Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease

A group of diseases that makes it difficult to breathe. They include emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

Dr. Geni Abraham

Causes

Typically, it is common in smokers. 90% of cases are as a result of smoking. Other causes are occupation related exposures such as fumes, dust, asbestos etc.

Among smokers, 20% develop COPD. So, the best way to prevent COPD is not to smoke.

Five percent of cases of COPD are due to a genetic disorder called alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency and the patient smoked. 

Dr. Geni Abraham

Signs and Symptoms :

Increasing shortness of breath with simple activity, chronic cough, wheezing are the most common symptoms. Fatigue or lack of energy, leg swelling, frequent upper respiratory infections. If you have these symptoms it is most important that you see your doctor for an evaluation and proper diagnosis.

Dr. Geni Abraham

Prevention: avoidance of smoking is the best way to prevent COPD

If you work in an environment that exposes you to fumes, dust etc. then proper protective measures such as masks are very important to use. Also, those who smoke and work in this environment have an increased likelihood of developing COPD.

Dr. Geni Abraham

Management

Stop smoking : Tobacco cessation is a very important part of treatment.

Medications : There are medications (inhalers) that can be prescribed by your doctor. In advanced cases, Oxygen therapy may also be needed.

Nutrition : A healthy diet, protein focused, whole foods, plant based anti-inflammatory. Drink adequate amounts of water. Monitor your salt intake. If you make large amount of sputum an anti- histaminic diet might be beneficial but be careful that you do not loose weight unless you are obese. Eating small frequent meals is much better than 2-3 large meals

Exercise : Gentle graded exercise and deep breathing exercises are very important to improve your stamina and lung capacity. The best exercise is the one you can do and are willing to do. Sometimes that means it might be just chair based exercises.

Stress : It is important to manage your stress. Stress, if not managed, leads to difficulty with tobacco cessation. Deep breathing exercises are important to improve lung capacity and to improve your stress overall.

Dr. Geni Abraham

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