Emphysema Explained

Emphysema is one of the major obstructive lung diseases that fits under the umbrella of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It consists of the gradual destruction of air sacs in the lungs, making it more difficult to breathe over time. These tiny cluster-like sacs are responsible for bringing oxygen to the bloodstream. As emphysema progresses, the inner walls of the air sacs form holes weakening their internal structure, thus less oxygen can reach the bloodstream. Additionally, emphysema works to destroy the elasticity of the airways leading to the air sacs. Shortness of breath and struggling to breathe cause constant problems for sufferers.

Emphysema can be caused by several different reasons, but the disease most commonly associated with smoking and second hand smoke. COPD can develop in both current and former smokers. Long-term cigarette use or exposure to tobacco soaks the lungs in harmful toxins that cause severe damage leading to many of the diseases that make up COPD. Not everyone that has COPD smoked, and not everyone that smoked has COPD.

Treatment for Emphysema

Unfortunately, there has not been a cure developed for emphysema, but that does not mean that the disease cannot be treated. The first recommendation by any pulmonary physician is to advise individuals to stop smoking and stay away from smoke-filled locations. Many physicians also prescribe a combination of bronchodilators and steroids to help expand the airways, thus allowing more airflow to and from the lungs and reducing shortness of breath.

Emphysema is also commonly treated with a series of pulmonary rehabilitation (aerobic exercise) and nutritional support. For people in the most severe stages of emphysema, supplemental oxygen is also used for treatment—ranging from occasional use to 24/7 use. Most invasively, a physician may suggest a lung transplant, but this often has limited availability and challenging requirements for eligibility. Sadly no treatment improves lung function, but rather deter the progression of the disease…until now.

Natural Treatment for Emphysema

Treating emphysema naturally may seem like an impossible task for someone suffering from the disease, but natural remedies have been proven to help lessen the symptoms of emphysema. Here some natural treatment for emphysema:

Supplements

One supplement that some people use to increase the functioning of the airways is a Chinese mushroom called cordyceps. Although cordyceps are widely used in Asia, there has not been sufficient studies done in the United States. The risks and benefits of this supplement are greatly unknown.

Carotenoids are also sometimes recommended as a natural treatment for emphysema. This supplement can be found naturally in carrots, sweet potatoes, yellow squash and various leafy green vegetables. Carotenoids should always be used in moderation, especially in supplement form.

Diet

Your weight can affect the symptoms and general progression of your disease. For many people, it is healthy to lose weight during the early stages of the disease, but for others, weight may need to be gained during late stage emphysema. It is important to speak with a dietitian before embarking on a medically influenced diet.

Exercise

Contrary to what couch potatoes nation-wide believe, exercising is natural and needed. Monitored cardiovascular exercise can help improve your lung functioning by making them more efficient at supplying the bloodstream with oxygen. Taking a walk or an easy bike ride can make a difference in the long-term treatment of your disease.

Try various breathing exercises that will help you use all of your lungs when you breathe instead of just the top portion. There is no reason to rush your progress too quickly. Make sure to work with a physical trainer and your physician.

Stem Cell Therapy

In the case of emphysema, autologous stem cells are used, meaning they come from the patient’s own body, and can be found in adult bone marrow and/or in the patient’s venous blood. Stem cells derived from bone marrow or  blood have the capacity to form many types of differentiated cells. During the procedure, stem cell treatment involves isolating adult stem cells from bone marrow and blood, which requires special laboratory techniques to collect them. After being extracted from the patient’s body, they are isolated.

The stem cells are given back to the patient intravenously. The treatment is minimally invasive and typically an outpatient procedure. The procedure should be performed in a clinical setting under the supervision of a professional. It takes a physician that has sought specific training to perform stem cell therapy adequately and safely. If you would like to find out more about our available natural treatment for emphysema, please contact one of our patient care coordinators today at (800) 729-3065 to schedule a free consultation.

* 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.

All claims made regarding the efficacy of Lung Institute's treatments as they pertain to pulmonary conditions are based solely on anecdotal support collected by Lung Institute. Individual conditions, treatment and outcomes may vary and are not necessarily indicative of future results. Testimonial participation is voluntary. Lung Institute does not pay for or script patient testimonials.

Under current FDA guidelines and regulations 1271.10 and 1271.15, the Lung Institute complies with all necessary requirements for operation. Any individual who accesses Lung Institute's website for information is encouraged to speak with his or her primary physician for treatment suggestions and conclusive evidence. All information on this site should be used for educational and informational use only.