Lack of energy or chronic fatigue
As we mentioned, one of the hallmarks of a COPD sufferer is that they are not able to take in the oxygen that they need, which means that their bodies and brains cannot perform at 100%. Because of this struggle, sufferers can experience chronic fatigue and symptoms of depression.
Shortness of breath
COPD patients report experiencing shortnesses of breath–sometimes even when they’re not performing physical activities. It’s called dyspnea and it occurs when already damaged lungs are being overworked and cannot take in any more oxygen. This symptom gets so bad in some cases that patients may need a special inhaler or steroid treatment to perform basic exercises.
An overproduction of mucus
If you are a COPD sufferer–or you’re close with one–then you’ve likely noticed the persistent, painful, and often “wet-sounding” cough that accompanies the disease. This occurs when the passageways are filled with so much mucus that it’s a struggle to get it out. Sometimes, this symptom gets so bad that the mucus will become trapped and severe chest infections might occur.
Disclosure: while these are all warning signs of COPD, some might also signal a different illness, which means it’s important that you always seek treatment from your doctor before you start on any treatment plan. Let’s take care of ourselves, folks!
We’d love to hear your take on these COPD warning signs. Have you experienced any of the symptoms? If so, have you been diagnosed with the disease? What does your treatment plan entail?
Sources: The Mayo Clinic