Emphysema Prognosis and Treatment Options

Emphysema Prognosis and Treatment Options

People living with emphysema often cope with difficult emphysema symptoms. These symptoms include shortness of breath, fatigue and coughing among others. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis fall under the larger disease category of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Emphysema, chronic bronchitis and COPD affect people differently. For some people emphysema progresses quickly, and for others, it progresses slowly. Because emphysema affects people differently, it is often hard for people to know their exact emphysema prognosis. Here is the information you need to know about emphysema prognosis and treatment options.

What is Emphysema?

Emphysema damages the lungs’ tiny air sacs (alveoli). The alveoli bring oxygen to the bloodstream. However, in emphysema, holes form in the inner walls of the alveoli. As emphysema progresses, the airways leading to the alveoli lose their elasticity. Eventually, the weakened air sacs collapse and trap oxygen in the lungs.

COPD, which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, makes it difficult for people to exhale old air fully. When people with emphysema take a breath, the old air cannot get out completely, so new air cannot get inside. People with emphysema struggle to breathe and often have trouble receiving enough oxygen.

Your emphysema prognosis depends on how advanced your emphysema is and the severity of your emphysema symptoms.

Emphysema Causes

In fact, emphysema can result from a variety of causes. The most common causes include:

  • Genetics
  • Cigarette Smoking
  • Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency
  • Long-term Exposure to Environmental Air Pollutants

Emphysema Prognosis

Emphysema Prognosis and Treatment Options

Currently, there is no cure for emphysema, chronic bronchitis, COPD or other chronic lung diseases. To diagnose and better understand the severity of your emphysema, your doctor may take a detailed medical history, run tests and recommend certain procedures.

For example, many doctors perform pulmonary function tests (PFTs) to help them diagnose the condition, understand the severity and what treatments could work best. PFTs measure how well your lungs and current treatment plan are working.

Your doctor may also perform a 6-minute walk test to assess your exercise tolerance. In addition, chest x-rays, blood tests and CT scans may be needed. After performing tests, your doctor may place your emphysema into stages. The emphysema stages help you and your doctor better understand the severity of your symptoms and your emphysema prognosis.

Emphysema Stages

The Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) created the GOLD System to place certain chronic lung diseases into stages. The GOLD System uses the forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) measurement from a PFT to categorize emphysema and COPD. In the GOLD System, the emphysema stages are as follows:

  • Very mild or Stage 1: Very mild emphysema with a FEV1 about 80 percent or more of normal.
  • Moderate or Stage 2: Moderate emphysema with a FEV1 between 50 and 80 percent of normal.
  • Severe or Stage 3: Severe emphysema with FEV1 between 30 and 50 percent of normal.
  • Very severe or Stage 4: Very severe emphysema with a lower FEV1 than Stage 3, or those with Stage 3 FEV1 and low blood oxygen levels.

While these stages are helpful, nobody can accurately predict emphysema prognosis or emphysema life expectancy. However, doctors can use tests and procedures to estimate emphysema prognosis and life expectancy.

Hearing that there isn’t a cure may sound like a bleak emphysema prognosis, but there are treatment options available to manage emphysema symptoms.

Emphysema Treatment Options

Emphysema Prognosis and Treatment Options

Emphysema treatment options work to manage symptoms, so people can breathe better. Traditional treatments include bronchodilator inhalers, corticosteroids, combination inhalers, antibiotics and oxygen therapy.

Bronchodilators help open the airways and relax the muscles around the airways. Corticosteroids help reduce inflammation. Combination inhalers typically combine a bronchodilator and an inhaled corticosteroid into the same inhaler.

For an infection, antibiotics may be prescribed. Often, people with emphysema have trouble getting enough oxygen and experience low blood oxygen levels. Sometimes, oxygen therapy is used to help people maintain a better blood oxygen level.

Emphysema causes many people to feel short of breath, especially during activity. It’s normal to avoid doing activities that make you feel breathless. However, it’s been shown that even gentle exercises like walking strengthen muscles and improve stamina. Ask your doctor about what amount and type of exercise is best for you.

Diet can affect emphysema as well. Avoid foods that cause excess gas and bloating, such as fried foods, broccoli, cabbage and carbonated beverages. Try baked foods, steamed vegetables, fruit smoothies and water instead. Check out these COPDfriendly foods for more ideas, and remember to talk with your doctor before changing your diet.

Unlike traditional treatments that often mask the symptoms of lung disorders, the goal of our innovative cellular therapy is to help manage symptoms and potentially improve overall lung health and quality of life. Our integrated wellness approach has the potential to improve overall lung health and to offer a better quality  of life.

