Health and Disease, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

10 Ways to Treat COPD Naturally: A must read if you know someone with COPD

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

 

10 Ways to Treat COPD Symptoms Naturally

 

Are you familiar with the third leading cause of death in the U.S.? I’m talking about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, more commonly known as COPD. This respiratory disease is characterized by an abnormal inflammatory response in the lungs and restricted airflow, which both result in difficulty doing the most vital thing in life — breathing. And these are just a few COPD symptoms so many people deal with.

Important News on COPD.  It has been more than 50 years that the Federal Government has been warning people about COPD from smoking cigarettes.  The Insurance Board has stated that your medical insurance no longer has to pay for your healthcare.  It is a choice you have made, and no one should pay for your poor decision.

 

More than 11 million people in this country have already been diagnosed with COPD, but an estimated 24 million may have the disease without even realizing it! (1) COPD is actually an umbrella term that includes emphysema, chronic bronchitis and, in some cases, asthma. The No. 1 reason someone gets COPD in developed countries is smoking tobacco, so the best way to avoid COPD is not to smoke or stop smoking immediately. Sadly, close to half of U.S. adults over the age of 40 who have trouble breathing due to asthma or COPD still continue to smoke. (2)

 

If you’re willing, there are many ways to treat and reduce your risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with your own efforts and natural treatment. But first, you must realize you have COPD symptoms to begin with — then you can pinpoint exactly how to treat them.

 

COPD Symptoms & Life Expectancy

 

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema, bronchiectasis and chronic airway obstruction. These diseases are all commonly characterized by irreversible airflow limitation.

Symptoms of COPD often don’t appear until significant lung damage has occurred, and they usually worsen over time, particularly if smoking exposure continues. For chronic bronchitis, the main symptom is a daily cough and sputum production at least three months a year for two consecutive years.

 

Signs and symptoms of COPD include:

 

 

 

Shortness of breath while doing everyday activities or during physical activities

 

Chronic cough

 

Wheezing

 

Chest tightness

 

Frequent respiratory infections

 

Blueness of the lips or fingernail beds

 

General fatigue and lack of energy or chronic fatigue syndrome

 

Producing a lot of mucus or phlegm

 

Having to clear your throat first thing in the morning, due to excess mucus in your lungs

 

Unintended weight loss (in later stages)

 

 

 

People with COPD are likely to experience episodes called exacerbations. This is when symptoms become worse than usual and persist for at least several days. If you have one or more of these symptoms on a regular basis, then you definitely want to seek medical advice. Early detection of COPD is key to successful treatment. A simple test called spirometry can be used to measure pulmonary (lung) function and detect COPD in anyone with breathing problems.

 

 

 

There are four stages of COPD:

 

 

 

Stage 1 — very mild COPD

 

Stage 2 — moderate COPD

 

Stage 3 — severe emphysema/chronic bronchitis

 

Stage 4 — very severe COPD

 

Each of these stages has a different impact on each sufferer, but generally speaking the higher the stage of COPD, the shorter the life expectancy. Overall, COPD can cause serious long-term disability and early death. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for COPD, and the number of people dying from COPD continues to grow. However, there are natural ways to slow its progression.

 

10 Natural Treatments for COPD Symptoms

 

Avoid Smoke in Every Way

 

The most essential step in conventional and natural treatment plan for COPD is the same — stop any and all forms of smoking. Yes, this includes the electronic cigarette. If you smoke, this is the only way to keep COPD from getting worse.

 

In general, you should avoid smoke of any kind. You should also avoid air pollution as much as possible. If you’re not a smoker, then you definitely need to avoid places where others smoke. Smoking yourself is definitely the worst thing you can do when it comes to COPD, but secondhand smoke and air pollution can damage and irritate your lungs too. (3)

 

 

 

  1. Improve Your Breathing

 

 

There are techniques for breathing that can help you breathe more efficiently with COPD. These breathing techniques can also help improve breathing for people with asthma as well as people who don’t currently have lung issues but want to optimize their breathing.

According to the American Association for Respiratory Care, pursed-lip breathing and diaphragmatic breathing may increase your blood oxygen levels and help reduce shortness of breath. (4) A respiratory therapist can be very helpful if you need assistance with breathing techniques.

 

  1. Follow a Healthy Diet

 

A healthy diet can help manage and improve COPD symptoms. Some foods in particular should be mainstays when it comes to an anti-COPD diet while others should be majorly or entirely avoided. Your diet should definitely have plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits to ensure you get lots of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Citrus fruits are especially helpful because they contain quercetin. Wild-caught fish, flaxseeds and chia seeds, along with other omega-3 foods, can provide anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.

 

If you’re suffering with COPD symptoms, you definitely want to steer clear of conventional dairy since pasteurized dairy is mucus-producing and can plug the airways in the lungs. You always want to stay away from processed, canned and frozen foods and sugar as well. Additives, preservatives and food dyes are also known for contributing to breathing issues and even asthma attacks.

