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COPD

COPD

The term “Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease” (COPD) refers to a range of lung diseases that cause difficulty breathing.
The term “Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease” (COPD) refers to a range of lung diseases that cause difficulty breathing.

Understanding COPD

COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, which is a collection of progressive lung disorders.

Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are the most frequent of these disorders. Both of these disorders are common in patients with COPD.

Emphysema causes the air sacs in your lungs to steadily degrade, obstructing outward air movement. Bronchitis is characterised by inflammation and constriction of the bronchial passages, allowing mucus to accumulate.

COPD affects an estimated 3 million people in the United Kingdom, with 2 million of them undiagnosed.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, if left untreated, can hasten the progression of the disease, cause cardiac difficulties, and worsen respiratory infections.

 

Types of Chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease

Types of COPD

Types of Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

When you have one or more of the following conditions, it is referred to be COPD:

  • Emphysema. This occurs when the walls inside your lungs’ air sacs (alveoli) are destroyed, causing them to join into one large air sac. You get less oxygen in your blood since it can’t absorb oxygen as well. Your lungs may expand out and lose their springiness as a result of damaged alveoli. You are short of breath because air becomes trapped in your lungs and you are unable to expel it.
  • Chronic bronchitis. Bronchitis that’s been present for a long time is defined as coughing, shortness of breath, and mucus that lasts at least 3 months for at least 2 years. Cilia, which look like hair and assist clear mucus out of your bronchial tubes, are hair-like fibres. You lose your cilia when you have chronic bronchitis. This makes it more difficult to cough up mucus, which causes you to cough more, resulting in more mucus.
  • Refractory asthma. This type is also known as irreversible. It is unresponsive to standard asthma treatments.

What are the symptoms
of Chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease (COPD)

Symptoms of COPD

What are the symptoms of Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

COPD makes breathing difficult. Initially, the symptoms may be minor, with occasional coughing and shortness of breath. Symptoms can grow more consistent as time goes on, making breathing increasingly difficult.

You may have wheezing and chest tightness, as well as excessive sputum production. Acute exacerbations, or flare-ups of severe symptoms, occur in some patients with COPD.

The majority of persons with COPD do not show any symptoms until they are in their late 40s or 50s.

The following are the three main signs and symptoms of COPD:

If you observe any of these symptoms in combination, you should contact your GP.

 

Early Signs and Symptoms

In the early stages of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), many persons are unaware of any symptoms. This could be due to a lack of options in some circumstances. However, in some cases, there are subtle early warning indicators that you may discover if you pay attention.

For example, you may discover that you can no longer perform everyday duties as effortlessly as you once could, such as walking up the stairs, gardening, or bringing your shopping inside. This could be due to gaining weight, ceasing to exercise, or contracting the illness. However, if there’s no evident cause and the symptoms persist, it’s time to contact your doctor for a checkup.

They can perform a series of breathing tests (spirometry) to help rule out or diagnose COPD.

Worsening symptoms

Symptoms can become increasingly severe and difficult to ignore. You may encounter the following symptoms as your lungs become increasingly damaged:

  • Even minor forms of activity, such as going up a flight of stairs, can cause shortness of breath.
  • Wheezing is a sort of loud breathing that occurs primarily during exhalations.
  • Chest tightness
  • Chronic cough (mucus or no mucus)
  • Every day, you must clean mucus from your lungs.
  • Colds, flu, or other respiratory diseases on a regular basis
  • Lack of energy

Symptoms of COPD in its later stages may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Swelling in the feet, ankles, or legs is a common ailment.
  • Weight loss

If you smoke or are routinely exposed to passive smoking, your symptoms are likely to be substantially severe.

Find out more about COPD symptoms.

Emergency treatment

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, seek medical attention right once:

  • If your fingernails or lips are bluish or grey, it means your blood oxygen levels are low.
  • You’re having problems catching your breath or you’re unable to speak
  • You’re confused, puzzled, or dizzy
  • Your pulse is quickening.

