COPD is a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which is a lung condition that makes breathing difficult by obstructing the airways of the lungs.
A common disease, it occurs most often in people who suffer from frequent episodes of bronchitis, or who have asthma or emphysema.
Although a common disease, it can become life threatening and is one of the leading major killers in the United States.
During COPD, the airways and sacs within the lungs often can become blocked. This tends to make breathing very difficult because the air can become trapped in your lungs. Exhaling becomes almost impossible and makes expelling the air difficult.
Symptoms of COPD
Symptoms of COPD often begin quietly before being noticeable. A person with COPD will worsen quickly once the symptoms are noticed.
The symptoms of COPD are a chest tightness, audible wheezing, excessive mucous secretions, a cough that lingers, shortness of breath with difficulty in performing physical activity, and/or respiratory infections that occur frequently.
Vitamins, Supplements for COPD
It is thought that because people who have COPD undergo high levels of oxidative stress that giving them antioxidants and natural anti-inflammatories could be helpful in slowing down the progression of COPD. This would, in turn, decrease their need for prescription medications, which is always a good thing.
It has been found that vitamin A may be helpful in removing the reactive form of oxygen radical in COPD. Vitamins C and E may also be beneficial vitamins in COPD although not as significant as vitamin A. Vitamin A serum levels were more apt to be lower in those with COPD.
Supplements of vitamin A for one month were found to improve performance on PFTs in some people. Vitamin C levels, which tend to be lower in patients with COPD, may help to prevent oxidant-medicated lung injury during an inflammatory COPD period and can also help to reactivate vitamin E. Vitamin E can help to decrease the risk of suffering from COPD.
Coenzyme Q10 can help to improve the oxygen levels of the blood, as well as a decrease in heart rate. N-acetylcysteine can help to protect against some toxins.
This will also help to enhance the immune system. L-carnitine boosts the immune system, improves fatty acid and glucose energy metabolism. L-carnitine has also been known to improve exercise tolerance while strengthening the muscles of the respiratory system. Bromelain helps to reduce mucous in patients with COPD.
Bromelain is found in pineapple. Omega-3 fatty acids can help with the inflammatory responses. It can improve oxygen levels and show increased improvement in pulse oximetry and shortness of breath.
If you suffer from COPD talk to your doctor about vitamin supplementation for COPD and their uses. Consider using them on a trial basis and see if any improvement is noted.
Reactions to treatment are an individualized matter. If improvement is noted, consider vitamins for COPD as an alternative form of treatment.
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