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How Do I Know If I am Depressed


COPD and Depression: The Unspoken Reality

Anxiety and Stress are often overlooked during the treatment of Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The reality is that COPD and Depression actually go together. We would like to let you know that the Cognitive health is as important as physical health. In respect to this, we are shedding some light on some topics which are usually avoided or brushed aside: COPD and Depression.

Q: How Do I Know If I am Depressed?

A: Depression often gets into one’s life without you even realizing it- until the day you realize you have not been yourself lately. Understanding the symptoms of depression can be a bit confusing as there are different levels of depression, ranging from mild to severe. If you think you might be suffering from depression, here are some symptoms to look out for:

  • Feeling irritable or angry with others
  • Being overly sensitive to criticism
  • Feeling guilty or worthless
  • Having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Feeling hopeless or even suicidal
  • Experiencing trouble concentrating or making decisions
  • Having a lack of interest in people or activities you once enjoyed
  • Feeling lethargic or lacking motivation
  • Experiencing an increased or decreased appetite
  • Feeling sad for weeks at a time or crying a lot
  • Inability to enjoy yourself or find humor in things

If you feel any of these, you should know that you are not alone. Research shows that COPD patients are 85% of COPD patients are more likely to experience this than those without.

Q: What do If I’m Depressed?

A: You should get help. If you feel you might be depressed, you should look for the help of a professional immediately. The first step you should take is consulting your doctor to explain how you are feeling.

You can also consult a mental health professional or try out an antidepressant medication as prescribed by your doctor will help to relief some of your feelings of depression. Ensure you take your medications as prescribed by your doctor.

Q: How Do I Tell My Friends and Family?

A: Telling someone about your condition takes some courage. Not everyone diagnosed with COPD is a smoker, however, the feeling of guilt or shame is common among those who smokes or have smoked at some point in their lives. Those feelings if carried for too long can result in stress and anxiety. So, finding someone you can trust to talk to about your condition can help alleviate the load that you’ve been carrying.

Q: How do I get Better with COPD Depression?

A: It’s a gradual process. Be patient with yourself as COPD and Depression takes some time to develop, and likewise, it’s going to take time to reduce the associated feelings of COPD, depression, and anxiety. The major step towards getting better is to seek a professional help. In addition to this, you can make some little lifestyle changes to feel better. The following should be of help in similar conditions:

  • Exercise regularly, it keeps your body active and healthy.
  • Eat mood-boosting food like fruits and vegetables.
  • Connect with the world around you and make friends, this helps to create a happy life.

COPD and depression can be frustrating to deal with. However, with the right help from a professional and adequate medication, you should be experiencing some significant change in the quality of life.


New COPD Treatment Could Help You Breathe Easier


The Lung Flute: New COPD Treatment Could Help You Breathe Easier

Finding the perfect solution to manage COPD symptoms is not an easy task. A new treatment option known as the lute has been said to be an efficient alternative which is proven to help COPD patients breathe easier.

According to Bernard Swanekamp, 81, who is a lifelong smoker from Tonawanda, N.Y., the medical device helps bring up phlegm from the bottom of his lungs and makes his breathing a lot easier.

Over 11 million Americans have COPD which is the major cause of death in the US, and cigarette smoking being the major factor for developing it.

COPD can cause lung mucus to pile up in the airways, causing continuous coughing, wheezing, and trouble breathing. And in some people, difficulty in clearing their lungs.

This chronic congestion causes pneumonia, which is a progressive disease, making breather harder and sometimes impossible.

The Lung Flute for COPD Treatment

The lung flute is a handheld device that reduces thin mucus so people can easily get rid of it. How does it work?

To use the flute, you blow into the tube, which holds a thin reed that flutters when you exhale. The movement of the reed creates low-frequency sound waves which travel back into your trachea and down into your lungs. “As the sound waves pass through the mucus secretion, the sound energy vibrates the secretions, breaking the hydrogen bonds and thinning the secretions,” says Frank Codella, co-founder, and CEO of Medical Acoustics, the Buffalo, N.Y.-based medical device company that manufactures the Lung Flute. The natural action of the lungs then allows the mucus to move up the airways so it’s easier to expel.

