Stress affect COPD?

Does stress COPD? I teach in a prison and this week I was given a new timetable that meant I would be teaching four different subjects at two different levels, this resulted in my becoming mega stressed and having a real bad day with my breathing that carried on until I went to bed. I am newly diagnosed with stage 1 COPD (almost two months ago) which I have a inhaler for once a day (Spiriva). Tuesday was the first time I have had to use the rescue inhaler that I have also. Is this common, has anyone else had this? Is this what is known as an exacerbation?

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  • I have found stress profoundly affects my breathing, I think because along with it goes anxiety which is a trigger.

    An exacerbation is, as far as I know, caused by physical symtoms. It can be triggered by an infection ie a a cold which turns into a chest infection. Normally you would cough up yellow or green gunk. The second cause is a pollutant ie traffic fumes, certain cleaning products, perfume etc. This is just a worsening of your symptoms which doesn't clear up quickly.

    Both types require treatment. The first usually with antibiotics and sometimes steroids, the second with steroids only. The treatment depends on how severe your copd is. This would normally be the treatment for anyone at stage one. At the more severe stage then an execration can lead to hospitalisation and more robust treatments. x

  • I am no expert but have found when I get stressed (usually at work) I get short of breath. Maybe to do with tensing up but I'm sure I read on here that one of the (many) things associated with COPD is anxiety which creates a vicious circle really.

    It appears that the expectations of employers is going back to victorian times, work you until you drop.

  • Hello Tracy it sounds more like anxiety to me. Anxiety a very serious issue that goes hand in hand with c.o.p.d. Stress the opposite of Ease can indeed cause dis-ease...so it's very important to address the issue that is causing your anxiety...work. Perhaps you could discuss it with whoever has changed the criteria of your work schedule.

    I am stage 'severe' yet very rarely have exacerbations. I would have to have a noticeable worsening of breathlessness and change in sputum colour to consider I was having an exacerbation. If you are worried though please see your doctor, do tell him about your anxiety/ stress issues. I hope you feel much better soon. huff xxx

  • I did just that on Thursday, I must admit as soon as I said that I thought that my poor breathing on Tuesday was down to the changes they did change things for me, which I am very grateful for, thank goodness I have a decent boss 😀

  • Hi tracey , I was diagnosed 4 years ago , I notice any time I get stressed , angry , my breathing gets worse , I now avoid stress as much as I possibly can , glad you have a decent boss lol

  • Tracey You are not in your own stress, panic, arguments etc in fact anything that is not normal will make my breathing far worse. I either take more ventolin or try to breathe through it.

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