What is it?
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, commonly referred to as COPD, is a chronic lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe. It is a progressive condition, meaning that it gets worse over time. The top cause of COPD is smoking. Long-term exposure to chemical irritants can also lead to COPD. It’s a disease that takes a long time to develop.
What are the symptoms?
Signs and symptoms of COPD include: * Shortness of breath while doing everyday activities or during physical activities * Chronic cough * Wheezing * Chest tightness * Frequent respiratory infections * Blueness of the lips or fingernail beds * General fatigue and lack of energy or chronic fatigue syndrome * Producing a lot of mucus or phlegm * Having to clear your throat first thing in the morning, due to excess mucus in your lungs * Unintended weight loss (in later stages)
1. Improve Your Breathing: There are techniques for breathing that can help you breathe more efficiently with COPD. These breathing techniques can also help improve breathing for people with asthma as well as people who don’t currently have lung issues but want to optimize their breathing. A respiratory therapist can be very helpful if you need assistance with breathing techniques. 2. Follow a Healthy Diet: A healthy diet can help manage and improve COPD symptoms. Your diet should definitely have plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits to ensure you’re getting lots of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Citrus fruits are especially helpful because they contain quercetin. Wild-caught fish, flaxseeds and chia seeds, along with other omega-3 foods, can provide anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. 3. Increase Water Intake: One of the common and frustrating COPD symptoms is having mucus collect in your airways. This mucus can be difficult to clear and result in persistent and uncontrollable coughing. One internal way you can improve this mucus problem is by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. 4. Exercise: By regularly getting exercise, especially cardio workouts, you can strengthen your respiratory muscles and improve your overall endurance. 5. Use Eucalyptus Oil: Eucalyptus oil can be very helpful for people with COPD. It also reduced dyspnea (shortness of breath), and improved lung function as well as health status overall. 6. Consume Ginseng: Ginseng is an herbal supplement that improves lung function and also decrease bacteria in the lungs. Panax ginseng in particular has a long history of use in Chinese medicine for respiratory conditions, including asthma and COPD.
- Stopping smoking – if you have COPD and you smoke, this is the most important thing you can do.
- Avoid conventional dairy since pasteurized dairy is mucus-producing and can plug the airways in the lungs.
- Avoid processed, canned and frozen foods and sugar as well. Additives, preservatives and food dyes are also known for contributing to breathing issues and even asthma attacks.
- Reduce Stress. By reducing your daily stress and managing stress in healthy ways, you’re more relaxed, and this has a direct positive effect on your COPD symptoms.
- Stay Away From Chemicals such as perfumes, scented candles or insect spray.
Things to watch out for
See your GP if you have persistent symptoms of COPD, particularly if you’re over 35 and smoke or used to smoke. Don’t ignore the symptoms. If they’re caused by COPD, it’s best to start treatment as soon as possible, before your lungs become significantly damaged. Your GP will ask about your symptoms and whether you smoke or have smoked in the past.