The Lung Flute, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2010, is the latest device for airway clearance on the market. Other similarly positive expiratory pressure devices include the Acapella and Flutter brands, which uses a different method to thin mucus. Codella says one of the major benefits of the Lung Flute is that the sound wave technology can reach to the bottom of the lungs to free deep mucus.

Airway Clearance Devices as Just One Part of COPD Treatment:

Studies have shown that airway clearance devices can help to bring up mucus and reduce symptoms. However, it never showed that they can improve the overall cause of the disease, says Umur Hatipoglu, MD, a pulmonologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, who cautions that they are not to serve as a replacement for COPD medications but rather be used to complement your current COPD treatment plan. To get an airway clearance device, you should consult your doctor for the right clearance device for you.


Holistic Treatment for COPD


Holistic Treatment for COPD

CODP which means Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a term used to describe progressive lung diseases which includes emphysema, chronic bronchitis, refractory asthma, and some forms of bronchiectasis. It is usually characterised by increasing breathlessness.

People who suffer from this disease experience discomfort and fatigue from exacerbations, making it hard for traditional treatment options like inhalers and corticosteroids to work efficiently. These treatments come with different side effect like weight gain and infections. With this in mind, there has been a call for more holistic treatment methods, especially in the field of holistic medicine.

Known as the whole treatment of the entire body and mind and used to treat specific disease, here are some holistic COPD treatment methods to improve healing:

Natural Holistic COPD Remedies:

Since holistic medicine has to do with treating the body itself in order to treat a disease, in the case of chronic lung disease, different natural remedies may be used to create airway clearance and reduce mucus. Some of these remedies include:

  1. Ginger which reduces congestion and improves lung circulation
  2. Elecampane which helps to relieve cough
  3. Osha root which also reduces congestion
  4. Rosemary which contains healing vitamins A and C, and minerals calcium to help improve blood circulation.

Natural Supplement:

There are a lot of vitamins and nutrients that can be used to help reduce inflammation while improving natural breathing from within. Some of these supplements include:

  1. Vitamin D– is a sun-derived vitamin which has been proven to improve lung function
  2. Bromelain– found in pineapple juice, it is believed to reduce inflammation and work efficiently for COPD relief.
  3. NAC– this antioxidant improves reduces inflammation, cough and phlegm.

Diet and Exercise:

A healthy diet and very good amount of exercise goes a long way in improving our health in general. It is sometimes the best option for patients of COPD who already suffered from limited mobility, because exercise can be the simplest.

Acupuncture:

The effect of acupuncture cannot be overestimated. It relaxes the muscles and also allows better respiration. When people with COPD uses acupuncture, it has been noticed that they far less breathless.

Stop Smoking:

This is the most effective treatment method you can use to fight against COPD. This is because when we quit smoking, we improve our overall health. Smoking does not just have negative effect of your body inside out, it also cuts your life span short, and making the ones you have left very difficult.

Although being diagnosed with COPD can be quite frustrating and unsurmountable, the major step is to get a COPD screening and lookout for effective ways to treat the disease headon.


Managing COPD


Managing COPD

It is true that there is no cure for COPD. However, there are some safety measure you can take to make sure it does not get worse, including exercising, oxygen therapy, medications, and attending pulmonary rehabilitation.

Keep your Lungs Healthy: As a COPD patient, you should strive to protect your lungs and keep them healthy. To achieve this, you should:

  • Quit smoking
  • Eat right
  • Avoid Chemicals
  • Breathe clean air
  • Get flu vaccination yearly

Monitor your COPD: Due to the fact that COPD gets worse by each day, you should always be updated on your condition. Visit your doctor regularly, keep a list of dates and times when you experience symptoms, reactions to treatments and exercise and making notes about doctor visits can help people manage COPD more effectively.

