Symptoms of COPD

Symptoms of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease


The symptoms of this chronic disease evolve over time:

Sympoms of the first stage of of COPD

Tired man after walking

Tired man after walking

  • The patient notices that he/she runs out of air before others (dyspnea). This is especially true when exercising, climbing stairs or cycling. These people usually give up exercise, so the disease is still latent but without obvious symptoms. However, dropping out of physical activity is not advisable.

  • Fatigue after performing daily activities.

  • Wheezing or whistling, which may occur with light or resting exercise.

  • Persistent cough, with or without phlegm: usually cough with mucus (sputum). Mucus is the result of secretions that form in the lungs to fight inflammation.

  • Shortness of breath

  • Fatigue due to lack of air and persistent cough

  • Wake up at midnight with cough or lack of air.

Symptoms of the second stage of COPD

Symptoms of advanced COPD (complications)

  • Malnutrition (pulmonary cachexia syndrome): Due to fatigue, anorexia may appear in these people. It is important to take care of one’s diet to prevent malnutrition, since it accelerates the course of the disease and can lead to complications.

  • Pneumonia

  • Need for oxygen respirator

  • Respiratory insufficiency: Difficulty breathing or dyspnoea causes high concentrations of carbon dioxide in the blood (hypercapnia), and not enough oxygen reaches all parts of the body. Because of the lack of oxygen, cyanosis (bluish limbs or lips) may occur.

  • Pneumothorax: presence of air or gas in the pleural cavity

  • Heart failure: the heart can not provide blood to tissues, due to vasoconstriction of the lungs that causes a poor oxygenation. The heart muscle needs oxygen to pump blood, and it does not receive enough to make such an effort. This perpetuated situation is what causes heart failure.

  • Raised red blood cells: RBCs are the components of blood that carry oxygen. The body detects that there is lack of oxygen in the tissues and makes more red blood cells to increase the oxygen uptake of the lungs. Excessive red blood cells are known as polyglobulin, which increases the risk of blood clots, thrombosis, varicose veins, and vascular accidents.

  • Osteoporosis: induced by lack of exercise, malnutrition and medication with corticosteroids. To prevent osteoporosis you should avoid physical inactivity and perform the following practices: sunbathing, walking, taking vitamin D, eating foods rich in calcium and magnesium.

punto rojo More information on COPD characteristics, remedies and diet.

Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

19 March, 2019

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