Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a respiratory disorder that produces an obstruction to breathing. COPD broadly includes, emphysema (a long term and progressive disease of the lungs that causes shortness of breath due to the damaged lungs) and chronic bronchitis (a condition in which the bronchial tubes are inflamed, and may lead to an increased production of mucus while coughing).

What Triggers COPD?

  • Cigarette smoking or second-hand smoke
  • Family history of lung disorders
  • Chronic exposure to dust, ozone, chemicals and traffic exhaust fumes
  • Aging
  • Frequent lung infections in childhood
  • Personal history of allergies or lung problems

How Would You Know If You Have COPD?

  • In case of chronic bronchitis, you may experience frequent cough or coughing spasm. Cough is most commonly accompanied with mucus and becomes difficult to cough up.
  • Wheezing (a whistling sound that is audible while breathing out)
  • The color of the mucus may vary depending on the type of the infection.
  • Shortness of breath is a common symptom
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Blueness of the lips and fingernails
  • General fatigue
  • Lack of energy
  • Gradual and unintended weight loss

What Should You Do In Case Your Symptoms Worsen?

  • In case of usual viral infection, the cough should get better in a week’s time span. However, in case there is no improvement even after taking over the counter products, it is important to rule out the cause for the same.
  • Make sure you see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis in case the cough is persistent.
  • Your doctor shall ask you about your symptoms and medical history. He may also suggest a detailed medical examination for a better diagnosis.

What Are The Available Treatment Options?

  • The doctor may suggest you some common tests such as spirometry, lung function tests, chest x-rays and tests to evaluate the level of oxygen in the blood.
  • He shall also ask you for the relevant symptoms that could help him understand the presence or absence of the disease.
  • Once the problem is diagnosed, the doctor will suggest lifestyle changes and prescribe you with medications such as bronchodilators, corticosteroids and antibiotics.
  • In case you are smoker, make sure you resort to quit smoking.
  • In severe cases, you may also be suggested to go for oxygen therapy to manage shortness of breath and enhance the quality of life.

Are There Any Natural Remedies For COPD ?

You can try these effective natural remedies and lifestyle modifications to ease your symptoms:

1. Try Eucalyptus Oil

Ingredients: Eucalyptus Oil

Ways to Use:

Studies suggest that eucalyptus oil (the constituent being cineole) helps to reduce shortness of breath and improves the overall lung health. The best way to use eucalyptus oil is to pour some in the diffuser placed in your room.

2. Ginseng

Ingredients: Ginseng

Ways to Use:

Ginseng has been found to improve lung function and helps to reduce the bacterial load in the lung. You may choose to consume it in the form of a supplement or in the raw form as well (in an optimum quantity).

3. Steam Inhalation

Ingredients: Steam

Ways to Use:

Regular steam inhalation helps to remove phlegm from the air passage and makes breathing much more comfortable. You may choose to add a few drops of essential oils such as eucalyptus to the steamer for a better experience.

4. Include Omega-3 Rich Foods To Your Diet

Ingredients: Omega rich foods such as flaxseeds, chia seeds, citrus fruits and fish.

Ways to Use:

Eating healthy is one of the most important ways to manage COPD symptoms. Add omega rich foods to your daily diet. Make sure you have plenty of vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Alongside these natural remedies bring in a few lifestyle modifications to live a healthy life along with COPD symptoms. Identify your triggers well, stay away from canned foods, exercise and stay active, drink a lot of water to effectively manage COPD symptoms.

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