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Key Topics to Cover With Your Doctor as a COPD Patient

Posted by Caleb Umstead on Nov 4, 2014 1:59:00 PM

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Adjusting your daily lifestyle so it benefits your chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one thing, but you should also strive to ask the right questions and discuss exactly how you feel every time you have a doctors appointment. Being upfront and honest with your doctor about specific symptoms and how they affect you will ensure that you are obtaining full benefits from your appointment. Don't ever feel embarrassed to tell your doctor something, the more honest you are the better they can help. During your next appointment with your doctor be sure to bring up the following topics.

Making the Most of Your Next COPD Doctor Appointment

Discuss Pain Points You've Experienced

You do not have to suffer through pains that are associated with COPD alone, discussing specific pain points with your doctor will help them better understand how COPD specifically effects your body so they can design a treatment plan that targets those areas. Anytime you notice an increase in COPD related symptoms such as a harsher cough, excess mucus production, or increased difficulty breathing, you should immediately bring them up to your doctor.

Discuss Feelings of Sadness or Depression

Don't feel ashamed to talk to your doctor about feelings of sadness or depression, as these are common in patients with COPD especially if you have recently been diagnosed. Mental health can have a big impact on the overall quality of life, keeping quiet and not talking to your doctor about these feelings do more harm then good. Upon telling your doctor about your weakened mental health, your doctor will suggest the best possible ways to treat your specific symptoms.

Discuss Your Day to Day Feelings

Talking to your doctor about how you feel on a regular basis provides them with ample amounts of insight so they can look for frequent patterns in your COPD. If you experience a harsh cough or increased breathlessness right when you wake up, you should bring those up during your next appointment. No matter if your doctor will be the specialist helping you treat certain aspects of your COPD or not, they have a huge reach and will refer you to the proper specialist.

Ask Questions and Eliminate Confusion

A lack of oxygen is shown to increase confusion, and upon the diagnosis of COPD you should automatically know that a lack of oxygen in the blood is one of the diseases key trademarks. With that said, if at anytime during your appointment you don't quite understand something your doctor says then ask them to re-explain it in more detail. To help reduce confusion or forgetfulness, bring a note pad and pen to your next appointment and write down everything your doctor tells you so you can reference it later if need be.

Mention Any Feelings of Anxiety

COPD can be a direct cause of heightened anxiety, if you notice you experiencing frequent anxiety you should be sure to talk to your doctor about it during your next appointment. You should also discuss with them what the cause of the increased anxiety was over. Experiencing breathlessness due to COPD is a typical cause of anxiety in patients, although not all causes of anxiety are COPD related but those should still be discussed with your doctor. Upon telling your doctor about anxiety, he/she will refer you to services that are known to reduce anxiety. If something is bothering you or you have a day with high anxiety, you can also talk to friends and family as that is shown to greatly improve your mental state.

For you next doctors appointment be sure to discuss all of the previous subjects and be as open as possible, you should also try bringing a note pad along so you can write down any important information your doctor covers and if you forget something you can easily refer back to your notes.

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