 

  1. Increase Water Intake Inside and Outside the Body

 

One of the common and frustrating COPD symptoms is having mucus collect in your airways. This mucus can be difficult to clear and result in persistent and uncontrollable coughing. One internal way you can improve this mucus problem is by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Drink at least eight glasses of water daily to thin mucus and stay hydrated.

 

 

 

Externally, you can increase the moisture content of the air in your home by using a humidifier. Humidifiers can also help make breathing easier. I like using one while I’m sleeping at night.

 

5.Exercise

 

When you’re having trouble breathing, exercise might seem like a terrible idea, but being sedentary won’t do anything to help your COPD symptoms. By regularly getting exercise, especially cardio workouts, you can strengthen your respiratory muscles and improve your overall endurance.

About 40 percent of people with COPD experience high levels of depression and anxiety, which makes it even more difficult to quit smoking and comply with treatment. Exercise also increases endorphin levels, which improves mood, reduces depression and anxiety, and makes it easier to quit smoking.

 

  1. Use Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil can be very helpful for people with COPD. A study in Respiratory Research showed that cineole, the main constituent of eucalyptus essential oil, actually reduced exacerbations in people with COPD. It also reduced dyspnea (shortness of breath), and improved lung function as well as health status overall. Furthermore, the research suggested that cineole is an active controller and reducer of airway inflammation in COPD.

To get the benefits of cineole, you can use eucalyptus oil in a diffuser and/or humidifier and breath in the anti-inflammatory air.

 

7.Consume Ginseng

Ginseng is an herbal supplement that improves lung function and also decrease bacteria in the lungs. Panax ginseng in particular has a long history of use in Chinese medicine for respiratory conditions, including asthma and COPD.

A recent study published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine highlighted therapeutic ginseng benefits. Panax ginseng and ginsenosides (active components of ginseng) appear to inhibit processes related to the development of COPD.

 

Take N-Acetylcysteine (NAC)

 

Supplementing with NAC helps decrease the severity and frequency of asthma attacks and improves overall lung function by increasing glutathione levels and thinning bronchial mucus. Glutathione fights against oxidative stress in the respiratory tract, which can make NAC a powerful and effective natural treatment for COPD.

 

 

 

Avoid Cold and Crowds

 

When you have COPD symptoms, it’s important to avoid things that make them even worse. I already told you that smoke and pollution are absolutely key to avoid. Another thing to be aware of is the fact that cold air can trigger bronchospasm, a sudden constriction in the muscles of airway walls that leads to shortness of breath. If the weather is really chilly, it’s a smart idea to avoid or reduce your time outdoors. You can also help your symptoms by putting on a face mask before going out into very cold temperatures.

 

Another environmental hazard to avoid, especially if you have been prone to respiratory infections, is large crowds. Since respiratory infections can cause COPD symptoms to worsen, the less you’re in big crowds the lower your risk of being exposed to infectious germs. By no means am I encouraging you to be a hermit and never go to a mall again — I just want you to be smart and not unnecessarily put yourself in situations that could make your symptoms any worse.

 

Reduce Stress

As with all health issues and diseases, stress only makes COPD symptoms, like airway inflammation and shortness of breath, worse. By reducing your daily stress and managing stress in healthy ways, you’re more relaxed, and this has a direct positive effect on your COPD symptoms. (13)

 

If you suffer from COPD, you should make time every day to relax both mentally and physically. Try some of these natural stress relievers to start.

 

 

The COPD Umbrella

 

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is an umbrella term that includes emphysema, chronic bronchitis and sometimes asthma. Here are some alarming stats on COPD:

 

 

 

According to the CDC, smoking accounts for as many as eight out of 10 COPD-related deaths. However, as many as one out of four Americans with COPD never smoked cigarettes.

A hallmark symptom of COPD is shortness of breath that gets worse over time. It’s often accompanied by a phlegm-producing cough and episodes of wheezing.

Typically, the first symptoms of emphysema occur in heavy smokers in their mid-50s.

Shortness of breath occurs with chronic bronchitis, but it may not be as severe during rest as it is in people with emphysema.

Classic symptoms of an asthma attack are coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath (dyspnea).

People with chronic asthma can get airway obstruction that makes them more likely to develop COPD.

Approximately 40 percent of those with COPD experience high levels of depression and anxiety, making it more difficult to comply with treatment and quit smoking.

COPD in the U.S.:

 

Women were more likely to report COPD than men (6.7 percent vs. 5.2 percent).

Prevalence is lower among homemakers, students and the employed than among those who are unable to work, unemployed or retired.

Prevalence decreases as income increases (from 9.9 percent among those making less than $25,000 a year to 2.8 percent among those making more than $75,000).

36.4 percent of those reporting COPD were former smokers.

38.7 percent of those reporting COPD continued to smoke.

43.7 percent of those reporting COPD had a history of asthma.

