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978469 tn?1433551546

My Spirometry Results Range From Very Bad to Normal!

I was a smoker of 1 pack a day for 15 years. I am 44, 50 pounds overweight and in bad shape. I have always been in bad shape since im a couch potato.
I had a spirometry test done about a year ago at the doctors office. First reading of set of 3 the printout read "severe pulmonary obstruction" I say no way, this cant be right, I beg to try again. so on the second round I got one that said "moderate obstruction" and another that said "mild obstruction"
Doctor said to stop smoking and come back in a month.
I did that, and I made sure I had an empty stomach when I went back.
I blow 3 times. first one said "mild obstruction, second one said "mild RESTRICTION"
Now Im really determined and the last blow read "NORMAL SPIROMETRY"
Mind you, I had to blow every single of drop oof air out of my lungs to get to the normal, I think I was even spitting. I thought I was going to pass out or collapse a lung doing this final blow.
By the way I used an inhaler on all days and there was no difference with the inhaler.
Doctor wasnt too concerned. I was very nervous about the poor results and asked him how could I have a severe obstruction. He said that if I indeed had a severe obstruction I wouldnt be able to walk across the room with being winded.
My question to you here is, how could so many tests result in so many different readings from severe to normal, and what exactly is my diagnosos?
Do I have COPD?
33 Responses
978469 tn?1433551546
No Opinions ?
Avatar universal
Wow - you had so many different results it is hard to say..........Yes, I would say you do have COPD, and so do I even though I do not want to believe I do!

Have your doctor do a CT Scan on you to find out if you have emphysema.  You are still young - you can do something about this problem - BUT HAVE YOU QUIT SMOKING?

Do not smoke - give it up and please see a pulmonary doctor ...

Avatar universal
My test were alll normal (the spirometry test) but MY CT SCAN showed I had emphysema (moderate) I have no problems - but my CT says I do.  Please have your doctor do a CT Scan.  You will know much more after that test.
Avatar universal
Yes - Please quit smoking - you will NEVER get better or live a full life unless you quit smoking - that is the most important thing you can do is QUIT SMOKING. Even if you have to use the gum or patches - you have to quit - or you will not get better - you will get worse - so please quit smoking.
980382 tn?1251485188
Did your Spirometry test actually print out with "mild obstruction", "severe obstruction" etc etc???? or am I taking you too literally?

Usually they give out readings that are then interpreted eg FV1 etc.

I had a spirometry done at the GP's, then when I was referred to the Hospital, they re-did the spirometry test, using much more sophisticated equipment. I was sent for blood tests, and now I've just had "diffussion" tests and other complex testing, all of which come under the umbrella term of Lung Function Tests, or Pulmonary Funcion Tests.

I will be called back when the consultant gets these last ones and then I will be given the full diagnosis of how bad my emphesema is.

Initially the GP told me, on the strength of the Xray result 6 months ago I had COPD. Emphesema has been brought into the equation by the consultant on my first visit. But to me, being told I had COPD, was like being told I had emphesema anyway. I'm not daft.

The hospital staff are lovely and tell you in black and white, which is what I want, and need, to plan my future.

My GP's don't want to call COPD anything but that, and are not prepared to consider emphesema as even existing. Not because they know differently, they just don't want to tell you what's what.

My problem, now I've got over the shock of the news, is stopping smoking, which I am finding impossible.
Good luck!
978469 tn?1433551546
Yes the computer printed the reports out, which had the numbers and then had the interpretations that I posted above.I just dont understand how one can be normal, one can say restrictivion and another say obstruction. a restriction is NOT OCD an obstruction is. From my research, a restriction is determined when your lungs can not hold the normal amount of air that they are supposed to hold, hence your chest is restricted from expanding and an obstruction is when your lungs can not fully empty.
I stopped smoking. I get out of breath walking up lots of stairs and stuff like that, but I have always been out of shape  and out of breath going up too many stairs.
Im not going to worry about it.
I see no point in CT scans. even if I do all those scans (against doctors advice I might add) and they tell me I have mild or moderate or whatever COPD, with no real symptoms there is nothing to treat.
Im just going to assume I have some form of it and not smoke and get the flu shot and be careful.
My dad got stomach cancer at 77 years old, he was a heavy pipe smoker all his life. When he had the cancer he had to get a CT of the chest and it said "mild COPD" ! The Dr never even mentioned it and no one was concerned. He probably had the COPD 20 plus years. the stomach cancer killed him.
If I get to the point where I ever do have breathing issues then Il go to a pulmonologist for medications.
when I read "severe pulmonary obstruction" I panicked. My Dr said if I truly had severe pulmonary obstruction I wouldnt be able to walk across the room without being out of breath, Kind of makes sense, dont ya think?
978469 tn?1433551546
LOL did I write OCD above!!!! I meant COPD, LOL
978469 tn?1433551546
Little weed how out of breath are you? Is it very bad?
By the way, I dont cough, I have no wheeze and no flem or congestion.
I do remember for the last 25 years my dad constantly clearing his throat especially in the morning, no i realize that must have been the COPD he never knew he had!
978469 tn?1433551546
Oh sorry, just want to add one more thing, I did have a chest X ray about 2 years ago right after the spirometry and it came back normal.
980382 tn?1251485188
Forgive me Jonkob, but do you not think that getting out of breath going up the stairs is a breathing issue?

