Have you ever found it difficult to breathe? If so, then you might suffer from COPD. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is a lung disease that’s considered to be common. Many people find it difficult to do daily tasks with COPD. Here are some things that can be done to alleviate the pain and discomfort that comes with it. Proper nutrition and a fit lifestyle play a key role.
Drinking and Smoking
Tobacco use and alcohol use are linked. Many users of one substance also use the other. Research has found that alcohol abusers are three times more likely to smoke cigarettes than the rest of the population. At the same time, cigarette smokers are four times more likely to abuse alcohol than the rest of the population. In other words, chronic drinkers are likely to also be smokers and vice versa. Because of this close relationship, it has been difficult for researchers to find a specific link between drinking alcohol and developing COPD.
Diet and Exercise
Many people with COPD experience difficulties with poor nutrition. In fact, while being overweight adds extra pressure to your lungs and body, many people with COPD are underweight. It takes more energy for people with COPD to breathe than people with normal lungs. Eating a healthy diet with a variety of foods can help you maintain a healthy weight.
Foods rich in antioxidants are recommended. This includes blueberries, fish, apples, beans, cherries, plums, olive oil, artichoke, carrots, pecans, ginger, potatoes and green tea.
Incorporating vitamins in the diet is extremely important for people with COPD. If it is difficult to be getting from food on a regular diet, it may be necessary to supplement with a vitamin. Below are crucial vitamins people with COPD need:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin E
Even though exercise is difficult for people with COPD it is recommended to maintain exercise throughout the day even if they are small movements as it will allow them to work up to more exercise.
Treatment For COPD
Unfortunately, there isn’t a current cure for COPD. However, doctors can offer treatments to help alleviate the symptoms and reduce the spread and deterioration of COPD. They’ll first suggest that you quit smoking if you’re a smoker. The damage being done to your lungs is only going to be made worse by smoking. They can offer medications and other resources to help you quit smoking.
During an attack, or when you can’t breathe well, your doctor will prescribe to you quick-relief drugs. These drugs, called bronchodilators, help to open up your airways. They’ll allow oxygen into your lungs and essentially give your lungs the boost that they need to perform their job. They do this by relaxing the muscles associated with your airways.
A drug that you need to use every day is known as Control Drugs. This help reduces the amount of inflammation that’s in your lungs. Often in the form of inhalers, you typically take a puff or the prescribed amount once a day or a few times a day depending on the severity of the COPD. They must be used every day in order to have a strong effect on the lungs.
Another treatment that you might be prescribed anti-inflammatory medications that keep the airways from becoming inflamed. This can make it more difficult for your lungs to perform their job. To ensure that mucus and other viruses don’t infect the lungs, you may also be given antibiotics to keep your lungs healthy.
Finally, you may also need to receive oxygen therapy, steroids, or assistance from a machine during a flare-up. All of these are used when the flare-up is bad and you are unable to breathe.
Living with COPD can be scary, but it’s possible to live a full life with it. Stay healthy, exercise, eat right, and you can find relief.