 

COPD Risk Factors & Root Causes

In developed countries, the central cause of COPD is tobacco smoking. In the developing world, COPD often occurs in people exposed to fumes from burning fuel for cooking and heating in poorly ventilated homes.

Root causes and risk factors for COPD include:

Smoking — By far, the biggest risk factor for COPD is long-term cigarette smoking. The more years you smoke and the more cigarettes you smoke daily, the greater your risk for developing the disease. People who smoke pipes, cigars and marijuana are also at risk.

Tobacco smoke exposure — People exposed to large amounts of secondhand smoke are also at risk.

People with asthma who smoke — The combination of asthma and smoking increases the risk of COPD even more.

Occupational exposure to chemicals and dusts — Long-term exposure to chemical fumes, vapors and dusts in the workplace or elsewhere can irritate and inflame your lungs.

Age — COPD develops slowly over years. The majority of sufferers are at least 35 to 40 years old when symptoms begin.

Genetics — In about 1 percent of people with COPD, the disease results from a genetic disorder that causes low levels of a protein called alpha-1 antitrypsin. Alpha-1-antitrypsin is made in the liver and secreted into the bloodstream to help protect the lungs. Other genetic factors also likely make certain smokers more susceptible to the disease.

 

COPD in Women

 

Deaths resulting from COPD are higher in women than in men. There are a few reasons why this happens:

 

In the late 1960s, the tobacco industry intensely targeted women. This resulted in a huge increase in women smoking. We are still seeing new cases of smoking-related diseases, including COPD, as women age.

Women are more vulnerable than men to lung damage from cigarette smoke and other pollutants. Their lungs are smaller, and estrogen plays a role in worsening lung disease.

Women are often misdiagnosed. Because COPD has long been thought of as a man’s disease, many doctors still don’t expect to see it in women and miss the proper diagnosis.

 

COPD Symptoms Takeaways

 

COPD is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. More than 11 million people in the U.S. are diagnosed with COPD, while an estimated 24 million may have the disease without even realizing it.

COPD symptoms include shortness of breath while doing everyday activities or during physical activities, chronic cough, wheezing, chest tightness, frequent respiratory infections, blueness of the lips or fingernail beds, general fatigue and lack of energy, producing a lot of mucus or phlegm, having to clear your throat first thing in the morning due to excess mucus in your lungs and unintended weight loss (in later stages). People with COPD are likely to experience episodes called exacerbations. This is when symptoms become worse than usual and persist for at least several days.

There are four stages of COPD: Stage 1, very mild COPD; Stage 2, moderate COPD; Stage 3, severe emphysema/chronic bronchitis; Stage 4, very sever COPD.

To naturally treat COPD symptoms, avoid smoking in every form, improve breathing, follow a healthy diet, increase water intake inside and outside the body, exercise, use eucalyptus oil, consume ginseng, take NAC, avoid cold and crowds, and reduce stress.

The root causes and risk factors for COPD include smoking, tobacco smoke exposure, having asthma and smoking, occupational exposure to chemicals and dusts, age, and genetics. In addition, deaths resulting from COPD are higher in women than in men.

 

Please share with family and loved ones and call us if you have concerns and question about what to do in your healthcare needs.

 

 

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived Article

Dr Jay Jaranson

Dr Gail Gray

312-972-Well

Healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/

 

 

 

Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Statins are Dangerous! Educate Your Doctor

statins

 

Statins are Dangerous! Educate Your Doctor.

 

The idea that saturated fat is bad for your heart and should be avoided to prevent heart disease is misguided to say the least.

 

There’s no telling how many people have been harmed by this dangerous advice, as scientific evidence shows that a lack of healthy fat actually increases your cardiovascular health risks, but the number is likely significant.

 

Adding insult to injury, cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins) have become the go-to “preventive medicine,” despite ever-mounting evidence showing that these drugs can do far more harm than good as well.

 

Taken together, a low-fat diet and statins is a recipe for chronic health problems, and I cannot advise against falling into this trap strongly enough.

 

One in four Americans over the age of 45 currently take a statin drug, despite the fact that there are over 900 studies proving their adverse effects, which run the gamut from muscle problems to increased cancer risk—not to mention an increased risk for heart failure!

 

Questions have also been raised about statins’ potential to cause amnesia and/or dementia-like symptoms in some patients. According to Scientific American,1 hundreds of such cases have been registered with MedWatch, the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) adverse drug reaction database.

 

Statin Guidelines May Hurt Millions of Healthy People

 

 

In November 2013, the US updated its guidelines on cholesterol,2 focusing more on risk factors rather than cholesterol levels—a move estimated to double the number of Americans being prescribed these dangerous drugs.

 

According to the highly criticized new guideline, if you answer “yes” to ANY of the following four questions, your treatment protocol will call for a statin drug:

1.Do you have heart disease?

2.Do you have diabetes? (either type 1 or type 2)

3.Is your LDL cholesterol above 190?

