Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Popular Asthma Rx May Not Work

Popular Asthma Rx May Not Work

News Picture: For Many With Mild Asthma, Popular Rx May Not Work: Study

A widely used type of asthma medication may not work in more than half of patients who are prescribed it, new research shows.

Inhaled corticosteroids, which are designed to reduce airway inflammation, are recommended for all patients with persistent asthma.

But this medication’s effectiveness may be limited to a type of inflammation that occurs in far fewer patients than once thought, according to the researchers.

For the study, which was funded by the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, investigators compared the use of an inhaled steroid called mometasone (Nasonex) to a placebo in 295 patients over 12 years of age with mild persistent asthma.

The patients were grouped according to the level of eosinophils (Eos), a type of white blood cell, in their phlegm. In all, 73% were “Eos low” — about 50% more than the researchers expected. The remaining 27% were “Eos high.”

Among those who were Eos low, there was no significant difference in response to mometasone versus the placebo. And about 66% did as well or better on the placebo, the findings showed.

Eos-high patients were nearly three times more likely to respond to the inhaled steroid than to the placebo (74% versus 26%), according to the study published May 19 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

One lung expert noted inhaled steroids have been used to treat asthma for decades.

“Aerosolized steroids revolutionized the treatment of asthma in the 1990s, and so it is curious to come upon a study wherein more than half of asthmatics studied responded to aerosolized steroid no better than placebo,” said Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonary specialist with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. But he noted that accurately measuring Eos levels in the phlegm can be difficult.

The researchers also looked at use of a medication called tiotropium (Spiriva), which is prescribed along with inhaled steroids. Tiotropium relaxes the muscles that tighten around the airways in asthma.

Though there was not enough evidence to conclude that patients prescribed tiotropium are likely to do better, the results suggested that alternatives to inhaled steroids should be studied further, the researchers said.

“The take-home message is that many patients have a pattern of inflammation that makes them less likely to respond to inhaled steroids,” explained study first author Dr. Stephen Lazarus. He’s a professor in the division of pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

“Doctors should consider this if patients are not responding, rather than just increasing the dose,” he suggested in a university news release.

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

 

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/

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/

 

 

 

Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Cold and Respiratory Remedy Still Works

coldandrespiratoryrememdy

 

Cold and respiratory remedy.

Cold season is upon us, and you might want to try this. You know I do not recommend the flu shot, but this is better in building up your immune system.

Easy and Safe Ingredients

This remedy only requires 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of honey, and 2 tablespoons of organic, raw apple cider vinegar. Yes, that’s completely it!

Recipe

You don’t need fancy equipment for this awesome remedy. All I have to do is combine the three ingredients and heat them in the microwave for around 10 seconds. After stirring, it’s bottom’s up! I make sure to dilute it with water when I drink it regularly though, to avoid allowing the acidic content of the drink to break down my teeth’s enamel.

Effective Ingredients

Lemon juice is just positively brimming with vitamin C and we all know that that’s a must for getting rid of the common cold. Honey is also especially great for fighting infection and treating problems with your digestion. Best of all has got to be the raw apple cider vinegar though. It’s used in practically all of the natural remedies you can think of because it’s the miracle ingredient that can heal you (plus, I use it as shampoo and it keeps my hair looking and feeling great). I use all of these ingredients separately for many different reasons, so it just makes sense that combining them makes for the 1-2 killer punch to knock out those dang infections!

This home remedy for sore throat, pack with extraordinary ingredients such as fresh lemon juice, organic honey and organic, raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar, will also knock out any cold or upper respiratory infection.

You may have to go to a Natural Health Food Store, or department, to get raw apple cider vinegar. You can also go to Amazon.com…

Let us not forget those preventative measures of supplements.  If you are not on a supplement routine, or need to go over your supplement plan please call us.

Please share with family and loved ones.

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived: 2014

P Carrothers

312-972-WELL

Uncategorized

Herbs For Respiratory System

echineacea

 

Herbs for Respiratory System

Most people realize how important their lungs are to overall health, not only providing oxygen needed by every cell in the body but also filtering out small blood clots from the veins and even providing cushioning for the heart. Yet even if someone does not smoke, exposure to air pollution, some medications or even trauma can do damage to the lungs and cause problems like bronchitis, asthma, pneumonia and even lung cancer. Below, however, are herbs which can protect the lungs and promote respiratory health.

Mullein

Mullein has long been used as a remedy for many respiratory complaints, including viral infections like flus and colds, as well as conditions like bronchitis and laryngitis. It is a natural expectorant and can relieve congestion from excess phlegm and can also help quiet bronchial spasms and relieve pain.

Licorice

Licorice is a natural demulcent herb, meaning that it can help to soothe down irritation of the mucous membranes which line the respiratory tract. It also contains lichochalcone, a compound which decreases inflammation and has even been shown to help fight off the proliferation of cancer cells.

Gingko Biloba

Most people think of this as an herb to improve memory and cognition, but it is also useful for respiratory health. One study showed that those undergoing bypass surgery displayed fewer signs of inflammation or irritation in the lungs if given extracts of this herb.

Echinacea

Echinacea is a natural antimicrobial which can fight off bacteria and viruses that can hurt the lungs and can also strengthen the general immune system to make it more effective at warding off illnesses. It does this primarily through increasing the white blood cell count.

Rosemary

Rosemary’s natural oils have antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties which can help to remedy bronchitis, flus and colds, coughs and other respiratory infections. One of its active compounds, called carnosol, is also being tested as an anti-carcinogen.

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus has long been used to treat a number of lung conditions, including sore throat, sinus infections, bronchitis and colds and flus. It has properties which make is an antimicrobial, antispasmodic and a natural expectorant and decongestant.