Exercise: Exercise is very essential in COPD. Without this, COPD can become more stressful as breathing becomes more difficult. Exercise helps to strengthen all muscles, including the ones needed for breathing, can improve and maintain lung function, and help people with COPD feel more confident in their ability to complete everyday activities and maintain their independence.

There are many exercises COPD patient can do on their own, they include walking, dancing and yoga.

Therapy with medication: For people with COPD, medications help to relieve symptoms, stop disease progression and treat an infection. Most medications are taken to make breathing easier, while others are used to decrease sudden loss of breath or treat an infection.

Medications are usually in three categories and they are:

  • bronchodilators, which are usually inhalers used to open up airways and help in making breathing easier
  • steroids to reduce inflammation in the airways
  • antibiotics which is used to treat infections.

Oxygen Therapy: Some COPD patients need to use supplementary oxygen to circulate oxygen around the body. This is because damaged lungs do not allow patients absorb enough amount of energy needed to go around the body.

Supplementary oxygen increases the amount of pure oxygen a person breathes in, so the lungs have more oxygen to absorb and distribute to the rest of the body, thereby making breathing easier.

Pulmonary rehabilitation: This is a six to twelve-week program which combines education, exercise and therapy for people living with lung disease. The goal of this rehabilitation is to reduce symptoms, improve quality of life and increase physical and emotional participation in daily activities.

Pulmonary rehabilitation is known to improve shortness of breath, quality of life scores and reduce the number of hospitalizations and days in the hospital for people living with lung disease.

Lung volume reduction surgery: This is an operation that involves the removal of parts of the lungs that are not in good condition. By removing the damaged parts of the lungs, that are unable to efficiently process oxygen, the rest of the lungs and the surrounding muscles are able to work more efficiently to make breathing easier.

Lung transplants: This method is only used for patients who have very severe symptoms, with difficulty breathing most of the time or have no relief of symptoms after using medical therapy.

Lung transplantation involves giving a person with COPD a lung from a person who has recently died. A single-lung transplant is done more often than a double-lung transplant, and both are effective methods to improve breathing for people with COPD.


New COPD treatments


COPD Treatments: What’s New?

There are many types of chronic lung disease. One of the most prevalent is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which encompasses emphysema and chronic bronchitis. These chronic lung diseases are progressive, meaning they will worsen over time. While there is no cure for chronic lung disease, there are treatment options available. However, when it comes to new COPD treatments or advancements, options can seem lacking. Doctors and researchers continue to search for better COPD treatments for their patients every day. To keep you informed, here is what’s new in COPD treatments.

3. New Prescription Medication

A new medication that combines tiotropium and olodaterol, called Stiolto Respimat, has recently been approved for the treatment of COPD. This medication combines two different existing COPD medications into a once daily inhaler.

Tiotropium works by targeting the nerves that cause muscles in and around the airways to constrict. When the nerves are blocked, the muscles can relax, allowing the airways to expand more easily.

Olodaterol takes advantage of the relaxed airway muscles and activates the body’s adrenaline system, which helps open the airways. Without muscle tension tightening the airways, they can expand more fully.

This type of combination inhaler offers quick symptom relief as well as additional benefits in lung function for many patients. Remember, it’s important to discuss all of your treatment options, questions and concerns with your doctor before changing your current COPD treatment plan.

2. Lung Flute

For some people, there is a new device that is hitting the right notes: the Lung Flute. COPD causes a variety of symptoms, such as fatigue, chronic coughing, wheezing and increased mucus production. Chronic congestion places people with COPD at higher risk for developing pneumonia and other respiratory infections.

The hand-held Lung Flute device helps reduce and thin mucus, so people can expel it more easily. It was approved in 2010 and is the latest airway clearance device available on the market.

