My father has been diagnosed recently with mild emphysema he is on a steriod to help with his breathlessness , we were talking about running and he said he would love to a marathon but he would never be able to now ! I challenged him to this and said i was sure there were people out there who still ran with Emphysema , Can anyone tell me if that is true or they know of runners with the disease i dont seem to be able to find much out on the web. Many thanks.
I am running with mild COPD (which may involve some emphysema according to the lit.). I am training to get mara fit (as opposed to mara fat that sounds like a pea). So it is not out of the question. Maybe look up COPD on search -you may get summat on emphysema.
Hope your dad is giving up or thinking of giving up the fags (assuming s,moking has something to do with it). Anyway -my build up is extremely slow. Started at 5 minutes 10 weeks ago -big run is now 20 minutes. OK it is gonna take 12 months -so what!
best of luck
perfectly possible ben , depending onhow bad/good his lung function is and how fast he wants to do the marathon
i know of a very good ultra runner who has cystic fibrosis-quite a bit worse than mild emphysema
if he is on a steroid inhaler then his symptoms are partially reversible-so its a bit more like asthma-and you know who has asthma and runs marathons?
leading British man at FLM a few years back had cystic fibrosis too.
long term steroid use can affect bone density, so some exercise would be good to help counteract that
Peeps with COPD/emphysema are often afraid of the breathlessness and do everything they can to avoid it (understandably). In fact mild/moderate breathlessness is not harmful and exercising to this level can actually be helpful.
mmm - I am so glad i am relatively active. Must quit ciggies though - tempting fate a bit there - not good at goodbyes I guess. I would play hell at anybody else smoking in such a position believe me.
Ben - My mum has got emphysemia (COPD) and I found the British Lung Foundation website quite useful when I was trying to find out a few things initially. They also have quite active regional support groups which may help your dad. The page on exercise is below (and you can go to the home page from there), and basically says it's a good thing.
The hoose-gooer - My mum would die (almost literally) to retrospectively have the opportunity to quit smoking a few years earlier. She's on oxygen 24/7 now, and whereas she's a right battle axe and has 5 young grandkids to stay overnight regularly, in these late stages she struggles to get down the garden path. Quit or I'll send her your email address and then she'll really have a go at you!
sheesh - sorry to hear about your mum daymion.. It must get to you when you hear of smokers carrying on having COPD. The oxygen 24/7 is damned scarey. God knows how you and your mum feel about that.
Tbh I have shut my mind to it like many smokers do. I have got a stop smoking clinic on the 20th. and determined to kick it.
Some good advice on here
Much of it depends on the spirometry/lung function tests and degree of COPD/breathlesness. Some patients develop low oxygen levels on mild exertion, like walking round the house and end up on oxygen treatment, yes, but that is the minority of patients with more severe disease. With mild disease there is no reason at all that exercise should be avoided - just be sensible, make sure that take treatment, start out slowly, etc. In fact, exercise is often very beneficial - weight bearing exercise increases bone density (which can decrease on steroid treatment), running can help to loosen secretions, being fitter and having a better exercise tolerance improves your ability to compensate for your disease, as well as all of the physical/psychological/social benefits.
If not very used to exercising, can probably (depending on area) get a gym referral via GP for exercise on prescription - chance to gradually build up in a supervised, controlled safe environment. Have a chat with the GP, if they are not forthcoming and supportive, ask to see a different GP, or the respiratory nurse at the local hospital.
You say steroids, but not if that is a steroid inhailer or tablets. I am assuming he has had formal lung function tests to categorise the degree of the problem and maximise treatment.
That said, by far and away, the best and most important treatment is stopping smoking - all medicines aside, it is the ONLY treatment that will slow the COPD process. Good to hear that you are tackling that one, HG. Good luck with it!
I feel lucky that i can still be active and run like I do ( though they are a bit spitty). In a bizarre way because i can, i have been a bit complacent re fags -damned stupid really.
Db - yeh it is a biig warning and a scarey boat. I know what I gotta do . Been on them since I was a stupid 9 year old street kid. 40 years now.
but I am tackling it Barking. It is the mental prep before the stop on the 20th. I was off em 3 months and felt sooo good.
Please let us have an update Ben. It would be nice if your dad posted too.
great advice here.
Ben - Apologies if my post painted a bleak picture, as Barking says that level of impact is very much a minority and i think the exercise angle is great.
HG - She's tough as old boots and has a good quality of life regardless of the oxygen (she sticks it in a backpack a bit like a camel back) and she's involved in various campaigns now. Good luck on the 20th.
thanks daymion and Lillian for encouragement -will go all out on 20th Glad you are running so well Lillian-sure have inspired me.
Yes Ben -get him to read these posts. So glad your dad has been off fags for ages. I reckon he can do a mara -if old puffing billy here can, surely. Maybe a 12 month build up will suit your dad . Though frustratingly slow it is the best way for us iffy lungers.
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