Staying Hydrated with COPD

Staying Hydrated with COPD

For people living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), staying properly hydrated can be challenging but is an important part of managing COPD. For example, many people with COPD experience increased mucus production. The excess mucus becomes thick, sticky and difficult to cough up. However, drinking enough water can thin mucus and make mucus easier to clear out from the lungs. So with your health in mind, Centers for Respiratory Health has put together a few facts and tips about staying hydrated with COPD to help you breathe easier.

Why is water so important to staying hydrated with COPD?

In order to stay hydrated, it’s important to drink enough of the right kinds of fluids every day. Drinking water, of course, is an excellent way to stay hydrated. In fact, water is one of the most crucial nutrients the body needs and works with many of the body’s processes, including:

  • Hydration
  • Lubricating joints
  • Regulating body temperature
  • Protecting the eyes and mouth
  • Removing waste from the body
  • Transporting other nutrients throughout the body

Actually, water makes up more than 50 percent of the human body. Through sweating, urinating and breathing, a person can lose 2-3 quarts of water per day, so it’s crucial for people to replace the water in their bodies by staying hydrated. Typically, doctors recommend that people with COPD drink around 64 to 96 ounces of water, which is about 8 to 12 glasses. Of course, it’s important to discuss your personal hydration needs with you doctor before drinking more water.

As previously stated, for people with COPD, excessive, sticky mucus can make breathing difficult. Drinking enough water can thin the mucus, making it easier to cough up. However, there are more benefits to staying hydrated with COPD.

Drinking enough water can also help people with COPD fight off infections better. For people on oxygen therapy, the oxygen can cause symptoms of dryness and irritation in the nasal passages and airways. The good news is that drinking enough water can help prevent this dryness while keeping you hydrated.

What drinks should I avoid, and what drinks will help keep me hydrated?

Staying Hydrated with COPD

While there are many drink options available, it’s important to know which liquids to avoid. Drinks that contain caffeine such as tea, soda and coffee as well as alcoholic beverages can actually dehydrate you or pull water away from your body. It’s best to avoid these drinks or only drink them in moderation followed by a glass of water.

Many people like to use sports drinks like Powerade and Gatorade to replenish electrolytes and rehydrate the body. While these drinks may help, they can also contain high amounts of sugar. To reduce the sugar amount, you can try watering sports drinks down and drinking them in moderation under the guidance of your doctor.

There are many fluid options that will help hydrate or rehydrate you as well. You guessed it; water is the best hydrating liquid. The best drinks for staying hydrated with COPD include:

  • Water
  • Broth soups
  • Fruit Juice (100 percent, natural fruit juice)
  • Decaffeinated coffee
  • Decaffeinated tea
  • Coconut water

Can certain foods help with hydration?

You can actually eat your water and receive important nutrients, vitamins and minerals from certain foods. Foods that are excellent sources of water and also contain vital nutrients include:

  • Cucumbers
  • Celery
  • Radishes
  • Tomatoes
  • Bell peppers
  • Watermelon
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Baby carrots
  • Cantaloupe

Even though these foods have a high water content, they also provide important nutrients. In fact, celery contains folate and vitamins A, C and K, and watermelon is rich in the antioxidant lycopene. Spinach contains lutein, potassium, folate and vitamin E, and cantaloupe provides you with vitamins A and C.

Electrolytes and staying hydrated with COPD made easy

Staying Hydrated with COPD

Staying hydrated with COPD isn’t just about drinking enough water. It’s also about eating foods rich in water and maintaining a healthy balance of your electrolytes.

When you become dehydrated, you may also experience an imbalance in your electrolytes. Electrolytes are electrically-charged minerals, which aid in regulating water quantities, muscle activity and pH levels in your body. If you’re trying to replenish your electrolytes while you hydrate as well, try eating foods that contain potassium, magnesium, calcium and some sodium.

For example, bananas, sweet potatoes, baked potatoes, oranges, almonds, raisins are rich in potassium. Excellent sources of magnesium include bran cereal, brown rice, almonds, molasses, bananas, okra and Lima beans. When it comes to calcium, try foods such as sardines, salmon, kale, mustard greens, dried figs, hazelnuts, almonds as well as both dairy milk and fortified almond, rice or soy milk.

