March 16th, 2011
10:30 AM ET
What should I expect after COPD diagnosis?
Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Wednesdays, it's Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society.
Question asked by Pamela of Nashville, Tennessee:
I just learned that I have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema. Can you tell me about it and what the prognosis is? I also have coronary artery disease and have had stents placed.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is a disease that truly negatively affects quality of life. Patients with COPD are prone to asthma-like wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness and coughing that can occur in episodes caused by chromic inflammation. They're also prone to viral and bacterial infections.
It is the fourth most common cause of death in the United States, killing an estimated 120,000 people each year.
While COPD is most noted for episodes of shortness of breath and wheezing, the disease is typically slowly progressive and persistent. Medical treatment can be successful in relieving symptoms and reducing the severity of exacerbations.
Treatment is with inhaled bronchodilators, steroids to reduce inflammation and other oral medications.
Breathing problems? Check them with this test
Early diagnosis and good treatment are important as they can reduce the number and severity of exacerbations and prolong survival. Some people can live with this condition for several decades.
More than 80% of patients with COPD have a history of cigarette smoking. A few patients have it because of chemical inhalation exposure. Most are overweight or obese. Weight loss can also occur in severe COPD and is a sign of severe disease with a poor prognosis.
At one time, we distinguished different types of COPD, emphysema and chronic bronchitis. All patients with COPD have an element of each, although one component will usually predominate in the individual patient.
Chronic bronchitis is defined by a chronic cough that produces sputum. Emphysema is defined by enlargement and destruction of the airspaces in the lung.
When the physician examines a patient with very severe COPD one finds decreased breath sounds, wheezes, crackles at the lungs, and distant heart sounds. The patient's diaphragm in limited in movement, meaning the patient cannot take in deep breaths. In extremely severe disease, the chest size is increased.
Patients lean forward to use all the muscles of the chest and neck to bring air in. COPD can progress to cause heart failure, as the right side of the heart cannot pump blood into the damaged lungs.
Could your job be hurting your lungs?
Physicians use pulmonary function tests to assess the severity of COPD. These are tests to measure how fast it take a patient to fully exhale air, how much air he can exhale in one second, how much air he can inhale. X-ray and especially CT scans can also be used to assess damage to the lungs.
The arterial blood gases are a series of blood tests to determine how much oxygen and carbon dioxide is in the blood. As the disease worsens oxygenation goes down and carbon dioxide levels rise. Blood gas abnormalities acutely worsen during COPD exacerbations and often worsen during exercise and sleep.
Because most patients have a significant smoking history, most patients have many of the other illnesses associated with smoking, especially cardiovascular disease. These patients also have high risk for smoking related malignancies.
Unfortunately, poor lung function often interferes with or prevents treatment of the other diseases.
About this blog
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.
Hi there to all, how is everything, I think every one is getting more from this website, and your views are fastidious in favor of new viewers.|
52 tonight is the best longterm option as online dating set to reach its annual peak with s
Singletons in search of love should take note 8.52pm tonight will be plumbing service this year to find a date online.
Researchers believe people looking for a date will have the best chance of finding someone compatible shortly before 9pm as the number of individuals logging on to internet dating sites peaks.
richard Kay: Earl's erotic brother hunting for love Surprise! Shock turns to joy for Iowa's 6ft 7in basketball player after boyfriend proposes to her facing.
In the month of january, a projected 3.2million people will go online in need of a date.
'As the Christmas celebration calm down and we re evaluate our lives, It's little wonder that looking for a partner will top the list of New Year priorities for many personals.
It has become so central that it is now contained in the Office for National Statistic's UK 'shopping basket' of goods and services that measures the UK's cost of living charmdate.
