COPD Vs. Whole Food, Plant Based Diet

What is COPD?

COPD, ( chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a progressive disease (meaning your symptoms get worse over time) and currently has no cure. There are steps you can take to manage your symptoms and slow the progress of the disease.

COPD Effect on the Lungs

When you breathe, air travels through tubes in your lungs—called airways—to millions of tiny air sacs. In a healthy lung, the airways are open and the air sacs fill up with air. Then the air goes quickly out.

Makes it hard to get air through the airways and into and out of the air sacs.

COPD includes two lung problems:

  • “Chronic bronchitis” is increased cough and mucus production caused by inflammation of the airways. Bronchitis is considered chronic (or long-term) if a person coughs and produces excess mucus most days during three months in a year, for two years in a row.
  • “Emphysema” is associated with damage of the air sacs and/or collapse of the smallest breathing tubes in the lungs.

Medical Treatments

Anti-inflammatories:

ICSs (inhaled corticosteroids) – ICSs are anti-inflammatory medications that may help to control and reduce COPD symptoms. These medications are used to treat the lining of the airways in your lungs by reducing inflammation.

Short-acting bronchodilators:
SABAs (short-acting beta agonists)/Rescue inhalers – SABAs are short-acting bronchodilators or rescue medicines that help relieve sudden COPD symptoms.

Long-acting bronchodilators:
LABAs (long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonists) – LABAs are long-acting bronchodilators that helps to relax the smooth muscles around the airways, helping you to breathe in and out without as much effort. Medicines that contain LABAs have been reported to increase the risk of asthma-related death.

LAMA (long-acting muscarinic antagonist) – LAMAs are also long-acting bronchodilators that lead to muscle relaxation.

In addition, lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, vaccines, antibiotics and a variety of non-medicinal COPD treatments can be used to ease symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.

From Dr. Michael Gerber of Nutritionfacts.com:

Treating COPD With Diet

Plant-based Treatments

The three top killers in the United States are no longer heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Stroke just moved down to number four. Number three is now COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, meaning respiratory disorders such as emphysema.

 Though most COPD is caused by tobacco, up to a third of the sufferers never smoked. The title of an editorial in this month’s issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition describes where some of the remainder of risk is coming from: “More Evidence for the Importance of Nutritional Factors in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.”
McDougall Newsletter, May 2010:
The first actions to take are to clean up your air by stopping smoking, avoiding dirty air, and using air purifiers. The other factor you potentially have complete control over is your diet, which I believe is the main cause of the escalating epidemic of lung diseases we are now experiencing.  An unhealthy diet will increase a person’s susceptibility to known causes of lung disease, such as allergens, tobacco smoke, infectious agents, and air pollution.
One study of 52,325 participants found that individuals whose diets are rich in meat reported new onset of persistent coughs with phlegm 43 percent more often than those who consume a diet high in fruit.
Obese women have a 50 percent higher rate of asthma compared to non-obese women. The reduction in lung function is largely due to the body fat that builds up inside the abdomen and pushes up against the main breathing muscle, the diaphragm, and thereby restricting the capacity of the lungs to expand. Lung function improves following weight loss in obese people.

 Conclusion

COPD – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease  is not curable but one can do things to lessen the effects and severity.  Avoiding the things that intensify it; and consuming foods that lower its effects.

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