6 strategies to help alleviate the symptoms of COPD

January 27, 2016

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), of which emphysema and chronic bronchitis are the two main conditions, needn't be life-limiting. Here are six strategies that could help manage the symptoms of this progressive disease.

6 strategies to help alleviate the symptoms of COPD

1. Quit smoking

 If you can manage to put those butts away for good, you'll be taking a huge step towards making your Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) a lot more bearable.

  • Cigarettes are full of thousands of toxins and carcinogens, all of which hinder your lungs' abilities to keep clear of poisons.

Quitting smoking is never an easy thing as it encompasses so many different areas of a person's life and body, but there are support groups and helplines available.

  • If you're having difficulty quitting, using the patch, gum or prescribed medication can help alleviate the cravings.

2. Try exercising

When your COPD is really bad and you don't want to turn to medications, ramping up your exercise regimen can help.

  • This helps to get blood flowing and because oxygen travels around the body on red blood cells, you can improve the amount of oxygen reaching your lungs.
  • Exercise also helps to strengthen the musculature of your lungs and other breathing apparati, which can lead to a boost in overall lung strength and endurance.

3. Practice breathing exercises

How well this technique can work depends on each individual and the state of their COPD.

  • What you want to focus on is breathing evenly and regularly, which can help to boost oxygen levels in your blood and help your lungs out a bit.

4. Drink plenty of fluids 

Dry and dusty conditions can wreak havoc on your lungs.

  • Moistening them by drinking plenty of fluids (and using a humidifier) can help to both breathe more efficiently and clear mucus.
  • The more stuffed up your lungs are, the less able they are to inhale and exhale as needed.

5. Learn about triggers

For some people, cold air can set off COPD like firecrackers. For others, it can be allergens.

  • Whatever the case, learn to identify and avoid triggers that lead to bad spells of COPD. They can cause your bronchioles to seize up, making breathing more difficult than it already was.

6. Control your emotions

How you feel can have a big impact on your breathing.

  • Stress out a lot or let anxious feelings dominate your mind, and your lungs will try and compensate by working harder. With COPD, this can be a recipe for disaster because they're already really stressed.
  • Find activities that relax you, such as calming walks or listening to classical music. It's not a 100% guarantee, but tempering your emotions could possibly help reduce the symptoms of COPD.

Living with COPD isn't easy, but it's not the end of the world either. Practicing these natural strategies can go a long way in alleviating the symptoms, and helping to make your life easier.

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