What Causes COPD?

Causes of COPD

What Causes COPD?

The majority of persons with COPD are at least 40 years old and have smoked at some point in their lives. The longer you smoke and the more tobacco products you consume, the more likely you are to get COPD.

COPD can be caused by cigarette smoke, cigar smoke, pipe smoke, and secondhand smoke, in addition to cigarette smoke. If you smoke and have asthma, your chances of developing COPD are even higher.

Common Causes of COPD

COPD is most commonly caused by:

  • Cigarette smoke. By far the most common cause of COPD in humans. It can also be acquired by tobacco products such as cigar and pipe smoke, particularly if inhaled.
  • Second-hand smoke. Even if you don’t smoke, living with someone who does can cause COPD.
  • Pollution and fumes. Air pollution can cause COPD. It can also be caused by breathing in chemical fumes, dust, or harmful substances at work.
  • Your genes. People with COPD may have a problem with their DNA, the coding that instructs your body on how to function properly. “Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency,” or AAT deficiency, is the name for this condition. Your lungs don’t have enough of a protein that protects them from injury when you have this. COPD can be severe as a result of this. Ask your doctor about testing for AAT deficiency if you or a family member has experienced major lung problems, especially at a young age.
  • Asthma. If you don’t treat your asthma, it can lead to lung damage and COPD over time.

How Do I Know If I Have COPD?

COPD Diagnosis

How Do I Know If I Have COPD?

To find out if you have COPD, you should see a doctor. Because COPD can mimic the symptoms of other conditions, there are items to consider when making a diagnosis.

There is no singular test for COPD. Diagnosis is based on symptoms, a physical exam, and diagnostic test results.

Make sure to tell your GP If you have any of the following symptoms:

  • You currently smoking or have previously smoked
  • You have been exposed to lung irritants
  • You’re regularly exposed to second-hand smoke
  • You have a history of COPD in your family
  • You suffer from asthma or other respiratory problems
  • You use over-the-counter and prescription drugs

Obtaining a Diagnosis

Your GP will first want to hear about your medical history, including any COPD in your family, as well as any symptoms you may be experiencing and how long you’ve had them.

Shortness of breath, a persistent cough, and a thick, often colourful mucus (phlegm) that you cough up are the main symptoms of COPD.

Other signs and symptoms, particularly in the latter stages of the disease, include:

  • Tightness in the chest
  • Reduced capacity to remain active
  • There is less sexual activity.
  • Weight gain (due to inability to be as active)
  • Loss of weight (because of breathing problems while eating)
  • Symptoms that are more severe first thing in the morning (typical for COPD)

When your doctor examines you, he or she will want to know about any of those symptoms. They’ll also want to know if you or anybody else in your house smokes, as smoking is the leading cause of COPD. COPD is also exacerbated by long-term exposure to gases, smog, or dust.

However, keep in mind that you may have no symptoms at all in the early stages. Alternatively, the indicators could be modest, such as a slight increase in fatigue from simple tasks such as walking upstairs or bringing in groceries.

Symptoms like these may pique your doctor’s interest if they worsen over time and have no evident cause. If your doctor suspects COPD, he or she will most likely use a spirometer to measure your breathing. Other tests, such as a chest X-ray, may also be used to narrow down a diagnosis.

COPD should be diagnosed as soon as possible since, while there is currently no cure, early therapy can help to decrease the disease’s progression.

