How do you receive treatment for copd... - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation
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How do you receive treatment for copd if all your vital signs are ok?

I have to ask this as a possible copd sufferer still in the process of being diagnosed. How do you get treatment for your copd if all your vital signs are normal in the assessment room at A&E but you feel breathless? I've been really breathless for just over a week now and have been to A&E when it's just got too much and the inhaler doesn't work. Like I said I haven't had a diagnosis yet but my doctor gave me an inhaler until he can figure out what's wrong and I've had all the tests. My vitals show normal at the hospital but I can feel like I'm suffocating. What happens if you have a really bad flare and they just say everything's ok and your just anxious but you still can't breath? Do they just send you home to struggle and hope you don't die? They just send me home and say it's anxiety but it gets really bad. If you do have a proper diagnosis of copd do they just send you home when you can't breathe and tell you that it's just anxiety or will you get treatment if you tell them your are diagnosed with copd? It's really worrying when you know you struggle to breathe but they won't listen?

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In UK you only get treatment for COPD if you are diagnosed with COPD, so if all your tests show you don't have it that will be one thing eliminated as the cause for your breathlessness.

If the medics think the breathlessness is caused by anxiety I guess you will be receiving medicine for that. So you need to manage the anxiety so its under control. In the UK there are education courses for managing different health issues, you can access through your GP.

If things don't improve after getting to know how to manage your anxiety go back to the doctor again.

People diagnosed with COPD are not just sent home without medication and for diagnosed COPD there is available pulmonary rehabilitation education course.

Hope you will soon be finding breathing becoming easier and management of your anxiety easier too.

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This is a very general reply and with respect, a tad optimistic. What you have described should be the case. Unfortunately, in my experience I am afraid it hasn't been.

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I WENT THROUGH THE SAME KIND OF THING AS YOURSELF.

It is not always clear to a doctor if it's an infection or a lung issue.

In my case, I went through the whole spectrum of it is....no it`s this.... could it be... oh it's Bronchiectasis... no it isn't ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh its COPD...

COPD is a general term for a lot of lung issues and as it was said to me..the lungs are not well understood it is more a science etc...I'm sure that other sufferers have gone through the same kind of thing.

Stop worrying about it, you will drive yourself nuts, wait until you have a firm diagnosis and even the DON'T STRESS ABOUT IT! you will drive yourself NUTS..

Definitely.... DON'T do doctor Google!! Listen to your medical team / doctor and if you can, keep a diary of your day so you can ask and get clear answers (where they are available..

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I'm really struggling to breath and I've got to wait another 3 weeks for the results of a scan and a spirometery test. It's awful when it comes on. My nose gets all blocked just before and I get hiccups so I know it's coming and I get at least one attack a day and it last hours and even the bit in between is uncomfortable. How much do you have to suffer before you get help?

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Hi Angie.

They thought I had asthma for awhile and gave me an inhaler that didn't work. Then they decided that it was beyond their comprehension and sent me off to a lung specialist. In fact I saw and got opinions from three lung specialists. They diagnosed me with Obliterative Bronchiolitis, a rare disease of the tiniest airways. As you can imagine it took a long time. Tests were not decisive and I had to do so many spirometry tests, walk tests, scans and x-rays it was a bit of a tiring nightmare.

Way before I had my lung issues I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. It took them almost six months to make a diagnosis and to get me on the right medication. It was hard to diagnose because initially nothing showed up in the blood work or scans.

Oh so very, very frustrating. And I do understand how difficult it is. Just be persistent and your own advocate. Hang in there.

Take good care,

Cas xx 🌸

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Perhaps you should go back to your Dr and discuss your anxiety with them. Breathlessness can be terrifying. Try some calming deep breathing through your nose and out through your mouth, shut your eyes and listen to your breaths. Works for me. Good luck, I hope you get a proper diagnosis soon.

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I breathe in for 4 counts as deeply as I can and out for 7, really stops me hyperventilating and panicking

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What colour inhalers? Did they say they think it maybe copd or that's your diagnosis from internet?

