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Chronic Bronchitis and Mild Obstruction- COPD

I have this.

-Mucus (Phlegm) ALL DAY/Everyday
-Feel like a smoked a pack of cigarettes every morning
-Depressed, See a Counselor
-When I run I just fill like my lungs are at half, it should feel better.
-Use a daily peak flow meter FEV 1 remains the same BUT FVC keeps going down year over year.

On Breo 200/daily seen two pulmonologists.

46 Male quit smoking 4 years ago (24 Years)
I feel more like _ _ _ _ today than the day I quit smoking four years ago. I just quit to quit and went for a PFT for a health check. Was told I have Mild Obstruction.

My Question.
You mention on your website: Chronic mucus production over time and through the years is related to decline in lung function.

What that tells me is at 46 years of age this is going to destroy my lung function within the next ten years. I'm not scared, just need the facts because the two pulmonologists I see act like this is nothing and I think they are full of _ _ _ _.

Thanks for the read.

  1. Hi . First, please know that there are always exceptions to the rules. Though many studies indicate that constant mucus production equals decreasing lung function, there are some studies that show less impact on life expectancy than others. The reality is that each journey with COPD is unique. Averages and norms can provide clues, but they won't always accurately predicte outcomes. My bigger concern for you is the lack of communication with your doctors. It is hard to have confidence in doctors who are not listening or communicating. Are they with the same practice? Is either doctor a pulmonologist? Have they tried anything to clear or ease your mucus? Here is an article about excess mucus production and treatment options: You might benefit from another opinion, especially from a pulmonologist familiar with COPD. I hope this helps and that you either develop a better relationship with your doctors or find someone new. Best wishes. - Lori (Team Member)

    1. Hi . Never any need to apologize here. That is what we are here for - to offer support and a safe place to vent/rant. I can see why you are frustrated. It seems that your doctors don't understand how much the constant mucus production and the reduced athletic ability are impacting your life. We are not medical experts, but I do think that sometimes, when doctors are used to treated patients severely impacted by a disease, they are more likely to brush off what they consider "minor" symptoms. But these symptoms are not at all minor for you. You need and deserve an accurate diagnosis and treatment.
      You have seen pulmonologists and an ENT, but have you ever seen an allergist? Is it possible your doctors are looking in the wrong directions? You can develop adult-onset allergies at any age. If you haven't already, it might be worthwhile to get evaluated. I developed an outdoor mold allergies as an adult. The reaction is mild to moderate, so I don't usually feel the need to medicate during the day, but I often can't sleep without allergy medications because of constant post-nasal drip. Again, we are not medical experts, but maybe it's time to think out of the box a bit. Warm wishes. - Lori (Team Member)

    2. I saw 's response and your replies after I posted. makes some good suggestions. Do you know how comprehensive your allergy testing was? There is no allergy test that tests for all potential allergens, so it can be helpful to know what you have been tested for. It might also help to keep a journal, recording such things as level of mucus production and your body's reaction to activity along with the time of day, the weather, your sleep habits, what you have eaten -- anything that might in anyway be relevant. You might eventually see patterns emerge that can give you and your doctors more insight. Excess mucus production can be scary, so I understand your fear. The only way you will get answers though is to keep pushing and keep advocating for yourself. - Lori (Team Member)

  2. Sorry you are having problems with mucus, but I do have to agree strongly wiith on this one. You mention Breo 200, but where you ever given a rescue inhaler and explained how and when to use it? I ask this for many doctors do miss on telling on when and how to use, figure the average person knows I guess. If you been on Breo a while and it doesn't seem like it's working, maybe try a new med? What about the air quality at the time you run, could it be full of pollen, maybe adult onset of allergies. Allergies are not caused by COPD, just a change in the immune system, but can show up anytime with in our lives, mine didn't start until late 20's, now they are crazy and produces most of the mucus problems I have if I am not on meds for the allergies that is, I am now 60, this last year I got to add cats to list. Just a thought. Has one of these doctors ever suggested how to combat the mucus production to give you relieve, maybe another medication just for that? Never answers always so many questions though. Just think, if you wouldn't have quite smoking when you did, how much worse you could / would be? Still a good thing you quite. Frustrating it is at times, hang in there and keep taking care of yourself the best you can, even if that means finding a new doctor(s)... Hope you keep us posted as you are able to get answers and hopefully some relief from the mucus...

    1. Breo has taken my FEV1 to 2.9 and my FVC to 450. Usually, 2.7 FEV1 and 405 FVC. Have a rescue inhaler will take a puff before I run.

      Tested for all allergies but have none. I believe my lungs are causing my nose problems, many ENT's never find anything.

      No answers for the phlegm, the phlegm is what keeps me up every night. I'm not going to take Mucinex everyday.

      I can live with this - the consistent phlegm is what I'm petrified of. It never goes away and according to the internet consistent phlegm means decreased ongoing lung volumes and I can't stop it. Little by little I'm assuming it's going to destroy me- that's just to much anxiety.