COPD TESTS

A number of tests can aid in the diagnosis of COPD. They disclose COPD symptoms and help rule out other disorders that could be misdiagnosed as COPD. These tests include the following:

  • Examination of the chest. Your doctor will visually evaluate and listen to your chest with a stethoscope. The stethoscope will be placed on your chest to listen for anything unusual, such as wheezing. They may even tap you on the chest to listen for specific sounds. They may suggest additional tests based on what they hear.
  • Spirometry. This test determines how much air you can inhale and exhale. It’s the most common lung function test, and it’s thought to be the most accurate approach to identify COPD. It’s straightforward and painless. You’ll be asked to take a deep breath and blow forcefully into a mouthpiece attached to a little machine. A spirometer is a machine that measures how quickly you expel air from your lungs. Even if you haven’t had symptoms yet, the results can reveal whether you have COPD. It can also reveal if you have a secondary health problem, such as asthma or heart problems.
  • X-ray of the chest. This provides a picture of your heart, lungs, and blood arteries in your chest. This reveals whether there are any issues with the lungs, such as pneumonia, malignancy, or heart failure (when your heart is unable to pump enough blood).
  • CT scan of the chest. This also produces a chest image, however, it is more detailed than a chest X-ray. Although a dye may be injected into a vein in your arm to obtain sharper images of your chest, this procedure is also painless. You’ll lie down on a table that slides into a CT scanner that looks like a tunnel. As the scanner wanders about you to take photographs, you’ll hear clicks and other sounds.
  • Arterial blood gas test. A test that measures the amount of gas in the bloodstream. This is a measurement of the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your blood. Blood will be collected from you so that it may be analysed in a lab. It could be an indication of COPD or other lung disorders if you’re not getting enough oxygen into your bloodstream.
  • Testing for alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. This test looks for AAT, a protein found in your lungs and blood. The protein aids in the prevention of diseases such as COPD. However, some persons do not produce enough AAT due to a genetic abnormality. People who do not have AAT are more prone to develop lung problems early in life, around the age of 30 to 40. This genetic mutation is quite uncommon. If your family has a history of AAT deficiency, your doctor may recommend that you obtain this test. A little sample of blood is obtained from one of your veins for the test, which is then examined for AAT levels.

What Are the
Treatments for COPD?

COPD Treatment

What Are the Treatments for COPD?

It’s difficult to breathe when you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Coughing, wheezing, and feeling short of breath are all symptoms of clogged airways. It can have an impact on how you exercise, work, and go about your daily routine.

The goal of COPD treatment is to make it easier for you to breathe and return to your normal activities. There are a variety of therapeutic options as well as lifestyle changes that can help. You could also want to try some natural and alternative remedies, but make sure to seek your doctor’s permission first.

Remember that COPD treatment is a long-term process with numerous components and that each case is unique. You might be terrific at remembering to take your meds and get to your doctor’s visits, but not so good at eating right and exercising regularly. Nutritionists and physical therapists may be of use.

Furthermore, as the condition progresses, symptoms and effective treatments might alter dramatically, so it’s important to keep watchful and consult with your doctor on a regular basis. Whatever stage you’re at with COPD and whatever your difficulties are, don’t be hesitant to seek the assistance you need to make the most of your daily life.

 

Stop Smoking

Cigarette smoking is the most common cause of COPD, and it can exacerbate the condition. Stopping smoking improves the respiratory capacity, health, and general quality of life of those with COPD. It may not be easy for you to quit, but there are numerous resources available to assist you. Inquire about nicotine replacement, medicine, and counselling with your doctor.

Short-Acting Bronchodilators

These drugs relieve symptoms like coughing and shortness of breath by relaxing the muscles around your airways. You use an inhaler to take them. The effects last 4 to 6 hours on average. You only take them when you’re experiencing symptoms or before you exercise.

If you just get symptoms from time to time, these medicines may be helpful. The following are examples of short-acting bronchodilators:

  • Albuterol (ProAir HFA, Ventolin HFA)
  • Ipratropium (Atrovent)
  • Ipratropium bromide and albuterol (Combivent)
  • Levalbuterol (Xopenex HFA)

These drugs can cause dry mouth and headaches. Other negative consequences include:

  • Constipation
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Muscle cramps
  • Shaking

Long-Acting Bronchodilators

These drugs relax the muscles around your airways as well, but their effects can last up to 12 hours. You use an inhaler to take them every day to avoid symptoms:

  • Aclidinium (Tudorza Pressair)
  • Arformoterol (Brovana)
  • Formoterol (Foradil, Perforomist)
  • Indacaterol (Arcapta)
  • Salmeterol (Serevent)
  • Tiotropium (Spiriva)

Side effects can include:

  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Headaches
  • Muscle cramps
  • Shaking

Steroids

These help to reduce oedema in the airways. Inhaling them is normally done with an inhaler. If you experience a lot of COPD flare-ups, inhaled steroids can help. If your symptoms worsen, you may need to take steroids as a pill.

