Health Reminders For COPD Sufferers

Better health with COPDLet’s face it: everyone needs to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This is especially important, though, for those of us who suffer from COPD.  Your health can be affected by small things you do; things you may have never considered.  Our information in this article comes straight from an authority on COPD and lung health: the American Lung Association.

Did you know that your food choices can affect how well you can breathe?

The right mix of nutrients in the food you eat can help you breathe easier. Metabolism (the process your body uses to change food into energy) of carbohydrates produces more carbon dioxide and uses more oxygen; metabolism of fat produces less carbon dioxide and uses less oxygen. It’s also particularly important for those with COPD to eat the correct amount of protein, because protein helps maintain strong respiratory muscles.

For those with COPD, it’s important to speak with a registered dietitian who specializes in COPD. Work together with your dietician to come up with a meal plan. You’ll get tips on reading food labels, grocery shopping, cooking, and eating out. Together, you can review your medications and they can let you know if there will be any interactions with the food you regularly eat.

The Fluid/ Sodium Balance

Getting too much sodium in your diet can cause swelling, also called edema. This can cause problems with breathing, as well as increase blood pressure. This kind of fluid in the body is not healthy. However, it is so important to take in a healthy quantity of water. Two thirds of your body is made of water. It serves to keep mucus thin in the lungs for easier removal from the body. Water assists in keeping the blood clean while flushing out toxins and infection. The healthiest way to take in water is to drink regularly throughout the day, instead of a large amount at once.

How much water should you be drinking? The recommendation from the ALA is six to eight glasses (8 ounces each) daily. A good visual goal is to imagine a standard size “individual serving” soda bottle that you would find at a convenience store or cooler next to the grocery store checkout (which is 20 ounces). The average person should be drinking 4 bottles of this size filled with water – not soda every day.

 There’s more great information to come…

In our next article, we’re going to talk a little more about health tips for COPD sufferers, but remember… though this information is especially important for those with COPD, the information can apply to all of us.

As always, we wish you the very best of heath!

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