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Knocking the Wind Out of COPD

Post: #1
04-08-2009, 07:35 AM
member31696 Offline
*******

Knocking the Wind Out of COPD


As the fifth leading killer worldwide and the fourth leading killer in the US, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD is a set of conditions affecting a growing percentage of the population. The growth in the number of people with this condition is advancing so quickly that in 10 years the condition could be the third deadliest in the world. It also happens to be the top disability for which people miss work.

COPD, often called "smoker's lung" includes a number of conditions such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema that involve inflammation and damage to the large and small airways in the lungs. As the common name might suggest, those with COPD are most usually smokers or former smokers and over the age of 40. Unlike asthma in which the airways temporarily constrict based on some irritation, the airways of those with COPD are permanently narrowed and are much more difficult to open up.

When COPD is detected in its early stages where the symptoms are mild, patients can usually recover by quitting smoking. However, based on the difficulty in quitting smoking and an estimate that 25% to 50% of those with COPD won't be diagnosed with the condition, there are still many people who will reach the more advanced and complicated stages. These people will suffer from flare-ups in which shortness of breath, a harsh, persistent cough, and continual spitting up of mucus are common. Many will show a big barrel shaped chest caused because their lungs are expanded all the time to provide enough oxygen.

While called "smoker's lung", because those who smoke have roughly 12 times the chance of dying from COPD than nonsmokers, the condition only affects 25% of smokers. The reason for this has recently been revealed to be genetic, so that only those people with specific genes are susceptible to the condition. Current research also seems to indicate that once the condition reaches a certain stage, the immune system actually contributes to further damage by attacking the lung itself thinking that the continually inflamed cells need to be removed.

At the present time, there is no cure for COPD and all treatments are intended simply to slow the rate at which the condition progresses or to alleviate some of the symptoms. Common treatments involve inhalers or pills to open the airways or reduce inflammation. Antibiotics are often and frequently given, not to treat the condition, but to treat the lung infections that are common to those with COPD. In the more advanced cases, patients are often placed on oxygen for 15 to 20 hours a day to aid in breathing.

Recently, research has revealed two factors that a patient can influence in order to possibly reduce the effects of the disease. The first finding is that broccoli contributes to the maintenance of antioxidants in the lungs that are responsible for protecting the lungs against damage from inflammation so a change in diet to eat more of this vegetable is a benefit. The second and more important finding is that supervised exercise can actually improve the lung function of those with COPD and reduce the frequency at which sufferers feel out of breath.

Without a cure for COPD yet on the horizon, those currently suffering with the condition and those with a risk due to their genetics must take great care to maximize their own health. The need to stop smoking or never start cannot be overemphasized to avoid that long-term feeling of suffocation associated with COPD. As one of the most preventable ailments and yet one that is accumulating an increasing number of casualties, this condition really needs its wind knocked out.

Related Links:

http://www.copd-international.com/library/statistics.htm
http://www.hospitalmanagement.net/features/feature636/
http://www.lung.ca/diseases-maladies/copd-mpoc_e.php
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/barrel-chest/AN00359
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/142021.php
http://www.prnewswire.co.uk/cgi/news/release?id=105167
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/145358.php
http://www.jci.org/articles/view/34462/pdf
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/130299.php
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/138477.php
http://www.patient.co.uk/showdoc/23068705/
http://www.prnewswire.co.uk/cgi/news/release?id=105167
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/12/AR2008091201997.html
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/144919.php
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/144919.php




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Post: #2
10-24-2011, 09:00 AM
member60565 Offline
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RE: Knocking the Wind Out of COPD


My brother-in-law who died last Dec. of 2009 was said to have died from COPD. Something which we didn't expect because he wasn't a smoker. If he did, we never saw it. He was a yoga instructor and very health conscious; such that he always selected his food meticulously. He just fell and that was it.

It is only now, through this, that I understand what happened to him. He is not the smoker; he was a second hand smoker. He had so many smoker friends who enjoyed nights out, him included. He had a history of asthma also, and I think that his frequent upside down positions make his airways narrow or get obstructed by his phlegm. Maybe, just maybe, he was a smoker who stopped. We are not sure, because he lived alone; quite independent. Either way, smoker or second hand smoker, COPD got the better of him.

Thanks. The doctors at the hospital never gave more than the name as cause of death. This has been more enlightening.



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Post: #3
10-28-2011, 02:04 AM
member31696 Offline
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RE: Knocking the Wind Out of COPD


I am sorry for the loss your family experienced. I am glad that the article helped to explain what may have happened to him.



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Post: #4
01-31-2012, 09:11 PM
member22227 Offline
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RE: Knocking the Wind Out of COPD


​My mother passed away from COPD six years ago. She was a smoker and was diagnosed with emphysema ten years before she quite smoking. When she did quite, she never got any medical attention until it was too late. By the time I could finally drag her to the doctors she was referred to a specialist and he said she had COPD. She was put on oxygen and had a machine for her inhalers( she could never use the hand held canister type). I watched her die a slow death but the sad thing about all of this is, I still smoke and have asthma. I do have other medical conditions that keep me smoking at the moment. I do know that I will die the same way as her if I don't quite but I just can't seem to do it.



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Post: #5
03-15-2012, 10:57 PM
member7430 Offline
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RE: Knocking the Wind Out of COPD


The problem is, while all smokers know it is bad for them, they also seem to live under the happy delusion that COPD and other respiratory diseases will not affect them. That, coupled with the addictive nature of nicotine, makes it difficult to convince smokers that they need to quit - as is clear from Blueeyes' post.



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Post: #6
03-23-2012, 09:01 PM
member74870 Offline
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RE: Knocking the Wind Out of COPD


COPD worries me a lot. My boyfriend has been smoking for 40 years. He says he is in perfect health, but that is clearly not the case. He gets bronchitis ALL the time. He is always hacking and coughing up phlem, too. He doesn't sleep well and has very strange moods. Somehow, the chance of COPD has never came up with his doctor. More recently I found out he goes to different urgent cares to get medications, usually antibiotics and steroids, when he gets sick. I don't think he tells his doctors about it. I am very afraid for his health.



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Post: #7
10-08-2012, 01:37 AM
member5417 Offline
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RE: Knocking the Wind Out of COPD


Two of my family members on my mother's side were diagnosed with COPD many years ago, and both have died from complications regarding that. (Pneumonia). Both were smokers as well. I have had asthma my entire life and one of my doctors told me that surprisingly, alot of people who have asthma do indeed smoke. That was a very interesting article, thanks so much for posting it.



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Post: #8
07-05-2013, 03:14 AM
member24828 Offline
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RE: Knocking the Wind Out of COPD


I have been reading on other forums that nebulizing with Wild Oregano Oil is a great combatant for COPD sufferers. It is touted as nature's best antibiotic and cleans the lungs of infection. It makes breathing less of a chore. I have also read in other places that turmeric is good for inflammation in the lungs. I also found out that broccoli contains nutrients that help with scar tissue in the lungs. My boyfriend has CF, and this is kind of a starting point for us.



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