Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic lung disease that includes the conditions chronic bronchitis and emphysema – both of which can cause obstruction (narrowing) of the airways and they commonly occur together.
COPD affects around 3 million people in the UK and symptoms include chronic coughing and breathlessness, and sufferers are prone to chest infections. It is believed that smoking is the main culprit behind chronic obstructive pulmonary disease but air pollution and polluted work conditions can also play a part in causing the disease.
Protect against COPD naturally
At this time there is no cure for COPD and even though conventional treatments including inhalers, steroids, antibiotics and oxygen – bring some relief, they all come with potential risky side effects.
For example, steroid inhalers (especially if you are taking a high dose) can cause yeast infections in the back of your throat.
But the outlook for sufferers gets a bit bleaker:
- People living in highly populated areas are all at risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
- Pollution aggravates the symptoms and causes flare ups.
- COPD sufferers have a significantly higher risk of heart failure, especially when they use an inhaler to alleviate their symptoms.
Fortunately there are some steps you can take that have been shown to help alleviate COPD symptoms:
Strengthen your immunity: Taking a good multivitamin supplement and additional supplements of magnesium, vitamin C, Coenzyme Q10 and L-Carnitine will go a long way to help strengthen your natural defences.
Go herbal: Herbal solutions that have been shown to help keep COPD under control are Garlic, Liquorice, Indian Tobacco (Labelia), and Marshmallow.
The power of antioxidants: Targeting oxidative stress and inflammation – both high in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease sufferers ? with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents such as curcumin (a principal component of turmeric), resveratrol (a flavonoid found in red grapes) and green tea can help curb COPD.
Vegetables are king: Sulforaphane – found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli – is an antioxidant and stimulator of natural detoxifying enzymes. US researchers found that Sulforophane increases the activity of a gene (NRF2) that can protect the lungs against oxidative damage due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Exercise: Studies have shown that people with COPD who exercise regularly tend to improve their breathing, ease symptoms, and have a better quality of life.
We’ll keep you updated on any new research into this debilitating condition. In the meantime, if you want to help prevent COPD from developing and you’re a smoker, you should seriously consider giving up. COPD does occur in non-smokers; however the vast majority of sufferers smoke.
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Disclaimer: Bear in mind the material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.
Inhalers may up heart death risk published online 24 September 2008, news.bbc.co.uk
COPD alternative treatment by Dr. Ray Sahelian
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease published online, patient.co.uk
Natural cure for thick mucus in lungs of COPD patient published online 19 February 2007, home-remedies-for-you.com
Broccoli Compound Protects Against COPD Damage In Lungs published online 15 September 2008, medicalnewstoday.com