COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder. This is a disease affecting the respiratory system of the human body.
The following symptoms may indicate the presence of COPD:
- Difficulty in Breathing and shortness of breath.
- Presence of lung infections including bronchitis /emphysema / Asthma.
- Coughing, wheezing and a feeling of heaviness in the chest.
Some of the causes of COPD are listed here:
- Addiction to smoking including passive smoking exposure.
- Extreme atmospheric pollution.
- Exposure to dust and chemicals on a regular basis.
Diagnosis and Treatment:
If neglected, COPD can worsen and cause side effects in the form of heart disease. Hence, a visit to the doctor for a timely diagnosis is a must. Doctors usually prescribe a battery of tests to diagnose COPD. One of the most important tests is called the spirometry test. This is basically a breathing test. Apart from the spirometry test, blood tests and X-ray along with a sputum test may also be prescribed. The treatment involves prescription of antibiotics, to curtail infections, broncho-dilators to dilate the tubes in the lungs to allow better air circulation and anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce swelling in the bronchi of the lungs.
Some home remedies for COPD are discussed here:
- Ginger is very effective in all kinds of respiratory diseases.
- Use crushed ginger in boiling water before adding tea leaves. Drink ginger tea regularly.
- Extract juice from a piece of ginger and add equal quantity of organic honey. Drink a teaspoon of this early in the morning and before bed time, at night.
- Use ginger in all food preparations.
- Raw juice can help in curing COPD.
- For this purpose, drink the juice of carrots, pineapple, apricot, lemon, peach or spinach.
- Indian gooseberry is also one fruit which is rich in vitamin C and hence, helps in rapid recovery from diseases. For this purpose, crush one small gooseberry and add a little honey for taste. Eat this on an empty stomach, every morning, to develop immunity from diseases.
- Make it a point to eat anti-oxidant rich fruits. Berries top the list.
- Berries contain anthocyanins, beta-carotine, lutein and zeaxanthin – all these antioxidants protect the lungs from diseases and infections.
- Take a few drops of eucalyptus oil and mix in a big bowl of water.
- Now, heat this water and inhale the fumes.
- This releases the mucus built in the chest by dilating them.
- Similarly, massage a few drops of eucalyptus oil on the chest, every night. This action helps in relieving congestion and making the respiratory muscles stronger.
Bay Leaf Poultice:
- Take a big bay leaf.
- Heat it by exposing it to a lit candle or an earthen lamp.
- Apply this as a poultice on the bare chest, at bed time.
- Bay leaf acts by liquifying the mucus enabling easier discharge of the same.
- Research studies suggest that COPD patients are deficient in vitamin D.
- Hence, when vitamin D supplementations were given to the group, the results after about three months showed improvement in muscle strength which contributed in controlling COPD.
- The easiest way to get vitamin D is a daily exposure to morning sunlight for about fifteen minutes. Also , go for foods rich in vitamin D like low fat yogurt, skimmed milk, eggs, cod liver oil, fish, pork etc.
How to prevent COPD ?
- Quit smoking.
- Avoid chemicals that trigger an allergic reaction.
- Practise some form of physical exercise.
- Reduce stress and avoid overstraining.
- Get the mandatory 7 to 8 hours of sleep.
- Have a nutritious diet.
- Avoid white sugar, artificial sweeteners which contain aspartame and all foods containing artificial chemicals and flavours.