February 06, 2014

Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease

Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (COPD) describes a group of lung conditions (diseases) that make it difficult to empty the air out of the lungs. This difficulty can lead to shortness of breath (also called breathlessness) or the feeling of being tired. Spirometry is usually used to detect COPD in patients.

  • Stop smoking
  • Drink lot of fluids -  Fluids can help loosen and thin the mucus and hence decrease cough
  •  A person with sputum production should drink at least eight glasses (2 quarts/liters) of  non caffeinated beverage a day.
  • Join a pulmonary rehabilitation program  
Medications prescribed for COPD typically fall into three categories:
  • Bronchodilators, which are usually inhalers designed to open up the patient's airways and help in making breathing easier 
  • steroids to reduce inflammation in the airways 
  • antibiotics to treat infections.

Breathing requires more energy for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The muscles used in breathing might require 10 times more calories than those of a person without COPD. One should have a ideal GOAL weight to be achieved and maintained. 

Include high-fiber foods — such as vegetables, fruits, cooked dried peas and beans (legumes), whole-grain foods, bran, cereals, pasta, rice, and fresh fruit — in your diet. Fiber is the indigestible part of plant food. Fiber helps move food along the digestive tract, better controls blood glucose  levels, and might reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood.

Exercise can be divided into three basic types:
  • Stretching: This is the slow lengthening of the muscles. Stretching the arms and legs before and after exercising helps prepare the muscles for activity and helps prevent injury and muscle strain. Regular stretching also increases your range of motion and flexibility.
  • Cardiovascular or aerobic: This involves a steady physical activity using large muscle groups. This type of exercise strengthens the heart and lungs, and improves the body's ability to use oxygen. Over time, aerobic exercise can help decrease your heart rate and blood pressure, and improve your breathing (since your heart won't have to work as hard during exercise). 
    • Aerobic exercises include walking, jogging, jumping rope, bicycling (stationary or outdoor), cross-country skiing, skating, rowing, and low-impact aerobics or water aerobics.
  • Strengthening: This involves repeated muscle contractions (tightening) until the muscle becomes tired. Strengthening exercises for the upper body are especially helpful for people with COPD, as they help increase the strength of your respiratory muscles.


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