The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute estimates that as many as 12 million adults are currently diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and another 12 million could be living with the disease and not even be aware of it. COPD generally hits in middle age, with smoking as the top risk factor. Ongoing exposure to chemicals and dust also contributes to a heightened risk factor.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with COPD, making healthy lifestyle choices can make a big difference in the severity of the symptoms of COPD. Not only that, but sticking to a healthier diet can help those with COPD feel better, increase vital strength needed for breathing, and better fight off chest infections.
- Always eat breakfast. For someone with COPD, breathing burns as many as ten times more calories than it does for those without COPD, so beginning the day with a healthy and balanced breakfast can provide the calories and nutrients needed for the day.
- Include more potassium. COPD patients who take diuretics will require more potassium. Good choices include oranges, bananas, potatoes, and tomatoes.
- Drink plenty of liquids, but skip the caffeine. Fluids help keep mucus in the air passageways thinner and easier to clear. But caffeine can conflict with some medications and could lead to restlessness, so it’s best to stick with non-caffeinated liquids.
- Avoid gas-inducing foods. Foods such as beans, fried foods, and carbonated beverages that produce gas and bloating can make it more difficult for someone with COPD to breathe. Try to avoid these types of foods to prevent COPD symptom flare-ups.
- Sodium can lead to water retention, making it harder to breathe, so it’s best to stay away from foods that contain more than 300 milligrams of sodium per serving. Salt-free spices like parsley, garlic, oregano, basil, curry, onion, rosemary and lemon juice are all great alternatives.
Harmony Home Health & Hospice, the home health and hospice Albuquerque, NM families trust, is highly skilled in working with COPD patients to help manage COPD symptoms and ensure the home is safe and free from irritants. Contact us today online or call us at 1-877-I-NEED-CARE (1-877-463-3322) to learn more ways we can help.