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Unhealthy Habits to Avoid for People With COPD

Unhealthy Habits to Avoid for People With COPD

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, also known as COPD, is a medical condition that we often hear yet may not fully understand. It is actually an umbrella term for progressive lung diseases such as asthma, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis. People who are diagnosed with such condition have one thing in common: they experience a difficulty in breathing.

Common causes and risk factors of acquiring COPD include smoking, exposure to toxic fumes and chemicals, and a family history of COPD. Because of this, it may sometimes be inevitable to be diagnosed with COPD. The good news is that it can be effectively managed and controlled.

By following your treatment plan and eliminating unhealthy habits from your lifestyle, it is possible to breathe easier and to live more freely.

Too much salt in your diet

Too much sodium in your diet is never a good idea. Since it causes water retention, it may hinder your ability to breathe, which is a no-no in people with breathing disorders such as COPD. To avoid reaching out for the salt shaker, remove it from the table completely. Also, find other substitutes of salt to add to your cooking, such as unsalted herbs and spices. You may also consult with your dietitian for other low-sodium salt substitutes.

Other than salt, there are also other foods to avoid when you have COPD, particularly those that cause bloating and gas, or those that have little to no nutritional value. Some examples in fruits and vegetables include apples, stone fruits, and soybeans. However, if such foods don’t seem to make your symptoms worse, then you might be able to continue enjoying them.

Sedentary lifestyle

Avoiding exercise as much as possible for people with asthma or other COPDs is already a myth that should be debunked. If you never exercise, chances are, you’ll be out of shape, which makes it even harder for you to resume a normal daily routine.

Since the goal of COPD treatment is to maintain a good quality of life as much as possible, it is advisable to be physically active as much as you are able to. Not only can a good sweating out exercise your muscles, but it can also help alleviate signs of depression, which is common in people diagnosed with COPD.

While exercise is an important part of one’s lifestyle, going overboard is something that should be avoided. Since COPD patients have lower exercise thresholds, they aren’t expected to exercise to a high degree. Mild yet regular exercise three to four times a week should be fine.

Terrible hygiene

People with COPD need to be mindful about their hygiene to avoid getting an infection, which could lead to a worsening of their symptoms. In fact, infections most commonly cause acute exacerbations of COPD flare-ups. If facing exacerbation, seek for immediate medical attention. In the hospital, you may be measured for blood oxygen saturation levels through the use of a Datex Ohmeda Spo2 machine to determine how well your body is functioning.

To avoid this, practicing good hygiene is the best way to go. There are pulmonary rehabilitation programs that COPD patients can attend to learn more about how they can reduce their risk of infections through proper hygiene. This includes how and when to properly wash their hands, how to clean their medical equipment, and how to practice good dental habits.

COPD can be easily managed and controlled with proper treatment and by avoiding triggers as much as possible — yes, even poor lifestyle choices. As long as you religiously follow your management plan and you are determined to stay on top of your condition as much as possible, your disease should only be a minor setback in your life.

Article Submitted by Community Writer.

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