What tests did they do?

How old are you? (Ex)smoker? How many? Overweight?

Did they do a peak flow test (blow as hard as you can in a hand held tube).

X-ray? Bloods? BP? Sats?

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Hi, I'm a 51 year old ex smoker of 30 years which isn't good.I'm normally fit and well and not overweight. I've been getting ill since October when I had a tooth out and got dry socket. My kidney function dropped to stage 3 then back to stage 1 in a few weeks. I was then diagnosed with anemia in October which as resolved with iron tablets so I'm not anemic. Then I was diagnosed with gastritis and a uterine fibroid. I changed my diet completely to help my reflux and don't have problems with acid.I was then diagnosed with gallstones. I then had a chest X-ray and it said hyperinflated lungs but clear. I had another one recently and now my lungs aren't hyper inflated? Don't get that one. My breathlessness started out with just getting breathless going upstairs but now I get it just sat down. Anxiety doesn't cause breathlessness while walking up an hill so that's worrying me. They've just done an echocardiogram and the sonographer can't see anything wrong with my heart. My doctor put me on the blue inhaler until I get sorted but it doesn't work. Maybe because it's for asthma and I don't have asthma. I've recently been getting low bp 89/48 alon with dizziness and a feeling that my insides are racing. The breathlessness doesn't feel the same as with anemia, it feels like I have the wind blowing in my face and it can last hours and hours. Exercise also sets it off so now m scared to exercise in case I get breathless. I've also had a sprirometry test and it was 66% whatever that means. She just said I'm not exhaling enough. No mention of copd. I'm due to have another one in September but that's 3 more weeks of waiting

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I've been SOB from anaemia. It felt like I couldn't get the air in & out of my lungs fast enough to get my breath on ANY exertion. Frightening when you've been fit (although also mild/moderate COPD) up 'til then.

Too complicated case history for lay people to constructively advise but worth going back to GP and share your anxiety; see what s/he thinks.

Best wishes.

PS Overinflated lungs can be here today & gone tomorrow.. and back next week. Small plugs of mucous can act like one way valves trapping air. Then you cough, it moves and the air comes out, which indeed could have been helped by the Ventolin, even if you didn't realise.

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Hi, just a thought, I'm no expert, you say you had reflux which was combatted by changing your diet- could there be more to this such as food intolerances- my breathing changes drastically depending on what I have eaten- maybe keep a food diary?

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Have you had a CT scan yet, if not ask/beg for one, that is the only way I got diagnosed, x rays showed nothing, was treated for asthma for 5 years, inhalers just didn't work. Reflux is often associated with certain lung problem, certainly has been with mine.

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oooh sounds just like me, acid reflux, breathlessness, fatigue, dizzy, aches and pains, diagnosed with asthma 5 years ago until I got an *exacerbation* (crisis) and had a scan and found I had several severe lung diseases and the one causing all the symptoms was Systemic Scleraderma Wedge pillow and diet sorted the acid reflux and to a certain extent the .. bum... brain fog, 'nother symptom, ah yes insomnia. Easy test for it is from a hheart doctor and they put your fingers in a machine and look to see if the blood vessels are exaggerated around the base of your nails !!!! well that is what they do here to confirm it after a blood test shows up your ANA as positive, mine was double positive.

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Hello, not all breathing problems are COPD. Asthma is just as bad for some people and anxiety. It is a horrible sensation just the same as panic attacks. COPD is only treated if diagnosed and consists of lung rehabilitation, inhalers, sometimes tablets, and a lot of ongoing management by GPs and patient, very similar to anxiety control just different drugs. You really need to talk to your GP about this or a practice nurse. Hopefully they will help you with your breathing , ventolin is sometimes given for panic attacks caused by anxiety. COPD as different stages and very mild COPD may not be treated at first just good life style changes advised. Best wishes and take care.

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Hia I also have COPD & fibromyalgia, my oxygen levels fine I don’t cough the problem is breathing out :and I agree if I get anxious. All worse . I ended up 3 years ago with phenomenal, back from Africa , hopefully your doc will do cat scan and even put camera down into lung : been dealing with this 6 years now with nebuliser , and eating well trying get exercise.hope u get a good pulmonary plan .

