Respiratory Disorders Expert Forum
Are COPD and emphysema the same thing?
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Are COPD and emphysema the same thing?

I have to have a chest x-ray Saturday and dr. mentioned COPD as a possibility. I'm only 34, never smoked but have lived with smokers all my life. I also have an autoimmune connective tissue disease. THank you.
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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a general term.  It is used to describe diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

COPD can occur by inhaling the cigarette smoke of others that live with you even though you have never smoked.  Certainly COPD can occur by smoking cigarettes.  The first step in diagnosing COPD is a complete medical history including any history of lung disease in your family.  The next step is a physical examination.  Finally the testing includes a chest x-ray and breathing tests called pulmonary function tests (PFTs).

In a small number of cases of COPD there is a hereditary basis, called alpha1 antitrypsin deficiency.  This can occur in people who have never smoked.  It is the result of not having enough of a major protein, called alpha1 antitrypsin, in the blood.  A blood test that measures the amount of alpha1 antitrypsin is added to the steps used to diagnose COPD.

It is possible for an autoimmune connective tissue disease to affect the lungs.  You may need further testing to see if this is affecting you.
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COPD is an umbrella term which encompasses the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases of Chronic Bronchitis, Emphysema and Chronic Asthma.  A person with COPD can have one, two or all three of these conditions in varying degrees and be lumped into the category of COPD patient.  You can get some great info about COPD at www.NationalJewish.org, in their MedFacts and Understanding series.
Aloha,
Starion
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Hi...may I ask what your disease is? Do you have Lupus? Most patients with lupus do have some form of lung disease. Your x-ray may appear to show that you have some forming of a chronic lung condition because of the lupus. I only ask about lupus because it is an autoimmune disease that can really affect the lungs. Hope to hear back from you soon...take care.

                                                   JCI, RRT RCP








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The jury is still out. Right now I'm dx as "lupus-like connective tissue disease"...I have many symptoms but not enough for dr to give a lupus dx.
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If you don't mind, can you tell me your symptoms?  I would be interested.  thank you...chaddy
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COPD, CHRONIC OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY DISEASE ENCOMPASSSES 5 DISEASES INCLUDING EMPHYSEMA. THE MAIN CAUSE FOR EMPHYSEMA IS SMOKING. ABOUT 1% CAN ACQUIRE EMPHYSEMA BY HEREDITY. IT'S CALLED ALPHA-1 TRIPSIN DEFFICIENCY. PULMONARY FUNCTION TESTS SHOULD BE FOLLOWED UP TO FULLY DIAGNOSE EMPHYSEMA.
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A related discussion, copd was started.
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