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I am 47 and was told a year ago I have copd. I have always been pretty athletic so I began running. At first my chest was pretty tight and breathing at times difficult. Now I am up to two miles. I push pretty hard and am wondering is there any downside to this kind of forceful approach to keeping my lungs active.

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Are you still running? I was diagnosed with asthma at 22 and then COPD about ten years later; I am 46 now and have been running virtually non-stop since age 16. My doctors do not believe it, but do not think it is harmful; they claim that if I were not getting enough oxygen I would feel faint, have headaches or chest pain. But I know that this level of fitness has kept me alive despite the dire lung condition. I try to avoid rescue inhalers and rely on Symbicort (and I just added Asthmanex). I must take oral prednisone occasionally. I have found that I can run when my peak flow is 250 or higher, though I have not seen 400 in years, I occasionally reach 300.
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You know that thing they put on your finger at the doctor to check you blood oxygen level?well the doctor said if that ranged anywhere from 94 to 97,you don't have copd.Do you believe that to be true?

 

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I do not believe that blood O2 level is the sole indicator of COPD, usually it is diagnosed by the pulmonary function test. As COPD becomes worse, or if you over exert yourself the O2 level can go down. But like a body adjusting to altitude, if one is very fit, the body --even with COPD--can keep the O2 level high.
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COPD is diagnosed with a pulmonary function test not blood O2 levels, although they are useful in determining one's health condition.

I, too, was diagnosed with COPD about 5 years ago, alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency about 10 years ago, and asthma about 54 years ago. I began running in 2009 (although I ran some, but not competitively, in high school and college). I actually thought I'd never be able to run, but started because my knees hurt when I walked fast.

I ran my first 5k in 2009, several more in 2010, and my first half marathon in 2011. I just completed my fourth. I may never be very fast but I'm happy to be out there and I think running has actually helped my health significantly. My suggestion is continue as long as you're able. I'm surely hoping I have at least another two or more decades that I can keep running.
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i done alot of keep fit av been told not to do any cardiovasculor i stop my running body combat and attack do you think running is ok if you have copd and asthma i miss my running terrible
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I am 53 also running since 16. Can cope 10km. My maximum speed is 7-8 km per hour. Run in the marathons 8km or 10 km. For the past ten years I did not see above 350 peak flow meter. Never smoked but had allergies. My doctors too, don't believe that I run. The reason I run as I was younger was I think I felt better after each run. Otherwise I needed medicine.

Use symbicort. Diagnosed as medium level COPD. 

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Does breathing get easier as u train? I just started training for a 5K since my copd diagnosis and I'm worried no matter how long I train breathing will be hard?
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Hi, I have copd with a lung capacity of between 22 & 30% I exercise 6 days a week & have just completed my 2nd Ironman event. The quantity of exercise has given far better quality of life. 

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To SusanM - I am 64 and have a history very similar to yours, having both asthma and alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency; I have been a daily trail-runner for 43 years. I now live in West Virginia where you are either running uphill or down. So far my heart rate returns to normal quite quickly and I have no chest pains or shortage of breath. I would have to assume that the exercise helps the condition significantly. Good Luck and keep running, Ken
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I suggest all of the people who think or so it seems know they have COPD have their pulmonary function tests redone, that would include Spirometry for these claims would suggest to me that all of the doctors who treat you people are wrong. As an asthma sufferer for twenty or so years my diagnosis of moderate [phase two] COPD rocked me, my peak flow is usually 300. I cough and continually bring up thick sputum from my airways, nothing any doctor can do, it is a progressive illness, one fraught with problems from environmental risks that can worsen COPD and cause infection. You people who can run should visit your doctors and get a re-appraisal for what you suggest is just not possible, with a peak flow of 250 you really should be in hospital as a normal male p/f average height and body weight should be near 610, a woman a little less, but 250 come on a third of a normal adult, really I do not think so, this low a p/f FEV1 would mean you would have dyspnoea and require medical intervention, I would urge you to go see your doctors and get another opinion. Before you reply telling me I am wrong go see your doctor, as at 60 year old a none smoker and a life long exercise fanatic [until this disease started] it simply is not possible to do what you maintain, all the medical facts both support and underpin what I say, and my lung function test [Spirometry] tells me they are right, however of the audience do not agree, get your diagnosis checked, and a second opinion.   

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I'm a stage IV Copd patients with a fev1<30%. Since being diagnosed by two doctors in 2011 I have complete 3 Ironman events and many short course triathlons. Yep it's true I have the lung function tests to back up my diagnosis. I have been also been an asthmatic since I was 10. I'll attach a documentary on my first Ironman race 


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Your story is encouraging for sure - do you know what your oxygen diffusion rate is?
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Congrats copd runner! I too have been pushing the envelope & was wondering your current status & hear your regime. Thanks Keokecandy
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I agree with you. I have COPD and get winded just climbing steps. I can't imagine running. I would be gasping for breath. I never smoked either and have a hard time dealing with having COPD. I had a Spirometry and it confirmed that I have COPD.
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