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Readers Respond: How Has Your Weight Affected Your Life

Responses: 29

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Updated May 01, 2014

Have you gained a significant amount of weight since your diagnosis of COPD? Or, were you overweight to begin with and COPD made it worse? Obesity and COPD often go hand-in-hand. But, not only does excess weight make your lung condition worse, it puts you at significant risk for heart attack, stroke and diabetes, not to mention negative emotional consequences. Share your experience about how obesity has affected your life, and your COPD.

Weight Problem and copd

About 12 years ago I was diagnosed with COPD and Fibromyalgia. I was not terribly overweight at the time but obese now. What can I do?
—Guest Gloria Sasser

Problems Caused By My Weight

I have the weight problem but will not be able to lose it because I have an in-operable ventral hernia. I am 5 '4" weigh 203. Have CHF and heart pacemaker. Still exercising, that's the most important thing.
—Guest Patrecia

I am worried and so should they be

I am 36 years old, always diagnosed with terrible asthma all my life even at age five, but recently diagnosed with COPD chronic bronchial, I have never smoked in my life, not even ONCE, yet I DO have this disease, so it is NOT always about smokers.I have always been overweight but it seems as if now I cant lose it for anything, even if I starve and no one understands! I feel too as if my Dr.s don't care and if I talk to them about weight they tell me just worry about my lungs. Yes well I'm worried about my weight! and they ought to be also, telling me my only solution is gastric bypass?? wow, I am not up to that or ANY surgery. It is insane! there insane, and I hate people who get online telling the rest of us to "stop feeling sorry for "ourselves?? give me a break! If someone eats next to nothing and can't lose an ounce there's an underlying issue. I am not on oxygen, and I am active, but I am five foot one and 190 pounds a lot of the time. People are uncaring and mean. HELP!!
—Guest Alana

My Weight and COPD

Approximately 3 years ago I was granted permission to work from home. I was thrilled of course; however, I have ended up gaining approximately 50 pounds. I had had sporadic bouts of shortness of breath but never thought much about it. When I started putting on the weight I also started coughing so much I actually fainted for a moment. One coughing bout had me falling out of bed and putting a bruise the size of a grapefruit on my breast. Then there was the incident where I went to bed; thought I heard someone knocking at my door. The next thing I knew I was flat on face in my living room. I thought I had a broken hand so went to the ER. The physician told me my lungs were very diseased. I made an appointment with a pulmonary specialist. I retired this past January and moved to Florida. My new doctor encouraged me to try water aerobics. I have joined the local Y and actually take two classes a day. So far I have lost 15 pounds. The last spirometry also showed an improvement. I'll take it.
—Guest Chris

Finding It Difficult to Lose Weight

Hi, I worked in an assay lab for 5 years and as a result of the chemical fumes I now have COPD. I was diagnosed 2 years ago. I am 52 and have not been terribly active for quite a long time. I have put on 6kg and am really finding it very hard to lose it. I have decided that I now have to take control of my life and start to exercise. If anyone has any tips, I would appreciate it.
—AnnetteGilfroy

Keep Gaining In Spite of Almost Starving

I am 41 and was diagnosed with COPD about 2 years ago. Prior to being told what I had, I had lost 127 pounds and was able to keep it off for over 10 years. But, in the past 2 yrs, I have gained 38 of those pounds back. I still swim and do water aerobics (I AM NOT A QUITTER.) But, with the steroids I just keep gaining. I have now cut my food intake drastically and walk around feeling like I'm starving! And yet I am still gaining weight! There has to be some kind of medication out there that won't kill you while trying to keep you alive! Does anyone know of any?
—Guest Ifeelrpain

Obesity Does Not Help At All

I am now obese. I used to take pride in being the skinniest out of all my sisters as we have had a weight problem all our lives. When diagnosed, I quit smoking and gained weight. Then they put me on neb medication as well as a two time a day puffer that has steroids in them. More weight gain. I was walking at one point but because of the weight, I have managed to get a high sprain in my ankle. I now have a plastic cast that weights about 7 pounds and I can't walk. I just keep getting heavier and breathing is not getting any easier. I wish there was a way to exercise while trying to recover from this sprain and I am also recovering from a recent operation. I am still gaining weight no matter what I cut out of my diet. It very frustrating because it is not for lack of trying and trying.
—Estelle55

