With new statistics showing that millions of people are losing their lives to COPD on an annual basis, it has never been a better time to talk about the subject. How can we get healthy while having COPD? Will our lives ever return to normal? These are all questions that ring through our thoughts on a daily basis. If you’ve ever wondered if there were certain natural techniques and holistic strategies to combat against the side effects of COPD, keep reading:
1. Quit smoking
As daunting as it may sound, a quick smoking session can wreak havoc on your COPD and cause your side effects to become more exacerbated. The sooner that we can eliminate our habit of reaching for a cigarette or cigar when we’re stressed out or trying to relax, the quicker we can experience a pleasant life. Located below are a few simple tactics that can help users quit smoking in a smaller time frame.
- Use nicotine patches
- Vaping technology
- Chew unsalted sunflower seeds
- Maintain a busy schedule
- Avoid people who smoke
- Do not visit establishments where smoking is permitted
- Join a group for smoking cessation
2. Oxygen therapy
If you’ve never heard of oxygen therapy, don’t fret! Within COPD patients, oxygen becomes a limited resource on account of their lungs and air passages being damaged over the years. When patients notice that their oxygen level begins to drop, they may experience side effects such as elevated heart rate, increased blood pressure, difficulty breathing, wheezing noises and mild confusion. When these symptoms begin to show themselves, it’s time to consider oxygen as a possible solution. In general terms, therapy using oxygen can easily be seen by individuals that carry around breathing devices, portable oxygen tanks and tubing that is placed within the nostrils. These devices are specifically designed to increase the amount of oxygen within the system so the patient can lead a normal, active lifestyle. Although many patients complain about using their device, the side effects of low oxygen are much worse!
3. Dietary changes
When making the switch to a COPD diet it’s important to know that certain foods can exacerbate the symptoms rather than alleviate them. In the case of carbonated drinks and fast food, we notice that patients build unwanted pressure in their abdomen that causes difficulty breathing. The excessive pressure being placed on the lungs and diaphragm from the salt and carbonation in these food items creates restricted airways and leads to dizziness and fatigue.
4. COPD diet
Instead, we should follow a COPD diet that incorporates lean protein as a means of repairing and strengthening parts of our system. Our respiratory system contains muscles, much like our biceps and chest, that need to remain strong and healthy to move oxygen throughout the system. Without adequate amounts of protein in our diet, these muscles become weak and strained with relative ease. Always opt for lean sources of fish, chicken and beef!