What To Do After You Find Out You Have COPD

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What To Do After You Find Out You Have COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is one of the most common lung ailments, affecting over 16 million Americans. COPD comes with shortness of breath, a chronic cough, and wheezing—if you have these symptoms without an apparent cause, speak with your doctor.

Thankfully, you can reduce these symptoms as long as you know what to do after you find out you have COPD—keep reading to learn more.

Change Your Diet

An unhealthy diet can impact your breathing, especially if your diet has led to obesity. You should adjust your diet to avoid sugary drinks, candies, and cakes and instead focus on complex carbohydrates like fresh fruits and veggies. Fiber is also an essential nutrient—try to eat 20 to 30 grams of fiber a day in the form of nuts, seeds, and whole-grain bread.

Learn Breathing Exercises

Controlling your breathing can significantly affect your COPD symptoms, so learning a few breathing exercises is a great idea. One helpful exercise is to breathe in for five seconds, then exhale for ten. Repeat this process (always exhaling for twice as long as you inhale) to lower stress and relax your body.

Try Oxygen Therapy

Many people with COPD begin oxygen therapy with their doctor or purchase an oxygen concentrator for home oxygen therapy. You should consult with your doctor to see if this treatment is right for you, but it’s one of the most common ways to fight COPD symptoms.

Depending on your activity level, you may want to look into portable oxygen concentrators that can come with you on your low-impact workouts.

Stop Smoking

If you smoke, stopping is easily the most impactful thing you can do to mitigate your COPD symptoms. Smoking causes and triggers COPD, so cutting it out of your life is essential if you want relief from feelings of breathlessness. To that end, you should also stay away from smokers, as secondhand smoke can trigger flare-ups, too.

Now that you know what to do after you find out you have COPD, make some lifestyle changes and get ready to breathe a little easier each day.

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