Exhale

The official blog of the Lung Institute.

Fighting COPD-Related Fatigue

7 Jul 2015
| Under Uncategorized | Posted by | 5 Comments
fighting copd-related fatigue

 

Constant fatigue and a lack of energy are common for individuals living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Symptoms of COPD not only deplete your physical strength and energy, but can also impact your emotional health. With COPD, breathing becomes difficult and labored. COPD reduces airflow in and out of the lungs, therefore reducing the air supply for the whole body. Without receiving adequate amounts of oxygen, your body will feel tired and exhausted. Many of those with COPD are all too familiar with the associated fatigue that comes along with the disease, however, there are steps that you can take to fight it.

Understanding COPD-Related Fatigue

Fatigue is a symptom of COPD on several different levels. In its most basic sense, COPD impairs airflow. Without the proper exchange of gases, the body can’t get the amount of oxygen it desperately needs. Eventually, the sufferer will develop low blood oxygen levels, or hypoxemia. When a body is low on oxygen, it will feel tired. This becomes cyclical in nature, as the fatigue disallows a person to properly inhale and exhale air, therefore causing further fatigue.

Another reason COPD sufferers often suffer from fatigue is lack of exercise and low muscle strength. When someone has COPD, they have significant lung damage, which causes a decrease in lung function. As a result, naturally, many sufferers avoid activities that would force the lungs to work harder. One such activity is exercise. With a long-term inability to exercise, sufferers experience a decrease in muscle strength, which ultimately leads to fatigue.

The problem with fatigue and COPD is that they work together in a vicious cycle. When feeling lethargic because of a lack of oxygen, people are more likely to avoid physical activity. Because they avoid activity, they lose their stamina and grow tired more easily. Eventually, they might find that they are unable to perform even basic daily tasks without becoming winded or greatly fatigued. However, you don’t have to sit back and let COPD-related fatigue rob you of your quality of life. Try these tips to help you combat fatigue and get back to the life you want.

4 Tips for Fighting Fatigue

Exercise Regularly

Exercise is key for combating fatigue and increasing your quality of life. Walking and other physical activity can improve how efficiently your body uses oxygen. This can ultimately help you use less oxygen and therefore feel less fatigued.

Sleep Better

Sleep disturbance is one of the most common symptoms reported by patients with COPD. It is estimated that over 40 percent of patients experience trouble sleeping. By working to improve your sleep, your body can be more rested and prepared for the next day. Try to sleep for the necessary seven to nine hours a night, and if you aren’t sleeping well, consider a new sleeping position.

Drink Plenty of Water

Staying hydrated can have a positive impact on reducing your fatigue. Dehydration causes increased fatigue, and individuals with COPD are at an increased risk for dehydration. Why? As the body ages, the kidneys are unable to conserve as much water to maintain fluid balance, so thirst commonly dwindles with age. Lung conditions like COPD are worsened by dehydration. In fact, by staying hydrated, sufferers can actually minimize their symptoms, as additional water will reduce the viscosity of their mucus.

Start Treating your Condition

Improving your condition can make a huge difference on your fatigue levels. Now, thanks to medical advancements like stem cell therapy, COPD sufferers are finally breathing easier and living better. Stem cell patients report a higher quality of life and the opportunity to get back to the life they want, which means less fatigue and more fun.

If you or a loved one is ready to finally feel awake and alive again, contact the Lung Institute at (800) 729-3065.

5 Comments

  1. David Ebner

    1 year ago

    Sandy,

    We are in the process of creating some white papers that outline our success rates and the effects we’ve seen the therapies have on our patients. In the mean time, the National Center for Biological Information (NCBI) has a number of published articles pertaining to the use of autologous stem cells to treat lung disease. Here is a link to one: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23992090
    You may find some other helpful articles throughout their site. If you have any questions about our specific treatment process, call us at (855) 313-1149.

    Thanks for the comment,

    David

  2. Sandy

    1 year ago

    I have the same question as Cheri Drew. How can I view publlished research

  3. robert beckman

    1 year ago

    do you work thru v.a. at all. im a 64 yr old nam vet with extreme copd it got so bad i lost my health clearence to drive semis. since then ive continually gained weight. i cant breath enough to even walk more than 30-40feet without having to stop to catch my breath.

  4. Cara Tompot

    1 year ago

    We haven’t personally published research on stem cell therapy. Since we are a treatment facility, not a research center, our treatment protocols are based on previously published information by other researchers. We do have a variety of articles that we would be happy to send to you if you would like to learn more about the science behind stem cell therapy.

  5. Cheri Drew

    1 year ago

    Do you have any published research associated with stem cell therapy for lungs?

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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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