It's been quite a while. I was here months ago asking about air-trapping in otherwise healthy lungs. Well, about a month or so ago my lung doctor tested me for Alpha-1 Deficiency. Time went by and I hadn't heard anything so I assumed all was well with the test, but I got a call from the doctor office saying they want to see me in a couple weeks instead of my usual 6 month appointment. Since the Alpha-1 test was the only new thing they did last appointment I instantly asked the person on the phone is something was wrong with the test results. She said "it's nothing to worry over, the doctor just wants to go over the results with you" - Well there's no way to wrap that in a positive bow for me.
Knowing nothing about Alpha-1 I went into research mode immediately after hanging up the phone. And now I'm worried sick. I can only assume the worst because I do have shortness of breath when I push myself and that tells me the emphysema must already be started. I begged to be seen earlier since I know I will only research and worry endlessly for the weeks it takes for my appointment date to get here, but they are fully booked so here I am. I have extreme health anxiety and this is the most awful weight to carry.
I know no two cases are the same but I was wondering if anyone could shed some light on a few questions about Alpha-1 for me.
Does hereditary emphysema (alpha-1) progress faster than your average emphysema? I'm assuming since it happens earlier in life (I'm 37) that it does.
Do all genotypes (ZZ, MZ, SZ, etc) tend to progress the same? I know ZZ type is much more likely to develop liver issues.
Is every common cold going to reduce my lung function permenantly each time I get one?
I'm sorry if this is all over the place, this news, and lack-there-of has really taken a toll on me. The nurse on the phone said not to worry, but how can I not when I can only assume that every day I will breathe worse than the day before. I will update with the test results when I get them. Thank you for your time and sorry again for being over-emotional.