The official blog of the Lung Institute.
COPD Medications aren’t without their flaws, but stem cell therapy may be an effective alternative.
Simply put, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can be an incredibly difficult disease to live with.
Not only is it degenerative—meaning the disease will gradually erode quality of life over time—but the daily effects of COPD can be exhausting. From simple tasks around the house to traveling around town, the symptoms of COPD can inhibit one’s daily life, making routine tasks both challenging and more complicated than before.
For many who suffer from the disease, they are typically prescribed a variety of traditional COPD medications ranging from inhalers to corticosteroids and oxygen therapy.
However, these traditional options are typically not without their downsides and side-effects; they often fail to meet the expectations of the patient. Fortunately, effective alternative treatment options do exist.
With your health in mind, the Lung Institute is here to give you a clear solution for When COPD Medications Fail: The Benefits of Stem Cell Therapy.
When COPD Medications Fail…
To begin, there are a variety of different COPD medications available, from inhalers to corticosteroids and oxygen.
Although these medications exist to relieve the symptoms of lung disease (inflammation, obstructed breathing, sputum production and general fatigue), as with many medications, they are typically coupled with a variety of negative effects.
Here’s a quick breakdown of each traditional COPD medication, its benefits, as well as possible adverse side-effects:
Otherwise known as bronchodilators, they can be either short-acting or long-acting and are used to help open the airways to make breathing easier.
Short-acting bronchodilators are typically used for an emergency situation or as needed for quick relief. Medications such as albuterol, levalbuterol and ipratropium are all short-acting bronchodilators.
Long-acting bronchodilators, however, are used for longer-term treatment of COPD, and they are usually taken once or twice a day over an extended period.
Medications such as tiotropium, salmeterol, formoterol, arformoterol, indacaterol and aclidinium are all forms of long-acting bronchodilators.
Side Effects Include-
- Dry mouth
- Blurred vision
- Rapid heart-rate
- Dry mouth
- Runny nose
- Scratchy throat
Similar to bronchodilators, corticosteroids typically take the form of an inhaler and work to relieve inflammation within the airways.
Used in conjunction with bronchodilators, corticosteroids work effectively to allow easier breathing within the lungs.
Typical medications for corticosteroids include fluticasone, budesonide and prednisolone and are usually prescribed for COPD.
Side Effects Include-
- Sore throat
- Change in voice
- Mouth Infections (thrush)
Oxygen therapy is simply treatment through the infusion of oxygen using an oxygen tank or concentrator.
Although the use of the tank itself can be helpful for breathing as it pumps oxygen directly into the body through the nostrils, these tanks can be inconvenient to carry and travel with.
In many cases, oxygen therapy is a last resort as it can dramatically affect the daily routine and quality of life of the patient using it.
Though one can become accustomed to using an oxygen tank, it’s incredibly important to always be aware that oxygen can react explosively to a source of fire, so smoking while using oxygen is a dangerous risk and should be avoided at all costs.
Side Effects Include-
- Constriction of blood vessels.
- Risk of accumulating carbon dioxide
Although the variety of traditional treatment options are inherently beneficial in treating those with chronic lung disease, the side-effects can be damaging. However, alternative treatment options are available.
What is Stem Cell Therapy?
Stem cell therapy is a form of treatment within the field of regenerative medicine which aims to use the body’s natural healing mechanisms to treat diseases.
In the practice of stem cell therapy for lung disease, the body’s sources for stem cells (blood and bone marrow) are withdrawn from the patient.
Then, the stem cells are separated and removed and finally reintroduced into the body through the veins where they eventually settle within the lungs to reduce inflammation and promote healing.
The benefit of stem cell therapy, as opposed to other traditional forms of treatment, is that because stem cell therapy uses the body’s own stem cells, there are virtually no risks of adverse effects.
It’s important to know the road ahead in the treatment of COPD. Although COPD can seem insurmountable, the first step to living a longer life is finding a treatment that addresses the disease head-on.
Changing one’s diet and consistently exercising are among the best lifestyle changes one can do aside from quitting smoking. However, if you’re looking to address COPD progression directly, it may be time to consider stem cell therapy.
Rather than only addressing the symptoms of lung disease, stem cell therapy directly affects disease progression and can improve quality of life and pulmonary function.
For people with lung disease, a change in quality of life could mean the difference between struggling to walk to the mailbox and riding a bike.
If you or a loved one suffers from a chronic disease like ILD, COPD, pulmonary fibrosis or other symptoms of lung disease, the Lung Institute may be able to help with a variety of adult stem cell treatment options.
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