Friday 15 March 2019

Beating COPD!

Beating COPD image

My father-in-law, an ex-smoker, has COPD, and I'm trying to find out about complementary therapies for him. He takes medication, but still suffers from symptoms and struggles with physical activity. Can you help?
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an umbrella term for a group of lung diseases that narrow the airways and make it increasingly difficult to breathe.
It includes the conditions chronic bronchitis—long-term cough with mucus—and emphysema—progressive destruction of the lungs. Most people with COPD have aspects of both.
As well as a persistent cough, symptoms of COPD include wheezing, shortness of breath that gets worse with mild activity, fatigue and frequent respiratory infections. Periods, where symptoms become particularly bad, are known as exacerbations or flare-ups.
It's good news that your father-in-law has quit smoking—one of the key causes of COPD. Stopping smoking is proven to reduce the progression of the disease.1 But he shouldn't stop there. There are a number of other lifestyle changes he can make that can be effective, from taking supplements to practising mind-body techniques.
Here are some tips you can pass on to him to help him manage his symptoms.
Join a yoga class
The combination of physical poses, deep breathing and meditation appears to be beneficial for COPD sufferers, improving lung function, tolerance to exercise and the distress that comes with difficulty breathing.2 Try to find a class near you and go at least twice a week. Even better, consider having one-on-one sessions with a yoga therapist who can create a program tailored to your needs.
Get musical
If yoga's not your cup of tea, try singing or playing the harmonica. Both involve breath control, which may help with lung health. In fact, one study found that twice-weekly singing classes for six weeks resulted in positive physical changes as well as a reduction in anxiety among COPD sufferers.3 And harmonica playing was recently found to improve lung function and exercise capacity.4
Try tai chi
The ancient Chinese forms of exercise tai chi and qigong are proving useful for COPD. According to a review of 10 trials, tai chi, qigong, or a combination of the two, improved physical performance, lung function, shortness of breath and quality of life in people with COPD.5 Find a class best suited to you and aim to go at least twice a week.
Take supplements
It's best to work with an experienced practitioner who can recommend individual dosages, check for drug interactions and monitor potential side-effects. But here are some general recommendations.
N-acetylcysteine (NAC): This potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory has been found to cut the number of flare-ups in patients with moderate-to-severe COPD.6
Suggested dosage: 600 mg twice daily
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): COPD sufferers seem to be lacking in this vitamin-like substance, found in every cell of the body. And CoQ10 supplements have been found to improve blood oxygenation, exercise performance and heart rate in people with COPD.7
Suggested dosage: 90 mg/day
Vitamin D: Supplementing with the 'sunshine vitamin' may reduce the risk of flare-ups in those who are D-deficient.8 Consider getting your D levels tested to work out how much you need to be taking.
Suggested dosage: 1,000-5,000 IU vitamin D3/day
Consider herbs
The following herbal remedies may be helpful for COPD. Again, it's best to consult with a qualified practitioner for personalized advice.
Pelargonium sidoides: Extracts of this herb, also known as African geranium or umckaloabo, appear to be a beneficial add-on therapy for patients with COPD, reducing the severity of symptoms, the frequency of flare-ups and need for antibiotics as well as boosting the quality of life. The herb is now found in a number of commercial cough and cold remedies including Umcka ColdCare by Nature's Way and Kaloba Cough & Cold Relief by Schwabe Pharma.
Suggested dosage: follow label instructions
Panax ginseng: This East Asian herb has been found to improve lung function and quality of life in people with COPD.9
Suggested dosage: 100 mg twice daily
Eat well
Malnutrition is common in COPD sufferers and can affect lung function and overall health. So it's crucial to eat a balanced diet that includes all of the essential nutrients. Also consider investigating the possibility of a food allergy, as COPD has been linked to allergies in some reports.
Top tip
Breathing in cold air can trigger bronchospasm—when the muscles in the lungs tighten—and shortness of breath, so wear a cold-weather face mask if you're going out in low temperatures.
COPD factfile
•COPD is predicted to become the third leading cause of death and disability by 2030.1
•Smoking, including passive smoking, is a key cause, although air pollution and occupational exposures to dust and chemicals are also known risk factors.

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  1. I am not sure of the cause of COPD emphysema in my case. I smoked pack a day for 12 or 13 years, but quit 40 years ago. I have been an outdoor person all my adult life. Coughing started last summer producing thick mucus, greenish tint to clear. I tried prednisone and antibiotics, but no change. X-rays are negative, heart lungs and blood and serum chemistries all are normal. I have lung calcification from childhood bout with histoplasmosis. I am 75 years old and retired.My current doctor directed me to totalcureherbsfoundation .c om which I purchase the COPD herbal remedies from them ,they are located in Johannesburg, the herbal treatment has effectively reduce all my symptoms totally, am waiting to complete the 15 weeks usage because they guaranteed me total cure.

  2. I'm 59 years old and female. I was diagnosed a couple of years ago with COPD and I was beyond scared! My lung function test indicated 49% capacity. After having had flu a year ago, the shortness of breath, coughing and chest pains continued even after being treated with antibiotics. I've been smoking two packs a day for 36 years. Being born without a sternum caused my ribs to be curled in just one inch away from my spine, resulting to underdeveloped lungs. At age 34 I had surgery and it was fixed. Unfortunately my smoking just caused more damage to my already under developed lungs. The problem was having is that I enjoy smoking and don't want to give up! Have tried twice before and nearly went crazy and don't want to go through that again. I saw the fear in my husband and children's eyes when I told them about my condition then they start to find solution on their own to help my condition.I am an 59 now who was diagnose COPD emphysema which I know was from my years of smoking. I started smoking in school when smoking was socially acceptable. I remember when smoking was permitted in hospitals. It was not known then how dangerous cigarettes were for us, and it seemed everybody smoked but i was able to get rid of my COPD lung condition through the help of total cure herbal foundation my husband bought, totalcureherbsfoundation .c om has the right herbal formula to help you get rid and repair any lung conditions and cure you totally with their natural organic herbs,it class products at affordable prices. Purchase these medicines and get the generic medicines delivered in USA, UK & Australia,I wish anybody who starts smoking at a young age would realize what will eventually happen to their bodies if they continue that vile habit throughout their life.