This website definitely has all the information and facts I wanted concerning this subject and didn't know who to ask. |
First of all I would like to say wonderful blog! I had a quick question that I'd like to ask if you don't mind. I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your mind before writing. I have had difficulty clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out. I do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be lost simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or tips? Cheers!|
This post will help the internet users for building up new website or even a blog from start to end.|
Wow, marvelous blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is great, as well as the content!|
If some one desires to be updated with newest technologies then he must be visit this web page and be up to date everyday.|
You really make it appear so easy along with your presentation but I to find this matter to be really something which I feel I might never understand. It seems too complex and very extensive for me. I am looking ahead on your subsequent put up, I will try to get the cling of it!|
This is my first time pay a visit at here and i am really pleassant to read everthing at one place.|
I got this web site from my friend who told me on the topic of this web page and now this time I am browsing this website and reading very informative content here.|
I'm excited to discover this website. I need to to thank you for ones time for this wonderful read!! I definitely really liked every little bit of it and i also have you book-marked to check out new things on your website.|
Remarkable issues here. I am very happy to look your article. Thank you so much and I am having a look ahead to touch you. Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?|
I just like the valuable information you provide in your articles. I'll bookmark your blog and check once more here regularly. I'm moderately sure I will learn lots of new stuff proper here! Best of luck for the following!|
Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I have truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!|
Hello there, just become alert to your blog thru Google, and located that it's truly informative. I am going to watch out for brussels. I'll appreciate in case you continue this in future. Numerous folks can be benefited out of your writing. Cheers!|
Very good article. I am going through a few of these issues as well..|
Greetings! Very helpful advice within this post! It's the little changes that produce the most significant changes. Thanks for sharing!|
Excellent website. Lots of useful information here. I am sending it to several buddies ans also sharing in delicious. And obviously, thank you to your sweat!|
Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to more added agreeable from you! However, how can we communicate?|
Howdy, There's no doubt that your website could be having internet browser compatibility issues. When I look at your site in Safari, it looks fine however, if opening in IE, it has some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to give you a quick heads up! Besides that, fantastic website!|
I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the structure of your blog? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or two images. Maybe you could space it out better?|
Hello! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could locate a captcha plugin for my comment form? I'm using the same blog platform as yours and I'm having problems finding one? Thanks a lot!|
Wow, this paragraph is good, my sister is analyzing such things, so I am going to convey her.|
This site was... how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something that helped me. Kudos!|
Do you have a spam issue on this site; I also am a blogger, and I was curious about your situation; many of us have created some nice procedures and we are looking to swap methods with other folks, please shoot me an email if interested.|
My brother recommended I may like this website. He used to be entirely right. This publish actually made my day. You cann't believe simply how a lot time I had spent for this info! Thanks!|
Hello there, simply become alert to your weblog thru Google, and found that it's truly informative. I'm gonna be careful for brussels. I'll be grateful when you proceed this in future. Lots of other folks will likely be benefited out of your writing. Cheers!|
This design is spectacular! You certainly know how to keep a reader amused. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost...HaHa!) Fantastic job. I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!|
I pay a quick visit everyday some web sites and sites to read posts, except this web site presents quality based articles.|
Thanks for some other excellent post. The place else may anybody get that type of information in such a perfect approach of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am at the look for such information.|
I all the time used to read paragraph in news papers but now as I am a user of internet therefore from now I am using net for content, thanks to web.|
Heya i am for the primary time here. I came across this board and I to find It really useful & it helped me out much. I am hoping to provide something back and aid others like you helped me.|
I absolutely love your blog and find almost all of your post's to be just what I'm looking for. can you offer guest writers to write content for yourself? I wouldn't mind creating a post or elaborating on a lot of the subjects you write related to here. Again, awesome blog!|
Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to your webpage? My blog is in the exact same niche as yours and my users would certainly benefit from a lot of the information you provide here. Please let me know if this okay with you. Regards!|
Hi this is kind of of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I'm starting a blog soon but have no coding experience so I wanted to get advice from someone with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!|
Hi there, You have performed a fantastic job. I will certainly digg it and individually suggest to my friends. I'm sure they will be benefited from this site.|
Having read this I thought it was really informative. I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this short article together. I once again find myself personally spending a lot of time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!|
Appreciation to my father who shared with me regarding this web site, this web site is actually remarkable.|
It's a shame you don't have a donate button! I'd certainly donate to this outstanding blog! I suppose for now i'll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to new updates and will share this website with my Facebook group. Chat soon!|
I've been exploring for a little for any high-quality articles or blog posts on this sort of house . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this website. Reading this info So i am glad to express that I have a very excellent uncanny feeling I found out exactly what I needed. I such a lot no doubt will make sure to don?t overlook this site and provides it a look on a constant basis.|
I'm gone to convey my little brother, that he should also pay a visit this website on regular basis to take updated from latest news.|
Please let me know if you're looking for a author for your weblog. You have some really great articles and I believe I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I'd love to write some content for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please shoot me an e-mail if interested. Thanks!|
Cool blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere? A design like yours with a few simple adjustements would really make my blog jump out. Please let me know where you got your design. With thanks|
Tremendous things here. I'm very happy to see your post. Thanks so much and I am looking forward to contact you. Will you please drop me a mail?|
Greetings! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I truly enjoy reading your articles. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that go over the same subjects? Appreciate it!|
Great blog here! Also your web site loads up fast! What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my website loaded up as fast as yours lol|
great issues altogether, you just gained a logo new reader. What could you suggest in regards to your submit that you simply made a few days in the past? Any sure?|
That is really attention-grabbing, You are a very skilled blogger. I have joined your feed and stay up for searching for more of your excellent post. Also, I've shared your web site in my social networks|
Hey very cool site!! Guy .. Excellent .. Wonderful .. I will bookmark your website and take the feeds additionally? I'm happy to seek out a lot of useful info here within the submit, we want develop more strategies on this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .|