If you’ve ever had a hard time breathing after eating a big meal, with or without COPD, you can see how it can affect the way you breath. With COPD, however, you can be in even more trouble if you eat more than you should in one sitting.
COPD causes the lungs to swell up to a few sizes bigger than a pair of healthy lungs. This is because your lungs are trying to expand and compensate for the fact they can’t bring in as much oxygen as before. The fact that your lungs are larger, makes it easier to feel as if you’ve eaten too much, and is another reason why people who have COPD feel full faster than people who don’t have COPD. Your lungs will push down against your diaphragm, which then pushes against your stomach. Not only do you feel uncomfortable, but you will also decrease your ability to take a breath.
It’s true that the increased amount of oxygen brought into the body with oxygen therapy causes a small amount of oxidation and the production of free radicals, especially in our lungs. In most cases, lung damage is only caused by overuse of oxygen – if a patient takes it upon himself to turn up the dosage or use his oxygen concentrator for longer than prescribed by his doctor. In other cases, there might be a malfunction in the oxygen machine when using a tank, that can cause the flow rate to go much higher than it should. An overdose of oxygen can definite be a bad thing.
The damaging free radical caused by an excessive presence in the lungs is known as peroxynitrite. When there are lower levels of oxygen in the lungs, as with the amount prescribed by your doctor and normally put out by your oxygen concentrator, your lungs only produce the enzyme known as nitric oxide, which is harmless, but can lead to the production of peroxynitrite.
People in most workplaces are discouraged from wearing perfumes, since many people have different degrees of sensitivity to fragrances, or certain types of colognes. For some people, all they get is a headache when they smell a certain type of fragrance. Others might only be sensitive to fragrances or a certain fragrance if it comes in contact with their skin, such as in the cases of strong scents in laundry detergent, lotions, etc.
For some people with sensitivity sinuses and respiratory systems, strong perfumes, colognes and other fragrances can be dangerous. You can also become intolerant to a fragrances as you get older, or after you’ve been diagnosed with a chronic lung disease, such as COPD.
Some of the more dangerous fragrance substances found in many products are some organic fragrances, formaldehyde and benzene, which have been known to not only cause lung exacerbations, but also neurological damage and cancer. Benzene, for example, has been found in nail polishes.
One thing your doctor will tell you when you have COPD, or really any other chronic disease, is you need to eat a healthy diet so your body can function and defend itself in the best way possible. Along with getting as much physical activity as you can stand, you also need to eat well to keep a good quality of life.
Specifically, if you have COPD, there are some foods that will help you more than others in improving lung function and keeping your immune system strong. Your immune system is even more important when you have a chronic disease such as COPD, because it can be worsened if you get sick with even a common chest cold. If someone with healthy lungs catches a chest cold, they will simply be sick for a week or so, take some medicine and start to feel better. If someone with COPD gets the same cold, they could end up in the hospital.
If you want to avoid exacerbations and keep a generally high quality of life with COPD, there are some things you will need to avoid.
Skipping doses of medication. You should use all of your medication as prescribed by your doctor, even when you are “feeling fine”, or if you genuinely feel like you don’t need it. It’s likely that the reason you feel as if you don’t need it, is because you’ve been using it properly up until now. This goes for oxygen therapy as well, since it is considered a medication.
Not eating enough, or eating unhealthy foods. Since your lungs have to work harder to inspire oxygen, you are burning 10 times more calories while you breathe. Also, people with COPD will often feel too tired to eat, or they simply do not have an appetite. Take meal supplements and eat healthy foods high in protein, vitamins and minerals. Drink the recommended 8 glasses of water a day to help keep mucous thin and easy to expel.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is largely a preventable disease, and the ease of which it is treated greatly depends on how early it is discovered and diagnosed. The disease takes quite a long time to progress in the beginning stages, but once it has made it to moderate to severe status, you can require assistance with daily medications and oxygen therapy. Once it has been diagnosed as severe, exacerbations or flare-ups will increase in how often they occur and how damaging they are. An exacerbation causes the disease to worsen and usually requires hospitalization.
The numbers for COPD are on the rise, and it is now recognized as the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States, and most of the cases are caused by years of smoking tobacco. If you’ve been smoking for a while and you are around the age of 35, you might want to consider getting checked for the early stages of the disease with the use of a nuclear medicine.
Nuclear medicine is a safe and cost effective way of diagnosing a number of diseases in their earliest stages. A recent study showed how only a small amount of inflammation caused by cigarette smoke, and a sign of pre-COPD, was visible in the lungs of lab rats through vivo ventilation/perfusion (V/Q) imaging.
You’ve made the decision to purchase an portable oxygen concentrator. Maybe you plan on doing some traveling in the near future and you don’t want your need for oxygen therapy to hold you back from seeing the places you’ve always wanted to see. A portable oxygen concentrator will give the quality of life you need and deserve.
Aside from specifications such as a good battery life, a light weight model and one that is small and inconspicuous, you will also need to make sure the portable oxygen concentrator you get will deliver the amount of oxygen that you need, as you need it. After your doctor has given you a prescription for the oxygen you need, you will need to take this prescription with you and refer to it while you are shopping for a machine.