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British Lung Foundation
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Newly Diagnosed

Hi All,

Recently been diagnosed with Mild Restrictive and mild obstructive COPD.

I was a smoker at a young age and this continued for 28 years, until finally 3 years ago i quit smoking thanks to Vaping. My GP is not the most helpful, I already have osteoporosis and use a wheelchair and have never been referred to a specialist for that, and his explanation of things is always very vague. Would I benefit from a referral to a respiratory team or am i best off with the GP?

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Hi Annie, im in the same boat as you. Drs don't explain anything anymore, lack of time I suppose but then that doesn't help us patients. I know what COPD is. I know they have said mine is mild at the moment and I know it will get worse but that is about the extent of my knowledge. Sorry not much help. This site is really good for information and help though. Some wonderful inspiring people here. Xxx

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Well he gave me a steroid inhaler and a blue inhaler (which don't really make much difference) as long as i don't move about I can keep the struggling for breath issue down to a minimum, but he told me it won't get any worse so I've found all this really conflicting with the info on here

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Try not to go through too many posts, as you are right, it is full of conflicting information and only gets worse the more you look. One post can lift your spirits by telling you it doesn't get worse if you do the right things, the next will say it always gets worse no matter what you do. I guess the fact it has stages tells its own story, although the medical profession appear to now tell people it won't get worse, my consultant said the same. They shouldn't really say that when all these forums and the NHS choices site say it progresses.

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I would strongly suggest asking to see a respiratory specialist. I was referred to the county respiratory team and had a home visit from a senior respiratory nurse, she came to the conclusion that the surgery tests were rubbish and I did NOT have COPD!

After several tests etc. it was found I had silent reflux, I was breathing in acid fumes during the night which was causing all my chest problems.

Second opinions are essential.

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Please remember that GPs know a little about a lot of things and a not much about anything. Their job is to refer a patient on to the relevant specialist based on the condition which they consider that patient may be presenting with. They are then supposed to provide the medication and other treatments which the specialist decides upon. They don’t explain things because mostly they don’t understand themselves. Go back to your GP and nicely but firmly insist on a referral to to a respiratory consultant and a specialist in osteoporosis. This is the only wY that you will get a proper diagnosis of your lung problem and treatment for both conditions. Don’t take no for an answer.

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Thanks for your reply. I did wonder why his answer to my osteo issues has just been to keep increasing my morphine... But you do tend to put your trust in these people thinking they know what is best for you

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Yes, the fact that we have mostly grown up with our wonderful NHS system sometimes leads us to have greater expectations of certain aspects of it, such as the skills of GPs, than they are capable of giving. Mostly they do a great job but sometimes we need almost to give them permission to admit that they are not the expert in our condition and also to spend the money to get the proper help for us which is constantly under pressure. Only our very strong advocacy on our behalf can acjieve this. In my experience, once the reticence to refer by the GP is overcome they are actually quite pleased to have the advice of the specialist. Good luck with it.

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Definitely a specialist for the COPD and osteoporosis. For the latter physio would perhaps help. GPs are not specialists in these things and that is definitely what you need. Ask for referrals and don't take no for an answer, it's your right. If they get stroppy about it ask to meet the practice manager.

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