25 and COPD

This is my first post. I notice that this says British Lung Foundation, however I am American so hopefully Ill be welcomed. Well heres my story...

After I turned 25 last December my father had a heart attack and was diagnosed with severe COPD. As of right now he is okay. Some days are worse than others. After that scare I started to think about my own health so I scheduled my first Dr. Apt in over 10 years.

The firsr thing that concerned my dr was my heart rate. On average my resting heart beat was 120. She put me on a 24 heart halter. The results came back that it was the bottom chamber that is affiliated with my lungs. She put me on inderal to control the heart and now I average about 85. After, she had me do a spirometer. I was told not to smoke the day of, but I didnt follow that advice and had about 3 cigs prior and used my e cig as well. I was very nervous during my the test and couldn't seem to get my lips as pursed as I was suppose to. The technician didnt say much and sent me on my way.

A week later at my follow up the Dr. diagnosed me with mild COPD. There was no other test and didnt seem to matter to the Dr. that I didnt feel as though I had those symptons. I don't really get short of breath that often and I really dont feel I have the other symptons either. I frequently go to Disney World in the Florida sun and walk circles around my boyfriend without ever feeling very SOB or fatigue.

Im so scared about having this degenerative disease. I am going on Chantix on Wednesday and have cut out most smoking, while vaping occasionally. I dont know if I should get a second oponion or just trust that my Dr. does know what she's talking about.

Im almost crying just typing this stuff. Im only 25 years old, this seems so young to have this. Any thoughts, comments, and concerns are welcome. I don't know what to do and I have no one to talk to. HELP.

25 Replies

  • Dear Hpocket89, I was diagnosed this year with moderate COPD after a chance breathless attack when my husband and I went on the cable car to the top of Mount Teide in Tenerife last March. I had had no symptoms before then, but now realise that I had been slowing down for four years before then.

    Because I knew of the BLF beforehand, that's where I went to find out about my condition rather than googling it, as there are a lot of scare stories on the internet. The advice I've received here is fantastic - mainly eat healthily and keep fit and active and stay away from people with coughs and colds, to help stop any further lung deterioration. People also write about the devices and techniques they use to stay as healthy as they can. I've read posts from people living in countries all over the world. Anyone with a lung condition is welcome here, but it may be harder for you to contact the BLF nurses for advice. Do look through the archives as other people have written similar posts to you. God bless, M

  • Thank you very much for the welcoming words. I am starting to make the necessary changes. Just very scared. It's nice to see a community to talk in.

  • I went back over my Spirometry results from when I was 25. I could have had a diagnosis of Mild COPD back then due to reduced small airway function but my silly doctor told me I had asthma which I always had so no big deal. I cut down on the cigarettes but didn't stop. I had no symptoms at the time.

    If I had of stopped I wouldn't be here today. Speaking from personal experience I seriously advise you to stop smoking straight away. There is no room for complacency here whatsoever.

    You will without doubt have significant quality of life limiting COPD if you continue to smoke. As you are 25 you just may see an improvement in your condition if you heed my advice and stop now.

  • Btw, you have a high heart rate, are a smoker and have some symptoms of SOB.

    I can't help thinking you may be in denial regarding the diagnosis by doubting your doctor.

    Your doctor seem on top of things, she identified your as at risk due to your smoking habit, symptoms and familial history. She sent you for Spirometry and prescribed Chantix. Lastly she gave you a straight and clear message that you had mild COPD. Some doctors sugar coat that diagnosis thinking telling a patient they have asthma is enough to get them to stop smoking.

    I did doubt my doctor and everyone else who told me to stop smoking. This is the norm when you are hooked on such an addictive drug. From here on in there is no safe level of smoking for you.

    If you smoke in bars or at a party well stop going to them. It's that important.

    I know this is a strong message but I was where you are now at exactly the same age. There were no Internet forums to get advice from people like me.

    Lastly I am speaking from experience.

  • I like the lack of sugar coating. It does make it easy to see what the next steps are for me and my future. I'm still nervous but I appreciate the honest words and perspective.

  • If you stop smoking as I said this could be a successful medical intervention.

    You say you don't have symptoms so things may stay this way. Symptoms of SOB when you are 25 are not from walking around but participating in vigorous excercise. Running or whatever. Try that and see how you feel.

    By saying next steps it gives me the impression that the next thing to do for you is to stop smoking. How long before you act on these next steps. Btw Chantix may not agree with you. Do you have a contingency plan?

    There are no next steps, you have taken them already, you are now on the journey. You are the only person in control of your future quality of life.

    Btw I'd stay off the ECigs as well.

