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What are COPD Gold Guidelines?

24 Apr 2014
| Under COPD, Lung Disease | Posted by | 10 Comments
COPD guidelines

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive lung disease that can range from mild to severe. COPD is also an umbrella term and it includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. The symptoms and prognosis depend upon the stage of the disease.

COPD GOLD Guidelines 

There are four stages categorized under the COPD GOLD Guidelines. These stages are part of the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) system. The GOLD staging system of classification is the main system used by physicians to describe the severity of COPD.

Stages of COPD are determined through testing. The main test used to determine the stage of COPD is a pulmonary function test (PFT) or spirometry. It measures the amount of air a person can blow out, or exhale forcefully, in one second, called the forced expiratory volume (FEV1).

The GOLD staging system divides emphysema and COPD into four stages. The American Association for Respiratory Care also lists a Stage Zero on their chart (PDF), which means a person is at risk, though their only symptoms are chronic cough with mucus.

Stages of COPD

Stage I

Stage I is mild COPD. Patients in this stage have a chronic cough and mucus. But they may not even know they have COPD. They may make up the 12 million Americans with undiagnosed COPD.

Stage II

Stage II is moderate COPD. Patients may be experiencing more and more shortness of breath, even during everyday activities. This is usually the stage where patients see the physician to have their symptoms checked out.

Stage III

Stage III is severe COPD. Patients are having major difficulty with air flow, and their quality of life is compromised.

Stage IV

Stage IV is very severe COPD. Patients have severe airflow limitations, and their COPD exacerbations are dangerous. Quality of life usually goes down a lot.

Only a physician can accurately diagnose what stage of COPD you have, and help come up with a treatment plan. COPD is a progressive disease, but its symptoms can be treated and the progression can be slowed.

If you or a loved one has COPD or other lung disease and want to learn more about treatment options, contact us or call (800) 729-3065.



  1. Phoebe

    12 months ago

    Dear Viola,

    Typically, people in stage 4 COPD experience significant airflow limitations, and their symptoms have worsened. At this stage, people often need oxygen therapy to help them receive enough oxygen. You can read more about stage 4 COPD by clicking here. You and your doctor will work together to develop the best treatment plan for you. Remember to tell your doctor about any changes you notice in your symptoms or overall health. We are happy to answer your questions about cellular treatment for COPD, so feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  2. Viola craddock

    12 months ago

    I was told in 2013 i had copd but was given nOthing for it no info at all jUst to quit smokIng. Which i did . NOw i am on oxygen fuLl TIme & Finally ask my lung dr wHat stag i had . He said stage 4 & didnt ever tell me anything elSe . I am worrIed now that i have a hard tIMe breathing. Have been in the hosp 3 tImes this yEar & have no one to take care of Me . I need more info & whAt can i do ? I am worried & just stay hOme but would apreCiate anY iNFormation

  3. PB

    1 year ago

    Dear Bonnie,

    First and foremost, we’re sorry to hear about the difficulties you have been experiencing with COPD and COPD symptoms. Like you, many people with COPD experience similar symptoms, such as shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. It’s important to remember to discuss your symptoms and overall health with your doctor and pulmonologist, so they can get a clear understanding of how COPD is affecting your life. You and your doctors will work together to develop a COPD treatment plan. While it’s challenging to do, exercising is important for people with COPD, and even gentle exercises are good, such as yoga, Tai Chi and walking. Of course, you and your doctors will work together to decide what types of exercise and how much exercise is best for you. To learn more about COPD, click here. You can also read more about traditional and natural COPD treatment options by clicking here. We hope this information is helpful for you, and we wish you the best.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  4. Bonnie Vooris

    1 year ago

    Hello, I pray for all that need answer’s. I’m 51 years old, female who’s smoked more then 25 yrs. was diagnosed October 17,2016, 5 days before my birthday with COPD. I went to a clinic because I couldn’t catch my breath and wasn’t feeling right. Thank god the dr. there called 911 and I was taken by ambulance to local e.r. and was told my oxygen level was way below 90%,which is bad. This is new for me and scary to. I’ve never had to stop and rest to take garbage out. I’m young with grandkids and love to walk,exercise etc.. I cant breath normal just going from room to room. My 1st appt. with a pulmonologist is nov 17.I’m not on medication any more and have a new nebulizer machine. I believe because I’ve got n.y.medicad I’m not getting the help or answers I deserve. Thank You.Bonnie

  5. PB

    2 years ago

    Dear Donald,

    Thanks for your comment and for sharing some of your story with us. Unfortunately, COPD and other chronic lung diseases are progressive, meaning they will worsen over time. Currently, there’s no known cure for COPD and other chronic lung diseases. However, there are treatments available to help people manage their symptoms. Because cellular treatment for COPD works to promote healing within the lungs, many people have found cell therapy helpful in regaining their quality of life and potentially improving lung function. You can watch their stories by clicking here. We’re happy to answer any questions you have regarding cell therapy, 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

  6. Donald Plessman

    2 years ago

    I know the situation with my lungs is pretty bad I was diagnosed with COPD over 10 years and recently has gotten worse and worse and approximately 2008 I was told I had to Longs is an 85-year-old man and I am now 57 to 7 years on my funds are very limited and I’m not sure what to do I don’t have the money for and church and I know were being treated isn’t working because I get worse and worse maybe you can give me some insight on what I need to do thank you

  7. PB

    2 years ago

    Dear Robert,

    We’re sorry to hear that you have been diagnosed with COPD. If you’re interested in learning more about COPD, feel free to check out our information about COPD. We also have blog articles written about a variety of subjects to help people with chronic lung diseases, like COPD, breathe a little easier. We would be happy to answer your questions regarding cellular treatment for COPD anytime, so feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149 today to learn more. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  8. Robert Walsh

    2 years ago

    Today I was told that I have, C O P D, I don’t know much about it so I have a lot to learn. The little I know is not good. I will trust God to help me.

  9. larry morgan

    2 years ago

    Stage IV

  10. frank jeffalone

    3 years ago

    I may have stage 2

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