Natural Health Nexis
This nhn COPD Guide includes information about Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease that is written primarily to help COPD Patients better understand their condition and the range of COPD treatment options that are currently available:
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is usually diagnosed in patients when a number of Indicating COPD Risk Factors and Indicating COPD Symptoms are present,
AND THEN Spirometry Measurements have been obtained
that confirm Persistent Limitation of Airflow.
When considering a COPD Diagnosis, the primary indicating Risk Factors are:
- The patient has a history of smoking tobacco products (including second-hand smoking)
- The patient has a history of exposure to other sources of smoke, from fires or other combustion processes
- The patient has a history of occupational exposure to chemical fumes or irritant dusts
- The patient reports a family history of COPD
- The patient is usually 40 years old, or older
When considering a COPD Diagnosis, the primary indicating Symptoms are:
- The patient experiences a Chronic Cough that may be intermittent or unproductive, but in many cases may produce Sputum.
- The patient experiences Persistent Dyspnea (Breathlessness) that worsens with physical exertion and has progressively worsened over time.
More About COPD Symptoms
The presence of Multiple COPD Indicators increases the probability of a COPD Diagnosis.
The next step should be to obtain Spirometry Measurements.
Spirometry is required to make a clinical diagnosis of COPD
Specifically, a post-bronchodilator FEV1/FVC less than 70% is taken to indicate consistent limitation of airflow and as confirmation of a COPD Diagnosis
FEV1 is the volume of air that can be exhaled forcibly in 1 second
The Tiffeneau Index = FEV1/FVC
FEV1% is used as a quantitative clinical measurement to define a range of 4 COPD Stages
The Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) currently provides a number of regularly updated documents related to Diagnosis of COPD:
Download the GOLD COPD Diagnosis Guidelines
Download the GOLD COPD Diagnosis Desk Reference
Download the GOLD COPD Diagnosis Pocket Guide
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