I work outdoors in a very physical job. Problem is I work at the bottom of a hill, and rest breaks and tools, exit etc are all up the hill. I become out of breath about half way up and have to stop.
That's when I went to see the doc. initially.
Then in the mornings, I began to get a crushing feeling in the middle of my chest, like an elephant was sitting on my chest. This, I was then told by the nurse, was "hyperinflation" and was given two inhalers, Seretide to take daily in the morning, and Salamol (a reliever) to use as and when required. They worked a treat. The elephant went back to the circus, lol.
I did notice a difference. The only problem I had was the Seretide gave me terrible nausea in the mornings, which is a rare side effect according to the hospital consultant, who took me off it, and gave me Spiriva, which I've had no probs with.

You should really go by their advice. I think you would benefit from inhalers.

I am sorry about your dad. I lost my mum last year to  colon cancer, which she had been told had been successfully treated 5 years ago. Then out of the blue, last Feb she was told it had come back, and gone to the lung and brain. She was given three months, but died after two.

I get a hint from you that you do want this sorted, because you are asking the
questions. but like me, perhaps after seeing your dad die, you think what the hell - cancer will get me or something else. Done it, worn the Tshirt.
Then I looked at my partner, knowing how much he is devoted to me, and think how can I not try to go on as long as possible. Do I want to destroy him too??

All I want is to know the facts in black and white so I can make informed decisions. For example, I don't know how long I can work for. Do I want to wait until I'm carting around an oxygen cylinder before packing in my job? I want some quality time left with my partner, not save it for working my butt off for peanuts.
980382 tn?1251485188
Blimey, you did 3 posts while I did the 1 !!!
Sorry, I only use three fingers.

I think I have answered them all in my one.

I will say that I had a chest xray 12 months ago that was normal, so in only one year the xray has gone from normal, to showing evidence of COPD.

I don't often cough, and don't have much in the way of plegm or mucus, only if I have picked up a cold or am feeling a bit "chesty".

The docs also gave me what they call a "red envelope" which is an emergency supply of steroids and anti-biotics, to be taken at the first sign of a chest infection. To be renewed after use, so they are always available.
978469 tn?1433551546
Little Weed may I ask your age?
Wow your story sounds very scary. Noof course I realize that going up a flight od stairs is not supposed to make you winded, but I have always been winding going up the stairs at the subway for as long as I can ever remember. I mean, even before I was ever a smoker!
To put it plain and simple, im fat. Im 5' 11" and weigh 245 pounds. So I guessmy ideal weight is 180 so im 65 pounds overweight. I live in NYC and I do alot of walking and I'm fine, I donly get winded with flights of stairs, like the subway etc. But as I said, thats nothing new. I couldnt run 1 block with out passing out, but even 20 years ago I couldnt run one block.
You still smoke? I quit for 5 years, then last year while having a few drinks I made the mistake of having one cigarette and then I was right back to a pack a day, for about a year, I quit again about 3 weeks ago.
My GP doctor who did the spirometry said dont worry about it, you dont need an inhaler based on these tests, and if you had severe COPD you would be out of breath walking across the room. When I asked him in a panicky tone "do I have COPD" ? he no. But then when I looked at the chart I see he did write it in the findings.
Maybe I dont want to face the possibility of having this, or maybe I dont want to go to a pulmonary doctor and hear bad news?
Maybe its my hope that if I do have COPD it will be dormant and not require any medical do intervention (medication, inhalers etc) until Im in my 60s.
This is supposed to be a slow disease.
Do you know if yours is severe , mild, or moderate?
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