how fast does copd take hold?

hi i suffer from copd emphersemia ,asma, over the summer i found just get in and out of bed from comeing from bath room felt like i run a mile, and i have just been put on folic acid tablets because i was tierd all the time , is this what i have to look forward to ? i thought it was bad in the heat but my chest feels worse now it getting cold and damp some ones sitting on it and im still tierd after being on tablets for over 20 days ??

what can i do to stop the tight feeling?

31 Replies

Hi Helen19

I am sorry to read you are feeling so unwell.

When were you diagnosed with all of your conditions and how old you? Have you had spirometry tests? Can you give us a call and we can arrange for one of our respiratory nurses to speak with you?

03000 030 555.

Best Wishes


hi jo i was diagnosed 9/2/11, im am 52 friday:) .i have had xray and spirometry test done three now .my nurse did say i got lungs of a 80 year old but i still do weekend work .but i feel once you been told you have copd ,thats it you go on your way and get called in every few months to see if it got worse or stayed the same ..i know my nurse is realy nice and has told me the out come as i still smoke i know its wrong but i have tryed every thing to stop but i find it so hard after 30 odd years of smokeing but i have cut down to less then 20 a day .i have put my name down with karen at guys for the trials but have to wait to stop my folic acid tablets befor i can go see her xx but whats getting me is my boss let me off working 6 days week because i found it hard in the hot weather and i thought once it got cooler it might help ,but i am finding my cheast getting tighter now and hurts if i breath in to hard .is this what iv got to look forward to ,i said to my doctor monday just gone and he said thats what u have with copd ,and that was it .helen

thank you sylb for the surport im not going to give up trying to give up xhope you are well x

Keep trying Helen, I smoked for 40 odd years and managed to stop last year, keep on trying, as sylb says " you do feel better. :)

thanks i wont give up try :)

Hi Helen,

As a smoker for 40 odd years, i was shocked when diagnosed with copd/emp - the constant feeling of tiredness and tight chest. i must admit feeling sorry for myself, and kind of letting things slip, comfort eating, moping etc, this has lead to more probs. But its a must that you stop smoking, or the symptoms will get worse and more severe.

I attended a rehab course, and the team of nurses, gave me the kick i needed, and i have since got myself a exercise bike, doing a little exercise each night,(it hurt at first) but over the passed few weeks my breathing has gotten better, im not feeling as tired, thus making the working week easier. Give rehab a go, they will help you stop the ciggies, and give you the knowhow on how to live with this condition, you will hopefully then have more good days than bad - And people on here are always willing with a lend an ear to listen or give advice / help if needed.

Take Care

Mucks x

hi what do u mean by rehab did u go in somewere ect please could u give me more info xx hope you are ok xhelen

Hi Helen,

Certain NHS Trusts have various outreach teams and programmes. My NHS trust (Northamptonshire) has a dedicated COPD team called Rocket - of which they run a rehabilatation course, which educates you about this condition and how to cope with it, part of the programme, includes a fitness programme. Have a look and see whats on offer in your area, or speak with your GP, and see if they can offer any physio

I hope this helps, if you need more info please don't hesitate to get in touch

Mucks x

hi there

i was were you are in 2005 i continued to smoke and tried and tried but the copd got so bad i couldn't smoke so stoped i do wish i had stoped when i was not so bad, since i stoped it has not realy got any worse if anything i feel better i still use nicoteen replacment, but walking by some one in the street smoking and i get even the smalest amount of the smoke it cuts my mobility down by half and makes me ill,

and they smell absoulutly awful,

i wish i had stoped when i was mobile as now the oxygen botle etc makes life hard work


Hi Helen,

I was a heavy smoker for 35 years and ironically quit 6 months before I was diagnosed with COPD. I'm still smoke free 2 years on. You will get plenty of encouragement and support from the users of this site.......:)

Be Safe


thanks preshous ...:)

Me too!

Have you tried Champix? It worked from me (available through your GP). I never thought I could stop after so many failed attempts, but I did with that. 9 Months now and I won't smoke again. I rarely think of cigarettes now and I am £200 better off every month.

Lynne x

morning lynne i was on them too iv tryed every thing but i found i smoked more on champix :( but since iv not been on any thing iv gone from 30 a day to just under 20 aday , im trying to cut out afew eachday so my 20 will last thro to the after noon the next day but thank you :) hope ur ok x

That is good, keep it up. I was diagnosed after I had stopped smoking (about three months) and although I am classed as moderate, I don't feel too bad most of the time.

I work (for myself), exercise and am now trying to lose the 1.5 stone I put on when I quit smoking as that will help me.