4.Is your 10-year risk of a heart attack greater than 7.5 percent?

 

Your 10-year heart attack risk involves the use of a cardiovascular risk calculator, which researchers have warned may overestimate your risk by anywhere from 75 to 150 percent—effectively turning even very healthy people at low risk for heart problems into candidates for statins.

 

The guideline also does away with the previous recommendation to use the lowest drug dose possible.3 The new guideline basically focuses ALL the attention on statin-only treatment, and at higher dosages.

 

The UK followed suit in July 2014, recommending statins for otherwise healthy people with a 10 percent or greater 10-year risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). As in the US, this was a dramatic change in recommendation, raising the number of Britons eligible for statins by about 4.5 million.

 

Pediatric Statin Guidelines Dramatically Increase Number of Teens on These Dangerous Drugs

 

 

Even teens and young adults are now being placed on statins. In 2011, the US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) issued new guidelines4,5 for reducing heart disease in children and adolescents, recommending statin treatment if cholesterol levels are at a certain level.

 

Meanwhile, the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and American Heart Association (AHA) have far tighter restrictions on the use of statins in those under the age of 40.

 

According to a new study,6 if doctors follow the NHLBI’s guidelines, nearly half a million teens and young adults between the ages of 17-21 will be placed on statins. As reported by Medicinenet.com:7

 

 

“Gooding’s team found that 2.5 percent of those with elevated levels of ‘bad’ low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol would qualify for statin treatment under the NHLBI cholesterol guidelines for children, compared with only 0.4 percent under the ACC/AHA adult guidelines.

 

That means that 483,500 people in that age group would qualify for statin treatment under the NHLBI guidelines, compared with 78,200 under adult guidelines…

 

It’s common for abnormal cholesterol levels and other heart disease risk factors to start appearing when people are teens, but the two sets of recommendations offer doctors conflicting advice, the researchers said.

 

For now, they recommend that physicians and patients ‘engage in shared decision making around the potential benefits, harms, and patient preferences for treatment…’”

 

Statin Drugs Can Wreck Your Health in Multiple Ways

 

 

Ironically, while statins are touted as “preventive medicine” to protect your heart health, these drugs can actually have detrimental effects on your heart, especially if you fail to supplement with CoQ10 (or better yet, ubiquinol, which is the reduced and more effective form of CoQ10).

 

For example, a study published in the journal Atherosclerosis8 showed that statin use is associated with a 52 percent increased prevalence and extent of calcified coronary plaque compared to non-users. And coronary artery calcification is the hallmark of potentially lethal heart disease.

 

Statins have also been shown to increase your risk of diabetes via a number of different mechanisms, so if you weren’t put on a statin because you have diabetes, you may end up with a diabetes diagnosis courtesy of the drug. Two of these mechanisms include:

  • Increasing insulin resistance, which contributes to chronic inflammation in your body, and inflammation is the hallmark of most diseases. In fact, increased insulin resistance can lead to heart disease, which, again, is the primary reason for taking a statin in the first place.

 

It can also promote belly fat, high blood pressure, heart attacks, chronic fatigue, thyroid disruption, and diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and cancer.

  • Raising your blood sugar. When you eat a meal that contains starches and sugar, some of the excess sugar goes to your liver, which then stores it away as cholesterol and triglycerides. Statins work by preventing your liver from making cholesterol. As a result, your liver returns the sugar to your bloodstream, which raises your blood sugar levels.

 

Drug-induced diabetes and conventional lifestyle induced type 2 diabetes are not necessarily identical. If you’re on a statin drug and find that your blood glucose is elevated, it’s possible that what you have is just hyperglycemia—a side effect, and the result of your medication.Unfortunately, many doctors will at that point mistakenly diagnose you with “type 2 diabetes,” and possibly prescribe yet another drug, when all you may need to do is simply discontinue the statin.

 

Statins also interfere with other biological functions. Of utmost importance, statins deplete your body of CoQ10, which accounts for many of its devastating results Therefore, if you take a statin, you must take supplemental CoQ10 or ubiquinol. Statins also interfere with the mevalonate pathway, which is the central pathway for the steroid management. Products of this pathway that are negatively affected by statins include:

  • All your sex hormones
  • Cortisone
  • The dolichols, which are involved in keeping the membranes inside your cells healthy
  • All sterols, including cholesterol and vitamin D (which is similar to cholesterol and is produced from cholesterol in your skin)

 

Refined Carbs—Not Fat—Are Responsible for Heart Disease

 

 

As noted by the Institute for Science in Society,9 Ancel Keys’ 1963 “Seven Countries Study” was instrumental in creating the saturated fat myth. He claimed to have found a correlation between total cholesterol concentration and heart disease, but in reality this was the result of cherry picking data.