Here’s how the Lung Flute works:

Blow into the tube. A thin reed inside the tube flutters when the user exhales. The movement of the reed creates low-frequency sound waves that travel back into your trachea and down into your lungs. According to the co-founder and CEO of the company that makes the Lung Flute, the sound waves break up and thin the mucus. The lungs can then naturally move the mucus up the airways, making it easier to expel.

Remember to discuss devices such as the Lung Flute and other treatments or lifestyle changes with your doctor before trying them.

1. Stem Cell Therapy

COPD Treatments: What’s New?

One of the new treatments is stem cell therapy. Stem cells, the body’s building blocks, have the unique ability to self-renew and replicate. Autologous stem cells, also known as adult stem cells, are derived from the patient’s blood or bone marrow. Next, the stem cells are isolated in an on-site lab and returned to the patient intravenously. Once returned to the patient, the stem cells can work to promote healing from within the lungs.

Stem cell therapy works differently than traditional COPD treatments. Traditional COPD treatments work to manage COPD symptoms. However, stem cell therapy works to promote healing from within the lungs and has the potential to improve lung function and quality of life. What makes stem cell therapy remarkable is its potential to directly address lung disease at its source.


COPD Natural Treatment


COPD Natural Treatment

When you live with chronic diseases like the chronic lung disease, it can be frustrating to find the treatment option that works best for you. This is because everyone is different and conditions affects us in different ways. With this, it becomes pretty hard to know what to try and what to avoid as it can add extra stress to an already stressful situation. While there are several traditional treatment options for people with COPD and other chronic lung diseases, some natural COPD treatments can also be helpful.

What are natural COPD treatments?

Natural COPD treatments, also known as holistic COPD treatments, are alternative ways to treat lung disease naturally. This treatment method includes lifestyle modifications, dietary supplements, herbs, acupuncture and chiropractic.

Acupuncture is one holistic COPD treatment option which has been proven to provide relief from some of some patient’s symptoms. It is a Chinese medicine which involves the placing of thin needles into strategic points on the body. Some other natural COPD treatment are:

  • Herbs like Peppermint, Oregano, Turmeric and Osha Root can help with COPD symptoms and reduce inflammation.
  • Dietary Supplements such as Vitamins D and E, Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Eucalyptus is used to reduce inflammation and expel phlegm, clearing the lungs.
  • Stress Reduction– By reducing stress levels, you promote relaxation, which makes breathing much easier.
  • Exercise– Increase exercise tolerance, improve lung function and improve oxygen levels with gentle exercises like walking, yoga and Tai Chi.
  • Eat Healthy– Eat foods rich in antioxidants like grapes, blueberries and nuts, and make sure to eat a balanced lung-healthy meal.

What are traditional treatments for COPD?

The traditional treatment methods for COPD includes medications, inhalers, oxygen therapy, pulmonary rehabilitation, and for severe cases, lung reduction or lung transplant is used. Although these options can extend your lifespan, they only treat the symptoms of the condition and not the condition itself.


COPD Inhalers


COPD Inhalers

Inhalers are devices that contain a medicine which is taken by breathing in/inhaling. It is one of the most common methods of treating COPD. With the different types of inhalers available in the market, it is confusing to make a choice on the best inhaler for you.

Below is a list of some of the most used inhalers with an explanation on how they can be used. Before making a choice on the inhaler for you, you should conduct your doctor to know their opinions.

Inhalers for COPD- Advair: This inhaler combines two medications- fluticasone and salmeterol, a long-acting bronchodilator. It is usually used for conservative treatment of COPD.

Symbicort: Symbicort which was originally used for the treatment of asthma, was later approved in February 2009 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of stable COPD. It contains a mixture of formoterol, a long-acting bronchodilator, and budesonide, a corticosteroid.

Combivent Respimat: This inhaler is made up of two bronchodilators: albuterol, which helps the muscles around your airways to relax, and ipratropium, an anticholinergic- a different type of drug that also helps the muscles around your airways to relax.

It helps to improve the bronchodilator effect of the medications- with same or reduced side effects.

