What is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)?
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is a progressive form of lung disease ranging from mild to severe. It is characterized by a restriction of airflow into and out of the lungs that makes breathing difficult. COPD is the umbrella term for sufferers who have been diagnosed with or show signs of emphysema and/or chronic bronchitis.
COPD Limits the Quality of Life
Many sufferers have trouble walking short distances and are especially susceptible to illness and pneumonia. Often, sufferers need oxygen support for 24 hours a day. If you show signs of emphysema or chronic bronchitis you may have COPD. Long term, the effects of COPD result in an enlargement of the right side of the heart and eventual death. There is no cure for COPD but treatment options are available to prevent more damage and improve quality of life.
Smoking & Second Hand Smoke
The primary cause of COPD is tobacco smoke. COPD can develop in both current and former smokers. Long-term cigarette use or exposure to tobacco soaks the lungs in harmful toxins that cause severe damage leading to many of the diseases that make up COPD. Not everyone that has COPD smoked, and not everyone that smoked has COPD.
Cellular therapy for lung disease has been a growing treatment option over the past few years. At the Lung Institute, a progressive cellular therapy clinic that has emerged as a leader in the global stem cell community, they use cells from the patient’s own body to treat lung disease. The cells are called autologous cells. These cells are taken intravenously from the patient’s blood (venous cells) or bone marrow. The cells are then cultured and multiplied and returned to the body through an intravenous drip. The new healthy cells are attracted to the areas of the damaged lung cells and get to work promoting the healing of lung tissue. This results in the ability of the patients to breathe easier and inevitably get their life back.
COPD Lifestyle Modifications
- Stop smoking today. Breaking the habit is a definitive way to slow the advancement of lung disease. It is difficult, but making the decision to quit is the first step. Consult your doctor regarding options.
- Exercise. After consulting your doctor, initiate an exercise routine. Exercise is proven to improve pulmonary strength and endurance. Thereby, helping you battle with lung disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema.
- Eat Well. Maintaining a healthy weight is important. Talk to your doctor about a nutrition program that will work for you.
- Be Aware of your Environment. COPD flare-ups are caused by many environmental triggers. Allergens and chemicals are two of the most common, but different factors are triggers for different people. Awareness of this is key. And if you are able to pinpoint environmental factors that are irritants for you, make a conscious effort to avoid them.