Get your health question answered instantly from our pool of 18000+ doctors from over 80 specialties

147 Doctors Online
Doctor Image
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

I will be looking into your question and guiding you through the process. Please write your question below.

Suggest ways to diagnose COPD

Answered by
Dr. Shashi Dangwal


Practicing since :1979

Answered : 1126 Questions

Posted on Mon, 11 Aug 2014 in Lung and Chest disorders
Question: Approximately 8 years ago I was taken to the hospital with labored breathing. An ER doctor who had never seen me nor had copies of my medical records stated I had COPD (because I use to smoke more than 10 years prior to that visit. ) My regular doctor prescribed Advair Disk Inhaler and a Pro air rescue inhaler to be taken the rest of my life. I am now 68 and have taken this medication since I was 57. On a recent visit to my primary care physician I ask if I should be referred to a specialist because I had never taken a breathing test. My doctor said no and I cannot personally make an appointment to see a pulmonary specialist without his referral. I am confused as to why? I thought your lungs was one of the few organs that could heal themselves.
Answered by Dr. Shashi Dangwal 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
Impress on your doctor your keeness and need to v

Detailed Answer:

Thanks for posting your query on HCM.

Diagnosis of COPD is normally made on the basis of symptoms and history of smoking. You may have been a reformed smoker but you can still develop COPD. After smoking cessation, though further damage to the lungs may stop but the damage that has already occurred heals very gradually and in some, the lung function may never come back to normal.

Having said that, I`m of the opinion that when the diagnosis of COPD was made, the ER doctor or your regular doctor should have asked for a spirometry(breathing test) or should have referred you to a pulmonologist to know your lung function and to confirm the diagnosis.

I feel that with continued absence and regular treatment your lung function may have improved considerably. I`m not aware of the medical practices in your part of the world but I feel if you desire to consult a specialist and want a particular test, you should not be denied that as it`s your basic right and freedom of choice. I can only suggest that you should again impress on your doctor your keeness and need to visiting a specialist.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Shashi Dangwal 12 hours later
Is chronic broncitus also blamed on smoking since it also falls under the umbrella of COPD ?
Answered by Dr. Shashi Dangwal 16 hours later
Brief Answer:
Yes, chronic bronchitis is one of the two diseases

Detailed Answer:

Yes, chronic bronchitis is one of the two diseases grouped under COPD, other being Emphysema and smoking has been proved to be the cause for it beyond doubts.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

Share on
Question is related to
Diseases and Conditions ,   ,   ,  
Medical Topics

Recent questions on  Emphysema

doctor1 MD

I am a 40-year-old, 159 pound, white female. I only smoked when I was a teenager occasionally and as a an adult, I would only smoke when I drank (which now I do not smoke at all). I drink occasionally on the weekends but not much. My father had a history of heart disease, emphysema and diabetes. He had his first heart attack in his mid-30s and had a triple bypass in 1983. At age 72, he passed away due to a massive heart attack he suffered as a result of the stress of having surgery to remove colon cancer. Over the past year or so I have been experiencing chest pains almost every day either at rest or after some activity. Sometimes when I am leaning over, I can get the pain in the center of my chest which can feel almost like muscle pain. Sometimes I experience the chest pains with a feeling of shortness of breath yet when I take a deep inhalation, it seems as though my breathing can be restored to normal. Sometimes with the chest pains I also experience some upper back pain across my shoulders. My neck, jaw and arms never really hurt or go numb. Oftentimes, I can feel my heart racing or feeling as though it is going to pound out of my chest. I have had numerous EKGs done all of which have come back normal. I went to the ER in February of 2009 and was admitted due to chest pains. Upon arrival at the ER, I had bloodwork done including my cardiac enzymes tested (which were all normal), an EKG done which was normal, BP (usually maintains at 112/80), pulse and heart rate were all normal. They kept me overnight so I could have a stress done. I completed that the next morning. The stress test I had was where they took pictures of my blood flow while at rest, then they shot me with some dye, then I ran on the treadmill and then more pictures were taken after that. The results were that I had a heart of a 28 year old, and I was in the top 90% of women my age. Then that afternoon, I had an endoscopy done to rule/out any gastro problems. That, too, was normal. I was seen by a cardiologist while an inpatient and he told me that everything was normal and it is very unusual of a woman my age, even with a family history, to have heart problems. It definitely was not a heart attack nor did he feel it was heart-related. Then I had an abdominal ultrasound completed outpatient which was normal as well as which was normal. I also wore a heart monitor for 30 days which allowed me to record all of my episodes. Upon review of that monitor, they told me I had sinus arrhythmia and tachycardia but there was nothing for me to do about it because it was nothing to worry about. My cholesterol is 195 and I can t remember my exact LDL or HDL but I believe the good cholesterol level was 5 points lower than it should be and the bad was good. My triglycerides were over 300 but at my last blood check they came down to a bit below 200. I am still working on lowering those. I know I do not always eat right nor do I exercise very often. I have cut back on fatty, greasy foods and am losing weight little by little. I continue to have these pains either at rest or after exerting myself. Sometimes I take Prilosec and the pain goes away. I mentally make the pain and heart pounding worse because I start to think there is something wrong with me that my PCP and the tests missed. (My PCP is my cousin who is very familiar with my family history and I truly believe he is doing everything possible to find an answer. Yet he keeps telling me that he is 99.9% sure it is NOT my heart. The only other thing he could do is a catheterization. He doesn t want to do it because there is a 1% risk that something could actually go wrong and cause me a real problem. He did say if I had the catheterization, it would completely give me a 100% answer. I actually gave myself such bad anxiety this past weekend that I actually started believing that I am dying or will die soon. These episodes and symptoms are driving me crazy! I want to hope that it is all just stress or something else. I ve been crazily reading things where they say sometimes people can sense doom or feel anxiety right before something bad like a heart attack or death happens. Please! Any help or answer you could give me to lead me in the right direction to solving my problem would be GREATLY appreciated. Janel M.