Inhaled steroids include the following:

  • Budesonide (Entocort, Pulmicort, Uceris)
  • Fluticasone (Cutivate, Flovent HFA)

A bronchodilator and an inhaled steroid are combined in some medications. These are some of them:

  • Budesonide and formoterol (Symbicort)
  • Fluticasone and salmeterol (Advair)

Steroid drugs have different side effects depending on how long you take them. It’s possible that you’ll gain weight or bruise easily. Other possible adverse effects include:

  • Coughing
  • Infection risk is higher
  • Mouth infections
  • A voice that is hoarse
  • Sore throat or mouth
  • Bones that have weakened

Phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE-4) Inhibitor

Roflumilast (Daliresp) is a medication that can help with severe COPD symptoms.

It reduces pulmonary oedema and opens your airways. It may be combined with a long-acting bronchodilator. Diarrhoea and weight loss are two common side effects.

Theophylline

This medication has the same effect as a bronchodilator but is less expensive.

Theophylline can improve the function of your lungs, but it may not be enough to alleviate all of your symptoms.

Antibiotics

COPD symptoms might be exacerbated by an infection. Antibiotics will be prescribed by your doctor to destroy the germs and treat the infection.

Take all of the medication that has been recommended to you. The infection may return if you stop taking the medications too soon.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Pulmonary rehab is a programme designed to assist you in managing COPD. It can help you breathe easier, exercise more readily, and enhance your overall quality of life. You’ll work with a team of doctors, nurses, dietitians, physical therapists, and respiratory therapists in a hospital or clinic.

This usually comprises the following:

Breathing exercises. A respiratory therapist will train you how to breathe in specific ways and how to track your improvement with a spirometer that you may use at home. When paired with a physical training regimen, these strategies can help reduce dyspnea and boost stamina. A programme might be designed for you by your doctor or a skilled breathing therapist.

Nutritional therapy. This involves suggestions for what to eat and how much to eat. Depending on where you are in your COPD journey, it may be different. For example, you may need to lose weight in the early phases, but you may have the reverse difficulty later on. However, each case is unique, and your results may vary. Your doctor or nutritionist can assist you in creating a diet that is appropriate for your weight, health, and level of exercise.

Exercise. When you have COPD, this is especially critical. It improves your endurance and develops the muscles that aid in breathing. Your doctor or physical therapist can assist you in developing a fitness plan that is appropriate for you.

Smoking counselling.

Monitoring. Your rehab team may recommend that you keep a daily symptom log and compare it to an action plan. The American Lung Association has one example of a COPD action plan. Filling out the plan with your doctor and updating it at each appointment is a good idea.

These plans will show you how to do assessments in the following areas:

  • When and how should you take your medication
  • How effective is your treatment is
  • When should you call for help
  • When should you seek emergency medical attention
  • How you feel on a daily basis
  • Changes in your health to address with your doctor

Oxygen Therapy

COPD can make it difficult to get enough oxygen into your lungs. As a result, your blood oxygen levels may become dangerously low. These levels are raised during therapy to help you stay active and healthy.

Oxygen is inhaled through a mask or prongs in the nose. It could originate from a large home unit or a small tank that you carry with you. You may require oxygen all of the time or only while you are physically engaged.

Breathing Machines to aid Sleep

This usually entails using a CPAP or BiPAP machine.

Continuous positive airway pressure is abbreviated as CPAP. The CPAP machine uses light air pressure to ensure that your airway does not narrow and stop your breathing while you sleep.

