Severe emphysema stage four - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation
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Severe emphysema stage four


Hi folks not posted here for a while was wondering if anyone has the same problem as me with this copd I find some times when i am struggling to breath i have to get to the toilet urgently to pass a motion when this is done my breathing starts to recover my respiratory nurse has never heard of this before a and cannot understand why so can any of you kind folk shed some light on this ? Thanks in advance

13 Replies

I have exacly the same thing ozzy, my copd nurses always ask about my bowels they know about it , quite a few peoplw havd problems with this sensitive subject

in reply to soulboy118

Hi thanks for your reply seems this is more common than I thought


Exactly the same here. If I’m exerting myself and my sats get too low.....this can happen to me several times a day. I’ve wondered if it was meds. But over the years I’ve come to connect it with my being breathless. It’s become my norm.

in reply to Hidden

Thanks for the input glad to know I am not the only one with this

Glad you mentioned it, I too have to Put my Oxygen on to go to The loo and Shower, I'm stage 4 emphysema. The Other Organs need the Oxygen also, I was on 16/7, then 24/7 now 20/7 so easing back a bit on the Oxygen whilst I await for my New Valves to replace the ones that have stopped working, Hence the Breathlessness. It's all part of our Body Mobility, My Respiratory Nurses do know about these Problems. As we discuss them in Rehab. xxx

Your respiratory nurse hasn't been asking the right questions! As a child with bad asthma over 50 years ago, with no inhalers or other treatment offered, an asthma attack meant desperately needing to find a loo and allowing nature to take its course! Like you my breathing would then gradually recover and I'd be able to get on with my life, albeit still puffing, but not desperately so. I imagine it's something to do with the body closing down inessential functions to concentrate on the lungs. I'm sure there's a technical explanation if anyone cares to investigate.

This has been mentioned here before so we are definitely not alone.

I love this site. We are never alone! :)

Hi constipation or late bowel movement puts pressure on the diaphragm, then on your enlarge lungs. Quite common I would have thought.

Yes Ozzy, same for me with severe emphysema, and affects my bladder the same way. I believe it's to do with lack of oxygen to the muscles that control them. Not uncommon at all. Mx

Yes, I wonder if it's part of the body's fight or flight mechanism.....breathlessness can cause panicky feelings ...hence the need for the loo.

I dont get this but what I do do is kegel exercises (pelvic floor) every day. In general if your muscles are not deconditioned they will function better even when oxygen is in short supply - no different than for walking etc. So if this is a problem Id start doing kegels - there will be youtubes. I have a abdominal prolapse which is why I started doing them as I was having trouble with control. They really have helped me so maybe worth trying.

in reply to O2Trees

Well as I cant walk I don't think it will do much good

I agree with others that the brain prioritises the brain, heart, etc., and reckons that bowels etc are low priority. I disagree and personally I'd like a stern chat with my brain about this to please adjust your brain priorities because this really can be VERY unpleasant! It's one of the big lung disease undiscussed elephants in the room.

Yes same here it is very important that you do not get constipated this because our lungs have extended constipation puts more pressure on the extended lungs


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