for me he should have taken that on board. I have had Asthma since childhood and knew something had changed. It has been so frustrating so I have made another appointment already for January as I know the right medication, for me, will not be found on one appointment also I will again ask for a chest ex-ray as I have been reading the NHS & British Heart & Lung say that this should be the first course of action for COPD Has anyone else out there been stepped up from Asthma to COPD and what medication do they find useful? I know everyone is different.

9 Replies

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  • Hi Teigan01, I'm sorry you're going through such a terrible time, I too have gone from Adult Onset Asthma to mild COPD in just a year, however, unlike you I've received fantastic treatment and investigations etc. I've had CT scans, VQ scan and am awaiting a CT Pulmoniograph as something showed up in the bottom of my right lung. It's ridiculous that you haven't had as much as an X-Ray AND you have to wait until 16th December to see him! Could you see a different Dr in the Practice? I think you really need to start shouting even louder and be more assertive, always in a polite manner, but assertive nevertheless.

    Bronagh

  • I agree with Bronagh that you have been treated outrageously. I am also concerned that it is too easy and the cheapest option for GPs to diagnose COPD. In theory COPD can be managed by the GP practice, so they do not need to refer patients to a consultant. May I ask if you are or were a smoker? COPD is usually caused by long term inhalation of toxic substances. If there is no evidence of that then they should look again. Asthma can cause damage but that would need some more specific and rigorous tests.

    You might find it helpful to join another group here on Health Unlocked, the British Lung Foundation. The majority of people there have COPD, and are very knowledgeable. But there are many other conditions as well.

    All the best

    K x

  • Hello Teigan, you have had a rough time I am sorry. Unfortunately some GP cannot make that difference, you need to see a respiratory specialist..Phone the Asthma Uk helpline so they give you tips and details for the COPD association they must have a help line and ideas for you.

    Take care xx

  • Hi folks,

    Katinka46, you don't have to of been a smoker to be a sufferer of COPD.

    I have had Asthmas past 20 odd years but have lived through the 70's where all social venues were extremely smoking atmosphere which I believe contributed towards my Asthma condition.

    Also a friend wh has never smoked drove Coaches and has COPD.

    So we are the unfortunate ones that suffer from others who smoked sadly.

  • I agree with you but you said that you lived through the 70s where smoke was in all the pub and meeting places. I did not suggest that it was only smoking but any toxic substance. It could be industrial fumes, dust, chemicals in the air. And asthma is not COPD, well, sometimes it is classified under that umbrella, but it is spasmodic, and is related to a reaction in the linings of the the airways. I am so sorry that you have suffered from others smoking.

    I think it is interesting how quickly we have got used to the new regime. It is only a few years since the ban came in but if we went into a cafe or pub and smelt smoke it would feel like a serious affront and very offensive. And I think, as a result of the ban and social pressure, numbers of COPD cases are down? Asthma may not show the same decrease because it is just the way some people's bodies react to a range of stimulants.

    All the best

    K

  • Hi Teigan.

    Copd is damage to the lungs resulting in a degree of permanent tightness. This is measured by the spirometry test. This can be caused by occupational reasons or smoking as two examples.. However it can also be caused by having long term asthma.

    In my experience as a trained asthma and copd nurse spirometry may improve with the correct treatment and so I would be cautious labeling you with Copd. If diagnosed a chest x-ray is appropriate.

    A step up in your treatment may be beneficial. Perhaps a MART or SMART régime would help. Fostair. Or symbicort used as a regular preventer and reliever can work very well and they are similar but newer medication to seretide but work quicker and longer. Guidelines we use are the BTS asthma guidelines and gold copd so do Google or contact asthma.uk for advice. Hope this helps.

  • My GP is starting to suspect I have COPD as one of my measurements fell below 70% (67%) and inhalers have been of little benefit - only courses of prednisolone have helped. My IgE is raised at 527.

    It has taken nearly 18 months for a CT scan to be arranged ( waiting for the appointment) I have never smoked but have been subjected to passive smoking and in my former employment I was a welder. My symptoms began with an inability to exercise - I could no longer complete a run.

    To be perfectly honest I am worried now that whatever I have is more sinister than either asthma or COPD.

  • Hi didn't you as an asthmatic have an annual review? I did. It was at one of those that it was picked up that I was heading for copd as well. This was diagnosed the year afterwards. My lung function at that time was only 63%. The nurse changed my asthma preventer to symbicort and my next test showed my lung function had risen to pre copd levels and I was now borderline instead. 8 years on it is 74%.

    The nurse said before it had probably been due to poorly controlled asthma! I was angry and upset as a couple of years earlier I had been to the doctors about my continual cough. I deliberately chose a doctor who was an asthma specialist at the hospital. Anyway presumably because I was still smoking he totally dismissed my words, showed absolutely no interest and just looked at the ceiling or floor instead. I thought then, I could be dying of lung cancer or something and his attitude would just be it's your own fault for smoking, just go away and die quietly.

    Have a look at the NICE guidelines. They state that on diagnosis of copd a chest x-ray should be done. I was consistently refused one as well until I managed to get one 4 years later. Insist on one and don't let them put you off. The guidelines also state that with mild copd you should have at least 1 annual review with a respiratory trained person (probably a nurse).

    Lastly for more info and support on copd join the British Lung Foundation on here. x

  • Oh I agree about seeing another doctor! You have to be proactive with copd otherwise you can get walked over. Ask to be referred to PR (Pulmunory Rehabilitation) where you learn good exercises for lung problem suffers and have a question and answer chat with an expert. The other thing is many doctors will give rescue packs in case you get a chest infection and you can't get to the doctors ie evenings, weekends etc. This will usually consist of ab's and maybe steroids as well. It is important to tackle these immediately coz they can further damage your lungs. x

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