Should I see a specialist?

After a persistent cough over winter and a chest x ray my GP diagnosed COPD last week. From what I have read this looks like quite a serious condition although my GP seemed to think there is nothing to worry about as long as I don't start smoking again. I am still left with some anxiety though. Should I see a specialist and if so how do I go about it?

16 Replies

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  • Good Morning - I would advise you ring the helpline - click on the red balloon. COPD is a chronic illness that tends to progress. There are a number of measures you can take to keep yourself well eg. not smoking, keeping fit, getting to know when you are ill etc. etc. My husband has severe COPD and has never seen a consultant! because he is deemed to be coping well. I rather think that if we had more information he possibly would not have progressed to severe. (though even at severe level he still works full time and we have a great quality of life just a bit slower than most others!).

    In short my advise would be to get as much information as possible! Take good care, TAD xx

  • Good advice from Tad, you need to learn as much as possible to stay as well as possible.

    The BLF have lots of information they can send you as well as advice on phone.

    There is so much you can do to help stop progression. Keep coming here too, read questions & answers as well as posts to pick up more information & learn from others experiences. All the best yo you. P

  • If you are deemed to be coping very well and your condition is mild GP's will not refer you to a consultant at this point but will monitor your condition. I suppose GP's have to make judgement calls all the time - otherwise specialists would be overwhelmed with patients.

    Likewise consultants will often diagnose conditions, decide on way forward, set up meds etc, monitor for a while and then return stable patients to their GP's. Again they need to keep the throughflow for new patients. GP's will refer back if problems occur.

    I had minimal consultant input for first 55 years of my condition. Only last 5 years have I seen consultant more regularly than once a year. I was happy with that.

    Tad and peeg are right. Find out as much as you can about helping yourself to slow progression.

  • A very good answer happyfeet59 learning to live with a condition is a partnership with patient and doctor making the call when a specialist is needed. Trusting a GP who sees a lot of different illnesses is a big part of looking after us we can and often do get other illness a specialist is not looking for.

    Ali

  • If you are deemed to be coping very well and your condition is mild GP's will not refer you to a consultant at this point but will monitor your condition. I suppose GP's have to make judgement calls all the time - otherwise specialists would be overwhelmed with patients.

    Likewise consultants will often diagnose conditions, decide on way forward, set up meds etc, monitor for a while and then return stable patients to their GP's. Again they need to keep the throughflow for new patients. GP's will refer back if problems occur.

    I had minimal consultant input for first 55 years of my condition. Only last 5 years have I seen consultant more regularly than once a year. I was happy with that.

    Tad and peeg are right. Find out as much as you can about helping yourself to slow progression. Doctors can only do so much.

  • If you are deemed to be coping very well and your condition is mild GP's will not refer you to a consultant at this point but will monitor your condition. I suppose GP's have to make judgement calls all the time - otherwise specialists would be overwhelmed with patients.

    Likewise consultants will often diagnose conditions, decide on way forward, set up meds etc, monitor for a while and then return stable patients to their GP's. Again they need to keep the throughflow for new patients. GP's will refer back if problems occur.

    I had minimal consultant input for first 55 years of my condition. Only last 5 years have I seen consultant more regularly than once a year. I was happy with that.

    Tad and peeg are right. Find out as much as you can about helping yourself to slow progression. Doctors can only do so much.

  • If you are deemed to be coping very well and your condition is mild GP's will not refer you to a consultant at this point but will monitor your condition. I suppose GP's have to make judgement calls all the time - otherwise specialists would be overwhelmed with patients.

    Likewise consultants will often diagnose conditions, decide on way forward, set up meds etc, monitor for a while and then return stable patients to their GP's. Again they need to keep the throughflow for new patients. GP's will refer back if problems occur.

    I had minimal consultant input for first 55 years of my condition. Only last 5 years have I seen consultant more regularly than once a year. I was happy with that.

    Tad and peeg are right. Find out as much as you can about helping yourself to slow progression. Doctors can only do so much.

  • ooooops!!! I didn't do nuffun!!!!

  • ha ha ha

  • Ha ha ha

  • made me smile,, ooops i didnt do nuffin:) the gremlins happyfeet:)

    but on the serious side, my thoughts are that it is far better to have this condition diagnosed as early as possible, this way you have time to learn much about it, and through this will manage much better, this forum can and will answer any of your queeries or doubts,, the best thing you have done is stopping smoking, that in itself is a real bonus,, may you keep well,,,jimmy

  • I thought I was going mad happyfeet he he xx

  • I have to say I have had far more support and understanding from my GP. I am thinking of moving and the major downside would be having to change doctor surgery.

  • thanks everyone! I will definitely call the helpline!

  • I would do whatever you feel is best an what will give you more peace of mind ...

    I was recently diagnosed with very mild copd ...I insisted that my G.P refer me to a specialist after my CT scan confirmed my copd as I wanted more details as to my condition an I was glad I did ...I have very good GP an very good specialist that both gave me similar information but the specialist was far more informative an made me worry a hell of a lot less ... His answer was don't worry about this carry on living your life with exercise an eat healthy an u will live with good breath till well into your 80s baring I don't get hit by a bus ...all the best Wes xx

  • I took the advice and phoned the help line. Spoke yesterday to a very nice man called Mark and today Barbera, a respiratory nurse, called me and we talked for 20 minutes. Barbera is a lovely lady, very knowledgable and supportive; she certainly helped to ease my anxiety and I feel much better for having called her. So thanks for the great advice folks!

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