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Wheezing, taken Trimethoprima and inhaler. Would COPD not go away on antibiotics? Is this an allergy?

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Pediatrician, Infectious Diseases
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 1528 Questions
I have been battling a chest thing for two months on and off GP diagnosed me with pneumonia and gave me the Zpack, which did not work, the infection came back and received sulfameth Trimethoprim and an inhaler.....I finished them 2 weeks ago and had a wheezing episode a week ago while working out. I took a day off from working out and I was then fine and worked out the next 5 days and the wheezing came back......My GP wants me to test for COPD, however I don't think that is it....COPD would not go away on antibiotics??? I am extremely active and generally do intense cardio workouts for 90 mins a day, 6 days a week. I lost 150 pounds since XXXXXXX 2011 and it is really depressing when I cannot workout.......Could this be an allergy? I live in MN and we have no snow this year. Also I had no symptoms until I contracted pneumonia, wouldn’t COPD have come on slowly not like a ton of bricks? I also quit smoking 2 months ago and only smoked no more than 2 packs a week, BTW I know the rule is to double what a smoker tells you but I honestly only did smoke that amount.
Posted Sun, 29 Apr 2012 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 2 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
What you experienced was exercise induced hyperreactive broncho constriction causing symptoms like wheezing and dyspnoea.Such an episode can occur due to an allergic or exercise induced asthma or copd.By definition Copd includes a group of lung pathology causing chronic obstruction to airflow in lungs and includes emphysema as well as chronic asthmatic bronchitis.
You are right in saying that copd can't be reversed by antibiotics and it does start slowly over years rather than suddenly.
However please note that as you had a respiratory infection the resultant lung damage caused by it can trigger an exacerbation of undetected underlying copd.
Another fact is that no matter what amount you smoke , if it is for a long time , over the years copd is very likely to develop.It can develop even after you quit smoking.
When you have COPD, you're more likely to get frequent colds, the flu or pneumonia. Plus, any respiratory infection can make it much more difficult to breathe and produce further irreversible damage to the lung tissue.
So though there is a likelihood of your symptoms being from an airway hyperresponsiveness either allergic or exercise induced asthma , your Gp has appropriately advised you to undergo testing for Copd. The best way is to undergo lung function tests. The advantage of undergoing these tests is that this can diagnose asthma as well and along with other contributive investigations like xrays, blood counts, esr , and chest auscultation it can differentiate between the two.
So I do understand your reluctance in assuming a diagnosis like copd in such a short clinical history but one can't rule out the possibility of an early stage of Copd based on the present symptoms.
So its better to go ahead with the investigations sr and be sure.
Hope I have answered your query.
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