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COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

COPD symptoms

01/14/2008

Question:

My mother is 74 yr old, not overweight by any means and has COPD from many years of smoking. She has 33% Vital Capaity (continuous on oxygen), walking 5 ft she becomes short of breath with a 5 min period of rest to return to normal. She has lost 10 pounds in the last month with no explanation. She has developed a cold feeling (which she describes as cold inside) over the last month as well, particularly after eating. She has a history of psoriasis, but over the past year or so her skin has been very itchy, becoming redenned over the legs and hands and constantly itchy in the last few months. Question #1 - Is this consistent with end stage COPD? Question #2 - If so, how long does she have? Question #3 - Could Thyroid problems be a factor in the skin and cold issues? (My 47 yr old brother has Thyroid problems as well).

Answer:

The poor pulmonary function, need for oxygen, weight loss, and degree of shortness of breath are all consistent with severe COPD. Based on the information you provide, the average survival at 3 years is approximately 50 percent. However, there is a great deal of variability in this estimate and individual patients could live much shorter or longer.

Thyroid disease could be contributing to some of her symptoms.

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Response by:

Mahasti   Rittinger, RRT Mahasti Rittinger, RRT
Clinical Program Manager of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University

Phillip T Diaz, MD Phillip T Diaz, MD
Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University