If you or someone you love has COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), ILD (Interstitial lung disease), emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, or another chronic lung disorder, call us today at 866-638-4776 and learn more about what our innovative therapy has the potential to do for you.

Our dedicated team of Patient Care Specialists and Board-Certified Medical Providers are standing by to answer all your questions.

Medical Disclaimer: This content is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with a physician with any questions that you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you read in this article. We strive for 100% accuracy, but errors may occur, and medications, protocols, and treatment methods may change over time.

 

 

 

Salt Therapy and COPD

Salt Therapy and COPD

Salt Therapy can Help Ease COPD Symptoms

Some people have found salt therapy to be an effective option for relieving symptoms of lung disease, resulting in easier breathing. Different treatments have proven to be successful for different patients. Perhaps salt therapy is the right option for you.

What is COPD?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a debilitating and degenerative lung disease characterized by the restriction of airflow in and out of the lungs. COPD is the umbrella term for emphysema and/or chronic bronchitis. While research is inconclusive regarding salt therapy and COPD, many COPD sufferers report positive results from salt therapy (halotherapy).

History of Salt Therapy for COPD

Historically, lung disease sufferers in Central Europe entered underground salt mines to relieve their breathing problems. Since those earliest experiments with salt therapy for COPD symptoms, several studies have been conducted to evaluate how salt affects lung function.

A recent study of 35 COPD patients using a dry salt inhaler revealed significant improvement in the six-minute walk test and demonstrated an improvement in quality of life, as reported on the Saint George Respiratory Questionnaire. The study concluded that, while there don’t seem to be adverse effects to using a salt inhaler, further studies are warranted to exclude a placebo effect.

Several clinical trials have revealed the benefits of salt therapy for:

  • 85 percent of mild and moderate asthma cases
  • 75 percent of severe asthma cases
  • 97 percent of chronic bronchitis, bronchiectasis and cystic fibrosis cases

The Salt Cave, a clinic in the United Kingdom, specializes in salt therapy. One client with COPD reports a much better quality of life following salt therapy.

“The Salt Cave changed my life. Before my first visit I was on lots of antibiotics and steroids, basically confined to my house, and I hated to be around people as my breathing was so noisy. However, this has now changed thanks to Salt Therapy. The Salt Cave lets me live again and manage my illness in a way that means I can enjoy life again. When I walk out of The Salt Cave I feel high on life. I call it my heaven on earth.”

How Does it Work?

Salt therapy proponents claim that salt cleanses the respiratory system and speeds up the elimination of toxins. Salt has the following properties:

  • Antibacterial
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Loosens excessive mucus and speeds up mucociliary transport
  • Removes pathogens (ie., airborne pollen)
  • Reduces IgE level (immune system oversensitivity)

Salt particles penetrate deep into the lungs to treat damaged tissue. Sometimes symptoms subside for up to 12 months following salt therapy.

For those who suffer from COPD, traditional drug and supplemental oxygen treatments, or a lung transplant, may not suffice. Many COPD sufferers experience positive results following salt therapy.

At Centers for Respiratory Health, we are an innovative leader of regenerative medicine dedicated to providing cellular therapies to help patients with chronic lung disorders and improve overall lung health. We offer an innovative wellness approach to your health and provide our patients with a potentially more effective way to improve overall lung health. Our goal is to improve our patients’ quality of life and help our patients Breathe Easier.

Unlike traditional treatments that often mask the symptoms of lung disorders, the goal of our innovative cellular therapy is to help manage symptoms and potentially improve overall lung health and quality of life. Our integrated wellness approach has the potential to improve overall lung health and to offer a better quality of life.

If you or someone you love has COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), ILD (interstitial lung disease), emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, or another chronic lung disorder, call us today at 866-638-4776 and learn more about what our innovative therapy has the potential to do for you.

Our dedicated team of Patient Care Specialists and Board-Certified Medical Providers are standing by to answer all your questions.

Medical Disclaimer: This content is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with a physician with any questions that you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you read in this article. We strive for 100% accuracy, but errors may occur, and medications, protocols, and treatment methods may change over time.

6 Natural COPD Treatments to Try Right Now

When traditional medication fails, it may be time to consider something a bit more natural…

Living with a lung disease like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis or emphysema can make one’s daily routine inherently difficult. Causing fits of coughing, difficulty breathing and lower energy levels, many suffering from chronic lung disease are simply looking for one thing: relief. Although there are a variety of traditional medications available such as pills, inhalers and oxygen therapy, they aren’t without their own side-effects. As research continues to show promise in the use of natural alternatives, it may be time to consider adding these supplements to your daily regimen.

