Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a group of diseases characterized by breathing-related difficulties and airflow blockages. The most common conditions contributing to COPD are emphysema, in which the alveoli at the ends of the lungs are destroyed by cigarette smoke and exposure to other particulate matter, and chronic bronchitis, inflammation of the bronchial tubes.
If you’ve recently been diagnosed with COPD, it’s important to find a healthcare provider who can help guide you with your treatment options. Depending on the severity of symptoms, they may recommend a pulmonary rehabilitation treatment. Many patients seek regenerative medicine as an alternative treatment option, also known as stem cell therapy. This therapy has the potential to help symptoms of COPD with the regenerative effects of mesenchymal stem cells. Some lifestyle changes are needed to help boost this therapy outcome for improvements in quality of life with COPD
Below are suggested lifestyle changes that can be taken to help improve your quality of life in addition to conventional or alternative therapies or alone:
Smoking cessation can prevent your COPD from worsening. If you’ve tried to quit in the past and have been unsuccessful, ask your doctor about options such as nicotine patches to wean yourself off of cigarettes gradually.
Perform breathing exercises.
Targeted breathing exercises can help you control your breathing regularly and help you stay calm when you experience periods of breathlessness. Your healthcare practitioner or rehabilitative specialist can guide you through exercises such as pursed-lip breathing, huff coughs, and diaphragmatic breathing.
Get in some physical activity.
Receiving a COPD diagnosis doesn’t require you to stop exercising. In fact, you should keep getting in physical activity to improve circulation and help your body use oxygen more efficiently. Exercise can also improve your energy levels and symptoms, increase your endurance, and help you control blood pressure.
Speak with your healthcare provider before embarking on an exercise regimen. Ideally, you should be incorporating a variety of exercises into your routine, including stretching, cardio such as walking, and strengthening moves.
Eating a balanced diet can help give your body the nutrients it needs to perform its best. It can also help you maintain a healthy weight, which is important for helping you manage your breathing. Limit your intake of processed foods, and choose nutrient-dense whole foods such as vegetables, fruit, and lean protein whenever possible.
Establish a plan for flare-ups.
COPD is known for flare-ups or the worsening of symptoms. Triggers such as air pollution and allergens can make breathing more difficult. Talk with your healthcare provider to establish a plan for flare-ups; that way, you’ll be prepared before one happens instead of finding yourself unsure of what to do at the moment.
This post was written by a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. You can find more information on multiple airborne diseases here.