What tests can I ask for? Please help! - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation
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What tests can I ask for? Please help!



I'm having terrible problems with fatigue and shortness of breath. Every breath feels an effort and a very uncomfortable tight feeling in the chest. I don't smoke and barely drink & lead a heathy life. I'm only in my thirties and now try and avoid leaving the house as exercise makes it worse.

So far I had an ECG and ECHO on the heart and they came back clear. In 2 weeks I am having a CT scan of the chest.

What I would really like to know (I'm literally clueless!) is what other tests can I have done?

Should I be measuring the oxygen in my blood somehow? What else can I request from my GP as they aren't helping?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks you,


17 Replies

How very hard for you. There are various things that could be causing your problems and it is very reasonable to ask the doctors what they are considering and looking for. I can't say much more as it is down to them to be more open with you.

At your age and a non-smoker it is unlikely to be COPD. Be as assertive as you can in pushing for answers, but that is hard to do.

All the best and let us know how things progress.

K xxxx

at my age and smoking ive got it--im so sad--and to sob to cry Mmet

in reply to Katinka46

I never smoked and I have COPD. I can introduce you to a number of other people who have similar diagnosis in the BLF community.

in reply to RibvanRey

Idiopathic COPD. How common is it?

I thought it usually had a cause, inhalation of toxic stuff, not necessarily smoke. interesting.


K xxx

Hi Briskate, you do sound worried but maybe you are getting a little ahead of yourself? It is great news that your heart seems fine and good that the tests are continuing with a CT scan. I can't see much point in buying an oximeter (to monitor blood oxygen) when you don't yet know if there is a problem with your lungs. My advice would be to try to relax and wait and see. Good luck.

briskate you seem very young to have copd but having a CT scan will sort that out and perhaps they'll try some other test good luck.

This must be very hard, because you don't know what's happening. You don't say how long it's been going on?

I agree with Katinka and Toci. Your ECG and ECHO are clear and that's good. The CT scan will give more information and may be clear. We can't tell you what's going on and it might be best to go back to your GP to ask what he's thinking, and perhaps discuss referral to a hospital consultant.

Try not to worry too much. I know that might seem a really stupid thing to say but anxiety can make breathlessness and tiredness worse. Try some relaxation, mindfulness, being with good friends - whatever you think might help. Let us know what happens.

Sue x

same situation here briskate except I quit smoking 8 mos ago--ive had one test in this glass booth it was normal--but now I find an old medical record from 2003 that was a cat scan that said I have emphysema and lung scarring--boy I musta been in denial--I wont go into my rationale but the cigs won--so im going to have that done for sure and don't know what else they will do--sob is frightening--I cant exert much and im fighting for air-sob is crippling me-I live in bed -good luck--you aren't alone dear--MmeT

in reply to madametobacco49

Neither are you dear girl.


Jennifer--that is as sad as it being me--some days I am horizontal most of the day--and I beat myself up and think im lazy but I cant bend over and I fight for air--Bed is my friend--I watch a lot of tv--and am on here--not the most exciting life but I am thankful for all of you--im sort of grieving over this situation--finding that record put things in perspective--I actually thought this was going to go away after 8 months--im sad and angry--if indeed this is the way it is going to be--my life is going to change drastically and worry how I will get on alone--some days cant do nothing--im hoping cat scan will show the truth--cuz I passed that breathing one in booth--but dam near killed my ass--now I just want to know--sorry im ranting--just kind of in shock love MmeT

Hi madame, no need to apologise for telling us how you feel right now. We all feel scared, lonely and sad at times for a variety of reasons but as you said the good thing is some people are here to listen so dont hesitate to reach out.

Big hugs and hope you feel a bit better very soon :)

Well returning to your (Briskate's) question: Good they've excluded heart issues, but I'd have thought they'd have done a peak flow blow, tried it again after a bronchodilator - if the improvement was 20% or more, suspect late onset asthma; did a chest x-ray to rule out other possibilities; if less than 20% improved then book spirometry/ ct scan. I'd be surprised if they hadn't checked your oxy saturation, maybe you didn't notice a clip on your finger? It only takes 30 seconds.

in reply to soulsaver

I have been having problems for over a year like you I don't get out because of the trouble breathing, now I have a cough . I've had tests which come back clear, after a hospital appointment last week they have decided I have a groiter pushing on my wind pipe which is causing the breathless and problem swallowing ,I'm having a throat scan on the 23 the doctor has said it means surgery to remove it . Could this be your problem . Hoping you get some results soon , from Enid X

in reply to Ep1234


You've replied to me - I assume you intend the reply to Briskate?

Sorry ,that's me not checking again xx

hold on for ct scan--I did same thing MmeT

Thanks everyone for your replies.

I will wait for the CT scan and go from there :)

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