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British Lung Foundation
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Is it normal

Hi .was diagnosed Bronchiectasis by ct scan last December when I was hospitalised with fluid on the lung which my doctor was concerned about plus chest pains .

I still suffer quite a lot with chest tightness and pain ,pain goes under right arm . This isn't just with movement .I can be just sitting watching a nice movie and it starts . Is this part and parcel of Bronchiectasis. Last night it was quite unpleasant for about an hour then it wore off .

8 Replies

Hi there joan-ann and welcome. There are quite few of us on here with bronchiectasis, many of us lifelong. It is difficult to advise you on this pain because bronchs are all very different. The only thing that I can suggest is that it is congestion of fluid in a pocket in your lungs. I have the type of bronch where you have to empty your lungs every day. If I have an exacerbation ( bad infection) or even just a bit of 'stuck' mucus I can get a pain like that. The exacerbation needs antibiotics etc but the random congestion pain seems to go away if I get up and walk around, swing my arms and see if there is anything to cough up. I hope that this helps.


Thank you little Pom for explaining exacerbation it comes up often and I hadn't a clue what it meant .


Thank you little Pom. I've told my gp several times about this ,to be frank I think I have had bronchi for quite a few years . I've wheezed so bad at times I've thought someone was behind me , I've had quite a few chest infections .

When I told the doctor at the diagnostic clinic that I would get chest pains for a couple of days then cough up for a couple of days and would be fine after she put her finger on it immediately.

After two nasty chest infections about 6 weeks apart my gp admitted she knew nothing about Bronchiectasis and referred me to a lung disease clinic . They were very good and organised all sorts of tests to try to identity what aggravated my lungs most . I'm waiting for results .

Unfortunately it's quite a few miles from my home so I can't pop into the clinic when my chest is bad . It's frightening when it's as bad as last night .with no one to ask

I can't cough up the mucus and I'm supposed to be seeing a physiotherapist but everything takes so long on the NHS .


I am supposing that you now have a consultant who diagnosed your bronchiectasis. They should write to your GP to tell them how to treat you. Most of us keep an emergency pack of antibiotics at home to begin when we start an exacerbation. With bronch you need the right antibiotic in a high enough dose for at least two weeks. It might be a good idea to ring the clinic, ask which consultant you are under and then ring their secretary to get them to send the letter to your GP and a copy to you also. Sorry but with bronchiectasis you have to be very pro active, sourcing the right specialists and chivvying the GP to give the right treatment because few doctors, including general lung consultants, know much about it. There are quite a few examples of the cycle of breathing in order to expel the mucus on the internet. You may find one of these helpful before you can see the physio. xx


Thank you again .The lung specialist I saw told me he was taking allergy tests ,they did a blood test that day , a barium meal test I'm waiting on the results I couldn't do the breathing tests ,it just made me cough so they stopped it . He got the results of bronch from the diagnostic clinic ,where they did the CT , I was supposed to go back in a month for another . My doctor said she didn't think it necessary, the specialist was cross about that , blamed me !

I did tell my doctor twice and she did have the hospital letter .

This specialist said he was writing to my doctor to inform her all he was going to do . I have received a follow up appointment for September .This is not giving me an answer to my current prob . I suppose I had better go to my doctor but I've lost faith in her .Thankyou for answering


Your GP should not put you off going back to the consultant when he has deemed it necessary. I have found over the years that I keep most of my communication between the consultant and myself, with the GP being informed as to what is going on and told which drugs to prescribe etc. They don't even know when my appointments with the consultant take place until they get the letter afterwards and if I need to change it or don't feel well I call the consultant's secretary.Do make sure that the consultant's secretary sends you copies of all of the letters sent to your GP. You need to be the person in charge.Your consultant sounds as though they are on the ball and should take care of you now. You could change your GP but I'm afraid that you may get a new one who is just as useless when it comes to bronch. Good luck.


About all my gp does now is to OK repeat prescriptions, everything else is handled by hospital consultants.


You are all correct about the lack of knowledge with GPs about bronchiectasis. I get on ok with my GP, had her for many years. But it took 8 years of infections before I was even ref. to a specialist. Then he diagnosed it there and then before CT two days later. In between the two appts, I saw my GP who said it cant be that because you are too young! I was in my 30s then. Since then, my lovely pro-active specialist died and the new team at the hosp have discharged me saying you are no worse so you don't need to come in. I literally self diagnose steroids and antibiotics which I have on repeat. However last year I had 3 bad infections which I treated myself, apart from one when the nurse intervened and ordered an Xray. But I was told you must still inform the surgery when you have an infection to update your records, which does make sense. I still work in a demanding job where my boss has no clue about my condition even though I had an OHS ref and they wrote to her asking for changes to be made. She has ignored them. Good luck to you and push for the best treatment and assume the GP knows very little!


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