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Old 03-22-2006, 03:11 PM   #1
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Angie Lalanne HB User
Can emphysema worsen if you stop smoking?

Hi

I am new here. My mum is 60 and was diagnosed by chance with emphysema 2 years ago. She was told her emphysema was in the very early stages, only about 3% deficiency. She has smoked for over 20 years, and still smokes about 10 cigarettes a day. She is convinced she doesn't smoke enough to make it worse. She has no symptoms of the disease yet.

Can anyone tell me how long will it take for her emphysema to get so bad she gets symptoms? Most importantly, if she stopped smoking when the symptoms start to appear, could the emphysema still get worse?

Angie.

 
Old 03-22-2006, 04:59 PM   #2
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Re: Can emphysema worsen if you stop smoking?

Hi Angie Lalanne, Accourding to my husband's pulmonologist, there are two parts of the body that can't regenerate, the brain and lungs. I hope your mom quits smoking. I found this information at our Alpha 1 Antitrypsin Deficency website. "Emphysema is characterized by destruction of the air sacs, or alveoli, and loss of the lungs' elasticity. This loss of the walls of the air sacs causes these small structures to combine into larger units. These larger air sacs are less functional than the smaller ones, because they reduce the area where oxygen and carbon dioxide can be exchanged between the
inhaled air and the blood. Consequently, less oxygen can be absorbed into the blood and, in the most severe cases, the amount of carbon dioxide getting exhaled is decreased.The lungs are the part of your body where gases are exchanged between the air and your blood. When you breathe in (inspiration), air travels throughout the respiratory passages, exchanging oxygen for carbon dioxide. When you breathe out (expiration), you exhale carbon dioxide back into the air."
I'm sure you could go to a search engine and research it more. I hope your mom is well.
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Old 04-09-2006, 05:39 AM   #3
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Re: Can emphysema worsen if you stop smoking?

My doctor told me I had early stage emphysema also and I asked him the same question you are asking. He told me that everyone is different but that generally, emphysema worsens and it usually worsens even if you stop smoking. He also said that continuing to smoke will only increase the chances of it getting worse and at a faster rate. He also told me many people are able to stop or slow the progression of the disease by avoiding all lung irritants like smoke, fumes, dust, etc., along with staying on a healthy diet and exercising regularly. But as 2Catfans said, the current damage cannot be reversed,

When I found this out, I quit smoking immediately. Itís one of the hardest things Iíve ever done but I really didnít see any other choice. Iím chewing Nicorette gum right now but that too will end. I know itís hard, very hard for your mom to think about quitting but she needs to get mad at the cigarettes and the tobacco companies. I wish I could help more somehow, but if you give her constant encouragement, it really will help. Even one cigarette a day will cause damage.

Good luck to you and your mom and I hope you keep us updated.
Tom

 
Old 04-10-2006, 11:32 PM   #4
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Canyondweller HB UserCanyondweller HB User
Re: Can emphysema worsen if you stop smoking?

Once you quit smoking your lung declines to the same rate as a non-smoker. All of us lose lung function as we age, it is just part of aging. If we have less to begin with due to smoking then it will affect us more. I have known very few people that actually smoke only 10 cigarettes a day regardless of what they say. Maybe she does but it is very unusual. Yes, that much can affect her or she can play russian roulette with her life. It is her choice and she will only stop when it is her decision. No Doctor should say it won't help to quit. It won't repair the damage but it won't cause anymore.

 
Old 04-12-2006, 03:30 AM   #5
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Re: Can emphysema worsen if you stop smoking?

hi
I have C.O.P.D and the only thing that will help me is to STOP the fags!!!
i have worked in nursing homes and seen many people suffer from this and i don't want to get to that stage therefore i am giving up smoking easter sunday after being a smoker for 34yrs it's going to be tough but i have been told by several doctors that it will help, it wont make my lungs good again BUT they wont get any worse either.
dac

 
Old 04-12-2006, 06:35 PM   #6
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Re: Can emphysema worsen if you stop smoking?

Hey, I quit after 53 years of non-stop smoking. I never could set a quit date as it made me way to nervous to think of it so when I got down to one cigarette one night I just did it. With using the patch for 2 weeks and tracking my progress with the quitmeter it worked and I just passed my 3 year anniversary and have to say I don't miss it and rarely think of it. It was like something just turned off in my head and I said "Enough already, how stupid do you have to be to keep smoking and killing yourself" You have seen it. You are not alone being a nurse that smokes, too many still do.

 
Old 04-15-2006, 02:43 PM   #7
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Re: Can emphysema worsen if you stop smoking?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canyondweller
Hey, I quit after 53 years of non-stop smoking. I never could set a quit date as it made me way to nervous to think of it so when I got down to one cigarette one night I just did it. With using the patch for 2 weeks and tracking my progress with the quitmeter it worked and I just passed my 3 year anniversary and have to say I don't miss it and rarely think of it. It was like something just turned off in my head and I said "Enough already, how stupid do you have to be to keep smoking and killing yourself" You have seen it. You are not alone being a nurse that smokes, too many still do.

hi
congrats to you and well done!
i hope i can be as strong as you

 
Old 04-15-2006, 03:29 PM   #8
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Re: Can emphysema worsen if you stop smoking?

dac09.....I quit smoking 2 years ago. I had used the patch but changed over to the nicotine lozenge and found it to work even better. You can quit, you just have to want it bad enough. I also smoked for about 33 years and I just decided that I ran out of time. My husband and I quit together and we just celebrated 2 years of not smoking. Your best bet is to stay away from other smokers and alcohol for a few months, you will be much more successful that way. Take some walks during the day when the cravings get a little rough too.

Good Luck

 
Old 04-15-2006, 04:07 PM   #9
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Re: Can emphysema worsen if you stop smoking?

Congratulations to you Cin and to your husband. My husband and I tried to do it together once and nearly killed each other. He quit for 9 months and I didn't and he started up again and died of a heart attack about 6 months after that. I know it didn't help his heart to go back to smoking. It is a terrible thing and when I think of how it has affected my life now, with traveling and other illnesses which could be linked to smoking I know how stupid I was but like all of us we think "it won't happen to us" the problem is it can.

 
Old 04-15-2006, 05:30 PM   #10
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Cin4676 HB User
Re: Can emphysema worsen if you stop smoking?

Thank you Canyondweller and congrats to you too! I know what you mean about quitting together and wanting to strangle each other. Fortunately, we only had a few of those moments. We were prepared for the bad moods going into it and managed to keep it under control. Needless to say, we went to sleep early often for the first month or so and honestly, the patches/lozenges helped us a bunch! You are so right about the "it won't happen to us" additude. Smoking is such a slow killer that it can take a long time before you actually see the damage. The sad truth is....it's been attacking your body the whole time. Oh, what I would give to go back and do it over again!
I'm so sorry about your husband, what a terrible tragedy! I admire your strength and courage to be able to quit smoking after going through that kind of loss.

 
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