COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, but it is actually not one disease at all. A person suffering from COPD may have any one of the following: chronic bronchitis, emphysema, non-reversible refractory asthma and some types of bronchiectasis. Most people are diagnosed with COPD after they notice that they are extremely short of breath, and this isn’t necessarily dependent upon physical activity or a present illness. This is why so many older people go undiagnosed for so long because they see the “breathiness” as just a part of growing older. However, once a person is diagnosed, there are many treatments available to add to the quality of life.
Bromelain is a supplement that is mostly made from pineapple, especially the juice and the stems of the fruit. It seems to help patients who are suffering from COPD because it can naturally help with the reduction of inflammation, which may help the lungs work a little bit easier when trying to take a breath. Bromelain can be taken in doses that may range from 80 mg to 500 mg per day. It is not recommended for individuals to take Bromelain if they are on blood thinners, antibiotics or are allergic to pineapple.
Antioxidant Vitamins can be known to assist patients with COPD, including vitamins A, C and E. These vitamins may be good supplements to assist with COPD, because typically people who are suffering from its symptoms may have low levels of these particular vitamins, which can result in bad pulmonary functions. When people eat more fruits and vegetables, some research has even shown that it helps with certain types of lung functions, as well, and fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins A, C and E. Also take note that patients who are still smoking require even more of these essential vitamins than those who do not smoke.
Vitamin D deficiencies seem to occur frequently with patients who are suffering from COPD, and a lack of Vitamin D can also trigger osteoporosis. Osteoporosis can be especially dangerous for someone who has COPD, because as the spine begins to curve, it will make it even more difficult to breathe. Supplements are available, but if you pad your diet with healthy foods that include a lot of Vitamin D, such as tuna, salmon, orange juice, soy milk, cheese and its products, beef liver and egg yolks, a supplement might not be necessary, unless your body requires the additional Vitamin D.
When a person is diagnosed with one of the diseases that make up COPD, one of the first things a physician will normally suggest is to invest in a good humidifier. This will open up the lungs, making it a whole lot easier for them to function properly, while allowing you the luxury of being able to take in deep breaths. However, adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil to the humidifier will work wonders! Eucalyptus oil works as an expectorant, which means that it will assist with the chronic coughing that is so often associated with having COPD.
When a person is diagnosed with COPD, medications will need to be prescribed by a doctor. It is extremely important that you share all of your symptoms with your physician, so that your individual needs can be assessed. In emergency situations, an inhaler could very well save your life. Corticosteroids can reduce the inflammation, making it much easier to breathe. These can come in several forms, including as an inhaler, a pill, powder or a liquid. They can even be administered as a vaccination. Several common types of corticosteroids are Flovent, Pulmicort and Prednisolone.
Learning breathing techniques can help with the flow of air, taking stress off of the lungs and allowing them the opportunity to function properly. Your physician or physical therapist can more than likely provide you with charts or additional information. However, you could also join a Yoga studio to attend at least one weekly class. There are many Yoga poses that can also help build stamina, which is also very important when experiencing many of the symptoms associated with COPD. However, always be sure to consult your physician before taking part in any sort of exercise regimen.
It is unanimous amongst researchers and scientists alike that the most important thing that a person with COPD can do for their health is to stop smoking. Smoking not only puts the lungs at greater risk, but it also intensifies just about each and every symptom that a person with COPD can experience. There are many aids to assist people with the process of no longer smoking, so be sure to discuss the many options with your physician. Above all else, be sure to find an aid that will help you stick with it, as that smoking can only compound the already serious effects of COPD.
Regular exercise can help immensely with the symptoms of COPD, as that it helps to strengthen the respiratory muscles, making it easier for you to breathe, especially when you find yourself in an emergency situation. While it may seem difficult to work out when you can often have a very hard time even catching your breath, a low impact exercise program can go a long way. Losing weight can also be a wonderful way to lessen your COPD symptoms, as well. Make sure to discuss your options with your physician, and choose a program that fits your range of motion and other physical restraints.
Eating healthier is great for persons suffering from COPD for so many valuable reasons. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants and full of fruits, vegetables and healthy proteins can also provide some of the vitamins that you may be missing, due to the effects of COPD. A healthier diet is also a sure road to maintaining a healthier weight, as that people with COPD can often gain weight rapidly or lose too much weight, due to burning calories related to the effort of breathing. You should also try to steer clear of too much salt, and try to eat smaller, more frequent meals.
While the mere fact that an individual has COPD can create a lot of stress on its own, it is important to be sure that you have the resources that you need to battle depression and anxiety, as that they are often experienced with COPD. Anxiety is especially dangerous, because having an anxiety attack can be very serious when a person is already suffering from the effects of COPD. Be sure to discuss these options with a doctor, who can refer a therapist if assistance is needed with the balancing of emotions.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.