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7 Ways to Live Better with COPD

14 Sep 2017
| Under COPD, Diet and Nutrition, Lifestyle | Posted by | 10 Comments
7 Ways to Live Better with COPD

A better quality of life is possible, it just takes a few steps.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is without question a difficult disease to manage. From the frequent bouts of breathlessness, fatigue and coughing, daily life can be difficult on the most basic levels. When adding daily routines such as doing chores, commuting, taking care of your responsibilities at work and generally getting around during the day, these symptoms can present a sizeable challenge to those with the disease.

Within this status quo, many with COPD find themselves looking desperately for any form of relief. And though this may take the form of treatment options such as stem cell therapy, or the use of inhalers, having surgery or even supplemental oxygen, it’s important to note there are a variety of things you can do right now to better affect your quality of life with COPD.

With your health in mind, the Lung Institute is here to explore the 7 Ways to Live Better with COPD you can start today.

  1. Quit Smoking

This is both very simple and the hardest thing you may ever do. Quitting smoking is by far one of the healthiest lifestyle choices you can make, particularly for those with chronic lung disease. Although for many, the habit has been ingrained over years, even decades, evolving into a habit that feels as natural to the body as moving a limb. However, the simplicity of quitting smoking comes not in the long-term vision of a smoke-free life—this can be discouraging—instead through the philosophy of taking things one day at a time. Days add to weeks, weeks add to months, and months add to years. The key here is patience. Your lungs, friends, and grandchildren will thank you, and your life will be longer because of it.

  1. Take Your Medication as Directed

When first receiving a diagnosis from your primary physician, the news can be hard to swallow—let alone the complex prescription directions that often follow. Because of this, many with COPD and other lung diseases are often taking their medications and prescriptions incorrectly. In the case of women, there’s a tendency to underuse, while in men, usage tends to swing the opposite with a clear overuse. For optimal results be sure to follow your prescriptions as directed.

  1. Improve the Air Around You

Like the problems inherent in smoking, air quality can produce a significant effect on your respiratory health. This fact is most evident when the quality of the air around you is poor and filled with harmful particulates. For example, if you live with someone who smokes, the air conditions are simply a lighter form of direct smoke inhalation (secondhand smoke). The same can be said for those who work under harsh respiratory conditions (coal mines, construction, etc.) without taking the proper precautions to filter this air before it enters their lungs. To alleviate this, take steps to clean the air that surrounds you—particularly when indoors.

Invest in a few household plants; their natural oxidation will remove harmful chemicals from the air and produce healthy and clean oxygen.

  1. Change Your Diet

It cannot be stated enough how important your diet is to the health of your body. Your body requires a delicate mix and balance of vitamins and nutrients daily, and the absence of any of these may mean impaired functioning of a vital organ—in this case, the lungs. To improve your general health and overall energy levels, be sure to consume a healthy diet:

  • Good fats (fish oils, peanut butters, avocados)
  • Healthy protein (almonds, lean chicken, black beans)
  • No fried foods, fast foods, or sodas
  • Try to lay off excessive cheese and dairy
  • Drink plenty of water (and milk too)
  1. Increase Your Exercise

Regular exercise can produce extraordinary respiratory benefits for those with COPD. However, for many with breathing and energy problems—the hallmark symptoms of those with COPD or other lung diseases—the idea of regular exercise can be daunting. In many cases these self-defeating thoughts come from the idea of starting an extensive exercise routine. Rather than beating yourself up over the fact you can’t run a marathon, just try for a short walk to the mailbox or to the end of the block. You can increase the challenge of the activity as things get easier, but the key is to be consistent and keep pushing yourself. Over time, these incremental steps will add up and you may be running marathons someday.

  1. Practice Breathing Exercises 

If going outside to exercise is a bit too intimidating right now, stay indoors and try a good breathing exercise to work out your lungs. COPD breathing techniques are used to largely calm irregular breathing in fits of panic because of exacerbations.

