According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 15 million adults are now living with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), while still another 12 million may be unknowingly living with the disease. COPD typically strikes in middle age, and smoking is the leading risk factor. Ongoing exposure to dust and chemicals can also elevate risk. Though living with COPD is challenging, there are steps you can take to improve COPD symptoms and quality of life.
If you or someone you care about has been diagnosed with COPD, choosing to make healthy lifestyle choices can make a tremendous difference in the severity of symptoms. Furthermore, following a healthier diet for COPD patients can help them feel better, improve the strength necessary for breathing, and help improve their defense against chest infections.
- Always eat breakfast. For an individual with COPD, breathing burns as many as ten times more calories than it does for people without COPD, so beginning the day with a nourishing breakfast can supply the calories and nutrients needed for the day.
- Get sufficient potassium. Those with COPD who are taking diuretics need extra potassium. A couple of suggested high-potassium foods include bananas, oranges, potatoes, and tomatoes.
- Drink plenty of liquids (without caffeine). Liquids help to thin mucus in the air passageways; but beverages with caffeine can clash with some types of medicine and produce restlessness, so it’s best to pass on the caffeine intake.
- Stay away from gas-inducing foods. Foods like fried foods, beans, and carbonated drinks that create gas and bloating may make breathing harder for someone with COPD. Steer clear of these kinds of foods to prevent symptom flare-ups.
- Lower intake of sodium. Sodium can cause water retention, making it harder to breathe, so limit foods that contain more than 300 milligrams of sodium per serving. Sodium-free spices like rosemary, oregano, parsley, basil, onion, curry, and lemon juice are all tasty alternatives.
Carolina Hearts Home Care is a leading provider that families depend on for quality companion home care in Laurinburg, NC, the surrounding areas in North Carolina as well as South Carolina. Our professional caregivers are experienced and trained in working with individuals with COPD and their family members to help manage COPD symptoms. We also ensure the home is safe and minimize irritants. Contact us today at 1-855-277-2005 to learn more ways we can help, have your questions answered, and see our full service area.