Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive inflammatory disease that can make it harder to breathe due to obstructed airflow in your lungs. While it’s often caused by smoking, it can occur in nonsmokers as well.
People with COPD often suffer from excess mucus production, wheezing, coughing, and breathing difficulties. COPD can also increase your risk of developing heart disease, lung cancer, and other respiratory conditions.
That’s why it’s so important to ensure that your COPD is well-managed and under control. Here at Liberty MedHealth Group in Glendale, California, Dr. Ara Shafrazian and Dr. Arthur Babakhanians are experts in treating COPD and other lung diseases.
Here are some lifestyle tips we recommend to help you manage your COPD.
Eating a balanced diet with the right mix of nutrients can help you breathe easier and reduce your COPD symptoms. Additionally, certain people with COPD find that eating a diet with fewer carbohydrates and more fat can help improve their breathing.
When people with COPD get infections, they have a higher likelihood of developing complications and requiring hospitalizations. Staying well-nourished and maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce your risk of these COPD complications.
Working out with COPD can be challenging because strenuous exercise can trigger breathlessness. However, it’s important to stay active because improving your overall fitness can make breathing during daily activities easier.
Good activities for people with COPD include walking, cycling, swimming, and low-impact aerobics.
Smoking is the leading cause of COPD. Smoking and cigarette smoke are also triggers for COPD flare-ups.
If you’re ready to quit, there are a number of techniques we can provide to help you quit smoking, including:
- Nicotine gums and patches
While quitting smoking won’t cure the illness, smoking cessation is one of the best things you can do to alleviate your COPD symptoms.
Practice breathing exercises
Pulmonary rehabilitation is a type of rehab that teaches you different ways to breathe so you can strengthen your respiratory muscles. We can suggest different techniques to help you reduce your risk of COPD flare-ups.
For example, pursed-lip breathing can help you control your breathing and open up your lungs. To practice this exercise, shape your lips like you’re going to whistle, and breathe deeply in and out.
Similarly, diaphragmatic breathing can strengthen your diaphragm and lower respiratory muscles. To practice this exercise, breathe in slowly and deeply with your hand on your abdomen so you can feel your diaphragm working.
Get your vaccines
COPD can increase your risk of lung infections and also your risk of complications during infections. That’s why we recommend getting regular vaccines, including your yearly flu shot.
It’s important to avoid infections by washing your hands regularly, avoiding contact with symptomatic people, and avoiding air pollution, pollen, and smoke.
COPD is a chronic condition and requires regular checkups. Our team can help you manage your condition through treatments such as medications, pulmonary therapy, and oxygen therapy.
If you’ve been diagnosed with COPD, visit LibertyMed Health Group for expert treatment of your respiratory condition. Call our office at 818-241-4129 for an appointment or book online today.