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GOLD COPD Stages

14 Sep 2016
| Under COPD, Disease Education, Medical | Posted by | 16 Comments
GOLD COPD Stages

If you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), you’ve probably heard your doctor or pulmonologist talk about the GOLD COPD stages. Because the GOLD system is a way for doctors to categorize COPD stages, it’s often used to better understand the severity of symptoms. While COPD is a chronic, progressive disease, meaning it will worsen over time, COPD affects everyone differently and at different rates. There’s no way to accurately predict COPD prognosis or COPD life expectancy. However, there are ways to measure and estimate symptoms and severity, such as with the GOLD COPD stages.

What is COPD?

COPD is a progressive lung disease that includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. COPD ranges from mild to severe and is characterized by the restriction of airflow into and out of the lungs. Symptoms include shortness of breath, constant coughing, fatigue and production of excessive amounts of mucus.

Emphysema often accompanies a COPD diagnosis and gradually destroys the tiny air sacs (alveoli) of the lungs. Emphysema also damages the elasticity of the airways that lead to the air sacs. In chronic bronchitis, the air passages in the lungs become inflamed. In response to the inflammation, the lungs produce excess mucus, causing painful coughing and sputum.

What is the GOLD Staging System?

Many doctors use more than one way to determine your COPD stage. One common way to measure COPD stages and severity is with the GOLD staging system. The Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease or GOLD came up with the GOLD system. The GOLD system uses your forced expiratory volume (FEV1) test from your pulmonary function test to categorize the severity of your COPD into stages. Simply put, FEV1 means the amount of air you can forcefully exhale in 1 second. As the severity of COPD progresses, the stage number shows how airflow is limited.

What are the GOLD COPD Stages?

GOLD COPD Stages

Simply put, the GOLD COPD stages break down into 4 total stages. Over time, COPD symptoms will worsen, and the stage numbers will increase.

  • Stage 1: Very mild COPD with a FEV1 about 80 percent or more of normal.
  • Stage 2: Moderate COPD with a FEV1 between 50 and 80 percent of normal.
  • Stage 3: Severe emphysema with FEV1 between 30 and 50 percent of normal.
  • Stage 4: Very severe COPD with a lower FEV1 than Stage 3, or those with Stage 3 FEV1 and low blood oxygen levels

Remember, seeing your doctor regularly to keep track of your GOLD COPD stages and other measurements, such as BODE index and pulmonary function test, is important. Being proactive in your healthcare is essential to improving and maintaining your quality of life.

What can you do to improve your quality of life?

While lung damage caused by COPD is irreversible and COPD is progressive, there are treatments available to help you. Your doctor may prescribe medications, inhalers, oxygen therapy or pulmonary rehabilitation to manage your COPD symptoms. Alternative treatments such as stem cell therapy have also helped many people regain their quality of life. In fact, some people have even been able to reduce their oxygen therapy use after treatment, and many people find their daily activities easier to perform. If you or a loved one has COPD, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, pulmonary fibrosis or another chronic lung disease and would like to learn more about stem cell treatment, contact us at (800) 729-3065.

16 Comments

  1. Pingback: National COPD Awareness Month 2016 | Lung Institute

  2. PB

    2 months ago

    Dear Ron,

    Thanks for your comment and for sharing some of your story with us. We’re sorry to hear about the health challenges you have been facing. While stem cell treatment isn’t covered by Medicare or insurance at this time, we’re hopeful that one day it will be covered. We recommend writing down how you’re doing in a journal. You can write about what activities you did, how challenging or how easy you found them to be, track medication use, write down symptoms and more. Keeping track of how your doing can help both you and your doctor monitor your lung health, overall health and treatment plan. Please keep us updated on your progress after stem cell treatment, and feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149. We wish you the best.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  3. Ron

    2 months ago

    I’ll start off by saying I have multiple health issues which includes a bypass in 2000, my bladder and prostate removed in 2011, plus a Laryngectomy done in 2012 and also Acute Bowel Obstruction Surgery in 2013. I’ve had COPD since about 2009 and I’m on oxygen 24/7, plus inhalers as needed and nebulizer treatments 4 times a day. Forget walking up steps. I do have a scooter.
    Apparently this stem cell treatment isn’t covered by insurance or Medicare anywhere. I went to a private doctor in the Pittsburgh area and after I was approved and a ton of cash paid I got the stem cell treatment. This was about 3 or 4 months ago. Now, do I feel better? Hard to tell because I feel so bad all the time it’s hard to tell when I’m under the weather.
    Another issue is I must constantly use a suction machine to keep my airways open. I don’t have the power to cough up the mucus buildup. The stem cell treatment sounds like a good idea. I tried it so lets see how it works.

  4. PB

    2 months ago

    Dear Kathy,

    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. We’re happy to answer any questions you have regarding stem cell treatment, so feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149 to speak one-on-one with a patient coordinator. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  5. Kathy Domingue

    2 months ago

    I am interested in the Stem Cell treatments if they are covered by Medicare/Medicaid insurance because that is all I have.

  6. PB

    2 months ago

    Dear Jimmy,

    Thanks for your comment. Our most recent outcomes data indicate that, while not everyone will see improvement from cell therapy, most COPD patients (84.5%) will see improvement in their quality of life. You can read more about our most recent outcomes data by clicking here.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  7. jimmy peisley

    2 months ago

    what is your success rate.

  8. PB

    2 months ago

    Dear Lorie,

    Thanks for your comment. COPD is a term that encompasses emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Many of our patients with emphysema also have COPD. As with any medical procedure, there is the possibility that it may not work as well for some people as it does for others. However, many of our patients have seen positive results, including feeling better, improved breathing, better lung function and improved quality of life. You can hear more of their stories by clicking here. We’re happy to answer any questions you have regarding stem cell treatment options, so feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149 to speak one-on-one with a patient coordinator. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  9. Lorie

    2 months ago

    I do want more information as to if it helps emphysema. I hate to spend the money and not have it work.

  10. PB

    2 months ago

    Dear Marcia,

    At the Lung Institute, we only provide stem cell treatments for people with chronic lung diseases who don’t have a history of cancer within 5 years or who currently have cancer. However, you can talk with your doctor about clinical trials or other treatment options. We wish you the best.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  11. Marcia young

    2 months ago

    Will stem cell help with lung cancer

  12. PB

    2 months ago

    Dear Marcia,

    COPD and other forms of lung disease are complex and vary from person to person. For many people, stem cell therapy helps improve their quality of life. To best answer your question, we’ll need more information from you, so we recommend contacting us at (855) 313-1149 to speak one-on-one with a patient coordinator. Our patient coordinators have a wealth of knowledge about stem cells, treatment and candidacy. We’re happy to answer your questions, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  13. Marcia young

    2 months ago

    Will stem cell help with backcourt on the bronical tubes

  14. Pingback: Chronic Bronchitis Stages: Here’s What You Need to Know | Lung Institute

  15. PB

    3 months ago

    Dear Lisa,

    We have treated people in various stages of COPD, including stage 4. Because stem cell therapy works to promote healing from within the lungs, many of our patients have seen an improved quality of life and better breathing after treatment. We’re happy to discuss your stem cell treatment options and to answer any questions you have. Feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149 to speak one-on-one with a patient coordinator. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  16. lisa anderson

    3 months ago

    I have stage 4 COPD and have been stage 4 for 8 years! How to you get or inquiry information on this stem cell therapy? I’m getting married next fall and I’m not ready to give up on my life yet. I require oxygen at night now and carry it with me where I go! Help!

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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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