Living with CPA and ABPA
By Seren Evans

Gwynedd was formally diagnosed with CPA and ABPA at the National Aspergillosis Centre in 2012. Below she lists some of the symptoms she experiences and what she has found helpful in managing the conditions. 

These symptoms fluctuate and can be very insignificant until a flare-up occurs. Then they can be severe enough to alter what I can do in a day. 

  • Tightening of the chest and or upper airway.
  • Inflammation can be felt as heat and a ‘zingyness’ in my chest.
  • Pain and discomfort over my back in my lungs.

Self-help

  • A healthy diet, as recommended by the dietetic society or as guided by a consultant or specialist nurse. 
  • Extra protein where one is underweight. 
  • Exercise is essential for my mental well-being and helps me with chest clearing.

My local respiratory consultant firmly believes in the benefits of Yoga and slower breathing to help with chest clearance and relaxation, which reduces inflammation and anxiety and aids the immune system. 

Anxiety is a side effect of ABPA & CPA as both conditions are debilitating, and fluctuations occur seemingly with no warning. It is not unreasonable to feel anxious about this diagnosis. Treatments help, as do lifestyle changes. 

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