      It's like your healthy at 46 today BUT you now your in trouble in the next decade and you can't do nothing about it.

      I actually would be better off if I just didn't know.

    2. Oh anxiety, it is something else isn't it? Counseling and medication (as needed) helps me with that. Currently I am taking Mucinex daily because of extreme allergy season here in GA to keep the phlegm/mucus away. Finding the cause of why this is happening is the tricky part. We are all different, but there is something usually causing the irritation of the lungs to form the phlegm. What? Weather conditions (Heat, humidity, windy etc..) Food, drinks, cleaning supplies (Chemicals), soaps, shampoo, cologne, any type of smoke, any type of smell, Crazy, right!

      Where to start? Good question! At home of course, cleaning chemicals. What can you use instead and still get the germs, hot water, steam, baking soda (works like an abrasive if needed), pumice stone (abrasive, but won't scratch porcelain like your toilet) dish soap (light soft smell or none) and some elbow grease if needed. Doing a web search / google on how to clean chemical free is helpful sometimes.) Now to the laundry area: Get a laundry soap that "Scent free", if you use Fabric Softener try to find one with no or very little scent, usually the sheet type is the easier one to find. Try these and see if this helps with lowering that phlegm production, if is does great, if not, keep using these methods for one day they just might, saves you money too! Next would be personal hygiene products; aftershave, cologne, shower soap, the lighter the scent the better or eliminate all together when possible.

      As you make these changes in your life you will find that all the numbers that you are stating and time lines are going to just go away, instead of concentrating on how bad this is getting, work on how to slow it down, go to the positive. No one can answer the age old question of when am I going to die? so work on living instead! Keep up your general health of course, look for a positive thing everyday and sleep with that thought on your mind. If you feel your heading toward the negative, give that counselor a call, sometimes those of us that live with a chronic condition(s) have to take antidepressants, , learn bio-feedback and other coping mechanisms, this is OK to do. You are already a strong person, you can do this, there is many of us out here that can help, just let us know how or come and vent, let us know how your doing.

      A little about myself, I am 60 yrs old, Stage 4 (end stage) COPD plus a couple other Chronic Conditions, not fun, but all are manageable 90% of the time, that 10% can get a little crazy sometimes LOL... Yes, I get scared, depressed, anxiety, you know at times an emotional basket case especially if I get sick. A mom of 2, grandma of 2 and a wife, loving each day I am given and doing the best I can with it. It took time to get to this point, but I kept pushing and have come a lot further and longer then at one time I thought I was going to. As you will. Sending you the warmest biggest hug to start your day!

  3. Oh, and it's not my FEV1, it's actually gone up. It's my Total Lung Volume that takes a dip down one stair year over year. If I'm 46, how many dips do I take till there is nothing left.

    1. hi. I hear how anxious you are and my heart goes out to you! It's hard to deal with a new diagnosis, especially when you are younger and the future feels uncertain. Just about everyone here has been where you are.

      It's important to keep a healthy perspective. Your doctors said you have mild obstruction. That means that there is a lot you can do today to take good care of yourself and slow the progression of your symptoms. Try your best not to worry about the numbers. Everyone progresses differently, and even people with the same numbers might not feel the same way. We have people here on the site that have lived for decades with COPD and are still here, exercising and going out and doing the things that they enjoy. So don't let anybody tell you what you can or can't do or how long you will live.

      It sounds like that while Brio is helping a little, you might need a change of medication to start feeling more like yourself and get some of that mucus up. If your doctors don't understand or don't share your goals, it is absolutely your right to find a new one. Many people here have done the same thing. Having a doctor you trust is an important part of doing well.

      You may want to ask them about other inhalers, a nebulizer or even a simple device like the Acappella, which you blow into and it helps move the mucus out of your lungs. Of course, I'm not a doctor and I can't say what's best for you. But I know that you are not out of options and you should hang on to hope. Having a good attitude can really make all the difference and I hope that you know that this is not the end for you. We are here to support you and please feel free to vent as much as you want! We've got your back. -Melissa, copd team

  4. Update.
    No Breo 200 3 weeks- phlegm is no more.

    Now, what to do?
    Have daily peak flow not much difference when I was on Breo.

    SOB- about the same when I’m focusing on it.

    If you don’t take medicine does that mean you will lose lung function at a faster rate?

    Hard question, but trying to piece this all together for the best path.

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Since we are not all able to give any medical advice on here and I sure am not a medical professional. I thought with what I have read is that maybe this article I found with the American Lung Assoc. could be helpful in understanding more about the phlegm (mucus) and COPD. Through the article they have links / video to help explain what is happening and why. At the end of this article is a Help Line (phone number) that has medical professionals waiting to help answer questions, which you might find useful.
      Never know, get a list of questions together and see what they have to say?
      Here's that link

    2. Great resources, . Thanks for sharing. - Lori (Team Member)

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