Smoking and COPD – We Can Help

January 7th, 2015 | Author: Fabiana Beltran

The Centers for Disease Control today reported that close to half of U.S. adults over 40 who live with asthma or COPD still continue to smoke. The information follows a recent CDC report which found that 15 percent of Americans between 40 and 79 years of age suffer from an obstruction of the lungs, such as COPD. The study concluded that 46 percent of adults between the ages of 40 and 79 with COPD currently smoked, with the statistic rising to 55 percent of individuals with “moderate or worse” levels of the disease.

[http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db181.htm]

[http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db181.htm]

Researchers found that rates of smoking for individuals with COPD and similar diseases more than doubled that of people who do not live with such illnesses.

“Cigarette smoking is the most important, but not the only, risk factor for COPD in the United States. The single most important intervention a smoker with COPD can do is to stop smoking. However, COPD often progresses in patients long after they have stopped smoking, and up to 25% of people with evidence of COPD have never smoked. The COPD Foundation continues to pursue better strategies to prevent, treat, and some day, cure, COPD,” said David M. Mannino, M.D., member of the COPD Foundation’s Board of Directors and Professor at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health.

The COPD Foundation is committed to assisting those who live with COPD and their efforts to quit smoking. The Foundation recognizes the various challenges our community members face and offers peer-to-peer support for those who wish to quit. If you live with COPD and would like to speak with someone directly about your options, please call our C.O.P.D. Information Line at 1-866-316-2673, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. EST. You may also visit www.COPD360social.org for online peer support.

For more information about smoking cessation, please visit the COPD Foundation website here.

Read the full CDC report here.

Running for his Father and the COPD Community

January 5th, 2015 | Author: Fabiana Beltran

Justin Daniels is a distance runner from Richmond, Indiana who is dedicated to honoring those who live with COPD by racing in all 50 states in 2015. He started his hobby when his father Leonard, 60, was diagnosed with COPD. “His lungs don’t work very well, so I am making it my mission to spread awareness about this disease,” Justin says. “I set up a booth at each event I am running with information that I am able to pass out to anyone wanting to know more about what I am doing. My mom helps pass out the information while I am running my races, but before and after I am at the booth or walking throughout the area asking people if they know someone living with COPD.”

The COPD Foundation caught up Justin to learn more about his efforts:

Q: How long have you been a runner?

A: I started out running while I was in high school as a Junior and Senior where I was a member of the cross country team as well as the track team. I started getting serious about distance running in 2011 wfaces1hen I found out  my dad had COPD. I felt like I needed to do something not only for him but for everyone else living with the disease. I knew there wasn’t much I could really do besides make people more aware of what COPD actually is, as well try and raise money to help find a cure.

Q: How did you get involved in raising awareness for COPD?

A: I feel there are so many people living in the United States alone that know nothing or very little about what COPD is and how they can get treated to live a better life. I have worked at Reid Hospital in Richmond, Indiana for almost 2 years now and I see a lot of COPD patients in the ICU. I feel that with increased education they might be able to avoid a trip to the hospital and could have a better chance at living a more normal life.

Q: When you started your endeavor two years ago, what was your main goal?

A: When I first started doing the marathons 2 years ago, my main goal was to run a marathon in honor of my dad and everyone else living with COPD. After running that first marathon I felt like I couldn’t do another one because of the pain I was in, but after awhile I thought about how my dad and everyone with COPD endure a lot more pain, so I continued.

Q: What are your goals now?

A: My current goal is to run a marathon in all 50 states; I would like to do this as soon as I can. On November 1st, 2014 I completed my 4th marathon – my biggest and toughest race so far. I raced the Chicago marathon on October 12th, 2014 and I wanted to see how I would feel after only taking 2 weeks off. I actually felt really good, so now I know I can run races closer together. I feel running in every state will give me a chance to spread the word and pass out information to as many people as possible -  just in case they have symptoms so they are able to get checked out by their doctor. It also gives me the chance to meet COPD patients that live with the disease on a daily basis. I want the races to give patients hope and reassurance that there is someone out there taking action to give them a voice.

faces2Q: What inspires you to continue racing for COPD awareness?

A: My main inspiration to keep running to bring awareness to COPD is my dad and the millions of people living with COPD each day. My dad and I have a very close relationship with each other. Every other person with COPD has family that care about them as well. I feel this is the least I could do to honor them the best way I can. On days when the weather isn’t perfect or I’m too tired, I look around and think,  “My life’s not so bad,” which then inspires me to get out the door and go.

