302315 tn?1219182107

COPD ,what kind? Test questions.

I'm 49 yr old female diagnosed with COPD in 2006, my last PFT showed FEV1 and FVC ratio of 53%, and my FEV1 1.7. My puzzle is my chest xray and my ct scan with dye were normal, Shouldn't COPD show up at least on the ct scan? I have had lung problems since the late 80s, been to the hospital for breathing treatments for asthma several times up until the early 90s, Was puffing on inhalers for a long time.I haven't been able to exhale right since as long as I can remember. .Incindently I  haven't smoked in 15 years. As far back as I can remember I have had lung problems at least 20 years. My doctors have not said whether this is chronic bronchitis or emphysema, just COPD I am very obese so I know that has alot to do with my SOB. Because of my weight I have a low tolerance for exercise. How long can I live with  a FEV1 of 53%? I know diet and exercise is the key to quality of life, I've actually stayed on my diet and rode my exercise bike for the past week. My depression is super bad since this diagnosis. I have thoght about committing suicide before the COPD gets me.
5 Responses
242588 tn?1224271700
With a ratio of 53% and an FEV1 of 1.7 liters your prognosis for a long life is very good, as long as you do NOT resume smoking.  Chronic bronchitis is a cough with mucus that lasts for at least 3 months in a row 2 years in a row.  Emphysema is a decrease in airflow and destruction of the airsacs in the lung.  Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a combination of chronic bronchitis and emphysema.  As for the normal chest x-ray and CT scan, there is not always a good correlation with the degree of obstruction to air flow and the amount of COPD.  Your obesity could also interfere with the imaging of your lungs and COPD.  Please continue with your diet and riding your exercise bike daily to lessen your shortness of breath.

Obesity aside, you appear to have enough lung function to live for a lot of years.
Avatar universal
I'm not a dr but I was under the impression that COPD is emphysema or chronic broncitis both of which would be seen on a CT scan. If there is nothing seen on film perhaps it is something made worse by your weight?
I have COPD and when I am heavier it is definitely harder to breathe. I struggle with my weight as well.
Perhaps what you need is to see a dr who can prescribe something for anxiety/depression and then the idea of losing weight and excersing will not be so daunting. COPD takes a lonfg time to "get you", you could be in a completely different (better place) by then
302315 tn?1219182107
I am already seeing a phycitatrist (sp?) for bipolar and depression on meds but not working. I am at least 150 lbs overweigh.t so weight loss is more than just daunting, I hurt when I exercise, I know I should just suck it up and keep trying . I was reading online that severe obesity would affect yor PFT results, also chronic asthma does not help,but it is perplexing that I would have a normal ct scan and xray with COPD, so pretty sure it is not emphysema because from what I've read emphysema will show up on a ct scan in the early stages before a PFT will diagnose it. My O2 sats at rest are 96-97, My pulm has me on spiriva and advair 100/25. I feel fine except for this depression which is paralyzing me. Of course SOB when exercising or exerition blaming over half that to my weight.
Avatar universal
I was just recently diagnosed by my family dr. and then a pulmonary specialist with moderate COPD. I am no expert, but I saw for myself my lung X-ray. The damage to my lungs is very obvious. Pulmonary dr. said the damage was pretty extensive. I could well see that for myself by viewing my x-ray. COPD is usually several lung diseases combined-chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Both are showing up even on my lung x-ray. I understand that losing weight can be very difficult. I myself have recently been attempting to lose. I also understand about being bipolar, as I too have been bipolar many years. Being ill does not help with the depression I agree. I have days where it creeps in on me, especially since this diagnosis. My 47 yr old brother about 6 mths ago was diagnosed with COPD as well. We just lost our Mother in August 2007 with IPF-Idiopathic Pulmonary Disease. She passed away from complications with a lung transplant. I do understand how you are feeling. There are some great websites with chat rooms. COPD International and Walkers in Darkness. Walkers in Darkness is for mental illnesses such as bipolar. Please do not do anything to attempt to harm yourself. If nothing else email me at ***@****. We can talk and maybe we can be of support to one another. We can get through this! We got to.
302315 tn?1219182107
sorry about your mother, and also about you and your brother with the copd. it is rough. i was dxed with copd over a year ago, didn't really know what it was till few weeks ago when i decided to look it up on the internet, whoa, all i could see were the words emphysema, progressive and fatal. that sent me off on a total bipolar tangent. i saw my pcp last week and she told me that i probably have had since 94 when i quit smoking and it wouldn't get worse since i don't smoke, actually it has gotton somewhat better over the years. she said what was going to kill me was my weight i 'm going to ask my pulmonary doctor about be tested for alpha 1 since i've had this since my mid 30s.i'm sure that smoking 1-2 packs a day for 20 odd years of kool 100s on top of asthma  had nothing to do with this. a site that has really helped me put this into perspective is yourlunghealth.org ask dr tom. this site is great.  unlike you my xrays and ct scan with dye were normal, so it makes me wonder, i noticed this site won't let you post email addresses. i'm at daily strength also i'm 'lindasj49'. good luck.

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