A little motor in the CPAP machine breathes air through a tube that leads to a mask that covers your nose and mouth, or simply your nose in some situations.

The BiPAP equipment operates in a similar manner. BiPAP’s “Bi” stands for “bi-level.” It means there are two pressure levels: a normal one when you breathe in and a lower one when you breathe out. Many people prefer this over the steady airflow provided by a CPAP machine.

These machines can be used by people with moderate to severe COPD in the hospital to aid with sudden, strong symptoms or at home to help with sleep and to maintain blood oxygen levels up and eliminate carbon dioxide.

Just keep in mind that using this equipment on a regular basis isn’t necessarily beneficial to those with COPD. Consult your doctor to see if you are a good candidate for regular machine-assisted breathing for COPD.

Ventilators & Intubation

If your symptoms are severe enough, you may require artificial breathing assistance. This entails the use of a ventilator and tracheal intubation.

Intubation and mechanical ventilation will be the next treatment recommended if your symptoms do not improve after a particular length of time (one hour is a common recommendation).

A breathing tube (also known as a tracheal tube) will be inserted into your mouth and down into your windpipe (trachea). The tube is then linked to a ventilator, which is a machine that pumps air into your lungs.

You’ll be given drugs to help you feel better.

While the machine maintains your breathing, your respiratory system, which has been working overtime, can relax. Doctors will also do tests to identify and treat any underlying issues that may have contributed to the flare-up, such as pneumonia.

Vaccinations

To limit the incidence of COPD flare-ups, get a flu shot every year. Ask your doctor if you should also get vaccinated against pneumonia.

Surgery

Surgery is reserved for people with severe COPD or after other therapies have failed, which is more likely if you have severe emphysema, you may need one of the following surgeries:

  • Bullectomy. The tiny pouches in your lungs where oxygen travels into your blood vessels are known as air sacs. The walls of these air sacs are destroyed by COPD. Bullae are big spaces in your lungs created when the walls break down. It’s difficult to breathe because of the bullae. A bullectomy is a procedure that removes the air gaps in your lungs and improves the passage of air.
  • Surgery to reduce the size of the lungs. Small parts of your lungs that have been damaged by COPD are removed by the surgeon. The diseased sections of your lungs are removed, allowing the healthy parts to expand and take in more oxygen.
  • Transplantation of the lungs. Your doctor can remove your damaged lung and replace it with a healthy one from a donor if you have significant lung damage. This procedure comes with dangers, and you’ll have to take medications for the rest of your life to keep your body from rejecting the new organ.

Endobronchial valves (EBVs), which are one-way valves that channel inspired air to healthy lungs and away from non-functioning, damaged lungs, are a less invasive approach to enhancing the efficiency of airflow in persons with severe emphysema.

Lifestyle Changes

Your treatment is only one aspect of COPD therapy. A few minor adjustments to your everyday routine can also help you breathe more easily.

Once you’ve quit smoking, try to avoid being around other smokers. Dust and chemical smells should also be avoided.

Alternative and Complementary therapies used
when treating Parkinson’s Disease patients

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy

COPD patients with significantly low blood oxygen have been proven to benefit from long-term Hyperbaric oxygen therapy. This treatment entails inhaling oxygen via a nasal tube or mask. NIH-funded researchers wanted to see if the same medication could benefit COPD patients with moderately low blood oxygen levels. 1.

Red Light Therapy

Red light therapy or photobiomodulation is a drug-free therapy that uses certain wavelengths of red light to improve our body’s natural healing processes. Although laser therapy is not a cure for COPD, research has shown that it can help alleviate symptoms 2.

Ozone therapy

Your lungs are in charge of delivering oxygen to your bloodstream. Ozone therapy was investigated as a treatment for COPD in a 2014 study. The therapy enhanced the quality of life and ability to exercise among former smokers with COPD, according to the study  3

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy outside the chamber

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy

COPD patients with significantly low blood oxygen have been proven to benefit from long-term Hyperbaric oxygen therapy. This treatment entails inhaling oxygen via a nasal tube or mask. NIH-funded researchers wanted to see if the same medication could benefit COPD patients with moderately low blood oxygen levels. 1.