Q: What advice do you have for others who would like to take similar action?

A: My advice for anyone who would like to take action is to research as much information you can so you have knowledge of what the disease actually is. I also think whatever you choose to do to make people aware, make sure you give it 110% all the time, even when you think it may not be possible. You can achieve anything if you really want to – it just may take more time.

You can find Justin’s “Run for a Cure” Facebook page here.

COPD Links to Malnutrition and Economic Burden

December 19th, 2014 | Author: Aleena Gardezi

A recent study around the global economic burden of malnutrition tied to chronic illness found that patients with COPD experience the highest rates of malnourishment. Although close to 60 percent of patients suffering from chronic illness are never screened for malnutrition, disease-associated malnutrition imposes an economic burden on society of about $157 billion per year, according to research published in a supplemental issue of the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (JPEN).

nutritionThe study explains that when malnutrition goes undiagnosed, particularly in seniors, it can lead to an increase in health complications, hospital readmissions rates, and overall health care costs, which also increases health care costs. In the eight specific diseases that were evaluated by direct medical costs, the years of quality life lost, and mortality to determine the total economic burden, more than 80 percent of the total cost came from cases of depression, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), coronary heart disease, and dementia. Patients with COPD had the highest malnutrition rate at 11 percent.

Because patients with COPD require up to 10 times the calories needed by a patient without COPD, it is important for patients to make sure they are getting the nutrients and energy their body requires. Proper eating habits can help fight body infections and help produce the energy required to function normally. Malnutrition can be treated if the patient is screened and offered nutritional support when they are at risk.  Dieticians can guide patients by working out a diet plan that recommends high calorie foods that are easy to prepare. The COPD Foundation also offers information regarding proper diet and nutrition in its Big Fat Reference Guide.

Please contact our C.O.P.D. Information Line at 1-866-316-2673 for further information and support.

If you would like to share your thoughts and experience with COPD, check out COPD360Social, a “one-stop-shop” for members of the COPD community.

Read the full Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (JPEN) report here.

Have Trouble Eating with COPD? You’re Not Alone

December 5th, 2014 | Author: COPD Coach

Dear COPD Coach,

I have stage 4 emphysema. It is impossible to eat without immediately feeling chest tightness or bloated like I am about to explode. I read about how the diaphragm gets pushed by the stomach and how it changes shape as COPD worsens. Does this mean that eventually I won’t be able to eat?

Thank you,
-Worried

Dear Worried,

Thanks for writing. As a patient myself at stage 4, I also experience this. The mechanism you described is exactly correct! To answer your question, you will always be able to eat, however you are going to have to eat a little differently. As you lungs deteriorate, they become larger which then pushes against your stomach. When you eat large meals, your stomach pushes against your lungs and diaphragm which restricts your breathing. The key here is not to eat large meals or large portions, but instead eat smaller meals throughout the day. Also do not eat foods that

[everydayhealth.com]

[everydayhealth.com]

can cause bloating or gas. Drinking plenty of water during the meals will also help ease the bloating. If you use supplemental oxygen, make sure you use it while you eat.

When my wife and I go out to dinner, I tend to eat too much and have a difficult time returning to the car. I have since learned to order smaller portions, especially if I have to walk a long distance after the meal. I also make sure to eat throughout the day, several times a day, even if it is just a light snack. When I do this, I feel far less bloated.

For information on what is best to eat, go to the COPD Foundation’s Big Fat Reference Guide webpage. It is a free download and contains lots of information written for the patient. There you will find a list of the best foods along with lots of other useful lifestyle tips.

It is important to remember that when you eat large meals, you burn lots of calories in order to digest. You also burn calories just trying to breathe! So, the foods you eat must contain not only enough calories to augment what you are using up. In other words, learn to eat smart!

While you are on our website, you might want to check out our new social network called COPD360social. It is a site where you can meet others with COPD and see what works for them! Just click on community and registration is quick and simple!

Hope this helps,
-The COPD Coach

Ask the Expert is aimed at providing information for individuals with COPD to take to your doctor, and is not in any way intended to be medical advice.

If you would like to submit a question to the Coaches Corner email us at coachescorner@copdfoundation.org. We would love to hear your questions and comments. You can address your emails to any of the following: COPD Coach, Caregiver Coach, COPD Doctor or COPD RT.

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