The 12th Invest in ME Research Conference June, 2017, Part 2
MEMum presents the second article in a series of three about the recent 12th Invest In ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London.
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Ventilatory inefficience : COPD or ME ?

Discussion in 'Autonomic, Cardiovascular, and Respiratory' started by Dechi, Nov 8, 2017.

  1. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member

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    i did my 2 day CPET test this summer. I had many problems and among them was :

    Ventilatory inefficiency : patient demonstrated impaired ventilation during exertion to sufficiently eliminate carbon dioxyde.

    Now I’ve come to accept ME, but if this is COPD, that worries me. Lately I’ve been having more dyspnea than usual. I am out of breat really easily and more often. I have to admit all my symptoms are more acute though, not just this one.

    But since my mom has emphyzema with only limited breathing capacity, I can’t help but wonder if this is the same thing starting with me. I have smoked occasionnally on and off for about 20 years. Sometimes years without smoking and never a heavy smoker. More of a social smoker most of the time.
    How can I distinguish between the two ? I’m awaiting an appointment with a specialist but it’s taking long amd I am worried.

    Anybody in the same situation ? Any thoughts ?
     
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  2. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    Have you had a PFT (pulmonary function test) or basic spirometry test? If you have COPD, asthma, emphysema, etc, (which I don't but had severe breathing problems) it would show a "pulmonary obstruction".

    I was unable to pass basic spirometry, but in my case it always showed "pulmonary restriction" which turned out to be due to muscle weakness of the lungs and diaphragm which has greatly improved with IVIG & Rituximab so we feel the muscle weakness was autoantibody driven (in my case).

    But spirometry/PFT tests will not only give you scores such as FVC (forced vital capacity) but will show if it is an obstructive, restrictive, or mixed pattern. It will not tell you why but if you had had a high resolution lung cat scan or other follow up tests, it would confirm if there is an obstruction (such as COPD).

    Edit: I also have POTS which affects my breathing in a totally different way when I stand/walk but the PFT tests are conducted while seated.
     
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  3. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member

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    Thannk you ! I haven’t any pulmonary testing. I am awaiting an appointment with a specialist who will do those tests, I hope.

    I do have moderate/severe muscle weakness. Which could explain why I have been feeling more out of breath recently, with the severity of my symptoms increasing.

    I also have a form of orthostatic intolerance called neurally mediated syncope. And althoug I haven’t been diagnosed with it, I think I might have POTs when my symptoms are more severe, because my heart rate will sometimes go up to 140 just from standing, and my resting heart rate is 46 and it has been as low as 38, with 60 being my daily average heart rate.

    I hope it’s not COPD. In 2014, I was still seriously training and having no breathing problems. Can COPD develop in such a short time ? Once in 2012, a COPD possibility was mentioned on a pulmonary x-ray but I don’t remember if my doctor at the time did any further testing.

    I guess I’ll just to wait for testing.
     
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  4. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    Good luck @Dechi! When do you go for the testing? Are you seeing a pulmonologist? Keep us posted.
     
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  5. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member

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    Thank you ! Dr Hyde is sending me to see someone, so it should happen within the next few months I hope.
     
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