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British Lung Foundation
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31 and be told I have the start of copd

hi could anyone help me hear I am so worried as I went to nhs 24 with breathing problems and chest pAins she listened to my breathing with the stethoscope if that what you call them anyway she said it sounds like the start of copd I thought it was just a chest infection nut she give me steroids and antibiotics inhaler which are helping I have an appointment to follow this up with my normal docter tomorrow but what should I expect can he test me there and then or will I need a xray of my chest I really need to no tomorrow as a can't be doing with this worrying thanks Susan xxx

9 Replies

Please try not to worry so much Susan :) You will possibly be sent for a chest x-ray to find out whether there is damage to your lungs, but even if this is the case and you have mild COPD (the first stage) you will still be able to lead a reasonably normal life if you learn how to manage the condition and take good care of yourself through diet and exercise and, if you smoke, try to stop as quickly as possible.

Take the time to read through some of the blogs, questions and answers on here and if you are still worried do give the BLF Helpline 03000 030 555 a call, there will be someone on the other end who can help you feel less anxious.

Good luck at the doc's tomorrow :)


Hi Susan, when you see your GP tomorrow ask for a referral to a respiratory consultant if anyone is suggesting you have copd. If your condition is confirmed as copd also ask for test to be done that may indicate if you are alpha1. Check with BLF helpline for further information.

All good wishes Zoee


Perhaps it is just a chest infection. The doctor is just considering the options and offering treatment that may or may not be helpful. The steroids and antibiotics are for the chest infection, any effect the inhaler has had may suggest more to your own GP when you go to see him.

Don't panic so much, at this stage you don't know if it is or not. Your GP may send you for a chest x-ray, he may not, you would still have to wait for him to see that before he can tell for sure.

It can take a while for the professionals to make a decision on something like this as they need to check quite a few things, and some of them cannot be done while you have a chest infection or within so long of taking antibiotics and steroids.

Your own GP is the best person to be able to tell you more.


I was diagnosed web I was 30 yrs old, I do need to listen to ur Docs now, listen to there suggestions. Smoking is the biggest thing that will exellarate the progress of COPD, so quitting is essential to staying fit n healthy.

I know of people still living full life's with COPD that made all the changes that were asked of them before it progressed. It treatable with medication n further awareness in the condition, so get urself informed.

Once I did this I was less worried n eventually more accepting of myself n my condition.

This is a great place to start.

Try n get information from reliable sources, registered Charities n Lung Disease Groups.

Let me know how u get on pls.....

Oh I'm now 36 n have living with COPD for over 6 yrs now, which was caused by my smoking n Alpha 1 Antitrypsin Deficiency.


you really need an xray to see what the underlying problem is. Dont forget C.O.P.D is an umbrella that covers all lung diseases.

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Thanks so much for your answer it has eased my mind a lot maybe the docter just reading into it too much... Susan xxx


Can I ask heavo what the alpha one is please ? and have you lived a healthy life with getting it so young ? could I go to gym ect? and did anyone else get chest pains ? thanks Susan x x x


Just passing on my good wishes Susan. I really cant add to whats been said. But do remember its not the end of life as you know it if you do have COPD. If you take care of yourself ie eat well, and excercise! I get chest pains with mine and I think thats common.

Dont worry at this stage about alpha 1. Its quite rare and the chances are that you dont or will never get that.

Many people live to a healthy old age with COPD so try not to worry too much.

Bev xx


Well said hypercat and all the comments on here are so reassuring. Hope Susan gets some answers at the Doctors. xxxxx


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