The official blog of the Lung Institute.
Implementing lifestyle changes when dealing with a condition like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is extremely vital to help reduce your symptoms. Although COPD is an incurable disease, minor lifestyle changes can improve your quality of life.
Kick the Habit
If you have not already quit smoking, doing so should be your top priority. Smoking intensifies your condition and hinders your ability to breathe. Lung function stabilizes in people who quit smoking, and eventually can return to a level near that of nonsmokers in the same age group. Unfortunately, most patients who smoke try to quit about seven times before they are successful. Equipping yourself with the right smoking cessation aids can provide you with the support to quit. Examples of smoking cessation aids are nicotine replacement products such as patches, gum, and nasal spray. Other options are counseling and prescription medications such as Chantix or Zyban.
Preventing upper respiratory infections is important in creating a positive lifestyle change. Maintaining good hygiene by consistently washing your hands before and after eating can reduce your risk of catching a cold or the flu. Be sure you are getting the right vaccines to protect your body. Possibly the most important is the influenza vaccination. According to the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission, people with COPD should get this vaccination at least six weeks before flu season. The pneumococcal vaccine is another important vaccination. This vaccine protects against 23 types of pneumococcals–bacteria that cause pneumonia. Catching pneumonia while suffering with a condition like COPD greatly raises the risk of premature death.
Watch What You Eat
Paying close attention to nutrition is essential to maintaining good health. When suffering from lung disease, vitamin supplements such as A, C and E can be beneficial. A mix of vitamin A and E is found in any type of green leafy vegetables. Vitamin C is found in fruits such as raspberries, pineapple, papayas, and citrus. A great combination of these vitamins can be assembled by creating a delicious green-based fruit salad. Cooking with olive oil, eating whole grains and cutting out red meat, sugar and processed foods is beneficial. Studies show that following this type of diet can reduce chronic inflammation.
Prepare for Bad Days
Preparing for emergencies is important for your safety and can lower your risk of struggling to breathe. Familiarizing yourself with how to reach the nearest medical treatment facility can save your life. Also, keep your doctor’s phone number handy, and call for an appointment as soon as conditions start to worsen. If any new symptoms occur, inform your doctor, even for an illness as minor as a cold or slight fever.
The last and potentially most beneficial lifestyle change when dealing with COPD is receiving cell therapy. If you or a loved on suffers from lung disease, contact the Lung Institute online, or call (800) 729-3065 to learn more. Our patient coordinators are happy to assist you.