copd-newbe
Pharmacist George
A:

Hello,

I wonder, do you know what kind of COPD you have? Is it Chronic Bronchitis? Do you have any other condition or week immune system for any reason? Or have you any trauma in the past? Sometimes if you've had many upper respiratory problems that have not been treated properly or you continuously skipped on taking your infection medications or have not completed the full antibiotic courses that have been prescribed to you then the bacteria may not have been eliminated effectively and can remain in your lungs and cause recurrent yearly infection or chronic bronchitis. Do you have asthma? Some of your answers may shed some light into this puzzle. Take care.

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Lin~Texas
Lin~Texas July 21, 2012 at 12:16 pm   

Hi newbie, one of the recent clinical findings is that people who smoked for 10 years, no matter when they quit, have an increased chance of developing COPD in their lifetime, and are usually diagnosed in late 50s or 60s. I posted News and/or Discussions on this here on COPD Connect. I know of two such people as examples; one, an attorney who quit smoking in the early 1980s and has aprx 35% of her lung function from Chronic Bronchitis, amongst other lung comorbidities. Another is a retired Respiratory Therapist who quit smoking over 35 years ago, too, and is in Stage 4 emphysema. Quitting smoking initiates the healing process for the lungs, but it doesn't guarantee that the COPD diseases won't happen. There is current reserch finding that lung tissue can regenerate (see News items) but it's a 15 year regeneration so a little late for many adult, former smokers.

The best recommendation that I've gotten is to develop a healthy lifestyle now and not wait for a COPD exacerbation … take meds as directed, get update booster shots for flu, pneumonia (2 different shots), TDAP and Shingles (Herpes Zoster); manage diet (see Discussions and News articles for COPD suggestions that Rachel posted); rest to keep the lungs and immune system working well; exercise - minimum 30 consecutive minutes brisk walking + weights and resistance, stretching exercise every day. ive while there's living to do and enjoy yourself along the way!

Idaho~flash
Idaho~flash July 20, 2012 at 5:00 pm   

Hi newbe. I quit smoking 20-25 years ago and developed COPD (emphysema) about 3 years ago when I got rheumatoid arthritis. My doctor tells me the RA has damaged my lungs but I wonder if the Remicade infusions (to suppress my immune system) also contributed. He has just taken me off the infusions—is afraid I'll get pneumonia and won't have any way to fight it. I just have to wait and see if I get better or worse. I feel like I wouldn't have got COPD if I hadn't got RA, but I also feel I probably wouldn't have got it if I had never smoked. They used to say that a few years after you quit smoking your lungs were like you had never smoked. Now they say you are at danger of COPD if you have EVER smoked.

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