Remember to discuss your personal hydration needs with your doctor before you change your diet or treatment plan. If you’re looking for more tips on foods for your COPD diet, check out our article about COPD-friendly foods. With these tips and facts, staying hydrated with COPD will be easier.

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.

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.

Blood Oxygen Level: Is My Oxygen Level Normal?

Blood Oxygen Level: Is My Oxygen Level Normal?

When it comes to your blood oxygen level, a second-look can never hurt.

Let’s be frank: if you’re currently living with a chronic lung disease like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis (PF) or emphysema, the maintenance of your health and symptom expression is generally your top priority. Often, this can mean a particular level of scrutiny in the foods you eat, the exercise you get, your exposure to cigarette smoke and other harmful airborne conditions, and the continual maintenance of your respiratory metrics, such as your PFT (pulmonary function test) and blood oxygen levels.

Simply put, for those with lung disease, it’s not only incredibly important to monitor your health and make adjustments in your behavior when necessary, but for many, it’s a way of life. Your blood oxygen level is one of the most important metrics to measure; as it is a clear indicator of how well your body is distributing oxygen (more on that in a moment). Taking the time to determine your blood oxygen level and how it fits in with the national average can be a vital marker for the direction of your respiratory health.

With your health in mind, Centers for Respiratory Health is here to break down the things you need to know on your Blood Oxygen Level: Is My Oxygen Level Normal?

What is Your Blood Oxygen Level?

In the most basic terms, your blood oxygen level is the amount of oxygen in your blood. Sounds simple, right? However, the complexities of this measurement come into play when trying to increase this amount by doing more than taking deeper breaths. As you can imagine, the level of your blood oxygen is important for your general health. If your blood oxygen is too low—in comparison to the average blood oxygen level of a healthy adult—you may be hypoxemic.

As is the case of most people with COPD, oxygen levels are below normal and hypoxemia can frequently occur over time. This means that your body has trouble nourishing your cells, tissues and organs. As your blood is the medium for getting oxygen (via red blood cells) throughout your body, poor circulation can produce the symptoms of chronic lung disease—namely shortness of breath.

Overall, this can reduce your quality of life, impair your skeletal muscle function, impair your exercise tolerance and increase your risk of death.

How is Your Blood Oxygen Level Measured?

A normal blood oxygen level typically ranges from 75 to 100 mm Hg. In the case of dangerously low blood oxygen, the level that requires supplemental oxygen is anything under 60.

The best way to monitor blood oxygen levels is through your arterial blood gasses (ABGs); however, this can be difficult to do at home. In place of using an ABG test, it’s more convenient to use a pulse oximeter, which measures oxygen saturation through a small clip on your finger. In the realm of oxygen saturation levels, normal is often considered anything between 95-100 percent.

Anything below 90 is usually considered low, therefore if you are below this metric, you should consider asking your doctor for a prescription for supplemental oxygen.

What Does My Blood Oxygen Level Mean for My Health?

Your blood oxygen levels have a direct effect on the expression of your symptoms. A low blood oxygen level can signify a lack of proper circulation or oxygen saturation within the body, which can ultimately result in a variety of conditions typically associated with chronic lung disease.

These may include:

  • Confusion
  • A sense of euphoria
  • Restlessness
  • Headaches
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid breathing
  • Dizziness, lightheartedness and/or fainting spells
  • Lack of coordination
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Visual disturbances
  • Bluish tint to lips, earlobes and/or nail beds
  • Elevated red blood cell count or polycythemia

What Can I Do Moving Forward?

Understanding your blood oxygen levels is a key step in learning how to measure your health. Whether it’s through measuring it yourself using a pulse oximeter, or having it properly tested through an ABG test with your primary physician, knowing the basic metrics of your respiratory health is critical to making the changes necessary to improve it.

Although the most important step in taking control of your health is to quit smoking, a close second is to address your general health through diet and exercise.

With these behavioral changes, it’s possible to greatly affect the pronouncement of symptoms for people with COPD, pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema. However, when lifestyle changes fail to improve your quality of life in the way that you may expect, it may be time to consider cellular therapy. Rather than addressing the symptoms of lung disease, cellular therapy may directly affect disease progression and may improve 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.