When vaping first appeared, many medical professionals thought that it might be a safer alternative to smoking. Statements like these could be one of the reasons that about 1 in 5 people between the ages of 18 and 29 report vaping regularly

Unfortunately, emerging evidence has begun to contradict the idea that vaping is safer than smoking or that it’s even safe at all. In fact, a recent study has reported that vaping triggers cellular responses that are similar to those found in people who smoke, and these responses can increase your risk of developing emphysema. 

What Is Emphysema?

Emphysema is a chronic lung condition that falls into the category of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). More than 3.8 million Americans have been diagnosed with emphysema to date, and the condition leads to decreased elasticity and the breaking down of internal walls in lung air sacs called alveoli

Patients who have emphysema are likely to notice several specific symptoms, and one of the most common of these is shortness of breath. Another common emphysema symptom is a chronic cough. Other common symptoms of emphysema may include: 

  • Increased mucus production
  • Frequent lung infections
  • Wheezing
  • Fatigue
  • Reduced appetite
  • Sleep issues

How Does Vaping Increase the Risk of Emphysema?

The medical study mentioned above tested nonsmokers, smokers and vapers. There were 14 participants in each of these 3 categories, and researchers used bronchoscopies and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) to obtain samples of their lung contents. 

Tests on these contents showed that both the smokers and vapers had high levels of neutrophil elastase and matrix metalloproteases 2 and 9. Proteases are enzymes that break down proteins in the body, and high levels of these 3 particular proteases have been linked to increased emphysema risk. Continuing to vape can increase the levels of these proteases in your lungs, which can lead to a progressively higher risk of developing emphysema. 

Emphysema Patients Can Find Help at Lung Health Institute

At Lung Health Institute, we offer natural treatment options for COPD and other chronic lung diseases, such as emphysema. Our options include our Anti-Inflammatory Initiative™, or AI2™.

A big component of this plan is information about many lung-healthy food options, including seafood. The initiative also contains specific recipes that are designed to help your lungs. Other information in these plans includes exercise tips, sleep tips and hydration advice. All these natural methods are combined with to help boost your immune system and train your body to fight inflammation using fats 

Take the next step to Breathe Easier™. Contact a Lung Health Institute patient coordinator today for more information or to schedule a free consultation.