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British Lung Foundation
38,506 members45,413 posts

Little or no GP support & confusing diagnosis.

Hi all. I have previously been tested 3 times since 2012 by my local pratice using spirometry, as advised due to an xray which showed some scarring changes from smoking. Each time my respiratory nurse advices that i have borderline COPD and many GP visits corroborate this.

However, dispite this advice i remain confused as i feel more and more breathless every few months and now speaking between breaths is becoming and effort. I am very overweight and nearly 50 yrs of age but recently i blew nearly 500 on a peak flow meter which suprsised me. Its so frustrating as i cannot get any clarity regarding my condition nor can i get any usable, meaningful advice or support in my GP area.

Wondered if this is a common scenario among other sufferers.

5 Replies

Hi chestyzzz looks like I will be going down the same road has you spiremtry 69% after very bad chest infection said to go back in 6 months no meds no diagnosis never even asked if I smoked. Taking things into my own hands stopped smoking exercise every day healthy eating taking vitamins and just see what happens .What is your fev1 for boarderline COPD please


Hi I'm not sure what that is? I was told something like 79% on my second spiromtry and 71% on my third, and told that i definitely did not have any obstruction. Good luck with things christina1947


I wonder if your GP could refer you to Pulmonary Rehab classes, it depends if you fit the criteria . People on this site have found them helpful.

some members here, have been diagnosed with a dysfunctional breathing pattern.....over breathing or tight chest breathing. Maybe you could be referred to a reputable physiotherapist to check .

I find gentle breathing, through my nose , with a relaxed diaphragm and shoulders....belly breathing, gently, helps me.

If you live in the UK, the BLF have a helpline 03000 030 555.


I think you should try to get copies of all three of your spirometry tests as there are other numbers on those tests that are important as well if you post results here you can get help on interpreting them. We are not doctors and ultimately you would have to get a diagnosis from the doctor but we can certainly provide input on the results of your spirometry tests that maybe you can take to your doctor.


Hi, I would recommend reading reputable advice such as the BLF around COPD and NICE guidance etc., and learn as much as you can about your condition.

Pulmonary Rehab is a great source for education around this. Then maybe you can get more sense from the GP’s etc. I have found that treatment varies so much from one doctor to another and one area to another.

Knowledge is power I guess.


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