Advice please

I'm a 59 year old "newbie" to COPD. Morbidly obese and dreadful trouble with breathing as I'm a chronic asthmatic and nearly died from pneumonia eight years ago. Tested for COPD very recently and put on Spiriva. In past eight weeks I've lost 48lbs but can now walk for 24 minutes at 2.5 miles an hour and go to gym. Don't feel that out of breath. Do you think my COPD might be a misdiagnosis due to the fact that I am so overweight and, until recently, very unfit? Or would Spiriva make that big a difference. Peak flow has gone up from 240 to 360.

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12 Replies

  • Hello Alan. In my own opinion I'd get another diagnosis. That's a massive improvement and I'd doubt Spiriva alone would do that. I wish it did though ! :)

    Like I said though, this is only my opinion.

  • Hi, I don't know that Spiriva alone would have that great effect, but I'm sure that losing so much weight in such a short period of time would have a great impact on your health generally, well done you. Maybe you should get a second opinion, just to clarify things, especially now you feel so much better.

    Take care,


  • On this asthma forum: they're talking about Spiriva Respimat (but all Spiriva is tiotropium), and in the first post it says,


    '. . . Its only since I have been taking Spiriva that I have been able to breathe, my lung function tests improved from being able to blow 250 on a good day, to blowing 650 soon after taking Spiriva . . .'

  • Hi Alan and welcome to the forum.

    Well done for taking the bull by the horns. What a fantastic job you've done in losing so much weight and getting moving.

    I'm not a doctor, so, I can't comment on your diagnosis. If you had a scan, it's very unlikely they've got it wrong. It depends on how you were diagnosed.

    Only your doctor can check this for you.

    I personally, think your feeling the benefits of getting fit and losing weight, both would have had a huge impact on your breathing.

    Keep up the good work, your positive attitude will repay you well. xx

  • Hi Alan - woo hoo for you! That's some achievement - enjoy feeling so much better - and KEEP GOING! You'll probably have some kind of review if you were diagnosed not long ago, and can raise your thoughts then. Just keep at it for now - and ENJOY. How wonderful xx piggi

  • Alan if COPD is the diagnosis you need to do a lung function spirometry test. The results will tell you if you do or do not have COPD.

    Congrats on the big weight loss. You're on the right track now.

  • Thank you for your replies and the support. I have a review at end of September (eight weeks after original diagnosis) so I will discuss the issue then. What a great forum this is

  • What fantastic weight loss in just 8 weeks! The review will give you a chance to ask all the questions you didn't think to ask on first diagnosis. I loved BLF's advice to write a list of all the things you want to say or ask about at a consultation. It's really helped me in the past.

  • Wow, that's some achievement! The best way to lose weight is exercise & diet. Good for you, the only way forward.

    As others have said, a spirometry test has to be done &/or a ct scan.

    I've heard spiriva is very good.

    Copd is written in my medical records (although no one actually mentioned it, I got copies of my medical records). I don't have copd, yippie. It was worsening asthma & some scarring from lots of pneumonias etc

    Keep up your good work, how did you do it by the way? It might really help others who are also overweight. 😃

  • Thanks peege - hope I am the same with worsening asthma misdiagnosis - but it has given me a huge wake up call. Basically a low calorie/low fat diet plus exercise. 1,400 cals a day and exercise (walking and gym) for 5 out of 7 days. No alcohol and portion control. Only weigh myself once a month so don't get disheartened at zero weight loss. Have set quarterly fitness challenges - first one in four weeks, a proper outdoor hike. #worried

  • Hi Alan1956, welcome to the site. I would guess the improvements to your breathing might be due to a combination of things. But it maybe an incorrect diagnosis too. For now I would keep up the inhaler, weight lose regime and exercise and see how it goes, you are doing well and it is making you feel better. When you see your Dr again mention the improvements and see how it goes. Have to admit my spirava and exercise did not improve my breathing to that extent. Think the saying is you can't win "em" all. Have a good day and best wishes for continued improvement.

  • Thank you for the advice - good idea

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