WHAT IS COPD?
The term COPD is used for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, a group of accelerating lung disease. The current forms emphysema and chronic bronchitis and people with COPD have mostly both of these conditions. Emphysema destroys the air lungs slowly, interferes the outward air flow. Bronchitis causes inflammation and narrowing of the bronchial tubes, which builds up mucus.
SIGN & SYMPTOMS
The person suffering from COPD faces problems while breathing. Mild symptoms at first with cough and shortness of breath and after some progress it becomes increasingly difficult in breathing. Other symptoms are like wheezing, tightness in the chest, exacerbations or flare-ups.
RISK FACTORS AND CAUSES
Most cases of COPD are caused inhaling pollutants, like smoke from cigarettes, pipes, cigars, second hand smoke. Other pollutants are fumes, chemicals and dust found in the environment. The other cause is genetics even if the person has never smoked or has never been exposed to above mentioned things.
The top causes are discussed below-
- SMOKING- person above the age of 40 years with a history of smoking or are current smokers can be a victim of this. Not everybody who smokes gets this but about 90% of the COPD individuals have smoked.
- ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS- it can also occur to the individuals who had long exposures/contact with harmful pollutants in their nearby environment containing fumes, dust, chemicals.
- GENETIC FACTORS- a person with no history of smoking or exposure to harmful pollutants can also develop COPD. The most common COPD caused by the deficiency of Alpha-1 Antitrypsin protein in the bloodstream known as Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (AATD) in which the white blood cells begin to harm the lungs and its deterioration starts.COPD CAN CAUSE-
- RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS
- HEART PROBLEMS
- LUNG CANCER
- HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE IN LUNG ARTERIES
HOW COMMON IN INDIA?
According to a report by the WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION (WHO), 142 in every one lakh died of one form of lung disease or the other in India. There’s a dubious distinction of India ranking first in lung disease deaths in the world.
During the checkup, your doctor will listen to your lungs as you breathe. Based on this information, your doctor may ask for more tests like:
- Spirometry- a noninvasive test to assess lung function. During the test, you’ll take a deep breath and then blow into a tube connected to the spirometer.
- Imaging tests- it includes a chest X-ray or CT scan. These images can provide a detailed look at your lungs, blood vessels, and heart.
- An arterial blood gas test involves taking a blood sample from an artery to measure your blood oxygen levels.
LIFESTYLE AND DIETARY CHANGES
There are some lifestyle changes you can entertain which may help in providing some relief to your symptoms, they are-
- Quit smoking.
- Avoid secondhand smoke and chemical fumes.
- Get the optimum nutrition your body needs. Create a healthy eating plan with your dietitian.
People with chronic bronchitis are tending to be obese, while those with emphysema are mostly underweight. Making diet and nutrition monitoring becomes a vital part of COPD treatment.
- Protein rich foods like meat, poultry, fish.
- Complex carbohydrates as well as rich in fiber like whole grain bread, brown rice, quinoa, and oats.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables which contains essential vitamins, minerals and fiber.
- Several other foods containing high levels of potassium like bananas, oranges, avocado, dark leafy greens, tomatoes, and potatoes.AVOID-
- Fruits like apples, apricots, peaches and melons may cause bloating and gas increasing breathing problems.
- Vegetables like beans, cabbage, cauliflower, corn, onions, peas, peppers, and soybeans may cause gas as well.
- Dairy products like milk and cheese makes phlegm thicker.
- Fried, deep-fried, greasy foods and heavily spiced foods can cause gas, indigestion, discomfort, affect breathing. Avoid as much as possible.
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