back pain does it relate to COPD and swelling of stomach and ankles

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 19, 2016
Vickimbrown asked...

I am care giver for 73 year old COPD patient, Her ankles and stomach swell each day. Is this part of symptoms for COPD, also she suffers form back pain

Expert Answers

Loutfi S. Aboussouan is a staff physician for the Cleveland Clinic's Respiratory Institute and Neurological Institute. He is board certified in internal medicine, pulmonary disease, critical care medicine, and sleep medicine and directs the pulmonary curriculum for the second-year class of the Cleveland Clinic Lerner School of Medicine.

Although it is possible for COPD to cause swelling (a condition that is called "Cor pulmonale"), it is very difficult to know at this point whether her ankle swelling is due to the COPD. This is because there are so many other causes of leg swelling. Most of them are benign, but some may be more serious. Since her symptoms also involve the stomach and back, this broadens the possibilities even further. I would suggest a thorough evaluation by her physician.