The official blog of the Lung Institute.
COPD symptoms can be hard to cope with. Here are a few helpful tips to get by.
When diagnosed with a chronic lung disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the news can hit hard. As a degenerative lung disease, COPD has no known cure, and in truth, will only become progressively worse. And unfortunately, the disease symptoms that make daily life so difficult to live with are here to stay. Knowing and understanding this information can be devastating, but it is nonetheless important to living with the disease itself, and tackling its symptoms head on to achieve a better quality of life. Although there are a variety of alternative treatment options available, the first step in addressing COPD is knowing your symptoms, what causes them, and what lifestyle changes you can make to better affect your respiratory function.
With your health in mind, the Lung Institute is here to give you a clear understanding of your COPD Symptoms & 5 Steps to Cope with Them.
Understanding Your COPD Symptoms
Simply put, COPD is a progressive form of lung disease that usually stems from prolonged cigarette smoke or other hazardous respiratory conditions; the disease itself is typically staged from mild to very severe. Typically characterized by a restriction of airflow into and out of the lungs—making breathing difficult—COPD encompasses two conditions: emphysema and/or chronic bronchitis. While emphysema is merely a term used to describe the breakdown of the lung’s alveolar walls, for chronic bronchitis, the primary symptoms of the disease are a daily cough and mucus production for at least three months a year for two consecutive years. Unfortunately, when it comes to COPD and those that have the disease, symptoms usually do not appear until significant damage has already occurred within the lungs. Because of this—particularly when a patient is unaware of their condition and still smokes—this can further the damage already inflicted.
COPD Symptoms and What You Can Expect
COPD is a disease that is very specific to the individual, as anything from genetic history, smoking habits, living conditions, diet and exercise can have an effect on the manifestation of symptoms within a patient. However, of the known COPD symptoms, one can expect:
- Shortness of breath, especially during physical activities
- Chronic cough
- Chest tightness
- Excess mucus build-up
- Blueness of the lips of fingernail beds
- Frequent respiratory infections
- Unintended weight loss (in later stages)
- Swelling in ankles, feet or legs
5 Steps to Cope with Your COPD Symptoms
5. Quit Smoking
As we’ve mentioned before, when it comes to your respiratory health and general health overall, quitting smoking should be at the top of your priorities. Not only will quitting smoking boost your health on a daily basis, but also extend your life.
Getting up and active is good for not only the blood flow but also improving respiratory health. As cardio-aerobic exercise stimulates blood flow, it allows the heart to pump blood (which carries oxygen) leading to increased blood oxygen levels overall.
3. Improve Your Diet
Perhaps more important than exercise is simply diet. Our bodies require a vast array of chemicals, vitamins, and nutrients in order to function at peak performance. When living with a chronic lung disease, it’s best to give your body everything it needs to ensure the best respiratory health and quality of life on a daily basis.
2. Invest in the Oxygen Around You
Aside from changing your smoking behavior and lifestyle, address the conditions of your surrounding environment can have a huge impact on the severity of your symptoms. By reducing the amount of toxins and smoke in your home through air purification as well as utilizing oxygen-producing plants, you can significantly change the air quality in your home in an effort to relieve the severity of your symptoms.
1. Stem Cell Therapy
When looking to treat the symptoms of lung disease, there are a variety of options available. Although traditional treatment options such as medication and oxygen therapy exist, none have the potential to address disease progression in the way that stem cell therapy can. By utilizing the body’s natural healing factors (stem cells), stem cell therapy has the potential to work as a natural treatment for chronic lung disease, not only relieving symptoms but addressing the disease’s progression as well.
COPD symptoms bring many challenges, so 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 may 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 finding the strength to ride your bike again.
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. Contact us today at (800) 729-3065 to see if you qualify for stem cell therapy, and find out what stem cell therapy could mean for you.
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