With your health in mind, the Lung Health Institute is here to present 6 Natural COPD Treatments to Try Right Now to better your breathing using more natural ingredients.

*Any new medication or supplements should only be consumed after first consulting with your primary care physician*

6 Natural COPD Treatments to Try Right Now

6. NAC (N-Acetylcysteine)

Yes, it’s a mouthful but N-Acetylcysteine, otherwise known as NAC is an antioxidant that has shown promise in some studies. In a study of 24 Israeli COPD patients, it was found that 1,200mg of N-acetylcysteine a day helped lung inflation, especially after exercise. It is known to reduce phlegm, cough, thin mucus and ease expectoration. Although it won’t prevent flare-ups, its ability to loosen sputum is significant, and it can be bought over-the-counter. It’s a great example of natural treatments for COPD.

Daily Dosage Recommendation: 250mg to 1,500mg mg daily.

Special Note – You should not take N-acetylcysteine if you’re taking nitroglycerin.

5. Vitamin D

A deficiency in vitamin D can come from a variety of sources: not spending enough time outside, not drinking enough milk or the body simply losing its ability to make vitamin D with age. It has been noted that vitamin D has been linked to better lung function tests, and sources of vitamin D can be anything from drinking more almond milk, taking a daily multi-vitamin or stepping outside to get more fresh air (and sunlight).

Daily Dosage Recommendation: 1,000mg to 1,200mg

Special Note- Milk can build up mucus within the lungs and cause flare-ups. Instead, choose a milk alternative such as Almond or Soy milk.

 4. Ginseng

One of the best natural treatments for COPD is ginseng. Although ginseng comes in a variety of different species, some studies have shown that the use of ginseng may improve lung function. With the Asian variety of ginseng showing a larger effect than its American counterpart, ginseng has been recognized for its propensity to improve the immune system, provide an energy boost, reduce stress, promote relaxation and even provide immune suppressive—or anti-inflammatory—effects.

Daily Dosage Recommendation: 1-2g

6 Natural COPD Treatments to Try Right Now

3. Antioxidant Vitamins

Antioxidants are crucial for the body as they allow it to use oxygen more efficiently so that it enters the bloodstream in the proper amounts. Because of these oxygen-regulating properties, vitamins A, C and E are considered a particularly beneficial supplement for those who suffer from chronic respiratory disease. In a recent Romanian study of 120 COPD patients, it was found that patients who ate a diet of fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamins A, C and E had improved lung function.

Daily Dosage Recommendation: Vitamin C: 75-90mg, Vitamin A: .7-.9mg, Vitamin E: 15mg

Special Note – Current smokers should aim for an extra 35mg a day of Vitamin C.

2. Bromelain

Okay, so what the heck is bromelain? Well, simply put, it’s a chemical made from enzymes found in the stems and juice of pineapple. Believed to reduce inflammation, although still awaiting more conclusive studies, it is thought to be an effective supplement for COPD relief. The added benefit of a citrus fruit such as pineapple, however, is that it contains other vitamins and nutrients such as vitamin C, and it can easily be incorporated into one’s diet through something as simple as a morning smoothie. Natural treatments for COPD can taste so good.

Daily Dosage Recommendation: 80 to 500mg

1. Coenzyme Q10

As a substance similar in behavior to that of an antioxidant or vitamin, coenzyme Q10 has value as a natural remedy for COPD. Found in nearly every cell of the body, it is often used to produce energy within the body allowing cell growth and maintenance. Through its ability to increase cell activity and ease inflammation, the enzyme may be able to contribute to airway dilation through its anti-inflammatory properties, ultimately allowing easier breathing as well as a reduction in symptoms. CoQ10 can be found in small amounts in a variety of different foods including sardines, mackerel and peanuts.

Daily Dosage Recommendation: 90 to 390mg

Try this in Combination with Natural Treatments for COPD

Although natural treatments for COPD and traditional treatments can be beneficial to respiratory health, if you’re looking to take a more proactive approach to treatment, it’s time to consider cellular therapy. Rather than only addressing the symptoms of lung disease, cellular therapy acts to directly affect disease progression, working to improve quality of life and pulmonary function within patients. For those who suffer from lung disease, a change in quality of life could mean the difference between struggling to walk to the mailbox and riding a bike.

If you or a loved one suffers from a chronic lung disease like COPD, pulmonary fibrosis, emphysema or other symptoms of lung disease, the Lung Health Institute may be able to help with a variety of adult cellular therapy options. Contact us today at 888-745-6697 to see if you qualify for cellular therapy, and find out what cellular therapy could mean for you.

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