 

When data from 16 excluded countries are added back in, the association between saturated fat consumption and mortality vanishes. In fact, the full data set suggests that those who eat the most saturated animal fat tend to have a lower incidence of heart disease:

 

 

“Nevertheless, people were advised to cut fat intake to 30 percent of total energy and saturated fat to 10 percent. Dietary fat is believed to have the greatest influence on cardiovascular risk through elevated concentrations of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. But the reduction in LDL cholesterol from reducing saturated fat intake appears to be specific to large, buoyant type A LDL particles, when it is the small dense type B particles – responsive to carbohydrate intake – that are implicated in cardiovascular disease.” [Emphasis mine]

 

We’ve long acknowledged that the Western diet is associated with increased rates of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Yet the conventional paradigm is extremely reluctant to accept that it is the sugar content of this diet that is the primary culprit. When you eat more non-vegetable carbohydrates than your body can use, the excess is converted to fat by your liver. This process occurs to help your body maintain blood sugar control in the short-term, however it will likely increase triglyceride concentrations, which will increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.

 

Excessive consumption of refined grains and added sugars will also elevate your insulin and leptin levels and raise your risk of insulin/leptin resistance, which is at the heart of many chronic health problems. High insulin levels also suppresses two other important hormones — glucagons and growth hormones — that are responsible for burning fat and sugar and promoting muscle development, respectively.

 

So elevated insulin from excess carbohydrates promotes fat accumulation, and then dampens your body’s ability to lose that fat. Excess weight and obesity not only lead to heart disease but also a wide variety of other diseases.So, while whole grains are allowed to make health claims saying they’re heart healthy, and low-fat foods are conventionally recognized as healthy for your heart, please remember that replacing saturated fats in your diet (like those from grass-fed beef, raw organic butter, and other high-quality animal foods) with carbohydrates (like breakfast cereal, bread, bagels, and pasta) will actually increase your risk of heart disease, not lower it.

 

Studies Show Saturated Fat Is Not Associated with Increased Heart Disease Risk, But Sugar Is

 

 

In one 2010 study,10 women who ate the most high glycemic foods had more than double the risk of developing heart disease as women who ate the fewest. Previous studies, including an excellent one published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,11 have also linked high-carb diets to heart disease. Contrary to popular belief, the scientific evidence also shows that saturated fat is in fact a necessary part of a heart healthy diet, and firmly debunks the myth that saturated fat promotes heart disease.

 

For example:

  • In a 1992 editorial published in the Archives of Internal Medicine,12 Dr. William Castelli, a former director of the Framingham Heart study, stated:

 

 

“In Framingham, Mass., the more saturated fat one ate, the more cholesterol one ate, the more calories one ate, the lower the person’s serum cholesterol. The opposite of what… Keys et al would predict… We found that the people who ate the most cholesterol, ate the most saturated fat, ate the most calories, weighed the least and were the most physically active.”

  • A 2010 meta-analysis,13 which pooled data from 21 studies and included nearly 348,000 adults, found no difference in the risks of heart disease and stroke between people with the lowest and highest intakes of saturated fat.
  • Another 2010 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition14 found that a reduction in saturated fat intake must be evaluated in the context of replacement by other macronutrients, such as carbohydrates. When you replace saturated fat with a higher carbohydrate intake, particularly refined carbohydrate, you exacerbate insulin resistance and obesity, increase triglycerides and small LDL particles, and reduce beneficial HDL cholesterol.The authors state that dietary efforts to improve your cardiovascular disease risk should primarily emphasize the limitation of refined carbohydrate intake, and weight reduction.
  • A 2014 meta-analysis15 of 76 studies by researchers at Cambridge University found no basis for guidelines that advise low saturated fat consumption to lower your cardiac risk, calling into question all of the standard nutritional guidelines related to heart health. According to the authors: “Current evidence does not clearly support cardiovascular guidelines that encourage high consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids and low consumption of total saturated fats.”

 

Simple Lifestyle Changes Can Effectively Protect Your Heart Health

 

 

Contrary to what pharmaceutical PR firms will tell you, statins have nothing to do with reducing your heart disease risk. In fact, this class of drugs can actually increase your heart disease risk—especially if you do not take ubiquinol (CoQ10) along with it to mitigate the depletion of CoQ10 caused by the drug.Poor lifestyle choices are primarily to blame for increased heart disease risk, such as eating too much refined sugar and processed foods, getting too little exercise and movement, lack of sun exposure and rarely, or never grounding to the earth. These are all things that are within your control, and don’t cost much (if any) money to address.

 

It’s also worth noting that statins can effectively nullify the benefits of exercise, which in and of itself is important to bolster heart health and maintain healthy cholesterol levels. In fact, one of the best ways to condition your heart is to engage in high-intensity interval exercise.16,17 Taking a drug that counteracts your personal efforts to improve your health seems like a really questionable tactic. If you’re currently taking a statin drug and are worried about the excessive side effects they cause, please consult with a knowledgeable health care practitioner who can help you to optimize your heart health naturally, without the use of these dangerous drugs.

