Posted on Sep 14, 2007 | Comments 0
COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) can cause blockage of air flow to your lungs.
Emphysema is the most common form of COPD which damages the tiny sacs through which air flows.
Chronic bronchitis is also a form of COPD in which airways become swollen and produce excessive amounts of mucus.
There is another obstructive lung disease called asthma which you can observe in most of the children and also in adults.
This disease affects 15-30 million Americans and is considered as the fourth leading cause of death.
COPD in men and women varies greatly:
COPD affects people in different ways. Women are more likely to develop this condition than men and in a different way. So, the treatment options are also different for both.
A woman with COPD experiences more breathlessness, a higher incidence of depression and a lower quality of life than man. Women are increasingly being diagnosed with COPD and most of the women in United States now die of this disease than men.
Contributory issues for COPD:
Smoking increases the risk of COPD five times:
You might have already known that smoking causes premature aging of the skin and in the same way most of the causes of COPD are due to smoking.Not all smokers will experience this pulmonary lung disease.
Excessive wrinkles on a smoker’s face might provide a clue of having this disease. Those who have lined faces are also at a risk of developing COPD.Cigarette smoke can cause persistent inflammation in the air passages of the lungs. This causes the enlargement of mucus glands and produce excess mucus.
This causes thickening of the airways and restricting the air flow. This condition causes chronic cough, sputum production and difficulty breathing.
Smoking causes the release of chemicals from white blood cells that damage the lung tissues.
Some smokers have genetic variation which makes them more prone to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Young adults between the ages of 22-44 years have normal lung function.
If they experience chronic cough and phlegm in their later life, it can lead to a high risk of developing COPD.
If you have lower body mass index (BMI) then you will lose more lung function than those with a higher BMI.
Effects on patients having COPD:
- If a COPD patient is also suffering from osteoporosis [osteoporosis treatment] then there is a greater chance for increased arterial stiffness.
- This condition can cause lower bone mineral density when compared to others.
- Vascular changes occur prematurely in patients with COPD.
Oxygen therapy for patients with COPD:
Oxygen therapy has been proved as effective for patients with COPD and also improves life expectancy. But, this therapy doesn’t work for all of you; this may be helpful only in a small number of patients.
There are no guidelines which prove when and how to use oxygen therapy for COPD. This therapy is suitable for you only if you have symptoms like: shortness of breath, irritable feeling, morning headaches, swollen ankles, and intolerance while exercising.
This therapy does not cause any harm to your lungs or your body. Use it as prescribed by your physician.
Mediterranean diet halves the threat associated with COPD:
Mediterranean diet lowers the risk of developing COPD up to 50 percent when compared to western diet, even after adjusting for age, smoking, and other risks. This diet is full of flavors that you will enjoy while following.
Individual who follow western diet is four times more likely to increase the risk of developing COPD. Even after following relieving steps, you will have a chance of developing COPD. If you stick correctly to the Mediterranean diet, you will less likely to develop COPD.
Physical activity to slow down the risk of developing COPD:
Regular physical activity can lower the declination in functioning of lungs among smokers and help to restrain the risk of developing COPD. Regular physical exercise restrains the production of inflammatory markers in the lungs.
Until now the only option for smokers to improve the lung function is to stop smoking and reducing occupational exposure to smoke. Following regular physical activity is an important alternative for smokers.
According to the studies, those who include physical activity in their routine were less likely to be admitted in the hospitals as a result of their COPD. Also, physical activity lowers the death rate due to airways obstruction.
Helium makes breathing easier in COPD patients:
Helium is very helpful for patients with severe respiratory problems. It makes you to breathe easily. This also improves your tolerance levels for exercise to a greater extent than oxygen only when you suffer with COPD. Helium when combined with hyperoxia can slow down the rate of breathing while making the air easier to breathe. This leads to the reduction in the amount of air tapped in the lungs during exercise.
So, there is no need to work as hard to breathe and you won’t experience any short of breathe during the exercise. This allows you to do more physical activity.
In a rehabilitation sitting, if you were to breathe helium-heperoxia then you should potentially perform a lot more exercise. This may improve your exercise capacity, fitness level, and as a result improves your quality of life.
In order to control COPD you are increasingly being prescribed to use inhaled corticosteroids. But the long-term use of these anti inflammatory drugs increases the chances of developing pneumonia [cause of pneumonia] in you and you will be hospitalized. The rate of incidence also increases with increased dosage of steroids. Corticosteroids also help to reduce the risk of lung cancer.
By following the above mentioned treatment methods you will get relief from the chronic symptoms of COPD.
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