British Lung Foundation
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Further Forward??

Hello All

As i now have another bad chest infection i went back to GPs and saw a different doctor. Apparently he is the surgery asthma/ copd expert - they kept that quiet! After my normal GP was almost certain i have copd, today's one said i definitely do not as my peak flow varys between 250 to 420. Is this correct??

He kept saying how awful my lungs sound and if i have hobbies with horses or pidgeons which i don't - does anyone have any idea what he's referring to?

He wants to listen to my breathing when i have no infection then if he is still not happy he is going to send me for another x ray, one in September all clear, and refer

Me to a specialist. I asked what he thought it may be but he said we can't deal in what ifs!

Think i am starting to get somewhere, wish i had seen him months ago.

Hope you're all feeling better than i am:-(

Nat xx

10 Replies

COPD cannot be diagnosed (or ruled out) on the basis of listening to someone's chest. Also, a peak flow meter is not used to diagnose or measure COPD. I would be asking for that referral to a specialist so that the appropriate tests can be carried out.


Hello natnat. Your new GP sounds as though he is going to get on the case and is thinking inside and outside the box. There are allergies and specialised forms of infection which can be caused by dealing with hay and straw or handling birds and I guess that he is running these through his mind just in case the tests which he is considering don't supply any answers. And wow! he suggested sending you to a specialist without you having to nag! I do hope that he gets to the bottom of it. Please keep us informed.


Such a variable peak flow does indicate asthma but as far as I know you can't rule out copd on that basis. I'd definitely take him up on that referral


Wow, a specialist GP , I would hang on to him if I were you and bite his hand off for the referral.

I'm no expert but I thought copd was diagnosed by spirometry or lung function test.

A CT scan at specialist centre would be icing on the cake. In fact take any tests you can get.

Good luck, I can't wait to hear what the outcome will be 😃


Hi Nat, I think COPD is diagnosed by pulmonary lung function tests & xray. If you're offered a CT scan you should have one. Take any test they want to give you.

Good luck & let us know how you get on 🌾


Thank you all for your advice. If he does not decide to refer me i am going to pay to see a consultant in the new year. I'm just going round in circles at the moment. Thanks again x

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Hi Nat

With the bird/horse question the GP is trying to rule in/out a condition called Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis (also called Extrinsic Allergic Alveolitis). It's very rare but something I was diagnosed with which, in my case, was caused by my feather bedding. It's more commonly caused by birds (not just pigeons), moulds (that can be in straw) and several hundred other things!

It's good that he wants to get to the bottom of things for you.


Sounds as if your new GP is going to get things moving for you.

All the best



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Hi Nat Nat

The bird bit could relate to aperologis. Yes I guess I didn't spell that right but someone may come along with more details.

We can all take a guess but it looks like your GP is on to it and will get you sorted out.

Let us know how you get on.

Take care


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Hi nat, I have asthma / COPD it seems a bit of both.

My daughter is allergic to horses and grass , cats, nuts ...I could go on...but as well as wheezing her eyes and nose runs .

I was asked if I kept birds too...there is Pigeon Fanciers Lung and Psitticosis.

Your doctor sounds very thorough.

Good luck

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