COPD and Your Heart

Discussion created by Thomas3.20.2010 on Feb 21, 2017
Latest reply on Feb 21, 2017 by elvan

When you feel short of breath, you could be suffering from COPD and/or a heart condition called cor pulmonale.or right sided heart failure.


Severe COPD can cause heart failure in your heart’s lower right chamber, or ventricle. Right-sided heart failure causes fluid to build up in your body, such as in your legs and belly area. Many conditions other than COPD also cause right-sided heart failure.

If you have both COPD and heart failure and find yourself short of breath, it can be hard to tell which condition is causing your breathing problems.

Every case is different. Some people have severe COPD and only mild heart failure. Others have severe heart failure and only mild COPD. In these cases, the more severe condition is more likely to be the cause of breathing symptoms.

If COPD and heart failure are equally severe, doctors must make their best guess as to which condition is causing your symptoms.

To make things even more complicated, COPD and heart failure can at times act up at the same time.

If your doctor can’t tell which condition causes your shortness of breath, he’ll probably treat both together.

So what's a person to do? That's what Pulmonary Rehab teaches you - you will learn to exercise your heart - a muscle - to the best of your ability with your COPD (cardio). You will build muscles because more muscle mass helps your body oxidate more efficiently You will learn that when your Dr says wear ted hose - you;ll do it because now you understand why!

Most important of all you will meet other folks with COPD and/or cor pulmonale, some better off, some less so - all making the most of what they have! Folks with severe COPD can maintain their health for Years but they have to be smart and work hard and keep at it. They do it because it helps them feel better!

Smoking is absolutely a death sentence with these conditions! 

But it's never too late!

 “As long as you are breathing, there is more right with you than there is wrong, no matter how ill or how hopeless you may feel.” - Jon Kabat-Zinn