COPD is a general term describing chronic breathing problems especially chronic bronchitis, emphysema or a combination of both. This is the third leading cause of death in the world. Besides death statistics, I would also like to see a misery index (not the band) that is people with breathing problems can have a high level of misery. Most common risk factors are smoking, vaping, second hand smoke, lack of exercise, stress and being under weight or overweight. These are factors that most adults will have some control over.
If you are having trouble quitting smoking, I suggest a visit to a hospital where people are getting treatments for COPD and imagine yourself pulling around an oxygen tank wherever you go. Look at the faces of people having trouble breathing. Maybe that will help motivate you.
It also appears that you are at higher risk for COPD as an adult if your mother smoked during pregnancy or if you lived in a house with second hand smoke. One person I know was part of a project measuring things like body fat, heart health via a stress test and also some basic lung capacity measurements. This person had worked out for a couple of decades including teaching fitness classes and was an avid runner. Her mother smoked (a lot) during pregnancy and filled the house with smoke for her first 18 years until she, the daughter, moved out. The smoking took a toll and she had a significant decrease in lung capacity for someone her age. Lung issues continue to plague her even though she has been away from smoke for about 50 years.
HOW TO HELP YOURSELF
All is not lost, however. COPD is not always inevitable. Here are some basic steps to increase the odds of healthy lungs.
Getting out for even a short walk (for those physically able) has great value. Build an exercise habit over the next few months. Your body and brain will thank you.
1000 people die each day of cigarette related causes each day in the US. Do whatever you have to do to quit. 39% of people diagnosed with COPD continue to smoke. Each will have their own reasons, I suppose. Vaping might be better as it only kills 30 people a day but vapers have a high probability of turning into smokers. You are better off with nicotine patches, hypnotism and any anything else that might work for you.
I mentioned exercise. Beside taking a good walk get started in something like yoga and/or tai chi as well. Get started and hang in there. Results take time (months and years) and will be worth it.
Chronic stress makes everything worse. Take steps to reduce what might be stressors in your life. Get professional help if you need it. Meditation, yoga, massages and other similar activities can be a real help over time.
SUPPLEMENTS CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
We do run a supplement company and some natural remedies have shown promise in research studies to help as well. The following are the supplements most likely to help our overall health and the health of your respiratory system as well.
Keep your vitamin D levels in a healthy range. We like to see it about 80. A typical level for people not supplementing is closer to 20 which is way too low in our experience. Most people we work with need to take 5,000 to 10,000 IUs per day to be in a healthy range. This is easily tested by a fairly basic blood test.
We have several different vitamin D supplements but a combination D3 and vitamin K can be found in Protocol K2 MK-7 & D3. https://www.ovitaminpro.com/pk2mk7d3.html
Keep your omega-3 fatty acid levels up. You can test your omega-3 index with this basic home collection kit. https://www.ovitaminpro.com/oqomega3bloodtest.html
We have both capsule and liquid versions available. We have been using Nordic Naturals ProOmega ourselves for many years since we toured their headquarters. https://www.ovitaminpro.com/nnproomegalem180.html. A liquid version is Arctic Omega https://www.ovitaminpro.com/nnarcticomegalem8oz.html.
Be sure to keep your antioxidants up by supplementing vitamin C and tocotrienols, glutathione support (N-acetyl cysteine plus alpha lipoic acid) plus a few more that you can find in Pure Encapsulations AntiOxidant formula. https://www.ovitaminpro.com/peantioxidantformula120.htm.
Add some alpha lipoic acid (ALA) and tocotrienols to the AntiOxidant Formula for some extra insurance. ALA helps the body make glutathione out from NAC. (https://blog.ovitaminpro.com/nac-and-glutathione-production/) Tocotrienols have anticancer and antioxidant properties and can help with lung health.
Alpha Lipoic Acid by Protocol. https://www.ovitaminpro.com/prtalpha-lipoicacid90.html
We are currently using Annatto Tocotrienols by Cardiovascular Research.
Check our blog about nattokinase that is in process. Nattokinase might also be helpful in maintaining flexible airways in cases of COPD.
Do yourself a favor and work on lowering your risk of COPD by paying attention to the few details listed above. Quit smoking, lower your stress, get some routine exercise, use key supplements. See you on the healthy side!