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What causes low energy level when suffering from COPD? - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 02-May-2014
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 106 Questions
User:I have stage 4 COPD . . . as it progresses I have hardly any energy and need to rest frequently. I'm also sleeping 12 to 14 hours a day. Is this normal as the disease progresses?
Doctor:Hi,
Doctor:Sleeping for long hours is not related to COPD
User:My sleeping hours could be from Fibromyalgia
Doctor:It could be indirectly linked, as in you might be physically strained after working with dysnpnea
User:What is dyspnea?
Doctor:Breathlessness
Doctor:sleeping not directly linked to fibromyalgia either
User:How could it not be related to COPD? That seems to take so much energy, or I should say that when I attempt to do chores around the house I'm wiped out.
Doctor:Yes, I did mention that it could be indirectly related due to excess fatigue secondary to the COPD
Doctor:COPD as such may not cause increased sleep
Doctor:Since both in COPD and Fibromyalgia you might get excessively strained, you might get more sleep
User:What can I expect as this disease progresses?
Doctor:As the disease progress your strain in day increases and you may need more sleep to rest yourself
Doctor:I believe you should be on medication for COPD
Doctor:The dosage and strength of the medication must be increased or adjusted based on the disease progression
User:I am, Spiriva, Sympacort, Singulair, and albuterol for emergencies - please except my poor spelling.
Doctor:Its ok,
Doctor:The medications are good are you comfortable with them ?
User:Is there a time length for stage 4? My doctor doesn't seem to be willing to say much. I know that he can't tell me exactly but a rough idea would be nice. I am comfortable on my meds but in the past month I feel like I should routinely use my nebuliaer
Doctor:No, there is no time length. The disease progression depends on how your condition responds to the medications you are on
User:I can't seem to cough hard enough to break up the mucous in my throat
Doctor:If the medications you are on comfort you well, your condition may not progress too fast
Doctor:You may have to take mucolytics like Ambroxol
User:At the very end of this illness I am afraid that I'll be gasping for air and that scares me. Help. tell me that won't be the case
User:I take a large dose of mucinex in the morning and at night
Doctor:Need not worry.
Doctor:not everyone does proceed to such final stage
Doctor:You might be put on larger doses of steroids which will help in any stage and any severity of the disease
User:I've been left with the impression that copd is a death sentences
Doctor:Not at al, COPD may be a serious disease but fatality is much less.
Doctor:Its the infections you should be away from
User:Unfortunately I was not diagnosed until I was in the middle of the disease.
Doctor:I am sorry to hear that
User:I assume that I'll always have to be on oxygen?
Doctor:there may be time in far future where, yes you may need oxygen for long hours
User:My doctor said I cannot fly without oxygen and that is so frustrating. If I go off oxygen my air level falls 20 degrees within 5 minutes
Doctor:Is there anything you want to know ?
User:If I understand you correctly this is not always a death sentence, there are some medications that be more helpful at this point, and that keeping healthy are the best things I can do.
Doctor:In COPD of later stages that can happen
Doctor:As I said this can be avoided by regular adjustments in the medications you are on
User:I wish you could tell me that you can live with this forever with the right medication, oxygen, and healthy life style I won't die from this, But it sure doesn't feel like that,
Doctor:yes, you got it right
Doctor:Need not worry, I have come across many people with COPD, I can assure you again.
Doctor:Its the infections you should avoid as they get fatal
User:The people I know who have died from this always get pneumonia
Doctor:COPD as is a progressive disease but can be managed at every step with intensive titration in medicaitons
Doctor:yes, Pneumonia is the cause for death in most of the lung related diseases
User:So this, for clarification, is not considered "terminal"
Doctor:yes,
User:Thank you for your time and help.
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