Confused: Feeling totally confused... - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation

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Feeling totally confused. Just seen the doctor for the first time. Had spiro test a couple of weeks ago, fev1 43, showing severe. Had a chest xray last week. Well xray all ok, great news, given rescue antibiotics and steriods, in case i get infection, put on pulm rehab course, starts in 6 weeks. Told i will be put on copd list to be checked yearly. Not given any inhalers as i do not have a cough or shortness of breath, so again good news, peak flow of 150. Nothing else offerred or explained and sent on my way. In myself i feel fine, so not really understanding what is wrong with my lungs. Yes i have copd, felt bad ie coughing and starting to get a bit breathless a few months ago before i quite smoking, now symptoms have gone away, will my lungs improve?

13 Replies

No your lungs won't if you have COPD .. I had been ok until about seven years ago and every year got a bit worse.. I think it depends on what type of COPD you have.. Next time ask your Dr what stage your in... There is on line a site put in COPD longevity and there is a Gold stanard.. I'm just in stage 0 were it just starting....

Hi there is unfortunately no cure for the damage already done to your lungs and they certainly won't repair themselves. By exercising and a healthy lifestyle though you can give yourself the best chance to remain stable or relatively so for many years. Exercise alone will teach your lungs to use oxygen more efficiently so you will have more for breathing.

Have you just given up smoking again as I thought you did then restarted? If you are struggling with this then why not join the quit site also on here? They are very good and helped me stop.

Oh and a peak flow of 150 sounds very low and I am surprised you are ok with that! x

in reply to hypercat54

Hi Hypercat, yes just packed up again, but when restarted was more of a reaction to receiving the news of copd and after smoking 20 in two days was just having the odd one or two a day for couple of weeks, back on champix. Yes, not understanding why feel so good and can walk briskly for couple of miles when lung test so bad, blood oxygen 98%. Doctor couldnt tell me what was wrong, just said shows severe obstruction???

hypercat54 profile image
hypercat54 in reply to

Well it sounds like copd is the diagnosis, Were you expecting another one? x

in reply to hypercat54

No....i accept i have copd and am grateful that my symptoms are mild considering the prognosis of it being severe, i suppose i thought the doctor would have given me more i formation, as when i have read other peoples posts being in the severe catagory, the same as me they are on a lot of meds and have more symptoms, so was expecting her to give me more info or some meds? Feeling grateful and relieved anyway. Had a spiro done 4 years ago first test fev1 36 after ventolin and second test fev1 99, she couldnt explain why the difference and said it was bizarre, also said i should have had a follow up, which didnt happen!!

jackdup profile image
jackdup in reply to

I don’t know much about asthma but if you went from 34 to 99 after using ventolin it would seem there may be more asthma than COPD which could also explain your lack of shortness of breath which you well could have if you have an asthma attack. Were you also given ventolin on this last test as well when you had 43? If so how much difference did it make? I believe asthma often effects the PEF more than COPD so that could also account for the low PEF. Again I don’t know much about asthma so hopefully someone with more knowledge of asthma will post and offer some advice.

As others have pointed out if you have COPD the damage cannot be reversed but your FEV1 can vary throughout the day and from day to day so your FEV1 can improve.

I am also a bit surprised you were not given an inhaler which helps to open the airways and that alone would likely show some improvement in you FEV1 over time as the long term inhalers take sometime to see their full benefit.

Yes, there is the big...but...maybe....I know you like reading research look at the University of Pennsylvania they are working on regrowing alveoli with certain stem does work in rats...and sheep. Yes, a sheep.

Take care.


in reply to megshafer

Sheep is a larger animal which is showing promise!

megshafer profile image
megshafer in reply to

Right!! I found that amazing. Usually, sheep are not used that much for medical research. If they can regrow alveoli, amazing. Many lives would be saved.

Meg xx

in reply to megshafer


The thing to remember here is that spirometry tests can vary a great deal and can be affected by a number of factors. From time of day to when you last age a meal. After giving up smoking my FEV 1 improved. My daily exercise also helped with improving my health. It is good that you do not feel breathless as lung conditions can affect us all differently. So please do not worry about medications at this point. It is brilliant the you are getting pulmonary rehabilitation so quickly. It's not just about exercise but also education about your condition. My advice would be to keep away from "Dr Google" as often the information can cause anxiety and wait for pulmonary rehabilitation were the advice will be more taylored to your needs. Of cause we are always here to help and there is no such thing as a daft question.

in reply to Badbessie

Badbessie, thank you for your reply, i take comfort from your kind words and information, and yes Dr Google can be scary. I am looking forward to the rehab for their advise and excercise regime. My doctors face to face app gave me no info and just left me in limbo. I plan to do everything i can to help myself x


Hi Glad you are feeling better, the peak flow of 150 is low, don't know what that means to you, for me it rings alarm bells that a chest infection has/will set in. (I use mine as a sort of barometer). No you lungs will not improve sad to say but reality, COPD is a progressive disease. Keep off the cigs they will only eventually make things worse. if you do not have shortage of breath and have energy that is good but do take things a little easier but exercise if you can, the rehab course will show you what to do at the class & home. It will also show you how to breath properly if you do get out of breath.

Being young gives you various possibilities check the web but be careful with what you do read there as it can frighten you witless. Check lung transplants, lung reduction surgery, lung valves, lung coils and even stem cell treatments, also check for "trials".


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