Try the Pursed Lips Breathing technique:

  • Relax your neck and shoulders.
  • Breathe in slowly through your nostrils while you count to two (keeping your mouth closed).
  • Pucker your lips as if you’re giving a kiss.
  • Breathe out slowly and steadily through your mouth while you count to four.
  1. Take Daily Vitamins

Although this is a general recommendation to anyone—old or young, sick or healthy—it’s good to make sure you’re getting all the vitamins you need each day. Though this shouldn’t change the way you eat, taking a multivitamin daily will aid in improving your overall health by ensuring you aren’t missing any crucial nutrients.

The Next Step

When lifestyle changes fail to improve your quality of life in the way you may expect, it may be time to consider stem cell therapy. Rather than addressing the symptoms of lung disease, stem cell therapy may directly affect disease progression and may improve quality of life.

For more information on stem cell therapy and what it could mean for your life moving forward, contact us today or call us at (800) 729-3065. Our patient coordinators will walk you through our available treatment options, talk through your current health and medical history and determine a qualifying treatment plan that works best for you.

Interested in our article on 7 Ways to Live Better with COPD? Share your thoughts and comments below.

10 Comments

  1. Lung Institute

    2 months ago

    Bud:

    Thank you for your comment and words of wisdom. Yes, it is important to keep up with your “health” portfolio. We have written a number of blogs regarding the importance of exercise.

    We’re happy to answer your questions about stem cell therapy for chronic lung diseases. We have a dedicated medical team who have a wealth of knowledge about stem cells, treatment options, candidacy, cost and more. So, feel free to give us a call at (855) 313-1149. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Sincerely,

    The Lung Institute

  2. Lung Institute

    2 months ago

    Alan:

    Thank you for your comment. We would suggest contacting one of our patient coordinators and ask for specific information like that. We are not sure if they can provide it but they most certainly can answer many questions you may have.

    So, feel free to give us a call at (855) 313-1149. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Sincerely,

    The Lung Institute

  3. Lung Institute

    2 months ago

    Maria:

    Thank you for your comment. Here is a link to the stages of COPD.

    We have a dedicated medical team who have a wealth of knowledge about stem cells, treatment options, candidacy, cost and more. So, feel free to give us a call at (855) 313-1149. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Sincerely,

    The Lung Institute

  4. Lung Institute

    2 months ago

    Robert:

    Thank you for the comment and we, too, hope for positive results from your treatment. Thank you also for the kind words for our Tampa clinic and staff.

    Sincerely,

    The Lung Institute

  5. Lung Institute

    2 months ago

    Howard:

    Thank you for your comment. Shortness of breath is a symptom of lung disease but it would be best to have your doctor check you out.

    In order to determine if someone is a candidate for treatment, we need to gather more of their private medical history in a secure setting. The best way to do that is by giving us a call and speaking one-on-one with someone on our medical team over our secure phone line. We’re happy to answer your questions about stem cells, treatment options, candidacy and cost. So, feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Sincerely,

    The Lung Institute

  6. Howard Smith

    2 months ago

    What about shortness of breath with normal oxygen saturation levels. Had heart checked out. It is o.k.

  7. Alan Purcell

    2 months ago

    I would love to see the clinical studies more than testimonials. I want to see hard evidence of improvment in lung funcyion such as, Ithink its called spIrometer test. To see the results before and after treatMent. If that cant be provided you can take me off your mailing list.

  8. Maria

    2 months ago

    Hello my name is Maria, I get very winded going up and down stairs putting shoes on.. sometimes more than other times, my doctor doesn’t tell me STAGEs,I was wondering if stem cell therapy would make me 109 percent BEtter.. thank you

  9. Bud weneck

    2 months ago

    Regular exercise is to “good health,” as regular investment is to your , “financial health.”

  10. Robert Mallue

    2 months ago

    I did stem cell over one month ago — i was told I might feel a positive effect in about six months, i sure hope that’s going to be the case. I did this at Tampa and the staff there was excellent and hopefully the results will be the same.

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* All treatments performed at Lung Institute utilize autologous stem cells, meaning those derived from a patient's own body. No fetal or embryonic stem cells are utilized in Lung Institute's procedures. Lung Institute aims to improve patients' quality of life and help them breathe easier through the use of autologous stem cell therapy. To learn more about how stem cells work for lung disease, click here.

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