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Angie2020

Hi, you do seem a worrier much of your problem appears to come from anxiety, Your GP could give you a low dose of Lorazepam to help in the short term. Don't try to self diagnose using the info from the web. If you do have serious doubts go and get a 2nd opinion, if needs be from a private clinic.

Over the years many of us here have had anxiety making the symptoms worse, I couldn't even ride in a car as it felt too low to breath. Fortunately it passed and I'm OK now. It could be pleurisy, that will make you feel breathless but with treatment it can be easily beaten but it has many of the same feelings, many of us have had it when we were younger.

IKeith

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I do get a lot of chest pain and a few months ago It hurt to breathe in but they don't seem concerned.My hearts more or less been ruled out. I really hope it is anxiety and wow if it is because I've never felt so ill.

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Angie2020, your history sounds quite complex and I too think it’s worth getting a second opinion.

In the meantime have you tried doing breathing exercises? They should help with anxiety (if that’s what you suffer from) and would benefit your lungs too of course.

There’s lots on YouTube but my favourite is the 4,7,8 technique where you breathe in to the count of 4, hold your breath whilst counting to 7 and exhale to the count of 8. (Think it’s a technique I learned from someone on this forum)

Good luck with everything!

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I do breathing exercises all the time but it's exhausting when you feel breathless for hours on end for the last 10 days. Just before I get an attack I notice that my nose gets completely blocked as well

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By the way you mentioned chest pain which I get too and been to A& E on several occasions in recent years with chest pain/ breathlessness (heart always ok and docs blamed my thyroid rather than my lungs) I knew it wasn’t anxiety!. They only suspected a lung issue once I developed this horrid cough that wasn’t going away. It was all very quick then, I had an X-ray on the day my gp requested it and the spirometer test (which I did at my surgery) a week later so it didn’t take long in the end to get a diagnosis. Hope you too find out soon what the problem is and if in doubt, get a second opinion.

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I do have anxiety which is brought on by the feeling of breathlessness but the doctors blame all my symptoms on anxiety which really really ****** me off!!! Looks like I'll be going Private to get a diagnosis as it's been 10 months now and still no solid answers. I'm sure if it was one of their relatives, it wouldn't take this long. Lost all faith in the NHS

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I don't have any chest pain nor body pain. Only dry cough and since it was not going(still have cough for more than a month ) they did a chest ex ray and found bacterial infection and little fluid .I had antibiotics for 2 weeks. 2nd ex ray is normal but same amount of fluid. Fluid is not increasing is a good sign. HEARTH test is normal through ecg and blood tests. Oxygen is perfect. Breathlessness is due to that liguid which I hope reduces as per the doctors. I have to do some breathing excersis which I didn't do.

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I have breathlessness for more than 20 days. First Exray showed chest infection with mild plueral effusion. After 7 days I went again to A&E . They repeated my Exray and blood tests to see if the mild liguid in the lungs(plueral effusion) has increased or not and if increased to drain it. All blood reports are normal, oxygen level is more than 90 %. Exray shows earlier chest infections are gone and the plueral effusion has also not increased but the same. Doctors says everything is okay and the plueral effusion will go by its own. I have still breathless . Also anxiety.

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That Is so wrong that they can leave you like that and not do anything. They wouldn't let an animal suffer like that. Have they checked your heart and thyroid and kidney function? I've heard full spectrum cannabis oil with high thc can help with copd and other lung issues so i will be trying that. Hope you get some help soon, it's awful not being able to breathe properly :(

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There no cure for copd all engine can give you is pumps and steroids and antibiotics you can bye this mirchen from ebaY and the gp should give you the meds for it

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I have since found out I have h pylori and stomach erosion/leaky gut causing all my symptoms! So I wasn't crazy and it wasn't anxiety. H pylori causes shortness of breath and allergies and all sorts of nasty symptoms. Thank god it's not all in my head!

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