British Lung Foundation
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i had flu for 3 weeks my chest and lungs were clear so 2 doctors said so i insisted on a chest xray was in total shock when told i have underlying copd as i had no symptoms before this flu i've had no futher tests but been given an inhaler im not even sure i need it as doc didnt really explain anything just told me 2 see the nurse, no appointments for a month im completely freaked out by this as my sister passed away 3 years ago as a result of copd had never smoked in her life, i do smoke around 10 a day + have done for around 30 years from walking out the doctors 2 days ago i havent touched 1 can anyone explain what is underlying i no i should of asked but was gobsmacked 😶

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I would ask for a second opinion ? a normal xray wont show mild copd and if you have had no symptoms make a appointment with your surgery to get the respitory test done x

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i actually thought an xray wouldnt show it but thought maybe im wrong its not like i dont know about it as my sister suffered for 10 years, im 54 + quiet active dont get out of breath easily its just been this flu thats knocked me off my feet but not only me both my daughters have had it i just thought my age was taking me longer to get over it, i know it may sound mad but im so angry as it was the receptionist that told me the results over the phone + told me it was nothing to worry about she said i didnt meed to see the doctor + only gave me appointment after i lost it a bit with her, i have appointment with the nurse but not for a month its going to send me insane

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Hi I understand how worried you are but underlying means that it is background copd. It is likely to be very mild. Although it is a progressive disease, at your age and level it will almost certainly never get to the more severe levels unless you live to 120 or similiar.

To put it into perspective I was diagnosed mild about your age and in 9 years my lung function has stayed the same. My doctor told me something else would get me first long before the copd did.

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A xray doesn't show copd in early stage I think it would be a scan that does ,I would be furious with this receptionist I'm sure the GP would of told them to write to you to book a appointment if they felt you needed to be followed up and put on meds xx

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thanks for your reply thats a massive help as i know im being hysterical but it just frightened the life out of me, well if its stopped me smoking in 2 days something good cane out if it + hopefully when i see nurse and have respitory test without lungs full of fag smoke it wont b as bad as im imagining well keep u all updated + thanks again glad i found you xxx

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Glad to have you aboard, Annie.

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As your sister had it and never smoked I suggest that you get tested for A1A deficiency. This is a genetic condition where the body cannot produce the substance which normally protects the lungs from smoking or during an linfection etc. With this condition deterioration happens quicker than in people without.. There are several centres in the UK which study it and some GPs can now get the test done. Giving up smoking is the best thing that you could have done for yourself.

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i did suggest this to my gp as my dad passed away many years ago with breathing problems but there was no diagnosis of COPD back then + my brother also had it but gp sort of side stepped the genetic question + this is whats annoying me it was like you've got it get on with it, i was furious with receptionist when she said its nothing to worry about + i said are you joking my sister died from acceleration of COPD causing cardiac arrest she actually asked me was i sure 😡😡😡 yes im sure i had to make decision to turn off her life support. Im not walking out of the nurses room without proper answers it just seems a long wait until the 15th november xx

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I wouldn’t put up with this messing about. Find the name of a consultant in your area and insist on being referred. Particularly one who has an interest in COPD and A1A. Unfortunately with lung conditions we have to be our own advocates, pro active and vociferous in getting the treatment that we need. It is obvious from your post that the GP is not treating you sufficiently. GPs and respiratory nurses are virtually amateurs when it comes to lung conditions but they hate to admit it. Their role is to support the experts by giving the treatment recommended by them and monitoring your progress in between consultant visits. Don’t take no for an answer. It is your health on the line here. Good luck.

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hi littlepom, interesting post about a1deficiency, on my father's side were 4 sister's and 7 brother's , 2 brother's still living, all the other's died in there late 60's most from cancer and 1 from copd, my father died from prostate cancer aged61, ive always wondered if we get some kind of inherited disease, by the way i suffer from copd, my mothers side of the family live into their 80's

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It might be a good idea to get tested and have your family tested. Then you will know what you have to deal with or not. I have lifelong extensive bronchiectasis. Nobody knows why I got the many pneumonias that did the damage and I am not A1A deficient.

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i had blood tests the same day as xray and they all came back fine, im feeling so confused with it all i will ring my local nuffield thanks for your advice xx

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A normal blood test will not show A1A.

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thanks for you're support im on a mission today to get this sorted will keep you updated xx

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