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LIFE SPAN WITH DIAGNOSIS OF EMPHYSEMA
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LIFE SPAN WITH DIAGNOSIS OF EMPHYSEMA

My mother has just beed diagnosed with emphysema, she is 55 years old and has never smoked a day in her life but has had breathing problems for as long as I can remember. I am terrified because I know people who have had emphysema and had lived less than 5 years. I want her to go to see a pulmanary doctor but she wants to wait until she speaks to her other doctor. With treatment can she live a long life.
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251132_tn?1198082422
Your mother can live a long life.  Her prognosis will depend in large part on the results of her pulmonary function tests (PFTs).  She should definitely see a pulmonary doctor.  Emphysema is most unusual in a 55-year-old woman who has never smoked.  Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency is the name given to a small number of cases of emphysema where there is a hereditary basis.  This can occur in people who have never smoked.  It is the result of not having enough of a major protein, called alpha-1 antitrypsin, in the blood.  A blood test that measures the amount of this protein will tell if your mother has this condition.  If this is her problem that could have implications for you, your siblings, and your mother
7 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
My Grandpa had it for over 20 years, and lived to be 85. Got it from asbestosis. He also had asthma/allergies. With medication the sypmtoms were very livable, just had an inhaler. Occasionally he would need to go in for a special lung treatment but he was never bedridden. Good luck to your mother, all the best. It is not an automatic death sentence, so don't worry too much! :D
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Avatar_n_tn
You really can't predict anything with lung disease. No two person has the same damage. Somepeople are not diagnosed until a very late stage and so of course they have a shorter life expectancy but I know people that have been living with really lof function for many more than 5 years. If she can exercise either on her own or thru pulmonary rehab this will definetly help her. Proper meds, exercise, keeping weight down and she will probably die from something else before the lung disease gets her but she does have to make and effort to stay active and get proper care.
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Avatar_n_tn
My mom diagnosis was made with an xray, i have read this is usually end stage, is that correct. She was also diagnosed with lupis maybe ms, now they are saying no. My fear is that it has been copd all along  and she is in end stage. She is also getting tested right now for maiastinious gravis(spelling???)Both her parents smoked can she have gotten it from second hand smoke. Really getting scared something is going to happen to her, she is sleeping all the time.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am a 63 year old male smoker (quit 21/2 weeks ago) who was hospitalized with the flu, 2 weeks ago. I have been smoking since I was a young teen.  During my testing I was told I had some emphysema, first time I ahave been told this.  I have been using the nicotine patch.  I have been having night sweats teribly since then.  The dr. seems to think it is my body fighting off the flu.  But I am wondering if it is something else. Any ideas???
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi my name is kathy and was told 15 years ago that i had emphysema. It wasnt explained to me what this disease was about.
I have never been properly tested or had treatment for it.Except for ventolin,spiriva and symbicort.{the last2 came later}
Ive been asking the drs to help me establish what state my lungs are in for ages and never got an answer, until last week when the dr told me over the phone just how bad my lungs are. He was very very blunt, and i was quite shaken at first.
  Im ok now, because im not going to let that dr dictate to me that im doomed.
   Im doing everything i can to eat properly,and exercise so i can have a great quality of life.
I have an appt for a new lung specialist and he will be doing all of the tests that i should of had years ago.
  I smoked from the age of twelve{im 49 now}and i quit three years ago.
Kathy in Australia
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