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COPD Awareness Month: Simplifying COPD Difficulties

Posted by Caleb Umstead on Nov 7, 2014 3:11:38 PM

Difficulties_with_COPD

We appreciate you joining us for another addition of our chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) awareness month series, November will be dedicated to spreading knowledge about the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States. Today's topic of discussion will be covering what patients can do when they are having a difficulty time handling specific symptoms. The goal is to educate patients so they can apply these tips into their daily life to drastically improve their overall quality of life.

Whether you have been diagnosed recently or have had COPD for 10+ years, you may begin to notice certain symptoms are more prevalent than others depending on what you are doing. The struggles to deal with your symptoms do not need to consume every aspect of your day and life, check out the tips below for combating many of your difficult COPD symptoms.

Experiencing a Loss of Appetite? Experiment with these Tips: 

  • Divide your meal into smaller portions
  • Prepare meals you know you will enjoy, healthy food doesn't have to be boring!
  • Push yourself to exercise, the calories you burn off will leave your appetite hungry for more

Meal Preparation and Grocery Shopping Draining You of Energy? Try these Tips: 

  • Instead of pushing a cart throughout the store, opt to use a motorized scooter, which are typically provided in store. If monetarily possible you can also purchase one of your own that you can take with you wherever you go!
  • Check with your local grocery store to see if they offer any online ordering programs that will be delivered to your doorstep, these programs are extremely beneficial for COPD patients as they conserve the energy that would be used  shopping for other important plans
  • Ask a friend or family member to help out with the shopping and meal preparation
  • Prepare extras so you can have left overs for an easy to prepare meal
  • Use a portable oxygen concentrator when needed, if you don't have one talk to your doctor about getting a prescription

Experiencing Feelings that You don't Have Enough Oxygen to Eat? Use these Tips Next Time: 

  • Give yourself some time to recover and rest after each meal
  • Aim to eat smaller portions
  • Eat more frequently throughout the day
  • Store snacks and other food in resealable containers, that way you have quick and easy access to food when you're hungry

Staying Clear of Water due to Having to Make the Energy Draining Trip to the Bathroom? Reconsider with these Tips:  

  • Purchasing a portable commode will surely eliminate the constant back and forth trips to the restroom, these are especially helpful if your bathroom requires stair climbing
  • Have chairs easily accessible on your path to the bathroom, this way whenever you feel out of breath you can sit down and take a break
  • Drinking water helps thin mucus, effectively making it easier to break up and expel
  • A lack of liquids in your body can actually irritate the bladder, making you get up more frequently

Has Walking Up and Down the Stairs become too Much and Leave You Tired? Apply these Tips:  

  • If you have a spare bedroom on the main level of your home, recruit friends and family to help you move your bedroom downstairs
  • Install an automated chair lift on your staircase
  • Take frequent breaks while going up and down stairs, there is no reason to have a sense of urgency so listen to your body and if it tells you it's tired then take a break

What COPD symptoms bother you the most? What do you do that helps reduce the effects these symptoms have on your day to day life? Comment below or share your tips with us on Facebook to help fellow patients.

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