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Diagnosed with COPD. Have lost weight. Chest, abdomen and pelvis test normal. Suggest to gain weight?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2006
Answered : 567 Questions
I was diagnosed with COPD. Over the past year, I have lost 20 lbs, and muscle mass. Dropped from sz 10 to sz 4-6. My doctor keeps saying it's stress. I would like to know what I can do to put weight back on and strengthen my muscles. It's quite upsetting needless to say that they say it's not from the COPD, when I have read that this condition can infact cause this. I have had CT SCANS, chest, abdomen & pelvis, all labs are normal. Thank you.
Posted Fri, 16 Aug 2013 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Jay Patel 1 hour later

I am dr XXXXXXX and I will try my level best to address your needs.

Based on the information it seem that you are concern about weight loss of 20 lbs over a period of an year, and all the reports are normal.

Its a good news that all of your reports are normal. Now I need to see you last blood report if possible can you upload that on this site.

Now about the weight loss, their are some changes as person grows older, more over the nature of the person (always worried, or trying to keep themself busy by on or other means), financial issues, family problems, not able to talk to someone about every day happening (socialism , we are social animal and we all need to talk and express ourself not able to express may lead to certain changes in mental health ).

So, I need you to open up and talk to me about any of above mentioned issues.
If possible please answer the below questions.

a) do you feel lousy?
b) do you like to do things you normally enjoy (reading/shopping/ talking/going out etc) ?
c) do you feel worthless?
d) Are you scared about any thing?
e) do you stay alone.
f) what's your favorite pass time?
g) how is every things else in your life?
h) do you have any one taking care of you?

I will need your to answer above question and once I will get information, I will be in better position to help you out mem.

Hope you will write soon, and I will try my level best to help you.
Thanks for the query.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Diagnosed with COPD. Have lost weight. Chest, abdomen and pelvis test normal. Suggest to gain weight? 17 hours later
a) sometimes b) sometimes c) no d) the COPD that I recently found out, and getting v. ill. not being around for my daughter. e) no f) knitting,reading,playing with my German Shepherd g) fine h) I'm married, but not sick that I need anyone to take care of me. I still work. I do take Effexor since my son was murdered 17 yrs.ago and I found him. Not sure how to download my labs. Look forward to your answers. Thank you. Scheduled for PFT's in 2 wks. XXXXX XXXXXXX

I meant to mention that the muscle loss in arms, legs are a big concern to me as well.
Answered by Dr. Jay Patel 2 hours later

Welcome back, thanks for answering my questions, it did help me to have some more information and understand what is going on with you.

Lets start with what can we do to reduce the on going process of anxiety and the fear about COPD and not being around for your daughter. Memory of your late son might be very hard on you but we need to pass beyond that point.

I need you to understand what is "COPD" so that you feel bit more comfortable its not a life threatening disorder, yes I understand its bit hard on you. Some times not knowing enough is a problem, and some times over thinking about it is a major problem.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) refers to a group of lung diseases that block airflow and make breathing difficult. Damage to your lungs from COPD can't be reversed, but treatment can help control symptoms and minimize further damage.

So best thing is to take the prescribed medication and stop worrying about it. Other thing that helps to release the stress is to try and relax, get you self indulge in reading/ knitting and more often try to do meditation (practice of calming your mind, which into turn means closing eyes and try not to think any thing / try to see the image of god with closed eyes)

Now gaining back the muscle mass, you need to increase your protein intake in your food. Animal sources or plant sources of food will be fine you can even take combination of both, but stay away from to much fried food. Muscle milk available in stores are also helpful but for that you need to have 15 min exercise with it. Their are some ready made protein powder available and they are good too.

The above mentioned ways do need a serious effort and I would like you to follow them as much as you can and I am confident you will be fine and will start gaining muscle mass back soon but the difference will be noticed in about 5-6 months, contact me in case if further clarification is needed.

Hope this may satisfy your current needs.

Thanks again

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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