Symptoms of COPD ?

I'm curious what your starting symptoms were as I was diagnosed last week and have so many symptoms it's ridiculous.

*I had been short of breath only while doing activity ( I also have asthma so I was use to this but it was worse this time)

*pain in my right shoulder blade area and back which lead down my right arm and hand making fingers go numb.

*numb very painful toes, right sided 2nd 2 toes.




*constapation (not unusual for me but worse than normal)

*swelling under my left rib that eventally went across both ribs

*a feeling that something inside me was turning at the end of my sternum, it was very painful a few time but most the time just scary

*swelling hands that would tear open at night recently my feet, legs and arms have also started thus

*brain fog and very very bad memory

*raising blood pressure

These are some there was mire but I'm curious what everyone else's was as I think I'm still in denial and I am concerned as I was diagnosed on one PFT, nothing else and I'm not prone to bronchitis, pneumonia or anything else other than sinus infections.

Plus my results said mine was reversible which confuses me more. I'm a 40 year old former social smoker with childhood asthma, anemia, Bleeding Disorder, anxiety, bulging disc cervical C5 & C6, degenerative disc disease, chronic sinusitis, constipation, high blood pressure, depression, OCD

17 Replies

  • My first symptoms were bad pains in my back ,cramps in my legs feet and they were mostly on my right side.some wheezing.Then the rest came on so fast I was rushed to the hospital I couldn't breath I was scared to death ! That's when I was diagnosed with copd.

  • Wow! I'm so sorry that sounds terrifying! Mine have been so sporadic and wide spread it's been hard to pin point it to one thing.

  • I also had constant sinus infections

  • I would certainly seek a second opinion from a pulmonary specialist. If you received this diagnosis from a pulmonologist, I would still seek out a second opinion.

  • No through my family dr who never listened to me did any cat scans, X-rays anything other than the PFT.

  • My first symptoms catching chronic bronchitis over and over again( I was still smoking back then) having trouble carrying heavy items, short of breath,wheezing and during the summer whenever the humidity was high I couldn't no longer tolerate it..... one thing for sure it's always best to get a second opinion.... good luck and most definitely keep us up-to-date

  • My first symptom was SOB and entering into my third year of the disease is still pretty much my only one except for fatigur at times. I am so sorry that you have so much going on. I would definitely seek another opinion since most of what you listed do not seem COPD related. Good luck in getting some answers and please keep us posted.

  • My symptoms were reoccurring bouts of bronchitis and SOB. The south Florida humidity and the cigarettes made my symptoms so much worse...keep us have a lot going on

  • first symptoms were shortness of breath upon exertion or climbing inclines. Since I held a desk job, I assumed my symptoms were due to a lack of exercise. Years later, when out for a walk. I found my back and legs started to hurt or feel weak. Again I figured I was out of shape and contributed it to sitting too much. I also suffered and was being treated for high blood pressure and water retention in my feet and ankles. Sometimes would get a very nasty tickle in my throat that would make me cough and gag and developed acid reflux. In 2012 I had PFT test and was diagnosed with moderate COPD. Very suddenly in January of 2014 I went into congestive heart failure and was rushed to the hospital. I was diagnosed with severe COPD and emphysema and later upon testing found out I have pulmonary hypertension. I was put on supplement oxygen 24/7 and continue to do so. Being a former smoker, I understand how easy it is to be in denial. I have attended two years of pulmonary rehab and this has made a world of difference. I strongly recommend that course of action. Also, get a second opinion. Do you see a Pulmomologist? Ask questions and seek answers for all. Wishing you better health and better breathing. Would like to know how you're doing in the future. Remember you always have friends here.

  • No my diagnosis was from a GP and he didn't refer me on to anyone just gave me the diagnosis and another medication to try to control this.

    I'm not in denial, I do realize the risk is there just confused as to how one can make that diagnosis on one PFT alone, no history of bronchitis or pneumonia just sinus infections from all my sinuses being clogged, those were repaired 2 years ago.

    This was the first flare up I've have with sinuses in a long time.

    I also forgot to mention he has me in a beta blocker and most of my problems with breathing started with that and I've read that can depress the respiratory system, I'd love to stop it and see but I've also read it's dangerous to do that so I'm searching for new doctors to be sure on this one.

    Thank you so much for the advice

  • Also you said you went from moderate to severe in 2 years, did you stop smoking before the diagnosis or after?

    I'm sorry that happened so fast with yours. I'm just curious how this all progresses, things are so widespread on the information for this I've found.

  • Kjfreeheitkamp I quit smoking in 2000 due to the fact that my second grandchild was due and my son-in-law mentioned that when I held babies, I smelled like an ashtray. That was great movitation and I quit. It has now been 10 years since I've had a cigarette but apparently the damage was already done. I had smoked for 35 Years. You are correct in stating that the information is widespread. Everyone's story is different as this disease progresses. One thing certain is that it does progress and we must do everything possible to slow the progression.

    Looking for a new Dr. sounds like a good idea for you. There are many blood pressure drugs on the market that may not affect your breathing. Kjfreeheitkamp please keep searching for answers and never give up. Breathe better.

  • I was a very sick child growing up all ways had bronchitis ,colds, strepp throat, ear infections and probably had pneumonia as well. They removed my tonsils and alot of my problems went away except bronchitis all ways got that growing up. I grew up on a farm and was around chemicals, bean dust, hay, corn. At age 14 I started to smoke off and on until 18. Then from 18 until I quit 2 years ago @ age 53. I worked as a maid in hotels using cleaning chemicals and worked in resturants. Then I started working in Auto Parts for 10 plus years. Which did not help my lungs last place was a Auto Parts Warehouse. So you can imangine all the dust , chemicals , mold , mildew plus we were located on wet lands and had all different types of trees, plants, and weeds around us. In 2007 my family doctor told me I had Asthma but in 2009 he sent me for a PFT test walk test, cat scan, chest xray. Thats when we realized I had mild COPD and he started me on medications. As the years went by I got worse one respitory infection after another. Finally 2012 my doctor said " no more working your lungs are getting worse " so applied for SSD.

    Now my lungs our of an 80 year old and I have severe COPD. In 2014 I was on deaths door my body was shutting down was put on a vent tube that was breathing for me. I don't remember much but I do know I was in the ICCU for 12 days and finally pulled out of it.

    By the grace of God and doing what I'm suppose to everyday I have not been in that bad of shape since then. When I feel I'm coming down sick I'm on the phone with my pulmonary doctor getting extra meds !!!

  • Could not walk very far before I was out of breath .Was getting bronchitis a lot coughing perfume after shave or other strong smells bother me.

  • mine started out with bronchitis

  • Mine has just crept over years ,I see that you have a lot of health issues so perhaps these are causing your symptoms I hope you feel better soon x

  • People were telling me they could hear me wheezing. So i was going to have some surgery on my heel and the surgeon didn't like the way my lungs sounded so he send me to a specialist to check out and make sure I could be put to sleep. I was diagnosed with mild COPD and was no risk to be put to sleep . That was in 2005 of corse I'm worst now. On 02 - 24/7

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