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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Are rapid heart rate, breathlessness and lightheadedness symptoms of COPD?

Answered by
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Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar

Pulmonologist

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 13962 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 16 Apr 2018 in Lung and Chest disorders
Question: Was recently diagnosed with copd. Never smoked but grew up heavy secondhand smoke from parents. Waiting for results from ct to rule out a tumor or pulm fibrosis acc to pulmonologist. This morning i walked into a restaurant stood in line (cafateria ) and by end of line was very lightheaded, heart beating out of my chest, short of breath and thought i was going to pass out. When i sat down started slowly feeling better right as husband was packing food to go take me to er. My pulse is running like 115-125 when walking. My oximeter shows 92 91 and down to 86 varies. What could have happened to me? Was this from copd?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
Yes, this is from COPD.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your question on Healthcare Magic.
I can understand your concern.
COPD (chronic obstructive Pulmonary disease) and Pulmonary fibrosis both can cause similar symptoms, rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, hypoxia, light headedness etc on exertion.
This is known as acute exacerbation of COPD or pulmonary fibrosis.
So wait for the CT report. This will tell you if you are having pulmonary fibrosis or not.
What is your PFT (Pulmonary Function Test) report?
Another possibility is Pulmonary embolism.
Hope I have solved your query. I will be happy to help you further. Wish you good health. Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar 1 hour later
Here is my pulm function test. This was very scary as i thought i was going to pass out in that restaurant. I am only 45. The ct they did was a ct chest angio
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar 10 minutes later
Brief Answer:
CT angio will also tell about pulmonary embolism.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your follow up question on Healthcare Magic.
I can understand your concern.
I have gone through the PFT report you have attached.
By this report, possibility of pulmonary fibrosis is more likely because it is having restrictive pattern also.
Your DLCO and lung volumes are also reduced.
All these favor pulmonary fibrosis more.
But CT thorax is mainstay of diagnosis for pulmonary fibrosis.
It is good that they have done CT pulmonary angiography because this will clear if you have pulmonary embolism or not.
When will CT report come?
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar 1 hour later
What is ct thorax? I had the ct angio on Thursday. I would assume there is no embolism because i have not received a call? I will call them tomorrow. Just concerned because i never smoked and i understand a nonsmoker with copd is non progressive but symptoms are progressing ?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar 14 minutes later
Brief Answer:
No, COPD by any cause is progressive.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your follow up question on Healthcare Magic.
CT thorax is CT scan of lungs. CT angiography is just addition of XXXXXXX to visualize blood vessels and hence pick up pulmonary embolism if present.
Since you have not recieved a call, possibility of pulmonary embolism is very less.
I don't know why they take too much time in giving reports. In XXXXXXX we got CT reports in 2-3 hours.
And COPD by any cause is progressive disease.
What were your initial symptoms which have been worsening?
I will be happy to help you further. Wish you good health. Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar 10 hours later
Well i had surgery to remove my thyroid due to suspicious biopsy on nodules when i was waking up from surgery they were screaming at me"are u a smoker" "did you used to smoke" they couldnt take the oxygen away because i was "sating" then i went to follow up and my dr started asking me well yes i cough up stuff in mornings alot thinking was allergies for a couple years, out of breath on phone people would hear me out of breath and i thought cuz im out of shape. Recently worse not much appetite lost 20 pounds which is good cuz im overweight but i dont feel well very out of breath. I bent over and cant breathe. Went to gastro, pulmonologist, heart dr and seems that my symptoms are more related to lungs. Seems to be worsening. Yesterday i had to rest most of day kept feeling very bad. So whatever is going on is getting worse. Going to call my pulm for next appt. the technician at ct scan seemed to believe that ct would show either fibrosis or tumor or embolism :( i have
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
Are you taking any drugs?

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your follow up question on Healthcare Magic.
I can understand your concern.
By your history and description, along with COPD and obesity, you are also having stress and anxiety.
And honestly speaking, these can also worsen underlying COPD.
Possibility of pulmonary fibrosis is more.
Are you taking any inhaled drugs for COPD?
Are you taking any psychiatric drugs?
Please reply me answers of above asked questions, so that I can guide you better. I will be happy to help you further. Wish you good health. Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
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