Ozone Therapy

Ozone therapy

Your lungs are in charge of delivering oxygen to your bloodstream. Ozone therapy was investigated as a treatment for COPD in a 2014 study. The therapy enhanced the quality of life and ability to exercise among former smokers with COPD, according to the study  3

Red Light Therapy

Red Light Therapy

Red light therapy or photobiomodulation is a drug-free therapy that uses certain wavelengths of red light to improve our body’s natural healing processes. Although laser therapy is not a cure for COPD, research has shown that it can help alleviate symptoms 2.

What are the stages of COPD?

Stages of COPD

What are the stages of COPD?

Although chronic obstructive pulmonary disease appears to be a single disorder, it actually refers to a group of lung conditions. They can all make you feel out of breath.

Stages are used by doctors to indicate the severity of COPD. The GOLD staging or grading system is the name of this system. The treatment you receive will be influenced by your grade.

The system considers a variety of factors. The primary concept is to determine the severity of your COPD and the type of treatment you require.

What Is the GOLD COPD Grading System?

The GOLD method uses various factors to determine the stage of your COPD:

  • Your signs and symptoms
  • How many times has your COPD worsened
  • Any times you’ve had to stay in the hospital because your COPD has gotten worse
  • Spirometry results, a test that determines how much air and how quickly you can exhale

The Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) stands for the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease. It was founded in 1997 by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the National Institutes of Health, and the World Health Organization.

GOLD promotes COPD awareness and collaborates with doctors and other health professionals to develop better ways to prevent and manage the disease. It also establishes the standards by which most clinicians classify and treat COPD.

Your COPD Stage and Spirometry

The results of spirometry are based on two measurements:

  • Forced vital capacity (FVC). After inhaling as deeply as you can, this is the maximum volume of air you can exhale.
  • Forced expiratory volume (FEV-1). FEV-1 is a measurement of how much air you can exhale in one second from your lungs.

Stages or Grades in GOLD

The term “stages” was used in the original GOLD system to describe the various stages of COPD. They’re now referred to as grades. Experts believe that by using this new technique, doctors will be able to better match patients with the appropriate medicines. FEV data were also used exclusively in the early stages. However, doctors now take into account a variety of factors.

These four items will receive grades from your doctor:

  • What is the severity of your current symptoms
  • What are the results of your spirometry test
  • What is the likelihood of your COPD worsening
  • What are your existing other health issues

Grades of Symptoms

On the COPD Assessment Test (CAT) or the Modified Medical Research Council, you’ll answer some questions (mMRC).

CAT scores vary from 0 to 40, while mMRC values are graded on a five-point scale. For example, if you only get winded after doing strenuous exercise, you may have mMRC grade 0. You may have mMRC grade 4 if you can’t leave the house or get dressed because you’re out of breath.

Spirometry Grades

To check how well your lungs work, your doctor will look at your spirometry results. These results have four grades, too:

  • GOLD 1: Mild
  • GOLD 2: Moderate
  • GOLD 3: Severe
  • GOLD 4: Very severe

Risk of Exacerbation

Your exacerbation risk is also considered as part of your overall COPD assessment. An exacerbation occurs when your COPD symptoms worsen to the point where you need to modify your medication. It’s also known as a flare by your doctor. If your spirometry result is GOLD 3 or GOLD 4, these flare-ups are more likely.

Other Medical issues

Your doctor will also take into account any other health issues you may have. It’s all part of determining the severity of your COPD and the best course of treatment for you.

COPD Support Groups

Your doctor will classify your COPD into one of these groups based on your symptoms, spirometry results, and risk of exacerbation:

  • Group A. Low risk, fewer symptoms
  • Group B. Low risk, more symptoms
  • Group C. High risk, fewer symptoms
  • Group D. High risk, more symptoms

Ask your doctor if you have any questions about any phrases he or she uses, such as “grades” or “groups.” There’s a lot of information out there, and learning as much as you can about COPD is the best approach to manage it.