 

Health and WELLness Associates

Archived

Dr J Jaranson

312-972-WELL

 

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/

Health and Disease, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

10 Ways to Treat COPD Naturally

COPD-summertime-triggers

10 Ways to Treat COPD Symptoms Naturally

 

 

Are you familiar with the third leading cause of death in the U.S.? I’m talking about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, more commonly known as COPD. This respiratory disease is characterized by an abnormal inflammatory response in the lungs and restricted airflow, which both result in difficulty doing the most vital thing in life — breathing. And these are just a few COPD symptoms so many people deal with.

 

Important News on COPD.  It has been more than 50 years that the Federal Government has been warning people about COPD from smoking cigarettes.  The Insurance Board has stated that your medical insurance no longer has to pay for your healthcare.  It is a choice you have made, and no one should pay for your poor decision.

 

 

More than 11 million people in this country have already been diagnosed with COPD, but an estimated 24 million may have the disease without even realizing it! (1) COPD is actually an umbrella term that includes emphysema, chronic bronchitis and, in some cases, asthma. The No. 1 reason someone gets COPD in developed countries is smoking tobacco, so the best way to avoid COPD is not to smoke or stop smoking immediately. Sadly, close to half of U.S. adults over the age of 40 who have trouble breathing due to asthma or COPD still continue to smoke. (2)

 

If you’re willing, there are many ways to treat and reduce your risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with your own efforts and natural treatment. But first, you must realize you have COPD symptoms to begin with — then you can pinpoint exactly how to treat them.

 

COPD Symptoms & Life Expectancy

 

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema, bronchiectasis and chronic airway obstruction. These diseases are all commonly characterized by irreversible airflow limitation.

 

Symptoms of COPD often don’t appear until significant lung damage has occurred, and they usually worsen over time, particularly if smoking exposure continues. For chronic bronchitis, the main symptom is a daily cough and sputum production at least three months a year for two consecutive years.

 

Signs and symptoms of COPD include:

 

Shortness of breath while doing everyday activities or during physical activities

Chronic cough

Wheezing

Chest tightness

Frequent respiratory infections

Blueness of the lips or fingernail beds

General fatigue and lack of energy or chronic fatigue syndrome

Producing a lot of mucus or phlegm

Having to clear your throat first thing in the morning, due to excess mucus in your lungs

Unintended weight loss (in later stages)

 

People with COPD are likely to experience episodes called exacerbations. This is when symptoms become worse than usual and persist for at least several days. If you have one or more of these symptoms on a regular basis, then you definitely want to seek medical advise. Early detection of COPD is key to successful treatment. A simple test called spirometry can be used to measure pulmonary (lung) function and detect COPD in anyone with breathing problems.

 

There are four stages of COPD:

 

Stage 1 — very mild COPD

Stage 2 — moderate COPD

Stage 3 — severe emphysema/chronic bronchitis

Stage 4 — very severe COPD

Each of these stages has a different impact on each sufferer, but generally speaking the higher the stage of COPD, the shorter the life expectancy. Overall, COPD can cause serious long-term disability and early death. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for COPD, and the number of people dying from COPD continues to grow. However, there are natural ways to slow its progression.

 

10 Natural Treatments for COPD Symptoms

 

  1. Avoid Smoke in Every Way

 

The most essential step in conventional and natural treatment plan for COPD is the same — stop any and all forms of smoking. Yes, this includes the electronic cigarette. If you smoke, this is the only way to keep COPD from getting worse.

 

In general, you should avoid smoke of any kind. You should also avoid air pollution as much as possible. If you’re not a smoker, then you definitely need to avoid places where others smoke. Smoking yourself is definitely the worst thing you can do when it comes to COPD, but secondhand smoke and air pollution can damage and irritate your lungs too. (3)

 

  1. 2. Improve Your Breathing

 

There are techniques for breathing that can help you breathe more efficiently with COPD. These breathing techniques can also help improve breathing for people with asthma as well as people who don’t currently have lung issues but want to optimize their breathing.

 

According to the American Association for Respiratory Care, pursed-lip breathing and diaphragmatic breathing may increase your blood oxygen levels and help reduce shortness of breath. (4) A respiratory therapist can be very helpful if you need assistance with breathing techniques.

 

  1. Follow a Healthy Diet

 

A healthy diet can help manage and improve COPD symptoms. Some foods in particular should be mainstays when it comes to an anti-COPD diet while others should be majorly or entirely avoided. Your diet should definitely have plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits to ensure you gett lots of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Citrus fruits are especially helpful because they contain quercetin. Wild-caught fish, flaxseeds and chia seeds, along with other omega-3 foods, can provide anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.

