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Old 07-04-2006, 12:45 PM   #1
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COPD test?

Is there any certain tests the doctor performs to diagnose COPD? I guess I'm a little paranoid. I was diagosed with asthma about 2 years ago and at times I just feel like my medications are not working. My peak flow stays good at 450 but at times I just can't exercise or work like I used to without getting winded. For those of you with COPD, what kind of peak flow do you have (or does the doctor even measure?)
Cindy

 
Old 07-04-2006, 02:46 PM   #2
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Re: COPD test?

I have severe COPD (emphysema) and can barely get the peak flow meter to 200--but peak flow is more useful for asthma rather than COPD. To determine COPD, you need complete PFT (pulmonary function testing) to know if you have obstructive (COPD) or restrictive (asthma) problems.

Since your peak flow is so good, I doubt you have COPD-- I don't wish to be offensive, but could it be that you are just de-conditioned or slightly overweight? Are you a smoker?

 
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Old 07-04-2006, 02:53 PM   #3
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Re: COPD test?

Thanks for your reply. You are not being offensive when you suggest my being overweight. I am about 60 lbs. overweight and know I need to lose. I am pemenopausal and it is just so hard! I have had numerous PFTs and my doctor says it's asthma. But even taking a steroid inhaler daily, my airways are not what they should be. I also have GERD, which I have heard afffects the airways. Thanks for responding. I just wish I could lose this weight.
Cindy

 
Old 07-05-2006, 03:51 PM   #4
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Re: COPD test?

[QUOTE=hypatia]To determine COPD, you need complete PFT (pulmonary function testing) to know if you have obstructive (COPD) or restrictive (asthma) problems.[QUOTE]

Asthma and COPD are both obstructive conditions, however in asthma the obstruction can be reversed (by inhalers). So you need to have PFT's with reversability testing, you also need to monitor you peak flow for variability

 
Old 07-05-2006, 05:24 PM   #5
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Re: COPD test?

I've had several PFTs; I don't know if they were complete ones or not but they were performed by asthma and allergy specialists. My tests were shown to be of an obstructive nature. I do have reversability with albuteral, but it is not a whole lot. I monitor my peak flows and they are always around 400 to 450.

Oh, and I have never smoked.

Last edited by Howitt44; 07-05-2006 at 05:29 PM.

 
Old 07-12-2006, 08:10 AM   #6
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Re: COPD test?

You're absolutely right, Cat--Asthma is obstructive. Must have been having a senior moment.

I know how hard it is to lose weight, Howitt, and I wish you well. It took me a year to lose 40 lbs, but even with severe COPD, it helped my breathing immensely. I started by walking (half a block was all I could do at first and am now doing 5 mi. a day). Try it--you'll like it.

 
Old 07-12-2006, 12:47 PM   #7
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Re: COPD test?

Five miles a day? That is great! Think of all the health benefits in addition to the breathing. It sounds like you are doing better than the average American if you can walk five miles a day. What is your prognosis? Can COPD be stopped in it's progression by dieting, exercising, and good healthy habits?

 
Old 07-12-2006, 01:47 PM   #8
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Re: COPD test?

Well, i'm 65 with emphysema, on oxygen 24/7 and 43% lung function. Also have a severe diffusion defect which requires the 02. I haven't lost any more lung function in 3 years, but even healthy lungs lose some ground as years go by. All of us with impaired lungs/airways need to be very careful of infections, pneumonia, etc., and get flu shots every year.

p.s. Walking 5 miles doesn't seem so bad if you do 2.5 morning and 2.5 evening. But i probably have a lot more free time than you do. Now if i could only give up chocolate!

 
Old 07-12-2006, 07:25 PM   #9
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Re: COPD test?

My father passed away at the age of 49 with cardiac arrest. He had severe emphysema and was an alcoholic. He never took care of himself and even smoked in between the oxygen. My allergy doctor thought 49 was too young to have severe emphysema even in a smoker, so he checked me out for the inherited emphysema just to be sure. It was negative. I have never smoked, so my diagnosis is moderate persistent asthma. I have some irreversability, which is probably a result of not getting treated for asthma until my 40's. My PFTs are actually pretty good with my FEV1 at around 90% but my small airways at 50%. I use Advair daily as my only med right now. I take a lot of supplements that I feel help me, though. I'm sure it would help to lose weight. I need to lose about 60 lbs. Unfortunately since I am almost 50, most of my weight seems to be around my middle! IT sure is hard to lose when you get close to menopause. I love to walk and it is really the best exercise. So I better get busy and do it. Take care!
Cindy