  • I don't know that that means. I just found this site this evening. I don't see how anyone else has the same story.

  • Hi Aberdeenman have I been conned ?

    Velvet x

  • Have I done something wrong? I just wanted an environment with people that would help me through this.

  • Sir, i swear to you i have never been on this site. Please don't shun me. Im in need of someone to talk to.

  • I thought this was a community and support. Everyons comments had seemed so kind so far.

  • Don't worry. Aberdeenman isn't usually rude and unwelcoming. He must be having an off day. Ignore it. There have been similar new posts but we all write similar post when we first join. X

  • Hi

    Can you clarify, show link I have checked several over the last seven days.

  • Down Tam. Just coz of the previous problems doesn't mean that every newbie is dodgy! Behave yourself! x

  • Hello Hpocket89

    firstly welcome to you, and secondly I am so glad you found this site. The main thing is do not to panic and don't take any notice of some of the horror information you will read if you Google your condition. The gang here will support you with hands on knowledge of your condition, they will advise you, laugh with you, cry with you, and be there for you whenever you need us. The good thing for you is you have youth on your side, and diagnosed as mild....so its a chance to alter damaging things in your life. That done you should eat well, keep active and have a positive outlook on life. You can look forward to a long and happy life.

    People worldwide post on this forum a lot from the USA, so once again a huge welcome to you.

    Velvet xx

  • I love feeling like i can speak with people that will understand. Ive felt very alone the last few days since i found out. And google certainly didn't help. But it did lead me here and I appreciate that.

  • Hpocket89, you haven't said a single thing to warrant the claim by the man from Aberdeen. I haven't seen any duplicate posts. Take no notice. There are a great many regulars here who will welcome you.

    We do understand. Personally, I thing ecigs/vapers are an acceptable alternative to tobacco. My husband had breathing trouble and heart disease. He switched to ecigs four years ago. His chest cleared up very quickly and has stayed clear.

  • Hello, welcome.

    I haven't read the above replies so I may be repeating.......

    First, lots of Americans here plus other nationalities.

    Second, deffo stop smoking - so blooming well done you for making the decision. The only way is up from there.

    Third, it was very sensible of you to get yourself checked. Here in the UK we have the NHS, free health care. Trouble is the system is very strapped for cash so getting diagnosis can take months, years sometimes.

    Fourth, if you do have the beginning of copd it's not the end of the world. Provided you live well, eat well, avoid pollution, fags, people with colds/flu/bugs, exercise regularly you'll be fine. Have annual flu vaccine & perhaps the pneumonia vaccine for good measure.

    Fithly, there is a genetic thing called Alpha 1 Deficiency you could get checked for? Just a pin prick blood test.

    You're doing everything right, getting checked while you're young to protect your future. Something that doesn't happen often in the UK.

    Very best wishes to you. Peege

  • Great post peege.

    Hpocket - welcome! Look forward to your posts and hope you find it helpful being on this forum.

    Btw, Alpha 1 mentioned by Peege is something similar to copd that younger people get. Its genetic, due to an enzyme deficiency, and would explain why you might have copd so young.

    All the best :)

  • Hey O2, how are you doing. Miss you & want everything to be well for you. P xx

  • A very warm welcome to you H.


  • Hi Hpocket89 anyone is welcome on here and it is good that you have found this site. Maybe a 2nd opinion is called for but stopping smoking is great if you can achieve that. Do post again and you will always have support from the good people on here. xxx

  • Dear Hpocket89,

    You would be most welcome would not matter what Country you came from, I mad from Australia and are treated like one of the family.


  • Welcome,Hpocket89,. You have done everything right so far, good luck to you.

    All good advice above, eat well, keep fit, exercise. I'm 77 and still here! so

    don't worry.

  • Hi Hpocket, welcome to the "family". I hope you can take comfort from all the help and advice you will get on this site? We are all stricken with the same problems in one way or another, but I'm sure 80% of us are quite a bit older than you? That's where you're so lucky! You now have the chance to change your life and live the rest of it in a healthy way. Those of us here who smoked (mostly for longer than you've been alive) have only ourselves to blame. It's going to be hard - very hard, but if you want to enjoy your life (the only one you have) you have to take charge NOW!

    STOP SMOKING this instant... no "cutting down" - STOP! There is no other way. You have age on your side and the longer you leave it - the harder it will be. Think how precious your life is right now - enjoying times with your friend etc., You won't be doing that in a few years time if you keep smoking - believe me!

    I'm not being hard on you, I'm telling you the truth, I don't want you to end up a wheezing, coughing, gasping for breath old lady with no quality of life before your time.

    Let us all know how you get on.

    Love. XX :-D

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