COPD STAGES

People may mention the former approach, which classified COPD based solely on your FEV-1 score. There were four stages to the process:

  • Stage 1 — Mild — FEV-1 ≥80%: You may have no symptoms. You might be short of breath when walking fast on level ground or climbing a slight hill.
  • Stage 2 — Moderate — FEV-1 50-79%: If you’re walking on level ground, you might have to stop every ­few minutes to catch your breath.
  • Stage 3 — Severe — FEV-1 30-49%: You may be too short of breath to leave the house. You might get breathless doing something as simple as dressing and undressing.
  • Stage 4 — Very Severe — FEV-1 ≤30%: You might have lung or heart failure. This can make it hard to catch your breath even when you’re resting. You might hear this called end-stage COPD.

Is it Possible to Delay Advanced or End-Stage COPD?

It is determined by the severity of your COPD and how well you respond to treatment. There are no two people alike. However, following these guidelines for a healthy lifestyle can be beneficial:

  • Stop smoking. Or get assistance to quit.
  • Stay away from polluted air. Keep dust, odours, and smoke at bay. On days when the weather is poor, stay inside.
  • Get a flu vaccination every year. Consult your doctor to see if you also require the pneumonia vaccine.
  • Consume nutritious foods. Consult your doctor about how to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Continue to move forward. Make certain you are getting adequate exercise.

Dietary guidelines
for COPD sufferers

COPD Dietary

Dietary guidelines for COPD sufferers

Although there is no specific diet for COPD, a nutritious diet is essential for overall health. You’ll be better equipped to avoid complications and other health issues if you’re stronger.

Choose a selection of healthy foods from the following categories:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Grains
  • Protein
  • Dairy

Also, keep salt intake to a minimum. It causes the body to retain water, making breathing difficult.

Fluids

Drink a lot of water. Mucus can be kept thinner by drinking at least six to eight 8-ounce glasses of non-caffeinated drinks per day. This may make coughing up mucous simpler.

Caffeinated beverages should be avoided since they can interfere with medication. Consult your doctor if you have heart problems and need to drink less.

Trying to control your weight

It is critical to maintaining a healthy weight. When you have COPD, it requires more energy to breathe, thus you may need to consume more calories. Your lungs and heart, however, may have to work more if you’re overweight.

Even basic bodily maintenance can be tough if you’re underweight or feeble. COPD impairs your immune system and reduces your ability to fight infection in general.

Trying to control your weight

It is critical to maintaining a healthy weight. When you have COPD, it requires more energy to breathe, thus you may need to consume more calories. Your lungs and heart, however, may have to work more if you’re overweight.

Even basic bodily maintenance can be tough if you’re underweight or feeble. COPD impairs your immune system and reduces your ability to fight infection in general.

Nutrition

A full stomach restricts the expansion of your lungs, leaving you short of breath. If this happens to you, try the following remedies:

  • About an hour before a meal, clear your airways.
  • Take smaller chunks and chew them thoroughly before swallowing.
  • Substitute five or six smaller meals for three larger meals every day.
  • Save your fluids for the end of the meal so you don’t feel as full.

Take a look at these five COPD diet suggestions.

Living with
Chronic Obstructive
Pulmonary Disease

Living with COPD

Living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

COPD is a chronic disease that must be managed for the rest of one’s life. That entails listening to your doctor’s instructions and keeping healthy living practices.

Because your lungs are fragile, you should avoid anything that could put them under stress or provoke a flare-up. Here’s a list of items to think about while you make lifestyle changes.

