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Dr. Charogat
Dr. Charogat, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 1803
Experience:  Licensed in both NYS and NJ with experience in surgery and medicine.
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My husband is 56 he has COPD diagnosed 18 months ago. Likely

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My husband is 56 he has COPD diagnosed 18 months ago. Likely to be caused from Freon gases and Frosgene gas, through working in the refrigeration and air conditioning industry. He has raised blood pressure, raised cholesterol, is on Statins. He coughs all the time, has the purple Steroid inhaler morning and night and ventolin inhaler as he needs it. He runs 2 companies, drives very long distances most days on top of working long hours. He drinks a lot one or two bottles of wine most nights, sometimes even more. He also drinks a lot whilst in our hot tub. He is about 2 stone over weight and doesn't deal with stress/ pressure very well. Sometimes I look at him and his skin looks yellow or very pale. I am concerned that he is heading for heart failure. Please can you give me your opinion?
Dr. Charogat :

Hi, and thank you for coming to with your question.

Dr. Charogat :

It certainly sounds like your husband is setting himself up to be a very sick man.

Dr. Charogat :

As far as his heart goes, it is important that his high blood pressure be controlled (ie he should be taking medication that brings it down to within the normal range). He also needs to be treated for him high cholesterol with medications (as you said he is on statins) and blood work has to be done regularly to ensure that his cholesterol levels are under control.

Dr. Charogat :

All the wine he is drinking can have a negative effect on his liver. The fact that you think he sometimes looks a bit yellow (in medical terminology that is called jaundice) it seems like most likely he is starting to have some effects on his liver. This is also something that has to be checked with a blood test.

Dr. Charogat :

It is important for him to also know that many medications do not interact well with alcohol.

Dr. Charogat :

His coughing all the time could be secondary to his COPD - chronic bronchitis would cause this, but as he's been exposed to many gasses he should certainly be monitored to ensure he is not experiencing decline in lung function as well as that he is not developing any masses in his lungs.

Dr. Charogat :

You did not mention if he smokes, but that would make the monitoring of his lungs, with chest x-rays as appropriate extremely important.

Dr. Charogat :

I see that you are offline so I will change this to a question/answer type exchange.

Dr. Charogat :

Please let me know what more you would like to know, if there are any specifics you are trying to find out about that I haven't touched upon.

Dr. Charogat :

G-d Bless

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I have clients to attend to now but he doesn't smoke and is very bad about being monitored he has had chest X-rays to rule out other things but it is getting worse he coughs to much to do the for give me Spiomotory test not sure of the spelling
Would you like to come back to discuss this more later on? Or you can leave me more questions which I could answer tomorrow morning if you'd like.

The biggest problem is that unless he wants help you are not going to be able to make him get it. :( It is very difficult. This is true for all his conditions - but exacerbated by his drinking. My guess is that he doesn't think he has a drinking problem.

Would it help if I spend some time trying to find articles that you can show him. Truthfully, I think that my doing so would show you that I am interested in helping, but I doubt it would make him listen any. If you would like to me more knowledgable then, as I said I can happily go to find some articles for you to read. But you need to realize that it is very unlikely he will be moved by reading anything. Usually people like your husband (from the little bit that you described him - especially as not wanting to follow up with the doctors etc) don't start realizing what is going on until they've had a bad health scare.

G-d Bless
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I would like to know your honest opinion of his life expectancy? You are right I too think he is unlikely to change his life style. So I need to try and prepare myself and family for the future. He does seem to be getting worse that is he seems to find physical things more difficult, more tiring although he does try to hide it from me.
Am I right in thinking it is likely to be his heart that gives out? In a way I hope this is the case, the thought of seeing him suffer with server breathing difficulties is very up setting as I watched my mother die of lung cancer at 56.

Wow, I've seen how hard that can be.
There really is no way to give a true estimation of how long he will live while doing these things. From what you are describing I would expect that whatever does eventually get him, it will not be imediate and painless.
From what you are describing of him:
Heart disease can take many years to kill. Usually people start developing heart failure which gets worse over time. During this period of declining heart health and declining ejection fraction (this is what we use to determine how well his heart is working) people become progressively more short of breath - starting with the shortness of breath (if you ever see SOB on his chart don't be offended - it stands for shortness of breath) with exertion (which you say is where he is at now), then continues until the SOB is even without exertion. Also the lungs may fill with water as the heart is not pumping efficiently.
I don't have to tell you what can happen as far as if it is his COPD that gets him.
Liver disease also can be a prolonged and painful process.

Here is a link to an article that discusses the fact that many patients with congestive heart failure think they have a longer life expectancy than they actually have in reality.

I'm going to look through some of my sources and see what other information might be helpful for you.

Something important to remember is that The Doctor is not G-d. One of the worst things you can do to yourself is try to get firm numbers (as tempting as it is). In a personal case, my father was told that his mother's life expectancy at a certain point was 2 year. She lived for 7, but during those last 5 years (after the expectancy of 2) my father was always anxious that the next call he got from home would be to tell him this the end had come.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
He is already short of breath from the following activities; eating to much, when we go clothes shopping he sits down a lot says it's his back. He can only do a small amount of strimming before he goes and sits on the mower. He beats at his chest trying to improve his breathing. You can hear his wheezing and the mucus.
A few weeks ago he tried to do some strimming was coughing a lot then seemed totally whipped out for the next few days.
He also suffers with high anxiety and gets so anxious that he drips with sweet. I think he is now at stage 3 COPD but because he doesn't get properly assessed I don't know for sure. He also gets dizzy, shaking and starts sweeting and goes clammy if he has had sweets and needs bread or crackers to sort it out. He's had the last thing for years.
I just have this thought that he's not going to make 60
It sounds to me like he has Class 3 or 4 heart failure. He sounds like he is very sick and really needs to see a doctor right away. When was the last time you were able to get him to a doctor? He sounds like he is having trouble controlling his blood sugar levels as well.
If I was in your position I'd have the same fear. He does have advanced signs of disease in more than one organ system.
1. Cardiovascular
2. Pulmonary
3. Endocrine and/or Digestive.

Is there any way I can help you try to get him to a doctor?
I can spend some time tonight trying to put out some cold hard facts for you, but as I've said before - usually just reading these things doesn't help. Possibly standing in front of his doctor who can tell him to his face that he'll be dead in x amount of time if he doesn't start taking care of himself would make a bit of a dent in his desire to get healthier.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your kind offer but I don't think it would make any difference. Our GP is lovely but very gentle in his manor he is unlikely to be hard and brutal enough to get Gavin to listen

I really don't think it looks very good

I'm trying to think if there is anything I can tell you.
While I can't tell you his life expectancy, I can say that you have a very legitimate fear of losing him before he turns 60.
Your first question was about my opinion.
In my opinon he is a very sick man with disease in a number of his organ systems. I am reasonably sure that his life will certainly be dramatically shortned by his medical problems if he doesn't start addressing them very soon.
You also asked if I thought his heart would give out - from the question it sounds like you were asking about sudden cardiac death, but as he already is in heart failure you can see where he is headed, more and worse of the same.

Is there anything else I can answer for you? Or any way I can be of some support to you and/or your family?

G-d Bless
Dr. Charogat and 2 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your help it is much appreciated and at least now I don't think I am over reacting.

All the best



It's been a couple days since we chatted and I just wanted to find out if you had any follow-up questions.

G-d Bless