Morning helen niquitin patches prescribed by the doctor have been my saviour I am on the 3rd stage of the patches small amount of nicotine is released every hour and its easier than using will power alone. A certain amount of willpower is still needed and I am into my 9th week without smoking and dont want to smoke anymore. I still get pangs (they go away if you fight them) After 45 yrs of smoking, it needs to stop and I know not smoking is helping my shortness of breath already. I hope and pray you can do it, if I can do it so can anyone. Good luck

hi lavender , hope u are well . iv tryed patches but thay burn my skin ,i think iv been thro all the remadies to stop thay have to offer thay make me worse i seem to wont to smoke more, . iv had a ok day today but still getting pains what feels like under my shoulder blades on my back not sure why i get pain there tho xx well have a good day x:)

Helen, Champix did not work for me either. Like you I found I just continued to smoke. The patches burned my skin too. (Are we twins?) I smoked for over 40 years and was up to 40+ a day. I was in despair. But when I was told I would probably die within a few months (GP) it gave me a bit of a shock! Luckily it scared me enough to stop - without patches. Cutting down may work for you - but mine just went up again eventually. The only thing that is guaranteed to work is will power. Decide you intend to live, have your last ciggie and throw the rest away. Enlist the help of family and friends and tell them not to allow you to smoke under any circumstances and don't go to the shops alone (you can't buy them if someone won't let you!).

It is tough, and I have heard it is harder to stop nicotine than it is to stop heroin. But I am proof it can be done...and so can you be. I promise. Decide to live and go on from there. You should find the tightness and pain in your chest ease off (I am classed as very severe and mine have gone now unless I have a chest infection). And your breathing will be much easier. My thoughts will be with you. I know you can do it ('cos I did). I wish you all the luck and strength you need.



thank you mary it is hard and i must amit im finding it realy hard but i havent gone above 20 aday .....i know its silly me smoking and all my freinds and famliy are on at me all the time to stop... my partner gave up year ago and moans at me every day may be if i get on these drug trials iv put my name for will make me stop . i dont know i have realy tryed but i find my self streesing out to much when i do i even made it down to ten a day for few weeks too but then i had famliy problums and up thay went..but i will try thank you for your reply xx helen

Still thinking about you. Don't give up trying. xx

I would get back to your g.p. about the back pains and tell them you are cutting down as much as you can on the cigs and that you mean to stop altogether. Glad you are having a better day. I have many good days Helen and also many set backs but the worrying times pass with taking care of yourself and it is definitely not all doom and gloom.

Hi Helen. I had pains in my chest 18 months ago. I found out it was Angina and also that I'd had a mild heart attack a week before but didn't know it. I had a stent put in my heart. After smoking for 40 years i immediately gave it up and haven't looked back since. I hope you don't have to go that far to stop smoking.but keep it in mind.

About 3 months after giving up i started getting breathless and was diagnosed with COPD.

Hi Helen I found the only way to stop smoking was exactly that I stopped no cutting down no patches just the doctor telling me I had health problems and they would be a lot worse very quickly if I carried on smoking was enough to stop me. That was 16years ago and yes I do have COPD and Angina but I probably would not be as well as I am or possibly even dead now if I had not stopped smoking. So good luck in stopping smoking.

pack in smoking before it kills you.i lost my husband 8 years ago.and i dont want to die yet.and leave my son,s and grandchildren,with out a mom and nan..they dont have a dad or granddad..we both did smoke for 40years plus and it killed it was hard but i HAVE done it and YOU can... all the best... kath x...

sorry to hear of your loss i too lost someone close to me two years this march , with the same .so u think that would make me stop and i know you will have something to say and your be right but im trying my best xx thanks for your reply kathy x

agree with aunt mary above...xx realy good luck..

i gave up smoking completily 2yrs ago aftesmoking for 60yrs so you can do it good luck.

no problem just don't smoke anymore, i didn't have any problems, once you convince yourself that lungs arnt made for smoke. that's it problem solved.

i dont need to be told realy to stop i know david, i just wonted to know how fast does copd take hold iv been told im being treated for copd emphersinmia and asma i know whats a head but just realy wonted to know myq sorry if i seem bit short dont mean to but i know how some times u can read theses text wrong way :)

well lets explain it another way. i stopped smoking in 1969. and within 6 weeks i could feel that i was much fitter. then one day carrying my tool box down to a customers front door i felt a bit out of breath. the lady bought me a chair saying he husband had asthma and she thought that what was wrong with me, no warning, just happened that quick, so thinking i probably had a heart problem i visited my doctor, who sent me for tests, i was diagnosed with COPD and the doctor said had i thought about retiring, i said no not at the age of 49, he then read the letter to me he has received from the hospital when he got to the bit about me only surviving for a couple of years i didn't hear much of what he said after, then he said go home keep warm and take it easy,, h aha.

i did have to retire but read up on the facts took advice and i am still hear still fighting and all smoke dust etc i try to avoid, the purer the air you breath the more Chance of good days, so that's how fast it was with me, NO WARNING , just a sudden deterioration of the lungs, although it was obviously deteriorating over period of time it was not noticeable to me , hope it helps . so you see i had stopped smoking for 15 years before i had the breathing problem. regards brian 76

when do u go to see doc? i know iv been told iv got emphersimia and copd and asma , and thay are treating me for all that ,but im only on pumps and folic acid tablets, i was told year ago now,i dont wont to go running every time my cheast feel tight or i feel like my breathing getting worse then it was be cause i have good days were i can cope ok eventho after three days at work it feels like some one pulled the plug on me and it hard to do things but i still force my self to do it even tho i feel rough i just dont wont to stop doing things and give in to it..but i also dont wont to waist the doctors time or my nurses who i see....does anyone eles feel like this i even sometimes think thay got it wrong and this illness is all in my mind....:(

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