Pulmicort: Pulmicort which is used in the conservative treatment of COPD contains budesonide, a corticosteroid which helps reduce inflammation in the airways, helping to make breathing much easier.

Spiriva: Spiriva contains an anticholinergic bronchodilator called tiotropium. Used for maintenance treatment of COPD, it helps to open and relax the airways, making breathing easier.

Proventil: Containing albuterol, a short-acting, beta-agonist bronchodilator, Proventil is primarily used as a rescue inhaler- meaning it is an inhaler used for emergency breathing problems for both asthma and COPD patients. It helps to relax the airways, making it easier to breathe.

Atrovent: This inhaler is used for maintenance treatment of COPD and it contains ipratropium, an anticholinergic bronchodilator.

Brovana: This is a long-acting inhaler used for long-term maintenance of COPD to relax the airways and make breathing easier. Brovana is not a rescue inhaler and it should only be used twice a day- in the morning and in the evening.

Arcapta Neohaler: This is a very long-acting beta-agonist bronchodilator which comes in capsule form and is used through a dry powder inhaler. It is to be used once a day and long-term maintenance of airflow barrier in COPD.

Breo Ellipta: This inhaler combines two medications- fluticasone furoate, an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS), and vilanterol, a long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonist to provide maintenance treatment of airflow obstruction in patients with COPD, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis.


Breathing Exercises for COPD


Breathing Exercises for COPD

COPD is a term used to describe a group of lung diseases like chronic bronchitis and emphysema, which makes breathing increasingly harder because of blocked airways, and this can worsen throughout the course of the disease.

Even when it happens occasionally, difficulty in breathing is one of the most troublesome symptom of COPD. The feeling of being short of air can be scary and very uncomfortable.

However, there are some things that can be done to help improve one’s breathing with COPD and they are:

Learned Pursed-lip breathing: This technique helps to slow down your breathing rate while keeping your airways open. To do this, start by pursing your lips and blow as much air out as you can, now take a deep breath in through the same pursed lips. You should try to breath slower so that you’re using as much of your lungs as you can.

Drink plenty of water: A lot of people suffering from COPD are usually dehydrated. Water can help clear thin mucus better, resulting in a more open airway. You should consult your doctor to know the amount of water you can actually consume as some people’s condition gets worse when they take extra fluid.

Be Informed: Knowing more about COPD and how the lungs function can go a long way in helping you manage the condition. You can go for Pulmonary rehabilitation programs which is known to often offer this type of education.

Exercise: We all know that exercise does a whole lot of good to the body in general. Exercise also helps to improve breading ability and COPD symptoms.  This is why most doctors recommend walking people with COPD since it is more accessible and has a moderate intensity.

Know your triggers and learn to avoid them: If you are the type who have COPD allergies, you should try to know them. This may require trying out some things like putting dust covers on your pillow. By doing this, you get to know yourself better, you know your allergies and how best to avoid them.

Eat Well: Eating good food is very beneficial to the body and when talking about good food, we mean a healthy balanced diet. They provide all the nutrients a COPD patient needs to maintain strength and fight off infections, helping you lose weight and improve breathing.

Get your Vaccines: There are a lot of triggers for COPD symptoms and they may include Colds, the flu, and other respiratory illnesses. You should endeavour to get your yearly vaccines to help you fight against these illnesses.

De-Stress: Due to fear of breathlessness, some people with COPD feel stressed and anxious about their breathing. One effective way to de-stress yourself is by exercising regularly as it can help you cope with COPD and stress simultaneously.

Stop Smoking: Smoking has negative effect on the body in general. It is also the primary cause of most COPD deaths. In fact, as a COPD patient, you should avoid smoke in general because it affects your lungs and this leads to reduced breathing.

Take your Medication: Medications help to manage and improve COPD symptoms. You should ensure you are on the right medications, and consult your doctor to know your progress.

Breathing exercise helps to keep your lungs open, thereby making a better breathing and reducing COPD symptoms.


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