After a couple of recent posts from people about this, I've been thinking. If at diagnosis, someone is still smoking or has recently stopped, does little or no exercise and is overweight and then changes all that and takes their meds then an improvement in their fev is likely. However, if, like me at diagnosis they have been stopped smoking for years, exercise and are the correct weight then there is nothing more they can do to help themselves so the only way is downhill. Very depressing but it does make sense, to me at least.

What do others think?

25 Replies

  • I disagree, its not all downhill if you stay smoke, free do all that is discussed / learnt on a pulmonary rehabilitation course, exercise regularly, avoid people infected with colds and flu, eat healthily, generally have a healthy lifestyle, you will have an increased chance of remaining stable and slowing the progress right down, to the point where your lungs may just deteriorate as they would normally with age.

    Can't take away the existing lung damage but you can do a lot to help prevent further lung damage.

    That is what I think (and so do the medics ;) )

    Videos Pulmonary Rehabilitation:

  • Ok Blakeyc, maybe slow the progression but what I meant was that there is no chance of improvement if you are already doing everything that is recommended.

  • Improvement takes place over years and years. Only if you keep up with what we know helps.

    You do continue to improve fitness levels, breathing / respiratory functioning, immune system improves increasing chances of avoiding lung infection etc etc. The only thing that doesn't get better is the already damaged lung tissue.

  • how old are you ?

  • I am 62 Frank.

  • i am 70 . i stopped smoking some years ago now ,it did'nt stop me geting copd though stopping smoking is always a good thing , i also have a oxygen level of 98 which is not bad for a 70 year old . if you have copd and are still smoking i ask WHY it really is a no brainer

  • The way that I look at it is, it's a bit like death, there is no cure for it all you can do is to try and put it off for as long as possible ! So I have now become a reluctant hermit.

  • three chears at last someone has got it right

  • I do want to believe that but so many people on here seem to deteriorate despite their best efforts. Maybe I'm just having a low day - I'm normally quite positive.

  • I think it all depends if diagnosed before severe stage and also if smoking is stopped almost straight away from diagnosis date. After diagnosis I was told (and its what caused me to stop smoking quickly) that for every cigarette I smoked from here on I would be causing myself further lung damage. I was in a bad way at the time and I certainly didn't want to damage my lungs further.

    I have witnessed what happens when people don't stop smoking straight away, its hard to believe how quickly the deterioration, with every cigarette more damage to lungs, more susceptible to lung infection, increased chance of even more lung damage, it really is a vicious circle and not to be recommended by any one who is serious about preserving their lungs.

    Same would apply to not exercising, a rapid deterioration occurs without persisting in regular exercise and it takes some doing to come back from that but it is possible to do so.

    So you can imagine just with those two things you can make or break your health depending what the individual chooses.

  • So sorry Stitch, it is so difficult to avoid those infected this time of year, each winter that passes is a miracle to get through without infection. Hope you are feeling better soon. x x

  • Oh Stitch how miserable!! I dread this time of year. Try manuka honey honest it will help and Vicks on the bottom of your feet. Take good care and just remember you will get better. Take good care TAD xxx

  • Take things easy and get well soon Stitch. I dread the winter. Seems to get colder each year to me.

  • If you've got the Puff to kick yerself you must be on the mend!!! Best wishes for a speedy recovery ;-)))

  • Hi Teenieleek, my husband has severe Copd. We were told at the time of diagnosis that there was no need for the disease to progress. He has definitely got worse BUT he has got ten years older, he doesn't really exercise as he should. I personally feel you have to fight just that bit harder than others. Your life can still be good - just slower!! Take good care and look after yourself TAD xx

  • Stitch, hi, thanks for replying. Truly how does one avoid the bugs without becoming a hermit - only a rhetorical question. Weekend past I had son, daughter-in-law and four year old granddaughter here. Two of them were seriously under the weather, sore throats, runny noses etc. I ruined what should have been a lovely time by being in a constant panic that I would catch their bugs. They live in Inverness so visits have to be planned in advance, we don't see them that often and last minute cancellations are not really feasible. Apart from that I have cinema/theatre trips with friends that I am really reluctant to forego but when I'm out I spend my time slathering on hand gel and trying not to get too close to people. It's all really getting me down at the moment. From what I've read you also have lots of outings which I'm sure you don't want to give up either.

  • I am just the same a damn nervous wreck! Just decided to take a deep breath and try to enjoy as much as I can hope you can do the same xxx

  • I think it is all about balance and quality of life. We could all live in a bubble, protecting ourselves from all other people in case we catch something. Personally, I take the view that I could be knocked down tomorrow crossing the road, so I enjoy my life 'of the moment', doing all that I can to keep myself healthy without being over the top. I meet my family and friends, go to the cinema etc so that my husband can enjoy his life too. I kiss the children when they ask for one and don't worry. Que sera, sera. I know you are all thinking - just wait till the next time you are in hospital, laid low, you will regret saying that!

    Our conditions change as we get older, our bodies change as we get older, everyone slows down. No one (well Mick jagger perhaps!) can behave like they did at 20.

    Can our condition improve if we are already doing everything asked of us? I believe it can. Better drugs are always being produced. New methods of physio etc. to take up. My mother did everthing asked of her when I was young and was told my condition wouldn't improve but I might live a few years...60yrs later.... Never say never!

    But - you must live life to the full.

  • What we need is a bookie! One who can give us the odds on catching something from a given situation, e.g 20 to 1 on going to the park, 12 to 1 on going to the cinema, hopefully reverse odds for going to tesco so I never have to do it again! You will understand from this that I don't know much about betting but interestingly just this bit of chatting has cheered me, so thanks folks.

    I have been for a couple of years what Gordon called a lurker but I have learned a lot from this site and read it every day although I post rarely.

  • Hi everyone I have been reading this post thought I would put in another view, I gave up smoking before being diagnosed with COPD, I have tried to do everything advised for this illness. Do not know how to avoid infections other than never going out.I take all the drugs prescribed, now it's been suggested I don't have the illness because I and the doctors are keeping it under control. I do still have my on going cough, shortness of breath, reduced stamina, tiredness ect but there is no deterioration in my lungs or improvement it is just stable as at diagnosis. So it can be prevented from rapid downhill if we try to take care, but I agree if it's more severe then you are bound to catch infections ect more easily causing more damage to poor lungs.Chronic bronchitis usually effects you for several months every year and this is part of COPD.I have been refused PR as I don't fit the criteria I am told.

  • If you are doing all the right things then you should be healthier for longer and better able to fight off infections. in a few more years there may be new medications or other developments that will make improvements for all of us again so don't be down hearted just celebrate what you can do! best wishes Polly Anna/ Irene x

  • positive mental attitude

  • Hopetorun, that's a good name for on this site, should call myself wishicouldrun . That's a good outlook celebrate what you can do, I look forward to the prospect of new and better drugs in the not to distant future.

  • My advice, as always is to get out of breath at least once a day and stay as healthy and positive as you can!!

    If you become a Hermit because of Bugs you may as well go to bed and wait for the Grim Reaper!!!

    Put a scarf over your mouth when out and take all reasonable precautions with people with bugs but if you don't meet a bug you won't build up and resistance to them and the Flu Jab is another plank in our armour.

    As usual BlakeyC has good advice, and common sense.....

    Ps welcome to the site x

  • T here are masks u can purchase for being out in public that is suppose to keep bugs out. I ordered one and also ordered one for cold weather warms air u breath in when ur outside. I will try and find the name and put it up for u all. Look up( BREATH HEALTHY cold and flu mask )

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