British Lung Foundation
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Follow Up Pulmonologist/ Cardiologist per COPD

Sorry to present such a long winded (no pun intended) post. Will finally visit Pulmonologist in early May to complete PFT . Having been diagnosed with mild Emphysema in Feb by Radiologist I sprang into action as I noted in my initial posts . I quit smoking cold turkey and do miss the cigs but feel as though I’m over the little killers. I can’t say I feel great since my cigarette withdrawal is still in progress but it will improve. Just proceeded in having cardio blockage tests of which I was found fine. Now comes the tricky part my Pulmonary doctor explained to me that yon reviewing my CT Scan results he said although the Radiologist diagnosis was mild emphysema it is not confirmed until he (the Pulmonary physician) confirms it via COPD testing. I thought a CT Scan was the ultimate test of proof ! Has anyone on this forum had this dilemma? Just to clear up some things since I quit smoking I do not taste or smell food better like many do and I feel more SOB than ever. My Cardiologist said it’s very natural as the body does not heal itself overnight especially if one has smoked he little killers for upwards 50+ years

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Hi Redsox - a CT scan gives a picture of the kind of damage that has occurred in your lungs so it can diagnose copd but it won't show how well you are functioning. For this you need a spirometry test, and this will give you a measure of what stage your copd is at through your fev1 result. This means forced expiratory volume in one second, or how much you can blow out as hard as you can at the start of the test.

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Thank you 02Trees my concern was not whether it was COPD but rather emphysema (irreversible) or adult asthma (somewhat reversible) or some other disease under the COPD umbrella of which treatment and medication may in fact vary.

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Ok, a CT scan will give you that information, i.e. chronic bronchitis or emphysema or bronchiectasis (some put this under the copd umbrella, some don't). A spirometry test won't show this distinction, it will just indicate copd if there's no reversibility when you take the test a second time 20 minutes after taking a bronchodilator (ventolin). If there is reversibility it is likely to be asthma.

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You can have the reversibility test be positive and have COPD, my reversibility test was positive, I was diagnosed with asthma/copd crossover. Generally they use symptoms to diagnose between the two, e.g. which one to treat primarily, because your ct scan showed emphysema, you'll be treated for copd i recon. Most people with ashma/copd overlap are treated for copd though. I use this to my advantage, means there is a bigger choice of inhalers available for me as some are only for asthma and some are only for copd.

Regards

Mikey

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Reversibility can mean just asthma, or it can mean both copd and asthma like you say, Mikey. I had had asthma since my early twenties. At late stage 3 I no longer have any reversibility though I still have all the asthma symptoms especially severe bronchospasm.

It's harder to manage copd when there is asthma as well, so our multi-disciplinary educational network specialist told me. But Ive been doing ok even so. :)

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At my spirometry test they just told me to use inhaler as I am a known asthmatic. No reversability test.

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Again thank you very much 02

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O2 trees is right on with the testing. I was diagnosed quite a few years ago copd/emphysema and quit the cigs 15 months ago. Yep, like an idiot I continued smoking for a few years after the Rx. It is not unusual to feel more SOB when you first quit, the smoking actually opens up your lungs a little bit and when you quit they start healing and trying to be normal. I found exercise if you can tolerate it to be an enormous benefit. Getting breathless on purpose maxing out the breathing also kept me from wanting to ruin it with smoking.

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Thank you

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Little killers, what a great name for cigarettes. They should put it on cigarette boxes xx

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RedSox - You have only just had the diagnosis so take one step at a time. This is the beginning of a journey, first stop is quitting smoking. It can take months to feel the benefit of this because the lungs need to heal - do not be disheartened.

Next stop getting as healthy as you can - watch your weight, get fresh air and exercise, have the annual flu vaccination and ask for pneumovax. Maintain good hygiene to reduce the risk of infection. Keep away from folk who have colds and flu.

Your lung disease is unlikely to be due to asthma but you need to have spirometry to determine the stage that your emphysema is at and how much reversibility you have to inhaled bronchodilators and possibly steroids. There is a lot you can do to improve matters.

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Hi RedSox. After Pleurisy in February I was diagnosed with emphysemic changes. Stopped smoking 9 Feb on dx. Had lung Func test told moderate copd. Sob was worse until this weekend when has now improved so took 11 weeks to improve. Have had summer hay fever and astma for years but never any other signs. Hope sob gets better soon🐾

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