Causes of COPD
The primary causes of COPD is long term cigarette smoking, the more years you smoke and the more packs you smoke, the greater your risk. Symptoms of COPD usually appear about 10 years after you start smoking, but other irritants can cause COPD including second hand smoke, occupational dust, vapors, hazardous fumes, asbestos as well as air pollution have all been shown to be contributing factors. In very rare cases, COPD results from a genetic disorder that causes low levels of a protein called alpha-1-antitrypsin.
Early Warning Signs
Early warning signs of COPD are unique to each person and you may not even realize that you are having trouble breathing. Therefore we have put together some signs to watch for. If you find that you have any of these symptoms you may want to talk to your doctor since a change, combination or increase in the symptoms I have listed may be an early warning sign of COPD.
Are You Experiencing One Or More Of The Following:
- An increase in the amount of sputum produced (Sputum: The mucus and other matter brought up from the lungs, bronchi, and trachea that one may cough up and spit out or swallow)
- An increase in the thickness or stickiness of sputum
- A change in sputum color to yellow or green or the presence of blood in the sputum
- An increase in the severity of shortness of breath, cough and/or wheezing
- Using more pillows or sleeping in a chair instead of a bed to avoid shortness of breath
- A general feeling of ill health
- Ankle swelling
- Forgetfulness, confusion, slurring of speech and sleepiness
- Increasing morning headaches, dizzy spells, restlessness
- Trouble sleeping
- An unexplained increase or decrease in weight
- Increased feeling of fatigue and lack of energy that is persistent
- A lack of sexual drive
Once COPD has been diagnosed, early treatment is most effective, timely assessment of your symptoms can help you and your healthcare provider decide the type of treatment that will most benefit you.
Many of our guests have chosen to augment their treatment of COPD with more holistic approaches designed to strengthening their immune systems. They feel that eating raw living foods diet, drinking wheatgrass and taking wheatgrass baths, enemas and implants, help to alleviate many of their COPD symptoms. Guests also use herbs and supplements. to enhance their ability to deal effectively with COPD. Some of the herbs and supplements our guests seem to find helpful are:
Herbs & Supplements
- Comfrey leaves – help because they stimulate new cell growth and support quick healing. This makes it an excellent natural remedy for the lungs. It inhibits the cough reflex, softens and soothes damaged and inflamed bronchial mucus membranes. It helps to loosen mucus from the bronchial tubes so that it does not accumulate. You can buy comfrey leaf or root in various forms. Check with your Doctor before taking this herb.
- Black tea – many COPD sufferers turn to tea for relief from tightening in the chest. