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How is COPD Treated 2017


How is COPD Treated 2017

When you are diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), you are sure to be having so many questions which will include how the disease can be treated. Not every patient with COPD experiences the same symptoms and this means there is different treatment methods for different persons. In situations like this, you should speak to your doctor to determine the best treatment method for you.

COPD Medications

There are different COPD medications available. However, there is no “best” copd medication as every patient’s symptoms differ from each other. Your doctors will work closely with you to determine the best treatment method for your condition.

By taking the right medication, you are sure to enjoy a better lifestyle. With the right medication, you can:

  • Continue your daily lifestyle
  • Breathe better
  • Experience lesser exacerbations

Pulmonary Rehabilitation: As a COPD patient, pulmonary rehabilitation helps to rebuild your strength, giving you the ability to enjoy a more active life. This program combines education, exercise training, nutrition advice and counselling to create a tailored routine to help you breathe better.

Surgery: This is usually seen as a last resort, especially for patients who have experienced no significant success with other treatment methods. You should also note that not everyone is a candidate for surgery. It is mostly used for patients with severe COPD.

Supplemental Oxygen: Our body needs oxygen to do everything. Sometimes, with COPD patients, your breathing gets so restricted that you need extra oxygen or supplemental oxygen. This is also known as oxygen therapy.

Complementary Therapies: These therapies involve the other forms of therapies that are not seen as conventional in the US. They include yoga, massage and acupuncture. You should note that these techniques don’t treat COPD; however, they help to improve the symptoms and quality of life.

Palliative Care: This is specialty in medicine that is geared towards treating the symptoms, pain and stress that accompany serious illnesses like COPD. It is available to you from the moment you are diagnosed and through the entire course of your illness. The main aim of this care is to help you and your family achieve the highest quality of life.

 


COPD Self-Management


COPD Self-Management

Coping with COPD is a huge task. The thought of having to make some changes to one’s daily activities can make one depressed. However, this shouldn’t be the case. With the help of some lifestyle changes like healthy diets, regular exercises and quitting smoking, you should be able to enjoy an active lifestyle.

With your health in mind, we have come up with some lifestyle and home remedies to help reduce the damage COPD causes to your lungs.

Lifestyle and Home Remedies:

Clear your airways. COPD causes increased production of mucus along the airways and this can be very difficult to clear. However, controlled coughing, using a humidifier and drinking lots of water can make a huge difference.

Regular Exercise. This may sound like a huge task for COPD patients especially because of the shortness of breath. However, regular exercising of the body helps to improve the flow of oxygen in the lungs, improve endurance and strengthen your respiratory muscle.

Stop Smoking and avoid polluted areas. Quitting smoking is a big task, especially for people who have a long history of smoking. However, by continuing smoking, you are only worsening the situation. Therefore, you should avoid smoking and areas with polluted air as it only worsens your COPD symptoms.

Control your Breathing. You should speak to your doctor on the best breathing position or techniques to improve breathing efficiency throughout the day.

Visit your Doctor Regularly. This is very important as it helps you to keep track of your progress, assess what works and know the improvements to be made. By visiting your doctor, you will know the best treatment method for your situation.

Eat Healthy Foods. You should endeavour to eat foods that are rich in vitamins as these helps to provide the body with the needed vitamins to fight COPD symptoms.

Coping and Support

Living with COPD is a challenge- especially as it becomes harder to sustain breath. This may lead to forfeiting some daily activities, giving your family and friends a tough time coping with these changes.

Sharing your fears with family and friends can be a big help. You can also join support groups for people with COPD. Here, you can learn of other people’s experience and how they have been able to manage their symptoms.

Prevention

Unlike some diseases, the cause and prevention for COPD is quite clear. The major cause for COPD is known to be cigarette smoking- hence, the best way to prevent it is to never smoke or stop smoking entirely.

If you are a long-time smoker, these changes might be very hard to make. However, you can speak to your doctor for some methods to follow to stop this addiction.

Some other risk factors for COPD include exposure to chemical fumes and dust. The best way to prevent COPD when working in these environments is to use respiratory protective equipment.


What’s the Difference Between Obstructive and Restrictive Lung Disease?


What is Obstructive Lung Disease?

Chronic Lung Disease has to main categories known as the obstructive and restrictive. While they may have similar symptoms, they affect the lungs in different ways. Within each category are different specific types of chronic lung disease. For example, interstitial lung disease and pulmonary fibrosis make up the restrictive lung disease category. However, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema and chronic bronchitis fall into the obstructive lung disease category. In this article, we will be discussing the question “What is Obstructive Lung Disease?”

What’s the Difference Between Obstructive and Restrictive Lung Disease?

To answer the question “What is Obstructive Lung Disease?”, we have to understand the difference between obstructive and restrictive lung disease. Since they usually exhibit similar symptoms, the major difference between them is how they affect the lungs.

People with restrictive lung disease experience difficulty in expanding their lungs. Meaning they find it hard to fill their lungs with air. Simply put, their lungs have restrictions in normal breathing.

However, for people with obstructive lung disease, they experience difficulty exhaling air out of their lung, making it hard for them to inhale fresh air. The air trapped inside their lungs blocks the new air from entering their lungs.

What is Obstructive Lung Disease?

Like we said earlier, obstructive lung disease makes it hard for people to exhale air from their lungs. The most common types of obstructive lung disease are COPD, emphysema and chronic bronchitis. In most cases, they occur together.

COPD is usually characterized by the blockage of the airways, causing obstruction of airflow into and out of the lungs. It usually includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. In emphysema, the lungs’ tiny air sacs or alveoli are gradually destroyed. In chronic bronchitis, the air passages become inflamed, and the lungs produce excess mucus.

What Causes Obstructive Lung Disease?

Smoking is the primary cause of COPD. If you are currently a smoker, you should see your doctor to get tips that can help you quit smoking and live smoke-free. Quitting smoking can be very challenging but you should keep in mind that they have lots of benefits to your health.

Aside from smoking, people working in certain polluted environments can be at a higher risk of developing chronic lung disease. Generic disorders such as alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency could also be a major cause of COPD without ever smoking.

What are the Symptoms of Obstructive Lung Disease?

The most common symptoms among patients with obstructive lung disease like COPD, emphysema and chronic bronchitis are constant coughing, shortness of breath and fatigue. However, everyone has a different symptom to this disease, so if you notice any changes or worsening of your symptoms, you should report to your doctor immediately.

Obstructive Lung Disease Symptoms include:

  • Shortness of Breath
  • Chronic Cough
  • Wheezing
  • Fatigue
  • Excessive Mucus Production
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Chest Tightness
  • Frequent Respiratory Infections

What Can I Do?

If you think you have chronic lung disease or you notice any symptoms, the first step is to visit your doctor for an evaluation. You may be required to take certain blood tests, exercise tolerance tests or pulmonary function tests to help determine if you have obstructive lung disease. After which, your doctor would design an effective treatment plan. You should make sure to follow this plan to the letter and also track any changes.

Report to you doctors regularly even if you are feeling well. This helps them to monitor your development and proffer solution to any problems along the way.


What is the Connection between Agent Orange and COPD?


What is the Connection between Agent Orange and COPD?

Many remember the Vietnam war for its horrific violence and the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) it left on people. Another scar the war left behind is the result of a harmful herbicide known as agent orange. The poisonous active ingredient of orange, dioxide has been said to be associated with different health conditions, diseases and cancer. But is there any connection between Agent orange and COPD?

Agent Orange:

During the Vietnam war, Agent Orange was used primarily as an herbicide by the United States for the purpose of removing solid vegetation that covered the country and provided camouflage for the movement of communist forces around the country. It helped the US Government to minimize surprise attacks from the enemy. Agent Orange was not available for commercial use; it was made strictly for “combat operations”. Dioxin is a known carcinogen. Therefore, a number of medical conditions and diseases are connected to exposure to agent orange. In 1991, Congress passed the Agent Orange Act which ordered the National Academy of Sciences to conduct scientific and medical research on the effects of agent orange on veterans’ health.

Agent Orange and COPD:

In 2012, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, General (R) Eric Shinseki, tried to find out if there was an increased incidence of respiratory diseases, like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), in veterans exposed to agent orange during the Vietnam War.

COPD is a progressive disease where inflammation causes increased blockage of the lungs, thereby, causing lung damage. Though its primary cause is smoking, about 15 percent of sufferers develop COPD after being exposed to chemicals, dust and fumes. When left untreated, COPD patients find that breathing becomes increasingly difficult and symptoms such as wheezing, constant coughing and recurring upper respiratory infections begin to occur.

The research which was initiated by General Shinseki, known as the Army Chemical Corps Vietnam-Era Veterans Health Study, evaluated 4,000 veterans who served in Vietnam from 1965 to 1973. The group ran various lung function tests, and results are still being analyzed before findings can be published. Until these results are released, veterans can receive disability benefits for COPD and other respiratory diseases based on the results of lung function testing. A lung function test measures air flow rate through the lungs. The lower the air flow, the less severe the COPD.


Herbs That Help COPD


Herbs That Help COPD

The fact that progressive diseases like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a condition with little or no chance of successful treatment can be very hard to accept. As of now, COPD patients are usually placed on a strict regimen of prescriptions and supplemental oxygens with the hopes of improving lifestyle quality.

These alternative treatment options help to relieve symptoms but do not actually guarantee a return of normal lung function. The common end treatment used is the lung transplant which is quite invasive and does not have a high success rate. With this problem in mind, most patients are beginning to use less invasive alternatives like the stem cell therapy which boasts a higher success rate. The consumption of some herbs can also help with COPD treatment.

Which Herbs are Helpful?

There is a wide range of herbs that can be beneficial to improving lung function, and this has led to people seeking to know some of the benefits of different herbs and how they relate to improving their lung health. Here are some herbs that you might already have and can be of help:

Peppermint: If you have ever taken a deep breath when you open a can of mint or peppermint oil, you will notice this herb contains menthol. Menthol is an agent that helps to relax the muscles around the respiratory tract.

Oregano: Usually used in Italian dishes, this herb can also be used in some other foods. It is rich in carvacrol and rosmarinic acid which act as a decongestant and histamine reducer. Try cooking with more oregano to counteract your lung disease.

Some other uncommon herbs that can also be helpful include:

Tumeric: A recent study by the National Institute of Health proves that curcumin, an active ingredient in turmeric, has a wide variety of benefits for people suffering from lung disease. It goes on to state that the herb can help prevent and control inflammation in the airways.

Osha Root: Known as one of the most effective lung supporting herbs grown naturally in the US, OSHA roots grow in the Rocky Mountains. The herb has an active ingredient, camphor which increases circulation to the lungs and produces an effect similar to antihistamines.

When looking for an effective solution to breathing easier, you should not limit yourself to waiting for lung transplant while consuming pills every day. There are lots of other alternative options like dietary changes which are effective. You should also consult your doctor before taking decisions related to your health.

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COPD Improves with Stem Cell Therapy


COPD Improves with Stem Cell Therapy

Four Lung Institute facilities in Tampa, Scottsdale, Nashville and Pittsburg, treat restrictive and obstructive lung diseases using stem cell therapy methods by using stem cells from the patient’s body.

Most COPD patients who receive stem cell therapy has experienced a significant amount of improvement in the quality of life.

COPD is a progressive kind of lung disease which usually ranges from mild to severe with patients known to experience restriction of airflow into and out of the lungs, making breathing difficult. It’s of two forms which are chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

There is currently no cure for COPD, however, treatment options like stem cell therapy have been proved to help reduce further damage, while improving the quality of life.

According to a pilot report from the Lung Institute called Autologous Stem Cell Therapy and its Effects on COPD, about 82% of patients with the disease showed symptoms of improvements in their quality of life after receiving stem cell therapy. However, the level of this improvement depends on each patient.

“In the practice of medicine, we use standardized treatments on unique individuals, and as a result, responses to treatments do vary,” said Dr. Jack Coleman, medical director of the Lung Institute clinic in Nashville. “When the responses of a large population of patients are presented as a graph, we see the bell-shaped curve where one extreme represents those patients with a very-good-to-excellent response to treatment, and the other extreme represents those with little or no response to treatment. The majority of patients are somewhere in the middle.” He continued.

Stem Cell Therapy uses a strategy whereby a new adult stem cell is introduced into the damaged tissues in order to treat disease or any form of injury. The treatment helps to reduce or remove suffering. While stem cell therapy can improve the quality of life for a COPD patient, it is not a definite cure for the disease.

“There are times when you still get a flare-up, where you have to take a break,” Gary noted. “It’s not a miracle cure. It’s not something that you are going to take, and the next day you’re cured.”

However, you should know that stem cell therapy is the best option for patients with COPD.

Many patients with COPD have trouble taking short walks and are especially susceptible to illness and pneumonia. Most patients need oxygen support 24 hours per day and daily medications. In severe cases, a more drastic measure is required- lung transplant. With lung transplant, the affected tissue is removed, leaving the rest to work more efficiently.

While some patients’ reviews indicate improvements in lung function and capability to live a normal life, not all results are positive.


Suffering With COPD


Suffering With COPD

At the national meeting of the American Thoracic Society (ATS), currently on-going in Denver, most of the research presented has mainly been about Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, COPD.

COPD is a serious disease that makes it difficult to breathe and has the ability to get worse overtime. Some of its obvious symptoms include wheezing, coughing that produces large amounts of mucus, shortness of breath and chest tightness.

Usually caused by smoking or constant exposure to irritants and pollution, COPD is the foremost cause of disability and the 4th leading cause of death in the U.S. The disease can affect patient’s lifestyle, limiting their ability to carry out even the most basic tasks like walking and cooking. And according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, there is “no cure and doctors don’t know how to reverse the damage to the airways and lungs.”

However, here is some good news from the ATS meeting.

In two separate studies presented at the event, scientists have announced breakthroughs that can intensely help people suffering with COPD. The treatment involves a vitamin and an ancient natural treatment.

Traditional Chinese medicine uses a paste known as Xiao Chuan, or XCP, for over a thousand years to aid breathing difficulties like COPD and asthma. The main ingredients of XCP are plants native to China- including Ephedra vulgaris, Asarum heterothropoides and Acorus gramineus Soland.

Now mainstream medicine is stating that this herbal paste actually works. COPD has been noticed to get worse during the cold weather with the cold air triggering the symptoms. But Beijing scientists discovered that XCP can effectively reduce these theoretically dangerous winter exacerbations of COPD.


Treating COPD


Treating COPD:

The treatment of COPD is mostly reliant on changing one’s lifestyle, like quitting smoking. Other methods of treatment may involve medications like steroids, or inhaled medications also known as bronchodilators. However, these medications may lose effectiveness as the disease worsens.

Another method of treating COPD is the Lung Volume Reduction surgery which, in most cases, is a last resort reserved for people experiencing severe symptoms with no sign of improvement with medication.

During this procedure, surgeon removes the affected lung tissues, leaving the functional ones and allowing them to work more efficiently. By doing this, lung volume reduction surgery can improve shortness of breath, quality of life and survival.

But, this comes with some downsides. The surgery has risks, like prolonged recovery time and discomfort from the surgical scar.

Treating Damaged Tissue:

A new procedure is being tested by researchers in clinical trials at Cleveland Clinic and other hospitals across the U.S. This procedure helps the damaged lung tissue to regain the elasticity that was lost to disease.

During this procedure, doctors insert special flexible scopes through the patient’s mouth to enable them place metal coils into the damaged tissue of the patient’s lung. These coils will return elasticity to the diseased tissue, providing it the elasticity needed to function the normal way.

According to Dr. Cicenia, who is one of the researchers in the clinical trial and has performed the procedure, “We’re actually treating the lung by adding back elasticity to it that it had lost,”

“When you lose elasticity it takes a lot longer to empty the lungs, which leads to the lungs hyperinflating,” Dr. Cicenia continues.

This hyperinflation in the statement above is the reason why patients with COPD feel short of breath, Dr. Cicenia says.

“If you add back lost elasticity, you reduce hyperinflation and potentially improve shortness of breath,” he says.

Return of Lung Function:

The coils have been used in procedures within Europe since 2008 and patients who go received this procedure has been reported to experience improvements in their lung function, capacity for exercise and quality of life.

Recovery from this procedure is faster than the traditional COPD surgery because it is non-invasive.

While traditional procedures require large or several small incisions in the chest to remove affected lungs, the Lung Coil Procedure is non-invasive, meaning patients can go home after an overnight stay at the hospital.

Patients who undergo this procedure has be said to experience improvements on the distance they can cover during walks and their general life.

 

COPD is a major disease that has caused death in the U.S. Millions of people have a COPD diagnosis while some others have this disease without even knowing it.


Best Medications to Treat COPD


Medications to Treat COPD

Although system cell therapy is very effective, every COPD medications come with their flaws. COPD can be a very difficult disease to live with. Not only is it degenerative, the daily effects can also be exhausting. The effects of COPD can have negative impact on one’s daily routine, from moving around the house to traveling around. Most people suffering from this disease are prescribed the natural medication like inhalers, and oxygen therapy. Every of these methods have its side effect. This brought about the rise of alternative treatment options.

