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Not Just Short of Breath: COPD Symptoms Beyond Breathing Difficulty.

Not Just Short of Breath: COPD Symptoms Beyond Breathing Difficulty

There are many different kinds of COPD symptoms, but not everyone experiences all of them. We hear about the more common and frequent ones, like wheezing, shortness of breath, and coughing, but have you experienced the following less-mentioned symptoms?

Cyanosis

Cyanosis (blueness of the skin, lips, or fingernails) occurs when there is not enough oxygen in a person’s blood for the body to properly function.

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Low Muscle Endurance

Lower muscle endurance and strength, also referred to as skeletal muscular dysfunction, is defined as the weakening or loss of muscle.

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Swelling

Swelling of the ankles, legs, and feet. Caused by two COPD complications – pulmonary hypertension and cor pulmonale – it may affect COPD patients’ lower extremities.

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Weight Loss

Many people with COPD have trouble with losing too much weight. Appetite loss can be due to shortness of breath (therefore not feeling up to consuming food), low activity, or even depression.

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Have you experienced other unlisted symptoms related to your COPD? Share in the comments or tell your story – you may not be alone in your experience!

Comments

  • WillDoe
    1 year ago

    antonia4
    I have been using Gas-x for a few weeks now and have been doing quite well with it.
    It does make me burp a lot more than I’m use to, but I feel better, breath better and, quite frankly, it’s better than the consequences.
    All the best!
    WillDoe

  • antonia4
    1 year ago

    My abdomen gets bloated and it’s quite uncomfortable. I went to see an GI and she put me through a number of tests but things seem to be normal on her end. Does anyone else have symptoms like this?

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    1 year ago

    Hi again antonia4 and thanks for your post. While you may hear back from other community members regarding your concerns, I thought you might also find it helpful to look over this article on that very topic: https://copd.net/living/bloating-part-1/. All the best, Leon (site moderator)

  • fmelissinos
    1 year ago

    Barb: I have experienced anxiety when I can’t get my breath. I have found when this happens I concenstrate on my breathing — breathing in through my nose and out of my mouth slowly. This seems to help.

  • fmelissinos
    1 year ago

    Taking steriods caused me to gain weight. With the weight gain it make it more difficult to breathe. I am off steriods now and am starting to lose some of the weight. I am also returning to Pulmonary Rehab to regain some of my strength since I was closed in most of the winter because of the cold weather.

  • Lyn Harper, RRT moderator
    1 year ago

    fmelissinos – Congrats on going back to pulmonary rehab! The winter can be so hard on our bodies, can’t it? I’m sure a within a very short time the PR will have you back in pre-winter shape.

    Regards,
    Lyn (site moderator)

  • Barb47
    1 year ago

    Hi one of the problems I have is anxiety which sometimes I feel like I’m going to panic. I believe this is caused by my shortness of breath. I have talked to my GP but all they seem to want to do is give me medication as I’m sure they don’t really understand what it’s like to be unable to breath. Barbs.

  • Noel.Martin
    1 year ago

    Hi Barb! Thank you so much for commenting here! We do have a lot of members that complain of anxiety with COPD. I thought I would share some articles that may resonate with you. https://copd.net/living/managing-anxiety/
    https://copd.net/living/anxiety-panic-attacks/
    I hope these are helpful and please know that you are not alone.
    Warmly,
    Noel COPD.net Team

  • Lyn Harper, RRT moderator
    1 year ago

    WillDoe – It definitely sounds like you may be having problems that require some medical intervention. If you haven’t called your doctor about it, I would certainly recommend that you do. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

    Please keep us posted and feel better soon!

    Regards,
    Lyn (site moderator)

  • WillDoe
    1 year ago

    My COPD effects my blood pressure in a negative way.
    Also, my atrial-fibrillation seems to be occurring more frequently than in the past. (I haven’t needed to go to the ER due to it because I seem to be able to function even though I’m in fibrillation. That is, I can stand and move about without becoming lightheaded or fainting.)
    It seems that I’m getting closer to my third stroke…

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    1 year ago

    Hi WillDoe and thanks for your post. I see that Lyn has made an excellent suggestion. I have similar concerns as well and felt the need to weigh in. If you are thinking ‘you are getting closer to your third stroke’, and the atrial fibrillation is ‘occurring more frequently’, I would urge you to contact your doctor (sooner rather than later). You will want to be assessed well before you feel it’s necessary to head to an emergency room. Please do check back and keep us posted. Wishing you well. Leon (site moderator)

  • Lyn Harper, RRT moderator
    1 year ago

    WillDoe – It definitely sounds like you may be having problems that require some medical intervention. If you haven’t called your doctor about it, I would certainly recommend that you do. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

    Please keep us posted and feel better soon!

    Regards,
    Lyn (site moderator)

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