i quit smoking 3 weeks ago - have had shortness of breath and a tight chest. For around 18 months I have also had chest and back random aches and pains. Previous CXR'S have been clear - stress test, echo of heart and ECG are all normal. GORD has been discounted, I did show a mildly elevated rheumatoid factor in blood tests. A week after quitting I also brought up a black string of mucous with pink tinges - kind of like blood content -I am still bring discoloured stuff up first thing in the morning, but nothing like before. I have never had a cough pre or post quitting either. I went to the doctor straight after the sputum episode - he did a CXR, which showed over-inflated lungs with air trapping, but no focal lesion and mediastinal and cardiac shadows intact. I also had sputum cytology and MC & S, which were normal. i run 15-20k per week ok and am 43. Should I have spirometry done to confirm lung function - should I have other testing done to exclude any disease process. I will never have another puff in my life!
The 3 to 6 month period, after one quits smoking is often characterized by increased cough and sometimes discolored sputum. The shortness of breath and chest tightness is unusual after quitting as long as one is able to cough-up the increased phlegm. The clear chest x-ray and negative cytology are encouraging but do not rule out some types of chronic lung disease. This, plus the x-ray findings of hyperinflated lungs are good reasons to have a spirometry done. It
Yes, indeed you should have pulmonary function tests, you may have some chronic bronchitis which could improve after stopping smoking.
Giving up smoking is a good idea, it appears you are not one of the very , very few people who can smoke all their life and get away with it.
Keep up the running, it is doing you alot of good and is increasing the flow of oxygen to your lungs. Try some albuterol before excersize and you may feel better, you might also benefit from a course of advair if indeed your pfts point to this.
Thanks Eros. Like many ex-smokers, I think I am only now realising how much damage smoking does- duh!, and how much damage I've already inflicted on myself. Part of quitting has brought much anxiety over whether I left it too late - a familiar story! With a CXR clear other than overinflation, and a clear spit test, am I fairly safe in assuming that nothing sinister (like Ca) is in place at this point? i am aware that nothing can be taken for granted in the future. besides the spectre of a COPD is enough to put me off FOREVER!!
Well, it is doubtful that it is cancer. It is very normal to cough like this after quitting as your cilia are trying to bring up all that crud. Coughing is actually good at this stage. I have chronic bronchitis and I coughed terribly for the first year and because of my CB I still am but before I never got stuff up. Only a CT scan would show possible cancer and even then if it showed anything a biopsy is needed to confirm. I would not worry about that now. what you have sounds normal at this stage. It is never too late to quit smoking unless you are dead. keep running
It just came on suddenly, but when I breath in deeply in my right lung area it feels like really sharp pain and it goes to my shoulder and my back. I already know I have asthma, I've known since I was 6, but I don't know what it could be. I went into the doctor a few weeks ago and it felt like this and he said I had the early stages of pneumonia, but he gave me medicine, and up until now, it worked. What could it be?
I have a very similar problem although I'm not a recent ex-smoker. I do smoke, but only very little (c1-2 a day on average). I've been ill with bronchitis for two weeks and haven't smoked at all for three weeks. But the chest/back pain and especially shortness of breath don't seem to be getting any better even though I'm taking it very, very easy. I'm desperate to get back to work...
I am 30 years old and I have been a social smoker for almost 15 years. I will go months w/out smoking and on a Sat. night I may smoke a 1/2 pack of cigarettes or I may go on vacation and smoke the whole week. I quit social smoking about a year and a 1/2 ago except for one night in Dec. About a month ago I noticed some blood in my phlegm so I went to the Dr. and I was put on an antibiotic and was sent for a chest x-ray, the x-ray was normal. Now I am spitting all the time, my lungs hurt I am spitting so much to examine my phlegm. I have noticed when I get out of the shower there are a few black/dark gray specks in my spit. I am so scared that something is wrong w/me! Could the specks just be because I used to smoke and my lungs are cleaning out. I don't know if I am just noticing them now because I am spitting all the time. My Dr. did not mention about a CT scan, she said cancer would show up on an x-ray, but that is not what I am reading on the web.
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