The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute estimates that upwards of 12 million adults are now diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and still another 12 million could be living with the disease and not even realize it. COPD typically strikes in middle age, and smoking is the top risk factor. Ongoing exposure to chemicals and dust can also heighten risk.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with COPD, determining to make healthy lifestyle choices can make a difference in the severity of symptoms. Not only that, but sticking to a healthier diet for COPD patients can help them feel better, enhance the strength needed for breathing, and better help fight off chest infections.
- Always eat breakfast. For a person with COPD, breathing burns as many as ten times more calories than it does in those without COPD, so starting the day with a nutritious breakfast can supply the calories and nutrients needed for the day.
- Get plenty of potassium. COPD patients who take diuretics require extra potassium. Good choices include bananas, oranges, potatoes, and tomatoes.
- Drink plenty of liquids (non-caffeinated). Liquids help to thin mucus in the air passageways; but caffeinated beverages can conflict with some medications and lead to restlessness, so it’s best to skip caffeine.
- Stay away from gas-inducing foods. Foods such as beans, fried foods, and carbonated drinks that produce gas and bloating may make breathing more difficult for someone with COPD. Steer clear of these types of foods to prevent symptom flare-ups.
- Lower sodium intake. Sodium can result in water retention, making it more difficult to breathe, so limit foods that contain more than 300 milligrams of sodium per serving. Sodium-free spices like parsley, oregano, garlic, basil, curry, onion, rosemary and lemon juice are all flavorful alternatives.
Advanced Home Health Care, providers of top-rated Burlington elder care, is experienced in working with COPD patients and their families, and can help manage COPD symptoms, as well as ensure the home is safe and free from irritants. Contact us today at 800.791.7785 to discover more ways we can help. See our full Iowa service area.