What is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)?
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive form of lung disease ranging from mild to severe. It is characterized by a restriction of airflow into and out of the lungs that makes breathing difficult. COPD is the umbrella term for sufferers who have been diagnosed with or show signs of emphysema and/or chronic bronchitis. In Pittsburgh, COPD is a health concern for many, in part due to air pollution levels and occupational hazards. The Lung Institute recently opened a COPD Treatment Clinic Near Phoenix, AZ, in Scottsdale.
COPD–Definition and Causes
COPD is a progressive form of lung disease that ranges from mild to severe. It is the restriction of airflow into and out the lungs that makes breathing difficult. COPD refers to a group of lung conditions including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. There is no cure for COPD, but treatment options are now available relatively nearby, in Pittsburgh, PA, to prevent more damage and hopefully improve the quality of life.
The primary cause of COPD is tobacco smoke. Tobacco smoke destroys tissue and causes inflammation of the lungs. Inhaled tobacco toxins saturate pulmonary passageways and air sacs (alveoli), destroying structure and elasticity. Only some of the toxins leave the body when we exhale. Unfortunately, this type of lung damage is irreversible.
On rare occasions, COPD can be caused by a genetic disorder that decreases the production of specific protein. This disorder is known as Alpha-1-antitrypsin. An alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency may cause emphysema to develop in people who have never smoked cigarettes. Alpha-1-antitrypsin is a substance in the lungs that fights the enzyme trypsin (or protease). Trypsin is an enzyme released by immune cells in both the digestive tract and in the lungs, which fights bacteria or digests food. In people who are alpha-1-antitrypsin deficient, the lungs cannot fight the destructive nature of the trypsin. Therefore, the lung tissue is progressively weakened and destroyed, similar to what is found in a person who has smoked cigarettes.
Cells are the body’s natural healing system. The Lung Institute state-of-the-art clinics harvest cells from a patient’s own blood or bone marrow and reintroduce them into the body, directing their healing ability toward lung tissue. This high dose of cells promote healing and helps patients breathe more easily.
The Lung Institute uses autologous cells, derived from the patient’s own body for bone marrow and the venous (blood-derived) stem cell procedures. Cells are extracted, isolated and immediately introduced back into the body where they replicate into healthy cells specialized to promote healing. All our stem cell procedures have shown anti-inflammatory properties beneficial to patients with lung disease.
The city of Pittsburgh leads lung disease research with programs like those at the Simmons Center for Interstitial Lung Disease at the University of Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Lung Institute clinic treats interstitial lung disease and other serious lung disorders including COPD, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, pulmonary fibrosis and black lung.
Lung disease is the third leading cause of death in the United States, and most traditional treatment options only treat the symptoms rather than the disease itself. Most who have been diagnosed with lung disease are prescribed a bronchodilator and daily medication to clear the respiratory path and reduce coughing. The advent of cellular therapy is a game-changer for those with lung disease.
Multiple Treatment Facilities
With facilities in Tampa, Nashville, Scottsdale and Pittsburgh, our patients can choose from any of these locations for their cellular therapy. By applying modern-day best practices to the growing field of regenerative medicine, the Lung Institute is improving lives. If you would like to find out more about our available treatment options, please contact one of our patient care coordinators today at 888-745-6697 to schedule a free consultation.