 
Old 08-04-2006, 12:14 PM   #10
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Re: COPD test?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Howitt44
Is there any certain tests the doctor performs to diagnose COPD? I guess I'm a little paranoid. I was diagosed with asthma about 2 years ago and at times I just feel like my medications are not working. My peak flow stays good at 450 but at times I just can't exercise or work like I used to without getting winded. For those of you with COPD, what kind of peak flow do you have (or does the doctor even measure?)
Cindy
Wow,450 on your peak flo test.I thought the average reading for a normal healthy male is 615?Well,I would love to have a reading of 450.Mine at good point is 125-150.Thats on a good day.
Take Care&God Bless you all,
Rod Nolungs in tacoma

 
Old 08-04-2006, 12:29 PM   #11
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Re: COPD test?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Howitt44
My father passed away at the age of 49 with cardiac arrest. He had severe emphysema and was an alcoholic. He never took care of himself and even smoked in between the oxygen. My allergy doctor thought 49 was too young to have severe emphysema even in a smoker, so he checked me out for the inherited emphysema just to be sure. It was negative. I have never smoked, so my diagnosis is moderate persistent asthma. I have some irreversability, which is probably a result of not getting treated for asthma until my 40's. My PFTs are actually pretty good with my FEV1 at around 90% but my small airways at 50%. I use Advair daily as my only med right now. I take a lot of supplements that I feel help me, though. I'm sure it would help to lose weight. I need to lose about 60 lbs. Unfortunately since I am almost 50, most of my weight seems to be around my middle! IT sure is hard to lose when you get close to menopause. I love to walk and it is really the best exercise. So I better get busy and do it. Take care!
Cindy
I know eactly how you feel Cindy.My mom died in Oct. 1989 of emphysema and she smoked right up till she died.She was 49 also and I am 43 years old,I have severe emphysema,and I have an FEV1 reading of 12-14%.My O2 saturation level is between81-85% on a good day I can hit an 88%.I am on oxygen 21-24 hours a day.I try and turn off the O2 for as long as I can take it.My moms mom died of emphysema also so my pulmonologist sent me to test for Alpha1 Anti-trypsin Deficientsy but came back negative.So all I can say is,If you want to make this horrible disease stay at a non progressionary point,ANYONE SMOKING HAS TO STOP BACAUSE THE ONLY WAY TO STOP THE PROGRESSION IS TO STOP SMOKING CIGARETTES!!!!!!
Rod Tacoma Wa.

 
Old 08-27-2006, 11:35 PM   #12
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Smile Re: COPD test?

Dear Cindy,

I heard that Dr. Phil McGraw's book on losing weight is fantastic. I have emphysema also--from 45 years of smoking. I put the cigs down May 14 this year. That feeling like you are just not getting any air is so horrible. Am on oxygen now--that helps. I told my husband that I know that I look pathetic with the canula stuck up nose. He replied that it looked a lot better than my eyes bugging out gasping for air. I have a terrific, wonderful husband that is helping get through this. Dealing with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy as well. I was so sick there for a while that I went down to 92 lbs. After my pulmonologist put me on Predisone, I started eating everything in sight, especially Butterfingers. I was weighed at his office last week and was 115 lbs. Gotta stop with the candy because they pulled out a crown on a molar and 3 teeth have lost their fillings. But I've become addicted to the darn things. Today is the first day that I have not had a butterfinger in a month. I'm ashamed to admit that I have polished off a whole bag of the miniature ones in a day. Good luck and God bless. Last doctor's visit a few days ago has me weighing 123 pounds.

Sansy

Last edited by deepsouth; 09-10-2006 at 09:58 PM. Reason: Wanted to address the emphysema

 
Old 08-28-2006, 12:14 PM   #13
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Re: COPD test?

I hope by all of these posts, the people smoking will stop. My sister smokes, but so far no lung problems. I am an asthmatic and I do have some reversability, but not total. I think exercise helps a lot and some vitamins to keep from getting sick. Luckily, since being on asthma meds, I haven't had a cough in 2 years!! Stay WEll!!

 
Old 09-11-2006, 05:28 PM   #14
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Re: COPD test?

My husband was incorrectly treated for COPD for 8 months before being correctly diagnosed with a paralyzed diaphragm.

 
Old 09-12-2006, 05:10 PM   #15
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Re: COPD test?

Holland895,

My husband was incorrectly treated for COPD for 8 months before being correctly diagnosed with a paralyzed diaphragm.


Why did he get misdiagnosed. What happened?

 
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