COPD is a condition that affects approximately 30 million people in the United States. It is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Tobacco smoke is the one single factor that causes COPD in developing countries. Other factors include indoor air quality, pollutants, toxic chemicals amongst others.
What is COPD? Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is an umbrella term that describes a group of diseases that is characterized by an abnormal inflammation of the lungs. It is this abnormal inflammation that causes breathlessness and shortness of breath which are the two common symptoms of the disease.
The disease is described as a progressive lung condition, meaning it gets worse with time. Unfortunately, a good number of people with this condition do not realize they have COPD. Early Identification of the condition is critical if the treatment is going to be effective. It is therefore important to first understand the symptoms and risk factors before looking for a natural cure for the condition.
COPD Symptoms and Risk Factors
About a third of people will live with the condition and they do not even realize it. This is mainly because most people associate symptoms of the disease with natural signs of aging. Some of the common symptoms of COPD include:
- Breathlessness and shortness of breath
- A dry cough or a cough with sputum
- Respiratory infections
- Nails and lips turning blue
- Excess mucus in the lungs
- Smoking: Smoking is by far the leading cause of COPD especially in western countries. 9 out of 10 of people with the condition who are over the age of 40 are smokers. You are advised to quit smoking as soon as possible even if you are undergoing treatment. Secondary smoke is another risk factor for those who live in environments where they are constantly exposed.
- Pollutant and Irritants: Exposure to pollutants at home or in the workplace is another common risk factor. Dust, mites, and chemicals in enclosed places such as your home or office can cause inflammation of the lungs leading to a development of COPD in the long run.
- Genetics: There are people who can still develop Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease even if they have never smoked or been exposed to pollutants. Certain genetic factors can lead to the deterioration of the lungs. It is recommended that people with COPD be tested for the presence of these genetic factors. Only 1% of people with the condition can attribute it to genetic factors.
Common Complications Associated with COPD
COPD is known to cause several complications that can affect an individual’s quality of life. It is important to first understand how it affects the lungs.
The lung consists of bronchial tubes which branch into smaller tubes called bronchioles. At the end of the bronchioles, there are small sacs. These sacs have thousands of capillaries which help to absorb oxygen and get rid of carbon dioxide. They are elastic and they inflate and deflate every time you breathe in and out in order to perform their function effectively.
For people with COPD, the air sacs become rigid due to inflammation. The walls of the airways may become thick and inflamed. For this reason, people with the condition may experience shortness of breath especially when trying to perform strenuous activities. Going up the stairs or lifting heavy objects can seem like an impossible task.
Due to irritation in the lungs, people with the condition often experience a cough with phlegm. This is often mistaken for smoker’s cough. Coughing often happens in the morning and may not always be accompanied by mucus. People with COPD may avoid certain situations due to constant wheezing and coughing which can be very disruptive.
Another common complication when you treat COPD is unintentional weight loss. It is believed that over time the inflammation of the lungs pushes the stomach down reducing its space. This not only makes one feel full, it can also make breathing more uncomfortable.
10 Ways to Treat COPD Naturally
Make Dietary Adjustments
Diet can help manage COPD and significantly reduce some of the symptoms of the disease. You should stick to a balanced diet rich in fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Vegetables and fruits rich in vitamins and antioxidants can help minimize inflammation and make it easier to manage the disease. Here are some of the things you should include in your diet:
- Complex Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates produce large amounts of carbon dioxide in order to release the energy that the body needs. This becomes a problem for people with COPD since the body’s capacity to get rid of carbon dioxide is diminished by inflammation of the lungs. However, complex carbohydrates release energy at a consistent rate and do not pose as much of a problem. They also help to improve your gut function and your overall health.
- Potassium-Rich Foods: Potassium helps to balance fluids in the body. Potassium rich foods are highly recommended for those taking diuretics. Foods rich in potassium include bananas, asparagus, spinach, and tomatoes.
There are a number of foods you should pay attention to as they can aggravate the problem:
- Salt: Salt can cause water retention which can in turn cause difficulty in breathing. You can reduce the amount of salt you use in your food by finding substitutes such as potassium chloride.
- Caffeine: Caffeine is another common culprit that can aggravate symptoms of COPD. There is no real consensus on whether caffeine should be avoided altogether. However, caffeine is known to interfere with medication that helps to relieve the symptoms of the disease. Avoid or minimize the consumption of coffee, tea, and energy drinks such as Redbull.
- Dairy Products: Dairy products may be avoided as they sometimes make phlegm thicker. If you do not experience these symptoms you can continue taking dairy products in moderate amounts.
Staying hydrated by drinking the right kinds of fluids throughout the day, can help you to treat COPD. A thick mucus is quite common with people with the condition. It helps to make it thinner and therefore easier to cough it out. Staying hydrated also reduces symptoms such as dry mouth which makes it easier to chew and eat food.
If you have COPD it is recommended that you take 6 to 8 glasses of water per day. You can also take fluids such as fruit juices as long as they are 100 percent natural and do not contain additives and chemicals. Certain fruits such as watermelon and strawberries have fluids that can help you stay hydrated while adding important nutrients to the body.
Stay Away from Tobacco Smoke
If you are a smoker with COPD, the first thing you’ll need to do is to quit smoking. Numerous studies have left no doubt that it is the single leading cause of COPD for people in developed countries. Quitting will help avoid future complications.
Smoking damages the air sacs and the lining of your lungs. This means that air will have trouble moving in and out of your lungs and will then cause constant flare ups. It is also important to remember that second-hand smoke can also have as much of an impact. If you have friends who smoke around you, you should let them know that second-hand smoke can have a huge negative impact on your condition. You should also avoid places where you are likely to be exposed.
If you find it hard to quit smoking, as many people do, you should ask your doctor for advice. Your doctor can prescribe medication and suggest effective nicotine replacement therapies that will help you kick the habit.
Note: E-cigarettes may not be a safe alternative. One study suggests that e-cigs can lower the body’s ability to contain respiratory infections. For people with COPD, the rate of respiratory infections can be even higher.
Breathing Exercises to Manage Breathlessness
Shortness of breath is one of the biggest obstacles that people with COPD face as they are trying to manage the condition. To manage breathing, there are several exercises you can do.
Pursed lip breathing is one of the exercises that can help you manage the condition. It involves breathing in through your nose while keeping your mouth closed and your neck muscles relaxed. Breathe out through your pursed lips. This helps to keep the pressure up in your airways and prevents your airways from collapsing when you breathe out. It can be particularly useful for people with emphysema.
You can also use inspiratory muscle trainers to train your muscles. These devices will be provided to you when you take part in a pulmonary rehabilitation program. The purpose of the devices is to strengthen the respiratory muscles to ensure there is adequate pressure in the lungs to hold the air when you breathe in and out.
Get Adequate amounts of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that people with COPD need to ensure they get adequate amounts of. Vitamin D is crucial for the formation of bones, absorption of calcium and the normal functioning of the immune system. However, for people with COPD, it is a vitamin that is crucial for the normal functioning of the lungs.
As people grow older it becomes harder for the body to create vitamin D for the various functions it is required for in the body. This also happens to be the time that most people develop full blown COPD symptoms.
Salmon is an excellent source of vitamin D. It also contains fatty acids which keep inflammation at bay and helps to manage the symptoms of the condition. Exposure to the sun helps the body synthesize vitamin D from cholesterol available in the skin. Other sources of vitamin D include raw milk, tuna, sardine, cod liver oil, and mackerel.
Another natural remedy you could use to manage COPD is ginseng. There have been tons of studies on how ginseng can help improve lung function. It also helps to kill the bacteria found in the lungs thereby reducing the risk of flare ups from respiratory infections.
It is recommended that patients with COPD consult a doctor before trying ginseng. This is because this traditional herbal remedy can interfere with a number of medications prescribed to people with COPD. Some of the medication it could interfere with include, diuretics, blood thinners, and anti-depressants.
Supplement with NAC (N-Acetylcysteine)
NAC is a supplement that helps people with COPD deal with symptoms such as phlegm and cough. It is an antioxidant supplement that increases the lung function for people lung conditions such as asthma and COPD. It thins mucus and prevents its build up in the lungs. It is also believed to reduce the rate of flare ups.
Get Enough of Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are known for the countless benefits they have on the human body. The body cannot produce these fatty acids on its own so it needs to be supplemented through diet. These fatty acids have active compounds that help combat inflammation of the cells.
Some of the dietary sources of omega 3 include salmon, tuna, soy beans, walnuts, and flax seeds. Before taking any omega 3 supplements consult your doctor. These supplements are known to interfere with certain medications particularly blood thinners.
Manage Stress and Get Treatment for Depression
The impact that COPD has on your quality of life can lead one towards stress and anxiety. Unfortunately, stress can make your symptoms worse. It could even start a downward spiral towards depression. As symptoms get worse, you may progressively become more distressed by the worsening situation. You, therefore, need to deal with stress as soon as possible. There are several natural and scientifically proven ways you can manage stress.
- Exercise: A combination of aerobic and strength training is the best formula for people undergoing COPD treatment. Aerobic training helps to improve circulation in the body and facilitates absorption of oxygen. It also helps to promote endurance so that you can do your day-to-day chores with ease. Strength training reduces muscle atrophy. Both forms of exercise are also great at dealing with stress.
- Yoga: Besides helping to deal with mental distress, it reduces inflammation and improves lung function. It has been endorsed by the American College of Chest Physicians as a natural way to deal with the symptoms.
- Meditation: Research into meditation in the last few decades has compelled scientists and even medical practitioners to incorporate it into their treatment programs. As with other natural ways of managing stress, mindfulness meditation has proven to be effective in managing symptoms of the disease and preventing flare ups.
- Keeping a journal: Keeping a journal can help to manage stress. By writing down how you feel about the condition and the distress you’ve been going through, you can learn to focus on more positive thoughts. Set aside a few minutes every day for writing your journal. Over time you’ll find that your mind becomes clearer.
If you have full moderate to severe depression, it is best to seek professional help. While stress is usually short lived, depression is often described as experiencing feelings of unhappiness continuously for a few weeks. The natural techniques for dealing with stress may not effectively deal with moderate or severe depression. If you believe you are depressed, you need to see a doctor as soon as you possibly can.
Stem Cell Treatment for COPD
Patients with the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can benefit immensely from stem cell therapy. A new advancement in research into this technology has allowed scientists to use adipose cells derived from the patient’s own body.
Stem cells are blank cells that are used by the body as a template for developing specialized ones. Adult stem cells are more specialized and they perform specific functions such as regenerating certain tissues and organs.
For patients with COPD, adult stem cells can be derived from their fat cells. These stem cells are less likely to be rejected by the body. This is because they are from the patient’s own body, and they tend to exhibit a more predictable behavior than embryonic stem cells which have for long been plagued by controversies.
COPD patients undergoing stem cell treatment experience reduced symptoms and flare-ups associated with the condition after a considerably short period of time. The stem cells, when reinjected to the body, will move to the lungs and repair the damaged lungs and tissue. Stem cell therapy has successfully been used to treat a wide variety of conditions including diabetes, arthritis, lupus, and leukemia. By replacing tissues and repairing organs, patients will experience the following benefits:
- Improved air flow and lung function
- Reduced breathlessness
- Reduced mucus and phlegm as a result of tissue regeneration
- Strengthen lung muscles
- Reduce fatigue and exhaustion
A stem cell is considered to be the most effective of the natural treatments, mentioned above because it addresses the problem at its root. After years of exposure tobacco smoke, or pollutants, the lungs can become weak and prone to infections. Stem cell therapy helps to reverse the impact these chemicals have had on your body. It regenerates lung tissue and the patient’s quality of life improves after COPD treatment.
What to Look for in a Stem Cell Medical Clinic
When searching for a qualified stem cell therapy center it’s important to remember that not all of them are created equal. Stem cells, when used properly, are your body’s most powerful means for healing that can repair everything from ligaments, tendons, and cartilage to organs including your liver, pancreas and lungs and even neurological tissue like your brain, nerves and spinal cord.
Unfortunately, the majority of so-called “regenerative medicine clinics” in the world aren’t trained in the latest, most technologically advanced procedures and will, therefore, provide poor results if any.
The good news is the National Stem Cell Institute (NSI) has established the most advanced stem cell and platelet rich plasma procedures on the planet which has drawn patients from all over the world as well as professional athletes and celebrities because they are recognized as the best in the world at stem cell therapy.
What makes NSI Stem Cell the top stem cell clinic in the world is demonstrated in 5 key areas:
1. Highly trained and experienced, board-certified doctors and team members who have performed stem cell procedures on thousands of patients with incredible results.
2. Cutting edge procedures utilizing all that regenerative medicine has to offer for many chronic degenerative conditions.
3. Leading scientific researchers who follow the advanced guidelines to maximize the healing potential of your stem cells and to maintain compliance and ethics
4. Use of only the most potent and viable resource of living, viable stem cells and harvested on the same day. No vial that you can purchase will contain living stem cells. If there is no harvest then there are no stem cells.
5. Post-operative guidance for supporting stem-cell growth including rehabilitation, diet and supplement protocols. NSI is a full-service healthcare center focused on patient outcomes. Stem cell therapy is only one tool used to help improve patients’ lives.
Patients have raved about their experience at NSI Stem Cell Clinics testifying that it was their unique cutting-edge procedures that helped them experience a breakthrough when nothing else worked.
If you want to learn more about NSI Stem Cell Clinics, you can set up a complimentary consultation today to see if you are a candidate. You can contact the National Stem Cell Institute at (877) 278-3623.
* Disclaimer: Individual patient results may vary. As each patient’s problem is different, each treatment must be tailored around your specific needs.