COPD unsure

Hello everyone I have a problem, was diagnosed over a year ago with mild cold, breathing has got chronic can not even go out I can only walk 10 steps if that, no inhalers have worked at all, surely if I had COPD inhalers would give some relief, I was also diagnosed 2 weeks ago with severe anemia and was thinking it could be this, as I did also have anemia last year when diagnosed with COPD, wondering if anyone had any ideas thanks Annette

43 Replies

  • Sorry forgot to mention does COPD make you feel you are being strangled on any kind of exertion, with the breathless feeling, today could not even hoover, going on I know just feel so down about it. Annette

  • Hoovering is one thing I can't do just get to breathless it's about learning what you can do and pace your self


  • Yes you're right! It's all about pacing yourself & doing want you know you're capable of

  • Hi happy chat thanks at the moment not a lot, even at home even to go into kitchen which is about 12 steps from my living room, in clinging on to worktops when I get there I am going to gp today being driven there and I'm going to arrange appointment for hemotology and if he can give me different pumps, don't know if pumps will help though if this is anemia with low haemoglobin. Annette

  • Hi Angse, I sincerely hope your GP can give you some answers as to why you feel like you do. I'm sure this will be the first step to you getting the help you need. Hope you feel better soon x

  • Thank you Aberdeen. Annette

  • Hi, copd shouldn't make you feel like you're being strangled. Obviously there's the breathlessness but inhalers should help with that. If your inhalers aren't working for you please go & see your GP ASAP. Take care x

  • I have moderate copd but I also have angina I don't get pain in my chest but I get it in my neck that feels like I am being strangled

  • Thank you elorec will mention that to go today Annette

  • I have chronic fibrosis eaa and I get the pain in my neck .

  • That's a good description of asthma Angse.

    I think you need to see another GP, explain all.

    I was dx with mild copd about 3 years ago by GP and I don't have it! Recently confirmed.

    The asthma I was dx with 10 years ago & took a nosedive after several bouts of pneumonia from early 2010.

    Have you ever had a ct scan?

  • Thanks peege I will also mention that to go, but would the inhalers not have helped I was put on symbicourt 200 powder form and a released up top I meant to say gp not go. Annette

  • As the others are saying, perhaps it's the anaemia that's making life so difficult for you.

    I take Seretide 250 normally but when unwell (and perhaps feeling as badly as you) it's not enough & im supposed to double it - & I don't have COPD!

    I really think your doctor needs to sort you out pronto. If he/she's no good then see another one as is your right.

    If you don't get sorted tell them you request a second opinion - also your right.

    It does seem you're suffering needlessly?

    All the best with haematologist. X

  • Thanks peege yes exactly what I'm going to do tommorow when I see gp I have really had enough, I will let you know what happens and am going to request him to get me urgent appointment with hemothogist grateful for advice, hope you doing OK Annette

  • Hi if you have copd you should have a combination of 3 inhalers


  • Not necessarily, I think it's a case of one size does not fit all. I have COPD, diagnosed two years ago, moderate. I have one inhaler - Spiriva.

    I am supposed to have a reliever inhaler for "emergencies" or for a bit extra help when it is cold and windy (which makes me worse) but have not yet been able to find one that doesn't give me side effects - can't use the pressurised ones as I'm very sensitive to the propellant and both Bricanyl and the Salbutamol based dry powder ones give me side effects.

    I don't have a steroid inhaler either as I have no need.

    Maybe it depends on what stage the COPD is at.

  • COPD doesn't go from mild to severe in a single year, but it does seem that anemia can account for your breathing difficulties:


    'Any deficiency of red blood cells will reduce the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide carried through the bloodstream. The body caters for this by increasing the breathing and heart rate and dyspnea [feeling short of breath] especially upon exertion. . . .'

  • Hi thanks yes I will be seeing a hemothogist maybe they can help me more than the gp thanks for link. Annette

  • Hi angse, I think one of the side effects of anaemia is breathlessness......are you being treated for this?

    I have asthma/COPD and I have problems with some inhalers. As I have asthma I have a peak flow meter so I can check if an inhaler is helping or making me worse.

    Can you ring or email the BLF helpline tomorrow, they are open during working hours.

