The realization that your life will change after being diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is inevitable. It may not be as easy to do the things you used to do before. There are physical challenges and emotional challenges too. Embracing a new lifestyle when you have COPD will ultimately help better manage your condition and improve your quality of life.
Living with COPD
A healthy lifestyle is essential for everyone. For those with chronic conditions like COPD, it is vital. For people living with this condition, often, trouble breathing makes the simplest of tasks difficult to complete. Below are a few simple changes you can make that can ease breathing and reduce exacerbations:
- Stop Smoking:
- Smoking hinders your ability to breathe as it worsens your condition. In people who quit smoking, lung function stabilizes and eventually can return to a level near nonsmokers of similar age.
- Adopt a Healthy Diet:
- A diet rich in antioxidants (primarily fresh, hard fruits, and some vegetables) is recommended for COPD patients. Also, it would be best if you chose complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and avoid refined or processed foods. The right diet can reduce chronic inflammation, which is a characteristic of COPD.
- Respiratory infections can be devastating for COPD patients. Taking preventative measures is vital in reducing your risk. Being extra vigilant with handwashing and sanitizing in public places is one of the best ways to prevent infection. Also, keeping up to date on your annual flu, COVID-19, and pneumonia vaccines is vital.
- Have a Plan:
Preparing a COPD plan ahead of time will help you know how and when to take your medicines, when to call your doctor, and when to get emergency care. The American Lung Association has a sample plan here with easy to identify green, yellow, and red symptom categories.
Turning the Challenges of COPD into Hope
COPD can change a person’s life, making it hard to adjust to a new way of being in the world. Adapting to any illness is a process that won’t happen overnight. Be patient with yourself as you learn all you can about this condition and navigate coping with your emotions. Talk with your doctor if you become overwhelmed with or have persistent feelings impacting your daily life.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with COPD, clinical research studies may be an option. Taking part in clinical trials allows patients to contribute to our knowledge of COPD and continue progress against the disease. Learn more about enrolling COPD studies here at North Georgia Clinical Research TODAY! Call us at (678) 494-5735 or stop by our website.