This blog post was written by Joanna Murray.
When I think about nutrition and COPD, the first thing that comes to my mind is how my mom took care of herself on a daily basis. Maintaining an ideal weight was hard work for her. It has been proven that the better you eat and take care of yourself the easier time you will have handling difficult situations; you need food for energy and to help keep up your oxygen levels. Without the right balance, your lungs have to work harder for you to breathe.
This month is the sixth month anniversary of my mother’s death. I have finally started to come to a better understanding on how much more there is to be learned about this disease.
Maintaining your weight and exercise are two of the essential ingredients needed to help maintain lung health. There are breathing and exercise programs specifically designed to help you. If you are having issues with breathing, an overall exercise plan may be the last thing on your agenda.
Exercise can benefit your breathing; it will allow you to stay as active as possible by improving your lung function. As with any exercise program when it comes to having COPD, be sure to talk with your doctor or health care provider.
Exercise and diet will add to your quality of life; both of these will improve how well your body uses oxygen, which is essential to COPDers because they use more energy to breathe. Maintaining your weight will decrease the increase of your symptoms. For me, I wish I would have known all of this. Perhaps I could have helped urge my mom to make the changes, but she was stubborn and believed she knew all she needed to.
A few pieces of valuable information I have learned about proper nutrition for those suffering from COPD are:
- Eat daily the recommended servings from the four food groups.
- Try eating more frequently smaller portions of meals to prevent shortness of breath
- Ensure you have adequate fluid intake, 6-8 cups daily, which helps thin mucus secretions.
- A helpful tip regarding dairy intake, would be to follow up with water or fruit juice to help avoiding coating the mucus already present.
I believe that a healthy and active life style for anyone is wonderful and it could prolong anyone’s life. In my opinion if my mom started an exercise routine when she had first been diagnosed it could have been beneficial.
I hope and pray that if you have COPD you look into adopting a healthy lifestyle. There are so many resources out there to help you get through this disease; I can say this now because if I knew then what I know now, maybe just maybe my mom would still be here. I love and miss her but I hope by me sharing what I have learned I can help others through COPD.