When COPD medication fails, there are a variety of alternative medications available. From inhalers for COPD, corticosteroids to oxygen therapy. Although these medications exist to relieve the symptoms of lung disease like inflammation, obstructed breathing, and general fatigue, they also have their negative effects.

Here some traditional COPD inhaler medications and their side effects:

Inhalers for COPD: This can either be short acting or long acting and are used to create airways to make breathing easier. The short acting inhalers are used for emergency situations while the long acting ones are used for longer-term treatment of COPD and are usually taken once or twice a day. Its side effects include:

Short-Acting:

  • Dry mouth
  • Blurred vision
  • Cough
  • Tremors
  • Rapid heart-rate

Long-Acting:

  • Dry mouth
  • Tremors
  • Dizziness
  • Runny nose
  • Scratchy throat

Corticosteroids: Similar to the inhalers, this traditional medication helps to relieve inflammation within the airways and is used in conjunction with bronchodilators. Corticosteroids work effectively to allow easier breathing within the lungs. Its side effects include:

  • Headaches
  • Sore throat
  • Change in voice
  • Colds
  • Mouth Infections (thrush)

Oxygen Therapy: This treatment is done through the infusion of oxygen using an oxygen tank or concentrator. It is mostly used as the last resort as it can negatively affect the daily routine since oxygen tank is inconvenient and can be hard to carry about. Some of the side effects include:

  • Constriction of blood vessels.
  • Risk of accumulating carbon dioxide

These traditional methods of treating COPD are very effective. However, the come with their side effects which can be very damaging. This is why most people prefer the use of the alternative treatment options.

Stem Cell Therapy:

Stem Cell therapy is a treatment method that uses use the body’s natural healing mechanisms to treat diseases. The cells are then isolated by a professional, and almost immediately, the stem cells are given back to the individual intravenously. The use of stem cell therapy, as opposed to other traditional forms of treatment, comes with more benefits since stem cell therapy uses the body’s own stem cells, there are virtually no risks of adverse effects.

Changing one’s diet and consistently exercising are among the best lifestyle changes one can adopt to see more positive changes. However, if you’re looking to address COPD progression directly, it may be time to consider stem cell therapy.

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Holistic Treatment for COPD


Holistic Treatment for COPD

COPD which means Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a term used to describe progressive lung diseases which includes emphysema, chronic bronchitis, refractory asthma, and some forms of bronchiectasis. It is usually characterised by increasing breathlessness.

People who suffer from this disease experience discomfort and fatigue from exacerbations, making it hard for traditional treatment options like inhalers and corticosteroids to work efficiently. These treatments come with different side effect like weight gain and infections. With this in mind, there has been a call for more holistic treatment methods, especially in the field of holistic medicine.

Known as the whole treatment of the entire body and mind and used to treat specific disease, here are some holistic COPD treatment methods to improve healing:

Natural Holistic COPD Remedies:

Since holistic medicine has to do with treating the body itself in order to treat a disease, in the case of chronic lung disease, different natural remedies may be used to create airway clearance and reduce mucus. Some of these remedies include:

  1. Ginger which reduces congestion and improves lung circulation
  2. Elecampane which helps to relieve cough
  3. Osha root which also reduces congestion
  4. Rosemary which contains healing vitamins A and C, and minerals calcium to help improve blood circulation.

Natural Supplement:

There are a lot of vitamins and nutrients that can be used to help reduce inflammation while improving natural breathing from within. Some of these supplements include:

  1. Vitamin D– is a sun-derived vitamin which has been proven to improve lung function
  2. Bromelain– found in pineapple juice, it is believed to reduce inflammation and work efficiently for COPD relief.
  3. NAC– this antioxidant improves reduces inflammation, cough and phlegm.

Diet and Exercise:

A healthy diet and very good amount of exercise goes a long way in improving our health in general. It is sometimes the best option for patients of COPD who already suffered from limited mobility, because exercise can be the simplest.

Acupuncture:

The effect of acupuncture cannot be overestimated. It relaxes the muscles and also allows better respiration. When people with COPD uses acupuncture, it has been noticed that they far less breathless.

Stop Smoking:

This is the most effective treatment method you can use to fight against COPD. This is because when we quit smoking, we improve our overall health. Smoking does not just have negative effect of your body inside out, it also cuts your life span short, and making the ones you have left very difficult.

Although being diagnosed with COPD can be quite frustrating and unsurmountable, the major step is to get a COPD screening and lookout for effective ways to treat the disease headon.

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