    03000 030 555

    Best wishes

  • Thanks knitter will do that. Annette

  • I'm sure your symptoms are more due to anaemia than COPD

  • Hi that's exactly what I think as one day breathing fine walking everyday, then the next totally out of breath. Annette

  • Anaemia can make you very breathless too, have a chat with your doctor x

  • Hi I have been chatting with him about it for 2 years he's only listening now as my anemia very severe, Annette

  • Hi Annette I think it is very unlikely, unless you have other health issues, that your copd would go from mild to severe so quickly. I am no doctor but I reckon this is more likely to be the anemia.

    I have never suffered from anemia but I did once have spells of using energy then suddenly feeling so exhausted I could hardly move. My legs felt weak and I had to sit down and rest. I went to the doctors who said I was pre-anaemic and advised me to change my diet to include more greens. I did and have never had any more problems. I am aware that anemia is not always so easily cured so I was lucky there. x

  • Thanks coughalot for your advice Annette

  • I'm sure this is down to your anaemia angse, when I was on chemo & my red blood cells were wiped out I was breathless really bad!

  • Thanks nicum for your feedback. Annette

  • Anemia can cause these problems but It may be that the inhalers you use need a spacer? Very often it is the best way of getting the vapours in the lungs. A lot of people do not use their inhalers correctly.

    good link here confirms a few things

    Be well

  • Hi offcut I was prescribed a spacer last week and it has certainly made things easier :-)

  • Hello I have chronic fibrosis .You say you were told that you went chronic .That is the lungs not your pipes so to speak lol .If you are chronic ihalers dont help .Yes and you wont walk far either .Dont know but have they checked your oxygen levels .Walking and sitting .Hope this may help

  • Hi dragon44 had my oxygen levels checked last month and they were fine Annette

  • I had severe copd and have been fortunate to have a lung transplant. In response to your question I would say to go to your doctor, you may have an infection where inhalers don.t help and you need a. Course of antibiotics and steroids. Good luck. Sue

  • Thanks seyre I will point that out to my idiot gp tommorow. Annette

  • It'll be the anaemia, I'm sure - I've had it, and you don't notice until it gets bad - you feel you cant get enough air in and out when working/exercising and soon feel exhausted. You'll feel incredibly better after a (6 months) course of iron tabs... but what's causing the anaemia is a concern. Bleeding haemorrhoids and/or v.heavy periods are usual suspects; if no obvious cause prepare for gastroscopy & sigmoidoscopy to rule out other causes.

    Your GP is useless.

  • Hi soulsaver my symptoms exactly, that is how I feel, only thing I have been on iron tabs 3 times daily for 2 years, reason being I have a liver disease, and 2 years ago I had what they call a massive GI bleed through mouth losing 5 pints blood, doctors said I have to be on them for the rest of my life, so I wonder what they can do for me now, with low haemoglobin and severe anemia, blood transfusions maybe, I just want them to do something, been like this so long. Hope you doing okay and thanks for advice. Annette

  • I take Dulera for COPD with a component of Asthma and emphysema. Maybe it will help for the Asthma portion of your disease.

  • Thank you durela but to be honest I don't know what I have got, but determined to find out. Annette

  • Hi fibberti seeing gp today will let everyone know what happens, thanks for asking. Annette

  • Hi everyone yes I do not have COPD, breathing difficulties is severe anemia with low haemoglobin, so told to stop inhalers and I will be sent an urgent appointment to see hemothogist, cannot believe I was left like this so long, for a year taking inhalers I did not need, even when gp knew my anemia was back all he said was just keep taking your iron pills, he only seemed to sit up and take notice when my haemoglobin levels dropped dramatically, so there you are sometimes we trust these doctors, and they are killing us. Annette

  • At least you know now Annette, shame it took so long. I wish you well, stay positive


  • Thank you very much Jjude, I am so relieved, been taken off all inhalers and honestly my breathing has improved in 24 hours, now to get the anemia sorted, gp made a awful mistake he put me through hell, I hope all the other kind people on this site knows, as was given great advice. Annette

  • Begs the question how they diagnosed COPD in the first place? Didn't do tests? Or was it just 'breathing difficulty + (ex) smoker = COPD'?

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