  • Smoking should be avoided. Talk to your doctor about smoking cessation programmes if you’re having problems quitting. Secondhand smoke, chemical fumes, air pollution, and dust should all be avoided.
  • Exercise. Every day, a little activity can help you stay in shape. Consult your doctor to determine how much exercise is appropriate for you.
  • Consume a well-balanced diet. Consume fewer highly processed meals that are high in calories and sodium but low in nutrition.
  • Other conditions are being treated. If you have other chronic conditions in addition to COPD, you should take care of them as well, especially diabetes and heart disease.
  • Keep the house clean. Clear the clutter and organise your home so that cleaning and other household duties require less energy. Get help with daily duties if you have advanced COPD.
  • Be ready for a flare-up. Carry your emergency contact information on you at all times and have it posted on your refrigerator. Include the names and dosages of any drugs you’re taking. Make a list of emergency numbers on your phone.
  • Look for help. It might be reassuring to speak with people who understand. Joining a support group is a good idea. The COPD Foundation has compiled a comprehensive list of organisations and resources for COPD sufferers.

Is there a link between COPD
and cancer of the lungs?

COPD and Cancer

Is there a link between COPD and cancer of the lungs?

COPD and lung cancer are serious health issues that affect people all over the world. In a number of ways, these two diseases are related.

Several risk factors for COPD and lung cancer are similar. The most significant risk factor for both diseases is smoking. If you breathe secondhand smoke or are exposed to chemicals or other pollutants at work, both are more likely.

Both disorders may have a genetic predisposition to develop. In addition, as people get older, their chances of having COPD or lung cancer grow.

In 2009, it was predicted that 40 to 70 percent of persons with lung cancer also had COPD. COPD is a risk factor for lung cancer, according to the same 2009 study 5

According to a 2015 study 6, they could be different manifestations of the same disease, and COPD could be a contributing factor in lung cancer.

People with COPD are sometimes unaware of their condition until they are diagnosed with lung cancer.

COPD, on the other hand, does not always imply lung cancer. It does indicate that you are at a greater risk. That’s another reason why quitting smoking is a smart idea if you’re a smoker.

Learn more about COPD’s potential problems.

 

COPD statistics

COPD Statistics

COPD statistics

COPD affects an estimated 1.2 million people 7, far more than the 835,000 people reported by the Department of Health in 2011. COPD is the second most common lung illness in the UK, after asthma, in terms of diagnosed cases. COPD affects approximately 2% of the population or 4.5 percent of all adults over the age of 40.

Around 65 million people 8 worldwide are believed to have moderate to severe COPD. Over 3 million deaths every year are due to chronic respiratory diseases.

According to the study, the prevalence is increasing. In the recent decade, the number of patients diagnosed with COPD has climbed by 27 percent, from under 1,600 to nearly 2,000 per 100,000. This could indicate that there are more undetected cases or that the disease is growing more prevalent. Changes in record-keeping procedures could also play a role.

However, between 2008 and 2012, prevalence grew by 9% but record-keeping procedures remained unchanged. According to a previous study, up to two-thirds of persons with COPD go untreated. New research is needed to see if this is still true, as well as to determine the disease’s current prevalence.

COPD SUMMARY

COPD Summary

COPD SUMMARY

COPD affects life expectancy in general, though the prognosis varies greatly from person to person.

People with COPD who have never smoked may have a minor life expectancy drop 9, however past and current smokers are likely to have a higher reduction.

COPD is a chronic lung disease that progresses slowly. During the early stages, you may not even be aware that you have it.

You’ll need to start seeing your doctor on a regular basis once you’ve received a diagnosis. You’ll also need to take action to manage your disease and make the necessary lifestyle modifications.

Early symptoms are usually manageable, and some lifestyle changes can help you keep a good quality of life for a while.

Symptoms can become progressively limited as the condition progresses.

COPD patients in advanced stages may be unable to care for themselves without assistance. They’re more likely to contract respiratory infections, have heart problems, and develop lung cancer. They could also be susceptible to despair and anxiety.

Aside from smoking, your prognosis is determined by how well you respond to treatment and whether you are able to prevent serious consequences. Your doctor is the best person to assess your general health and provide you with an estimate of what to expect.