 

If you’re suffering with COPD symptoms, you definitely want to steer clear of conventional dairy since pasteurized dairy is mucus-producing and can plug the airways in the lungs. You always want to stay away from processed, canned and frozen foods and sugar as well. Additives, preservatives and food dyes are also known for contributing to breathing issues and even asthma attacks. (5)

 

  1. 4. Increase Water Intake Inside and Outside the Body

 

One of the common and frustrating COPD symptoms is having mucus collect in your airways. This mucus can be difficult to clear and result in persistent and uncontrollable coughing. One internal way you can improve this mucus problem is by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Drink at least eight glasses of water daily to thin mucus and stay hydrated. (6)

 

Externally, you can increase the moisture content of the air in your home by using a humidifier. Humidifiers can also help make breathing easier. I like using one while I’m sleeping at night. (7)

 

  1. Exercise

 

When you’re having trouble breathing, exercise might seem like a terrible idea, but being sedentary won’t do anything to help your COPD symptoms. By regularly getting exercise, especially cardio workouts, you can strengthen your respiratory muscles and improve your overall endurance. (8)

 

About 40 percent of people with COPD experience high levels of depression and anxiety, which makes it even more difficult to quit smoking and comply with treatment. Exercise also increases endorphin levels, which improves mood, reduces depression and anxiety, and makes it easier to quit smoking.

 

 

  1. 6. Use Eucalyptus Oil

 

Eucalyptus oil can be very helpful for people with COPD. A study in Respiratory Research showed that cineole, the main constituent of eucalyptus essential oil, actually reduced exacerbations in people with COPD. It also reduced dyspnea (shortness of breath), and improved lung function as well as health status overall. Furthermore, the research suggested that cineole is an active controller and reducer of airway inflammation in COPD. (9)

 

To get the benefits of cineole, you can use eucalyptus oil in a diffuser and/or humidifier and breath in the anti-inflammatory air.

 

  1. Consume Ginseng

 

Ginseng is an herbal supplement that improves lung function and also decrease bacteria in the lungs. Panax ginseng in particular has a long history of use in Chinese medicine for respiratory conditions, including asthma and COPD.

 

A recent study published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine highlighted therapeutic ginseng benefits. Panax ginseng and ginsenosides (active components of ginseng) appear to inhibit processes related to the development of COPD. (10)

 

  1. Take N-Acetylcysteine (NAC)

 

Supplementing with NAC helps decrease the severity and frequency of asthma attacks and improves overall lung function by increasing glutathione levels and thinning bronchial mucus. Glutathione fights against oxidative stress in the respiratory tract, which can make NAC a powerful and effective natural treatment for COPD. (11)

 

  1. Avoid Cold and Crowds

 

When you have COPD symptoms, it’s important to avoid things that make them even worse. I already told you that smoke and pollution are absolutely key to avoid. Another thing to be aware of is the fact that cold air can trigger bronchospasm, a sudden constriction in the muscles of airway walls that leads to shortness of breath. If the weather is really chilly, it’s a smart idea to avoid or reduce your time outdoors. You can also help your symptoms by putting on a face mask before going out into very cold temperatures. (12)

 

Another environmental hazard to avoid, especially if you have been prone to respiratory infections, is large crowds. Since respiratory infections can cause COPD symptoms to worsen, the less you’re in big crowds the lower your risk of being exposed to infectious germs. By no means am I encouraging you to be a hermit and never go to a mall again — I just want you to be smart and not unnecessarily put yourself in situations that could make your symptoms any worse.

 

  1. Reduce Stress

 

As with all health issues and diseases, stress only makes COPD symptoms, like airway inflammation and shortness of breath, worse. By reducing your daily stress and managing stress in healthy ways, you’re more relaxed, and this has a direct positive effect on your COPD symptoms. (13)

 

If you suffer from COPD, you should make time every day to relax both mentally and physically. Try some of these natural stress relievers to start.

 

The COPD Umbrella

 

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is an umbrella term that includes emphysema, chronic bronchitis and sometimes asthma. Here are some alarming stats on COPD:

 

  • According to the CDC, smoking accounts for as many as eight out of 10 COPD-related deaths. However, as many as one out of four Americans with COPD never smoked cigarettes.
  • A hallmark symptom of COPD is shortness of breath that gets worse over time. It’s often accompanied by a phlegm-producing cough and episodes of wheezing.
  • Typically, the first symptoms of emphysema occur in heavy smokers in their mid-50s.
  • Shortness of breath occurs with chronic bronchitis, but it may not be as severe during rest as it is in people with emphysema.
  • Classic symptoms of an asthma attack are coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath (dyspnea).
  • People with chronic asthma can get airway obstruction that makes them more likely to develop COPD.
  • Approximately 40 percent of those with COPD experience high levels of depression and anxiety, making it more difficult to comply with treatment and quit smoking.

COPD in the U.S.: (14)

 

  • Women were more likely to report COPD than men (6.7 percent vs. 5.2 percent).
  • Prevalence is lower among homemakers, students and the employed than among those who are unable to work, unemployed or retired.
  • Prevalence decreases as income increases (from 9.9 percent among those making less than $25,000 a year to 2.8 percent among those making more than $75,000).
  • 36.4 percent of those reporting COPD were former smokers.
  • 38.7 percent of those reporting COPD continued to smoke.
  • 43.7 percent of those reporting COPD had a history of asthma.

