British Lung Foundation
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I only have asthma and very mild copd. I try to eat well and exercise the dog daily. But why am I so out of breath and tired when doing

anything physical? I did some gardening on sunday. Only for about 1 hour just pruning and picking up the rubbish. Apart from dog walking I didn't do anything else that day but was knackered - very tired and achey and sob. On Monday I did some tidying up and vaccing. I am still shattered by these activities and ache all over. I can barely walk. And I feel very tired and sleepy still. Should this affect me so much?

I have my 6 monthly check with the COPD nurse on 10th June. Is this relevant and should I bring it up? Any ideas anyone please?


Bev xx

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19 Replies

Hi Bev - How you are feeling is absolutely relevant and should be communicated to you COPD nurse. You could have some viral infection that is affecting your breathing. Martin

Hi Bev, gotta agree with Martin on this, tell them how your feeling. My doc has picked up that I'm anaemic and has put me on a course of supplements to try and rectify this, as it contributes to the tiredness and sob.

Thanks thats good advice. I have said things before but it gets brushed aside. Maybe I should see a doctor instead of a copd nurse?

Bev x

You might need blood tests to see if you are lacking iron,that would make you feel tired.Asthma is a serious complaint my daughter spent 4 days in hospital once it was scary.I think you should see the doctor best be on the safe side Bev. xxx

*face slap moment* I meant to say they did blood tests on me, that's how they discovered I was anaemic .... :)

That's interesting , I also have tiredness after doing things , struggle to do housework, ect and body aches , in paticular , legs and back , I just assumed it was part and parcel ,of this condition



My husband has the same sort of problems - he has severe COPD but generally copes OK as long as he doesn't do anything physical! We were in the garden on Saturday and it took him two days to recover. I thought it was just the COPD and the fact the weather hasn't allowed him to get out in the garden very much this year and the fact none of us are getting any younger! Take care. TAD xxx

Yes, make an appointment with your doctor Bev if the nurse won't take notice - nurses can be brilliant but some can be a bit one-dimensional. Exhaustion can have many causes, and if your asthma is properly controlled, and you keep reasonably fit with just very mild copd, then this degree of exhaustion needs investigating. It's your right so dont accept any brushing aside. BLF helpline might be useful too. Good luck, jean

Hi, have you made a list of what you need to discuss with her/him?

I saw mine a couple of weeks ago and am now kicking myself for not bringing up what I'd meant to. I also wish I'd taken a pencil and paper to jot down her ideas. Annoying.

Good question.

Gordon where are you? Why does it take a day on the sofa, half brain dead, to recover from a bit of exertion?

Hi I can sympathise but I wish I had some answers.. I helped my neighbour with her garden on Sunday and was very wheezy on Monday and started coughing I have a chest infection, on ABs and steroids, and saline nebs.

I wonder if I disturbed some hidden infected mucus in my lungs, or if I just did too much after a long winter.

Good luck with your review


The sun comes out and off to the garden we go. Are you sure you didn't do more than you thought? After sitting around all winter we all tend to over the top in the sunshine. But I would mention it to your nurse anyway.

Love from Bobby xxxx

PS Knackered? Is that ladylike? lol

To those of you who have been out in the garden and feel tired, I don't know where you live but where I live the pollen has been awful (lots of pine trees here and yellow thick pollen this time of the year) - made me cough, wheeze etc and that is with antihistamines. Very bad when the wind is up (like today) - went to the gym today and no sneezes while there (air conditioning?) walked home (only 10 minutes away) and started sneezing again. Worth thinking about.

I was feeling knackered all the time before they diagnosed me with asthma and mild copd, and still do.

I have my copd/asthma nurse on speed dial and if im at all worried a quick phone call usually puts me at ease and if she thinks i need to go in and see her or have tests done then it gets sorted (Hmmmmm ive not called her in a while now perhaps i should let her know im still alive and kicking butts) she really helped me when i got a chest infection that just wouldnt go away and with a change of antibiotics i was soon back to my old self again (well slower self)

I prefer to phone first as it saves me sitting in that waiting room with all those ill people whom i can catch numerous diseases off at the drop of a hat. So hypercat get your nurse on speeddial ... im sure it will give you peace of mind.

Hugs Silk x

Hypercat, I also have Asthma and mild COPD and whilst the chronic cough is annoying and can make you feel fatigued I would say that these conditions you should not be feeling completely tired out as you are doing.

Especially as you say you are eating well and excercising.

I agree with the advice you have here to mention it to the nurse and if she doesn't refer you to the doctor then you should ask. It could be anything, as was suggested a virus or it could be your overall health that is lacking something. Have you had you vitamin D checked and are you getting enough vitamins and minerals, definately worth getting checked out,you need to stay as healthy as you can to protect yourself from any deterioration. It just needs determination and research and not being afraid to ask.

Many thanks for your advice everyone. I have a much better idea now what to ask the nurse. Wish I could have her on speed dial but there are only 2 COPD nurses there now both part-time. If I get a chest infection I have to see a doctor instead so have to ring for ages at 8.30 and by the time I get through don't usually get to see my fave doctor. It can take 6 weeks to get an appointment with nurse. My latest one I have to go to another surgery further away as there was none available at my nearest one. Its crazy.

I do get my bloods done every year but don't know if they automatically pick up anything else that could be wrong?

Today however I feel much better and did a long doggie walk with a friend. Maybe its just one of those things but I wish I had this energy every day intstead of once a week or so. There seems no rhyme or reason as to why most of the time I feel knackered. Maybe it comes on when I have to do something physical?

Bev xx

Great to read all the advice on here.

One thing BLF Active would say is don't be afraid to do the activities which make you breahtless. With a lung condition, you get breathless easier than you used to but please don't let it stop you doing the things you want to do. If you stop the physical activities (dog walking, gardening are great!) then it will get worse because your muscles will become weaker.

It would be advised to ask the GP / nurse for a referral to Pulmonary Rehab where they teach you how to manage your breathlessness whilst doing physical activities.

Otherwise, check out the local exercise referral scheme.

More info on BLF website:

Thanks for your reply Katie. Have been to PR and have an appointment for subsidised exercise next wednesday.

I do go dogwalking etc. whether I am tired or not. But if I am very tired don't go far because I wouldn't have the energy to do all I needed to do that day. If I push myself too much I would end up not doing something I needed to. I gauge my activities depending on how tired I feel that day!

Will check outBLF website.

Thanks again

Bev xx

Thanks for all your replies everyone. Had my COPD check last Monday and when I mentioned the tiredness some days she just said it was the COPD. But that doesn't explain why I am energetic one day and lethargic the next does it?

Bev x

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