newly diagnosed and told the inhalers... - British Lung Foun...

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newly diagnosed and told the inhalers do not work on me


After a spirometry test my doctor told me that I have copd but my test results clearly show that the inhalers do not work on me! Has anybody else been told this?

12 Replies

Do you mean the spirometry bronchodilator test? This shows during spirometry whether obstruction is asthma because it can be reversible as opposed to copd in which bronchodilator does little or no effect on obstruction reversibilty?

You don’t mention what stage your COPD is. If it is mild it is possible you won’t notice much if any benefit from the normal maintenance inhalers that are prescribed. They provide benefit over a longer period and will often take a few weeks to feel the full benefits. The rescue inhaler that is often prescribed is more of a benefit for people with asthma, or people with asthma and COPD. if your lung function test or spirometry didn’t show any improvement from the inhaler they would have given you during the test than you may not have any asthma component. While you may not feel any benefit from a rescue inhaler such as Ventolin at present there may be times where you may need that inhaler and will see some benefit at that time.

Thank you for both of your replys lemon 7 and jackdup.

Just to try to clarify, I was given a spiometry test to detect whether I had COPD. I had three tests, the first test was a spirometry test without any inhalers, the second was a spirometry test with what I was told was a quick acting inhaler, the third was with what I was told was a slow release inhaler the test conducted 30 minuits after I had the inhaler.

When I went back to the dr for my consulation, he said my tests showed I clearly had copd before the inhalers and I clearly had copd after the inhalers, with no difference in test results. He said it was uncommon for the inhalers to make no difference but it wasn't unknown. He didn't tell me what stage I am at, but I am guessing it is fairly early stages though I have been having breathing difficulties for a couple of years.

Lemon7 asthma was not mentioned at all, my diagnosis is copd which was why i said copd in my question and did not mention asthma.

Jackdup, some interesting information there thanks, I think that I need to go back to the dr and ask some questions.

What I would really like to know is if anybody else here has been told that the inhalers do not work on them.

Lemon7 in reply to ninkum

Hi again. I have just been newly diagnosed with copd. In my spirometry pre and post bronchodilator tests there was also hardly any difference. I am mild copd because the fev/FVC ratio was below 70 (mine was 65%). It is clearly copd because it shows obstruction and it is not asthma because there would usually be improvement after bronchodilator if it was asthma. My fev1 was a good level so it is categorised in mild stage. I asked my surgery GP practice nurse if my condition deteriorates will no inhalers help me? She said not to worry because if it worsens over time there are many different types of inhalers and treatment that can help improve your breathing. Hope this makes sense. All the best.

ninkum in reply to Lemon7

Thank you Lemon7, that makes some sense and I think that it sounds like we are at the same place...if my dr had said what you nurse said it would have made me understand my situation so much better...thanks

piggi in reply to ninkum

Exactly! You used the inhalers to see if it was copd or asthma. They didn’t work- it’s copd.

The level you managed to blow on the spirometer is an indication of what stage copd you are. If it’s fairly mild it’s possible you will only need a reliever inhaler for occasional use. If it’s more advanced there are other medicines you can be prescribed. Are you due a follow up with a doctor or respiratory nurse?

ninkum in reply to piggi

Hi piggi, Thanks, The Dr actually said "I don't know what to say to you as all I have is the inhalers that don't work on you" He then went onto google, did a search and printed a 'what is copd' leaflet. and that was that!!!

Thankfully I joined this forum and have started to understand what the dr did not.

So, I do not have a follow up appointment for my copd, but luckily there is a nurse who lives in the village here and I spoke to her about this yesterday and she advised that I get an appointment with the respiratory Nurse, which I obviously will.

thanks again

piggi in reply to ninkum

Woah! Sorry- that’s disgusting from your doctor- especially because COPD is becoming more prevalent. You do need a medical ally - is there any alternative practitioner where you live?

ninkum in reply to piggi

piggi, never get to see the same dr twice at my surgery. I have never really built a relationship with any of the DR's there as I have only been about twice in the last twenty years, up until recently. I am sure of them will be more competent.

Firstly I hope you are having a good I have COPD and been doing lots of research into the condition as well as taking part into numerous research programs I am able to share some important tips that will help the first tip is to practice with your breathing in thru the nose and out thru the mouth in a gentle and controlled manner it is no secret that cigarette smokers do the reverse taking large gulps of air thru the mouth bloating is a common problem and a build up of gas carbon dioxide is part of the problem it's important to pass wind to release the gas and it is just as important to resist the temptation to take in large gulps of air even when it feels like a reflex reaction I take lots of water mixed with a few capfuls of apple cider vinegar thru out the day I try to excersise not to the point where I am finding I need to breath thru the mouth I now avoid process food and eat fruit and vegetables if you find your breathing is becoming laboured make sure of fumes are not causing it and take you stop and fight the urge to panic and do the nose and mouth breathing with the goal of slowing the breathing down regularly unblock the nose and clear the throat of mucus there are a lots of tips online to help it is up to you to work out what is best for you raw honey is a good way to tackle inflammation in the throat there are lots of health tips along this line I know you probably know a lot of what I have put down here I hope you find at least one more thing in this note to help you along I also take dissolvable vitamin c tablets that helps with the getting rid of wind build up I hope you find out what works for you

ninkum in reply to jgo56

Thank you Jgo56...what ever I think I might know it is good to see it written down. I have never really eaten processed foods, so fresh veg and meat are my stables. I keep bees so raw honey is at hand. I have never taken supplements like vit c, but I have started to and I am also taking multi vits, iron and I do have apple cider vinager.

Also as my cholestrol is 9.3!!! so I am also taking plant sterols, nascent iodine.

I must practice those breathing exercises, they sound sensible.

thanks again

jgo56 in reply to ninkum

They do work I recently have suffering from flu which reacted with the copd I was having a breathing attack and the inhaler was not working I was in big trouble even though it was against my natural instinct I followed a breathing help video and without doubt it saved my life there is a Russian Dr who invented a breathing technique 60 years ago and is still valid today Dr maykgo worth a look a nebuliser is another option today I had a semi review couldn't have a full one because of steroids but the touched on inhalers and suggested that they might be alternatives it is a very big field I am used to internet searches and found a wealth of information some of which I have found useful I wish you well and hope you find what you need

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