 

 

COPD Risk Factors & Root Causes

 

In developed countries, the central cause of COPD is tobacco smoking. In the developing world, COPD often occurs in people exposed to fumes from burning fuel for cooking and heating in poorly ventilated homes.

 

Root causes and risk factors for COPD include: (15)

 

  • Smoking — By far, the biggest risk factor for COPD is long-term cigarette smoking. The more years you smoke and the more cigarettes you smoke daily, the greater your risk for developing the disease. People who smoke pipes, cigars and marijuana are also at risk.
  • Tobacco smoke exposure — People exposed to large amounts of secondhand smoke are also at risk.
  • People with asthma who smoke — The combination of asthma and smoking increases the risk of COPD even more.
  • Occupational exposure to chemicals and dusts — Long-term exposure to chemical fumes, vapors and dusts in the workplace or elsewhere can irritate and inflame your lungs.
  • Age — COPD develops slowly over years. The majority of sufferers are at least 35 to 40 years old when symptoms begin.
  • Genetics — In about 1 percent of people with COPD, the disease results from a genetic disorder that causes low levels of a protein called alpha-1 antitrypsin. Alpha-1-antitrypsin is made in the liver and secreted into the bloodstream to help protect the lungs. Other genetic factors also likely make certain smokers more susceptible to the disease.

 

The following groups are more likely to report COPD: (16)

 

  • Current or former smokers
  • Those with a history of asthma
  • People aged 65–74 years
  • Non-Hispanic whites
  • Women
  • Individuals who are unemployed, retired or unable to work
  • Individuals with less than a high school education
  • People with lower incomes
  • Individuals who are divorced, widowed or separated

 

 

COPD in Women

 

Deaths resulting from COPD are higher in women than in men. There are a few reasons why this happens: (17)

 

  • In the late 1960s, the tobacco industry intensely targeted women. This resulted in a huge increase in women smoking. We are still seeing new cases of smoking-related diseases, including COPD, as women age.
  • Women are more vulnerable than men to lung damage from cigarette smoke and other pollutants. Their lungs are smaller, and estrogen plays a role in worsening lung disease.
  • Women are often misdiagnosed. Because COPD has long been thought of as a man’s disease, many doctors still don’t expect to see it in women and miss the proper diagnosis.

 

 

COPD Symptoms Takeaways

 

  • COPD is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. More than 11 million people in the U.S. are diagnosed with COPD, while an estimated 24 million may have the disease without even realizing it.
  • COPD symptoms include shortness of breath while doing everyday activities or during physical activities, chronic cough, wheezing, chest tightness, frequent respiratory infections, blueness of the lips or fingernail beds, general fatigue and lack of energy, producing a lot of mucus or phlegm, having to clear your throat first thing in the morning due to excess mucus in your lungs and unintended weight loss (in later stages). People with COPD are likely to experience episodes called exacerbations. This is when symptoms become worse than usual and persist for at least several days.
  • There are four stages of COPD: Stage 1, very mild COPD; Stage 2, moderate COPD; Stage 3, severe emphysema/chronic bronchitis; Stage 4, very sever COPD.
  • To naturally treat COPD symptoms, avoid smoking in every form, improve breathing, follow a healthy diet, increase water intake inside and outside the body, exercise, use eucalyptus oil, consume ginseng, take NAC, avoid cold and crowds, and reduce stress.
  • The root causes and risk factors for COPD include smoking, tobacco smoke exposure, having asthma and smoking, occupational exposure to chemicals and dusts, age, and genetics. In addition, deaths resulting from COPD are higher in women than in men.

 

Please share with family and loved ones, and call us if you have concerns and question about what to do in your healthcare needs.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived Article   JA

312-972-Well

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health and Disease

COPD and The Flu Shot

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If you suffer with COPD, you most likely have or will develop Fatty Liver Disease.
In a recent article by Dr. Chauncy Crandall he talks about the problems with Flu Shotsand COPD. When you have COPD your airways and air sacs loose their elasticity, you have a persistant cough, and you get colds and the flu more. Getting the flu or colds more often, your doctor is able to adjust your treatment accordingly. If you get the flu shot you may actually be masking the condition, which will not allow your doctor to diagnose your treatment correctly. Just as if you are a heavy smoker and get the flu shot, you will not be diagnosed in time for immediate treatment. This is called the Leonard Nimoy, yes, Dr. Spock problem, and which in turn caused his early death. Not being diagnosed because the flu shot did not allow proper diagnosis for COPD.
When you have COPD you will also suffer from Fatty Liver Disease. You guessed it! Your tests results will not show Fatty Liver Disease, or other Liver Diseases if you get the flu shot.