Getting Worse

I was diagnosed with COPD 5 years ago. I quit smoking immediately but I still can't breathe. My weight has increased by 30 lbs and I feel so ill most days. I can't excessive as I cant breathe.
—Guest susieray

Worsens Breathing & More

I am a 72 year old woman, weighing 184 lbs. Since I'm only 5'2" I need to loose somewhere around 50 lbs. I've had COPD for about 15 years, as did my mother and grandfather. They were both heavy smokers as was I until I quit 37 years ago. My weight has yo-yoed over the years, my breathing improves when I weigh less. I have sleep apnea, too. I'm in my third month on a low carb diet and have lost 12 lbs so far. I bought a clunker treadmill at a yard sale, and I walk 1/2 hour every day. I am determined to improve the quality of my life. Loneliness and depression are part of my problem. I want to say that my faith in Jesus is the only thing keeping me afloat. I read my bible and a lot of Christian literature. I do crafts, trying to keep busy. Everyday is a new day.
—Guest Loosing weight always helps my breathing

Went up 2 Sizes: Just Been Diagnosed

I am currently in hospital after having what I thought was the worse asthma attack I had ever had. I have been in out of hospital for last two years, gave up smoking last August 2010, and went from New Zealand size 12 to size 16 within a short amount of time. I knew things weren't right, having test after test and now I finally get to the right specialist from America who puts me on strong inhalers, tells me my lungs are 20 years older than me. I found myself thinking "ok so I am going to have bad asthma all my life deal with it move on" and now my nurse in intensive care tells me what it is is that I have COPD, so now what?t I have been awake most of night, high on steroids and magnesium shot, and over hospital ( staff are all good) just want to go home, I don't want to feel sorry for myself, just want to talk to someone that's going through same thing and around the same age 43 years old. Came across this site about 4am. Is there anybody there?
—Guest TJ

Can't Lose Weight

I'm 28 and I have COPD. I do not smoke and I am OVER WEIGHT. I don't know what to do. When I reach the top of the steps, I'm out of breath. Is there any body that can train me to lose weight?
—Guest help

Gained Almost 20 Pounds Since Diagnosis

I am 44 yrs old and was diagnosed with COPD in 2009. It was a shock to me. [Before my diagnosis] I weighed 169 lbs. Now I am 186 lbs. It's not the COPD -- it's me. I allowed myself to let loose eating junk food. I am exercising now and watching what i eat . My advice is stop feeling sorry for yourselves and get on with your life -- eat healthy and exercise -- live normal. If you don't have friends, find some on the internet -- COPD groups, hobbies and get out of the house. Dump out all the junk food and move forward living better and healthier.
—Guest sunita

Belly Fat

I have been gaining belly fat. I am 51, post menopause. My doctor says not to worry about it but I don't want to feel fat. It is difficult for me to exercise ( on oxygen for about 3 years). I can limit my food to 1,000 calories, 500 when I try hard. What can I do to lose the fat within my limitations?
—Guest kaymbillstrom

Sugar, Obesity and COPD

COPD for 8 years now and I know I'm getting worse. Can't seem to get motivated to exercise. I am overweight and doc tells me to lose it but it's hard. I was wondering if sugar is bad for people with COPD?
—Guest gladys

Do Some Form of Exercise

I am 72, diagnosed with COPD 20 years ago, I am now on oxygen 24 hrs a day and every day I still do 8 min on stationary bike and about 10 min of other exercises. I weigh 235 lbs. I can't lose any weight, take a lot of steroids, have actually lasted much longer than I should have, and I know its because I exercise. In 2008, was in hospital 8 times got so weak i could only do 3 minutes of exercise, got Physical Therapy and worked way up to about 25 minutes. Do some sort of exercise if it is only for 5 minutes, I am still here and way past time I should have passed.
—Guest mattie

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