natural remedies and home care for COPD

COPD refers to a chronic inflammatory lung condition that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs. People with COPD are at high risk of developing other diseases, such as lung cancer and heart disease. COPD can be caused by exposure to gases and smoke (as, from cigarettes).WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS? • A feeling of tigh

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

  • A feeling of tightness in the chest
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Chronic cough
  • Frequent respiratory infections
  • Lack of energy
  • Mucus, excess production
  • Swelling in lower limbs
  • Wheezing

RISK FACTORS

  • Number 1 risk factor is smoking
  • Air pollution
  • Asthma
  • Exposure to dust
  • Exposure to fumes from burning fuel (even in your home)
  • Genetic predisposition

PREVALENCE

The CDC reports that in 2015-2016, there were 5.7 million physician office visits with COPD as the primary diagnosis. Some estimate that about 30 million people in the US suffer with COPD.

ALLOPATHIC TREATMENT

  • Annual flu vaccination along with vaccination against pneumonia, for prevention
  • Medications
  • Oxygen therapy
  • Recommendations for lifestyle changes (stop smoking, eat healthy, etc.)
  • Surgery

SELF TREATMENT

DIET

A healthy immune system is always the first line of defense against disease and inflammation.  To promote a healthy immune system, it is important to eat a balanced diet, with as much variety as you can manage, with lots of whole, fresh vegetables and fruits, quality protein and healthy sources of monounsaturated fat.  The Zone is an excellent nutrition plan.

FOODS THAT MAY PROMOTE HEALING

  • A variety of foods that will offer a variety of nutrients, like Vitamins A through E
  • Bone broth
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables (low-starch choices)
  • Garlic
  • Moderate intake of carbohydrates
  • Monounsaturated fats
  • Organic sources of protein
  • Potassium-rich foods

FOODS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES TO REDUCE OR ELIMINATE

  • Alcohol (which may interfere with meds and disrupt your breathing)
  • Apples, stone fruits and melons if they cause gas
  • Aspartame
  • Caffeine
  • Dairy products if they cause gas
  • Excess salt
  • Fried foods
  • MSG
  • Saturated fats
  • Sodas
  • Smoking
  • Soy proteins
  • Vegetables that cause gas for you (suspects: cruciform vegetables, onions, leeks, beans, soybeans)

BEVERAGES, HERBS AND SPICES

Remember to drink pure water regularly to stay hydrated. Tea is a better option than coffee if you must have some caffeine, but caffeine may interfere with medications.

Many of the herbs that aren’t specifically noted for tea will make fine herbal teas. Many herbs and spices have properties that may break down mucus, improve circulation, reduce inflammation, promote muscle relaxation, increase exercise tolerance, offer antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, and even protect the lining of blood vessels.

  • Asian ginseng
  • Astragalus root
  • Burdock root
  • Chamomile tea
  • Comfrey
  • Echinacea
  • Elderberry (effective against flu viruses that affect the lungs)
  • Elecampane
  • Eucalyptus
  • Ginger
  • Ginseng
  • Green tea
  • Lemon balm tea
  • Licorice root
  • Lime tea
  • Linseed tea
  • Lobelia
  • Mallow tea
  • Melatonin
  • Mint tea
  • Oregano
  • Peppermint
  • Red sage
  • Rosehip tea
  • Skullcap
  • Thyme
  • Turmeric

ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential oils can be administered via a diffuser for inhalation, administered topically in a carrier oil  (coconut, almond, olive, etc.), or undiluted drops can be added to a hot bath or compress.  Find recipes for blends on the web or create your own.

  • Bergamot
  • Cinnamon
  • Eucalyptus
  • Frankincense
  • Geranium
  • Ginseng
  • Lavender
  • Myrrh
  • Myrtol (a combo of pine, lime and eucalyptus oils)
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Sweet Orange
  • Tea Tree
  • Thyme

OTHER SUBSTANCES AND SUPPLEMENTS

The cost of having a blood test to determine if you have nutritional deficiencies is likely to be negligible compared to over-consuming expensive supplements that you do not need.

  • Bromelain
  • Calcium
  • Co-Q10
  • Fiber (best in your diet but supplements may help)
  • Glutathione
  • Magnesium
  • Mucolyxir, sublingually. (Contains small amount of DNA from Pacific wild salmon that may balance mucus levels)
  • N-Acetylcysteine (NAC)
  • Quercetin
  • Resveratrol
  • Omega 3’s
  • Seanol (flavonoid)
  • Vitamins, especially D

HYDRATION

Adequate water intake can thin mucus, making it easier to clear from your body, which will improve breathing. Water is essential and a main nutrient for the human body.  Water transports nutrients throughout your body, lubricates your joints, regulates your temperature and removes waste from your body.  Without it, you cannot survive for many days.  Staying hydrated is fundamental for a healthy body, so how much is enough?  There are so many differences in people (i.e., how much we sweat), as well as the diets we consume (a lot of water comes from healthy, whole foods), but a general rule is to consume enough water that your urine is clear, but not so much that you dilute your nutrients.  If you are taking certain supplements that make your urine yellow, then you can start out with the formula of drinking ½ to one ounce of water for each pound you weigh.  If you weigh 130 pounds, drink 65 to 130 ounces of water a day.  Definitely drink when you are thirsty.

EXERCISE

That exercise is beneficial for overall health is undisputed.  Aerobic exercise can improve your circulation. Exercise can strengthen your heart and strengthen bones.  If you exercise regularly, you likely will sleep better. If you are ill, you will want to take it easy, of course, but there is always something you can do to support your body.  Do what you can without making yourself feel worse.  Exercise in fresh air whenever possible.

SLEEP

Studies show that lack of quality sleep affects the production of disease-fighting antibodies.  If you wake in the morning after 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep feeling unrested, you aren’t getting enough sleep or you have an underlying health condition. Yes, it is difficult to sleep well when your breathing is labored and when you are uncomfortable.  Some prescription sleep meds may impair your breathing, so talk to your doctor if you need help.  Try some of the suggestions below for relaxation and emotional support.  The less stressed you are, the better you may sleep.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT

Stay calm.  Anxiety undermines health.  Practice relaxation exercises, talk to a friend, meditate.  Do what works for you to stay mellow.  Some of the following relaxation methods may be helpful for you:

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO

  • Air purifier to reduce dust
  • Change linen frequently to cut back on dust
  • Breathing exercises
  • Use natural cleaning products in your home.
  • Exercise in the water if you are weak.
  • A neti pot to clear your nasal passages

ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

  • Acupressure https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9271771/
  • Acupuncture https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5059044/
  • Ayurveda https://www.ayush.com/articles/ayurveda-and-copd
  • Chinese Medicine https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6314719/
  • Chiropractic https://www.revivalchiropractic.com/copd-and-chiropractic/
  • Earthing https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3151462/
  • Homeopathy http://use-inhalers.com/can-alternative-medicines-help-copd
  • org https://www.watercures.org/cough-variant-asthma.html
  • C-Pap https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/02/200204163646.htm
  • Hydrogen Peroxide Therapy – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3108576/
  • Insulin Potentiation Therapy – https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/insulin-potentiation-therapy
  • Magnetic Molecular Energizer – (dubious)
  • Oxygen Therapy – https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-topics/ug2661

PREVENTION

  • A wholesome, balanced diet
  • Adequate hydration
  • Regular exercise
  • Low stress levels
  • Quality sleep
  • Don’t.ever.smoke

 

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