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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Undiagnosed COPDers: They don’t know they have it

Researchers say there are over 12 million American adults diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Yet they also say there are another 12 million American adults who have it but don’t know it. So undiagnosed COPDers are those who don’t know they have it.

How could this be? How could someone have trouble breathing and not know it? How could someone have a chronic cough and not know it?

COPD experts say this might be because the disease progresses so gradually, with symptoms getting worse so slowly, that some people simply write it off as not serious, or just a symptom of aging.

Sometimes it may go unrecognized by a physician. However, most physicians would easily recognize and properly diagnose this disease. So most undiagnosed COPDers are probably those who do not see a physician for whatever reason.

COPD Attitude: “I get winded walking to the bathroom. Don’t worry, it’s just the aging process taking place. I’m fine.

COPD Strengths: They like to manage their COPD on their own and will do what it takes to feel better, even if that means avoiding things that make them feel sick.

COPD Weaknesses: By not getting the proper diagnosis, or by not seeking medical attention, they will not be getting the help they need. While there is no cure for COPD, there are treatments that are proven to slow down progression of the disease and improve overall quality of life.

Lessons to Live By: It is not normal become winded during normal everyday activities. It’s not normal to cough every day. It’s not normal to cough up phlegm every day. It’s not normal to feel like you cannot take in a deep breath.

If you observe any of these symptoms it’s important to talk to your physician in order to get proper treatment. A good place to start is by following these 10 tips to living a healthy life with COPD.

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