COPD Treatment, Causes, and Symptoms
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a complex and progressive chronic lung disease that is classified as restricted airflow from the lungs. If you have faced breathing difficulty, cough, mucus (sputum) production, and wheezing, you may be a possible victim and need COPD treatment. Exposure to irritating gases or particulate matter, cigarette, and indoor air pollution are some of the leading causes of developing COPD. Patients suffering from COPD are at a higher risk of developing heart disease, lung cancer, and other chronic illnesses. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema are common ailments that contribute to COPD.
Chronic bronchitis is inflammation of the bronchial tubes that carries air to and from the air sacs (alveoli) of the lungs. It is characterized by daily intense cough and mucus production.
Emphysema is a condition in which the air sac at the end of the smallest air passages (bronchioles) of the lungs is destroyed as a result of damaging exposure to cigarette smoke and other irritating gases and particulate matter.
COPD is a hidden disease, and its symptoms are often not surfaced up until the disease has damaged the lungs. The notable symptoms of chronic bronchitis are shortness of breath and cough with mucus production for three months a year for two consecutive years. Other common symptoms of COPD include:
- Chest tightness
- Breath shortness
- Clear your throat in the morning
- The blueness of the lips or fingernail
- Frequent respiratory infections
- Lack of energy
- Sudden weight loss
- Swelling in legs, ankles, and feet
People suffering from COPD are most like to experience episodes of coughing and breathlessness called exacerbations, which may get worse during the day or a span of days.
Causes of COPD
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder is now the third most common cause of death in the world. COPD is caused by long-term exposure to lung irritants that damage lung cells. The leading cause of COPD in many people is tobacco smoking. In the developing world, COPD often occurs in people exposed to fumes of chemicals or from burning fuel for cooking and heating in poorly ventilated homes. Also, the people working in factories that use or produce some toxic chemicals without precautionary measures are at a higher risk of developing COPD. Other causes of COPD are genetics like alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, but these causes are far less common than cigarette smoking. Patients with a history of allergies can be a victim as well and might need COPD treatment.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an inflammatory lung disease but is often misdiagnosed. Many former smokers could be diagnosed as COPD victims when, in reality, they might have less common lung infections. Doctors usually review your signs and symptoms by discussing your family and medical history and consider any exposure you’ve had to lung irritants, especially cigarette and fumes smoke. Your doctor might run a few tests, including:
- Lung (pulmonary) function tests
The spirometry test is the standard lung function test. It measures the amount of air you inhale and exhale, and if your lungs can deliver enough oxygen to your blood. Spirometry can detect COPD even before you develop the symptoms of the disease. It can also track the development of the disease and to monitor how well the COPD treatment is working.
- Chest X-ray
An X-ray scan of the chest can show emphysema, one of the leading causes of COPD. An X-ray can also help to diagnose other lung problems or heart problems.
- CT scan
A CT scan of lungs can help to diagnose emphysema and help determine if you might benefit from surgery for COPD treatment. CT scans can also be used to diagnose lung cancer conditions.
- Arterial blood gas analysis
This blood test measures how well your lungs are bringing oxygen into your blood and removing carbon dioxide by analyzing the response of COPD treatment.
For most COPD patients, careful symptom management means a better quality of life; however, the disease progression is inevitable. COPD diagnosed patients are often given treatments that aim towards helping breathe more comfortable and perform regular life activities. Narrowed airways can make you cough, wheeze, and feel short of breath. It impacts the quality of life with restless and discomfort feeling. Few treatments to follow are the following:
- Smoking termination
Everyone agrees to the fact that smoking is an addiction that needs to be avoided for COPD treatment. The foremost the doctors take to prevent COPD is to make the patient quit smoking.
Bronchodilator medicines come in inhalers to relax the muscles surrounding the airways. They also help in relieving the cough and shortness of breath. Inhalers may cause oral infections.
People with this ailment are often given corticosteroid medications that can reduce airway inflammation and help prevent exacerbations. The COPD treatment that includes steroids has some side effects like weight gain, diabetes, osteoporosis, and other infections.
Pulmonologists usually prescribe antibiotics for respiratory diseases, such as acute bronchitis, pneumonia, and influenza, which can intensify COPD symptoms. Medicines help treat acute exacerbations, but they are generally not recommended as a permanent treatment.
- Stem Cell therapy for COPD
The new-age medical breakthrough that helped patients with chronic illnesses is stem cell treatment. The procedure is now common in the USA for COPD treatment and can prevent more damage and improve the patient’s quality of life. Sadly the care and treatment for COPD patients remained unchanged for the past few decades.
Stem cell therapy is a treatment in which new adult stem cells are induced into damaged tissue to treat disease or injury. The therapy has the potential to change the COPD treatment. Stem cell therapy can help patients suffering from COPD for the progression of the disease with their stem cells.
How Stem Cells help in COPD Treatment
Stem cells are the body’s natural healing cells that work in reducing inflammation in your body. Healthy stem cells are separated from the blood or bone marrow and are cultivated outside the body and injected in the bloodstream. The bloodstream pushes the stem cells from the heart to the lungs. The stem cells are caught naturally into the pulmonary trap (a part of the lung), where they may begin to promotes healing.
Shifa rejuvenation has introduced stem cell treatment for patients suffering from COPD in Pakistan. The procedure is not new in the west as 84% of the patients suffering from COPD in the USA have reported improved quality of life within three months of treatment. Our goal is to improve lung function in patients with COPD. For further assistance, you may contact us on (051) 835-7790 or send an email at [email protected]
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