Irish Moss

Despite its name, this is actually a type of seaweed and is actually already used in an array of prescription medications that are used to treat lung ailments like the flu, pneumonia, and unproductive coughs. It acts as a decongestant and antimicrobial agent.

Hyssop

Hyssop is able to decongest the lungs and respiratory tract and is a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. When used in a syrup, it is able to treat cough and soothe down the mucous membranes which line the throat and which get irritated by an array of respiratory problems.

Slippery Elm

Slippery elm is an anti-inflammatory, expectorant and antiseptic and can be used to treat conditions from the entire respiratory tract and is beneficial for bronchitis, coughs, and asthma and is excellent for soothing the mucous membranes of the nose and throat.

Coltsfoot

This is a natural treatment for whooping cough, colds, and bronchitis and can help rid the body of mucous and reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract which can accompany a number of lung conditions.

All these herbs are natural and healthy ways to treat lung ailments and to keep the respiratory tract healthy and functioning.

If you have a family member that has had respiratory or cardiac problems, or you live with someone that smokes, have bronchitis,COPD, or other respiratory problems, please call us.

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived Article

312-972-Well

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

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Health and Disease

Herbs for Respiratory Problems

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Herbs for Respiratory System

Most people realize how important their lungs are to overall health, not only providing oxygen needed by every cell in the body but also filtering out small blood clots from the veins and even providing cushioning for the heart. Yet even if someone does not smoke, exposure to air pollution, some medications or even trauma can do damage to the lungs and cause problems like bronchitis, asthma, pneumonia and even lung cancer. Below, however, are herbs which can protect the lungs and promote respiratory health.

Mullein

Mullein has long been used as a remedy for many respiratory complaints, including viral infections like flus and colds, as well as conditions like bronchitis and laryngitis. It is a natural expectorant and can relieve congestion from excess phlegm and can also help quiet bronchial spasms and relieve pain.

Licorice

Licorice is a natural demulcent herb, meaning that it can help to soothe down irritation of the mucous membranes which line the respiratory tract. It also contains lichochalcone, a compound which decreases inflammation and has even been shown to help fight off the proliferation of cancer cells.

Gingko Biloba

Most people think of this as an herb to improve memory and cognition, but it is also useful for respiratory health. One study showed that those undergoing bypass surgery displayed fewer signs of inflammation or irritation in the lungs if given extracts of this herb.

Echinacea

Echinacea is a natural antimicrobial which can fight off bacteria and viruses that can hurt the lungs and can also strengthen the general immune system to make it more effective at warding off illnesses. It does this primarily through increasing the white blood cell count.

Rosemary

Rosemary’s natural oils have antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties which can help to remedy bronchitis, flus and colds, coughs and other respiratory infections. One of its active compounds, called carnosol, is also being tested as an anti-carcinogen.

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus has long been used to treat a number of lung conditions, including sore throat, sinus infections, bronchitis and colds and flus. It has properties which make is an antimicrobial, antispasmodic and a natural expectorant and decongestant.

Irish Moss

Despite its name, this is actually a type of seaweed and is actually already used in an array of prescription medications that are used to treat lung ailments like the flu, pneumonia, and unproductive coughs. It acts as a decongestant and antimicrobial agent.

Hyssop

Hyssop is able to decongest the lungs and respiratory tract and is a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. When used in a syrup, it is able to treat cough and soothe down the mucous membranes which line the throat and which get irritated by an array of respiratory problems.

Slippery Elm

Slippery elm is an anti-inflammatory, expectorant and antiseptic and can be used to treat conditions from the entire respiratory tract and is beneficial for bronchitis, coughs, and asthma and is excellent for soothing the mucous membranes of the nose and throat.

Coltsfoot

This is a natural treatment for whooping cough, colds, and bronchitis and can help rid the body of mucous and reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract which can accompany a number of lung conditions.

All these herbs are natural and healthy ways to treat lung ailments and to keep the respiratory tract healthy and functioning.

If you have a family member that has had respiratory or cardiac problems, or you live with someone that smokes, have bronchitis,COPD, or other respiratory problems, please call us.

Health and Wellness Associates

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Foods

Health Benefits of Rosemary

rosemary2

Rosemary has had the reputation for miracles for thousands of years. It has been used as an antiseptic, antidepressant, analgesic, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, disinfectant, aphrodisiac, and expectorant. Rosemary has earned praise for alleviating nerve-related conditions, boosting the immune system, fighting off bacterial and viral infections, aiding respiratory ailments, strengthening digestion and improving circulation. Rosemary contains both caffeic acid and rosmarinic acid which act as a powerful anti-inflammatory making it ideal for those who suffer with auto-immune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia. It also contains properties and volatile oils that work similarly to anti-histamines and make it very useful to treat conditions such as asthma and chronic migraines. Rosemary’s diuretic properties have been known to help relieve gout, edema, and kidney stones. Rosemary has the ability to stimulate memory, improve concentration, and help overcome mental fatigue by increasing the blood flow to the head and brain. It is also known to alleviate depression and sadness and can decrease anxiety brought on by stress. Rosemary oil is often added to hair and skin care products due to its ability to cleanse and nourish the scalp and heal and repair the skin. Essential oil of rosemary can also be used through a steam vaporizer to disinfect the air in your home &/or office which is especially beneficial during cold and flu season. Rosemary can be taken as a tea, supplement, or simply added to fresh guacamole, salads, soups, or any of your home cooked meals. It is a potent and effective herb that can provide a myriad of health benefits.

Health and Wellness Associates

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