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Chronic Bronchitis Stages: Here’s What You Need to Know

27 Sep 2016
| Under Chronic Bronchitis, Lung Disease | Posted by | 6 Comments
Chronic Bronchitis Stages: Here’s What You Need to Know

Chronic bronchitis stages can sometimes be confusing to parse out. We’re here to help.

Within chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), there are two primary conditions that are the largest contributors to disease symptoms. One is emphysema, which is used to describe lung changes rather than the disease itself, and the other is chronic bronchitis. Although chronic bronchitis is used to describe a frequent and consistent cough in patients for at least three months every two to three years, many who suffer from the disease are unaware of the process in which the disease is staged. And more importantly, what this could mean for your health moving forward.

With your health in mind, the Lung Institute is here give you breakdown Chronic Bronchitis Stages: Here’s What You Need to Know.

What is Chronic Bronchitis?

As we’ve mentioned before, chronic bronchitis is a characteristic condition of COPD that causes a patient to develop a persistent and long-term cough. Brought about when air passages of the lungs become inflamed, this inflammation occurs within the trachea (the windpipe), as well as in the large and small bronchi. Bronchitis, in this sense, can either be acute or chronic. Unfortunately, bronchitis can often lead to increased sputum production as the inflamed lungs lead to the generation of fluids within the airway linings.

Chronic Bronchitis Stages: Here’s What You Need to Know

The Facts of Chronic Bronchitis Stages

When diagnosed with chronic bronchitis, the disease’s severity and progression can be measured within several stages, using two different testing methods: the GOLD Chronic Bronchitis Staging System and the BODE Chronic Bronchitis Staging System.

The differences between these two systems is pretty simple. The GOLD system uses the FEV1 metric to determine its staging. On the other hand, the BODE system is more complex, using metrics to determine quality of life as well.

The GOLD System can be broken down into four stages:

  • Stage I– Mild emphysema (a normal life expectancy is common)
  • Stage II– Moderate Emphysema (5+ life expectancy with treatment)
  • Stage III– Severe Emphysema (5+ life expectancy with treatment)
  • Stage IV*- Very Severe Emphysema (Time is limited even with treatment)

*Typically those with Stage IV emphysema are on supplemental oxygen*

The BODE System, however, is the preferred method because of its more comprehensive collection of information, utilizing body mass index, airflow limitation (PFTs), breathlessness and exercise capacity through a six-minute walk test.

What Do Chronic Bronchitis Stages Mean for Me?

Even though chronic bronchitis can be a difficult disease to live with, once the underlying causes of the disease are known, it’s possible to address them directly through a variety of lifestyle and behavior changes. For starters, it’s critical to quit smoking immediately upon the diagnosis of a chronic lung disease, such as chronic bronchitis. From there, it’s important to adapt one’s diet in order to make sure vitamin and nutrient intake are at their prerequisite levels. And lastly, exercise can be imperative to increasing general energy levels as well as easing the cardiovascular system as a whole.

Moving Forward…

Chronic Bronchitis Stages: Here’s What You Need to Know

Although chronic bronchitis can seem insurmountable, the first step to living a longer life is finding a treatment that addresses the disease head-on. Changing one’s diet and consistently exercising are among the best lifestyle changes one can do aside from quitting smoking. However, if you’re looking to address COPD progression directly, it may be time to consider stem cell therapy. Rather than only addressing the symptoms of lung disease, stem cell therapy directly affects disease progression and can improve quality of life and pulmonary function. For people with lung disease, a change in quality of life could mean the difference between struggling to walk to the mailbox and riding a bike.

If you or a loved one suffers from a chronic disease like ILD, COPD, pulmonary fibrosis or other symptoms of lung disease, the Lung Institute may be able to help with a variety of adult stem cell treatment options. Contact us today at (800) 729-3065 to see if you qualify for stem cell therapy, and find out what stem cell therapy could mean for you.

Interested in our article on Chronic Bronchitis Stages: Here’s What You Need to Know. Share your thoughts and comments below.


  1. M R

    12 months ago

    Hello Nannette,
    Thank you for your question. The cost of treatment depends on which treatment option is selected. In order to know which treatment option is best, more medical information is needed. Please give us a call at (855) 313-1149. That way our patient coordinators can go over everything with you. Thanks again and have a great day.

  2. Nannette Pierce

    12 months ago

    I have COPD. I am trying desperately to stop smoking. – step 1. For step 2. Improve my breathing through stem cell therapy. How expensive is it for treatments

  3. PB

    1 year ago

    Dear Bee,

    Thanks for your question. Unfortunately, at this time, insurance companies and Medicare don’t cover treatment. However, we’re hopeful that treatment will be covered by insurance companies and Medicare in the near future. Keep in mind that it will take some time before the insurance companies see a financial benefit in their favor and then decide to cover it. In the meantime, you can learn more about stem cell treatment options and have your questions answered by one of our patient coordinators. Feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149 for more information. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  4. Bee

    1 year ago

    Is stem treatment covered by Medicare?

  5. PB

    1 year ago

    Dear Marianne,

    Thank you for your comment and question. First and foremost, we’re sorry to hear about the challenges you have been facing with breast cancer and BOOP. In order to qualify for stem cell treatment with the Lung Institute, people must not have cancer within 5 years. We extend our deepest sympathies, and we wish you the best.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  6. Marianne Lang

    1 year ago

    A pet scan showed 2 glass like areas in,lungs along with bulla. I was on interferon for 9 months which was a experimental program for a cure. I developed BOOP.

    I presently have been diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. Lt. breast. My concern is that the lungs may not be able to handle the cure. Through my
    Nursing career I have been around facilities that where clearing asbestos which might of affected the staff. Would the stem cell therapy help my condition.

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* All treatments performed at Lung Institute utilize autologous stem cells, meaning those derived from a patient's own body. No fetal or embryonic stem cells are utilized in Lung Institute's procedures. Lung Institute aims to improve patients' quality of life and help them breathe easier through the use of autologous stem cell therapy. To learn more about how stem cells work for lung disease, click here.

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