How to Reverse the Symptoms of COPD

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Research shows that among the millions of smokers in the United States today, as many as half will develop health problems related to smoking, including COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). Many former smokers may already have lung damage that could lead to COPD. While the condition develops slowly, symptoms worsen over time, especially if not treated. Smoking is the main cause of COPD; however, exposure to secondhand smoke and other pollutants in the environment can case the disease as well. COPD is a serious disease. Symptoms must be treated early in order to stop progression of the disease.

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  • Quit smoking. Do not allow others to smoke in your home. Avoid secondhand smoke as much as possible. Stay away from public places that are not smoke-free.
  • Follow your treatment plan consistently. Take medications as prescribed by your physician. Treatment can control symptoms and reduce the risk of complications. Your doctor may prescribe the use of a bronchodilator in the form of an inhaler, steroids to reduce inflammation of the airway and antibiotics to reduce the risk of bronchitis and pneumonia. You may require supplemental oxygen a few hours each day or while you sleep. In rare cases, surgery may be recommended.
  • Eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of protein. Protein works to repair damaged cells. If you do not get enough calcium in your diet, take calcium supplements, especially if your doctor is prescribing steroids as part of your treatment plan. Limit caffeine consumption, but drink plenty of fluids to keep mucus that collects in your air passages thin.
  • Get adequate sleep. Quality of sleep is just as important as how much sleep you get. Talk to your doctor about the use of a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) device. CPAP therapy increases air pressure to the upper airway, preventing it from becoming blocked, as a person sleeps.
  • Limit rigorous activities. That does not mean that you should completely avoid exercise. Even though people who suffer COPD may not be able to run a marathon race, regular exercise has its benefits. Talk to your doctor about developing an exercise plan to improve your strength and endurance. Low impact, aerobic exercise also helps to get more oxygen to the bloodstream and brain.
  • Join a pulmonary rehabilitation program. Your treatment plan may include working with a respiratory therapist, dietitian and physical therapist, all of whom will help you to improve your quality of life.

Via : Ehow

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