COPD Natural Treatment Methods
Various natural treatment methods exist for those struggling with COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. While many patients have found success through more traditional treatments, such as medication and oxygen therapy, others may have better luck relieving their COPD symptoms using certain natural treatment alternatives.
If you’re living with COPD, the following natural treatment methods may help you find symptom relief, decrease your risk of future flare-ups and improve your overall quality of life:
- Eat a healthy diet — Because carrying excess weight forces your heart and lungs to work harder, you can attempt to control your symptoms by maintaining a healthy diet. You may want to try eating four to six small meals each day (as opposed to three larger meals), as the smaller portions will exert less pressure on your diaphragm. You’ll also want to avoid certain foods that may exacerbate your symptoms, including acidic food and drinks, carbonated drinks, cruciferous vegetables, dairy, fried food and foods with a lot of salt. If you need assistance with your diet, you may want to consult a dietician who has experience working with COPD and other lung diseases.
- Stay hydrated — Avoiding dehydration is a key step to relieving your COPD symptoms through natural treatment, as consuming water can help to thin mucus and phlegm, thereby making it easier to cough up. Water can also prevent dryness in your airways and help you avoid infection. Although you should aim to drink at least 64 ounces of water per day, you can also stay hydrated by eating foods that contain high amounts of water, such as watermelon, strawberries and cucumbers.
- Exercise — Exercising for 30 minutes per day, five days per week, can improve your stamina and help your body extract more oxygen from your blood. Exercising also helps you to relax, which in turn helps your breathing. You may want to try gentle exercises like walking, tai chi or yoga.
- Participate in a pulmonary rehabilitation program — Pulmonary rehabilitation programs teach participants how to function with COPD by using a combination of exercise training and classroom learning. Participants typically learn how to pace their breathing and increase their stamina, and may gain practical tips on how to manage their medications or interact with healthcare professionals.
- Avoid environmental triggers — You’ll want to avoid certain allergens, such as pollen and mold, that can narrow your airways and cause you to produce more mucus. And if the above COPD natural treatment methods don’t work, you may even want to consider moving to a more suitable climate. Because excessive heat and cold, humidity and pollution can all aggravate COPD symptoms, an ideal climate would be somewhere outside of a major city, with mild temperatures and low humidity. Living in an altitude higher than 2000 feet may also help to relieve your symptoms.
The Lung Institute offers another natural treatment alternative for COPD patients: stem cell therapy. By harvesting stem cells from a patient’s own body and then reintroducing them into the patient’s bloodstream, we can promote natural healing that may help relieve symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.