doctor1 MD

Hello, My name is Keyna. I am 33 yrs old. I have smoked for 13 years until recently. My doctor sent me to have a routine xray 3 weeks ago and it came back with changes that indicate COPD with the prescence of emphysema . Naturally, I quit (started Chantix). I wasn t given an inhaler until today when I went back in to insist that something be done about the tightness in my chest and the shortness of breath that I had been feeling since before the xray was even done. My Doctor gave me the inhaler, but now states that I was never actually diagnosed with COPD/Emphysema; just some changes. I asked well what in the world is causing me to feel this way? I was told he didn t know, but would not send me to a Pulmonologist until I tried the inhaler first. My PFT was normal and my O2 Sat was 98%. I have so far taken two doses of the PRN inhaler that I can take q4hrs. I noticed an immediate change upon the 4th hour after the first dose. This tells me that I will be needing this inhaler all the time. What is wrong with me; if it s not COPD/Emphysema? Why doesn t my doctor do more testing?

doctor1 MD

IN 2007 ,i had Ovarian Cancer,tumer ,removed complete heystretomy. 2009 had heart valve replacement.On Coumadine,and my PT- INR ,WAS like 96 something,and i have risk involved here?was put on antibiotics gor lung infection,i have emphysema 1st stage,but on 2 litter oxygen at home. can you answer for me,so i can rest? YYYY@YYYY ;;;;;age 51-female

doctor1 MD

Over past several months.Mom (79 years old - now about 88 lbs) started w/ shortness breathe - expected w/ and fatigue CPOD(just say lung dr first time - stage 4 emphysema) Nov.. diarrhea for several days & ankles swollen before convinced to go to clinic... Blood work showed anemia, albumin and protein levels off, no blood in stool..oxygen levels were in mid 50s..xray showed fluid in chest...antibiotics , oxygen helped her feel better..oxygen levels remain in low - mid 90s she is on it most of the time....started feeling bad and diarrhea back...being cultured for c diffe..... would it be wrong of me to ask about whipple's disease? only thing I see online that has all her symptoms...or will the culture pick it up if it is the cause? usually don't search out online but frustrated at not finding the cause of diarrhea in conjunction to other problems

doctor1 MD

I have been diagnosed with emphysema . Pain in my chest and always in my left arm. Sometimes the pain is excruciating. I have a lot of saliva during the painful periods. Cold air (45 and below seem to trigger it quicker). None of the meds given...

doctor1 MD

I am having a strange issue. First off I am an off and on iv drug user of methamphetamine . And a little background I'm 30 y/o and have no known illnesses except hsv1 and heterozygous factor v Leiden . I take prescribed med clonazepam as needed no...

doctor1 MD

I am in the final stages of Emphysema . What is my prognosis. I do not cough or spit up sputim.How many weeks/months to I have left