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Diagnosing BEIs it bronchiectasis? How to know.

Did your BE diagnosis take a while? You’re not alone.

An estimated 500,000 people in the United States have bronchiectasis (BE), but the real number may be higher. BE is hard for doctors to identify because the symptoms mimic other diseases, and not all doctors have experience with BE. Unfortunately, some people may not be diagnosed for years, and their disease may worsen.

How is BE diagnosed?

BE is commonly diagnosed by a pulmonologist, who may:

Part of your doctor’s assessment may also include the following:

You may feel you’re doing all you can for your BE, but continuing to speak up can make a difference, especially if you aren’t getting the information or answers you need. Remember that some doctors have more experience with BE than others, so it may help to find a doctor who has seen and treated many people with BE.

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I knew something was wrong. This wasn’t normal. And I just had to keep pushing and keep advocating and not stopping. Just because you don’t know what it is, doesn’t mean it’s not happening.


Allison, a real person living with bronchiectasis (BE)
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Have questions about BE? Get the most out of your doctor’s visit.

Use these questions as a guide to get the most out of your next doctor’s appointment.

Important BE questions for your next doctor’s visit

  • Living with BE makes me feel (insert your feelings). BE makes it hard to (describe an activity). What can I do differently to manage my BE?
  • How often should I check in with you, and how often do I need to schedule follow-up visits?
  • What are our goals? What will we measure to track how I’m doing?
  • Are there any dietary changes I should consider to help manage my BE?

Screenshot these questions or save the full Doctor Discussion Guide so you have them handy for your next appointment

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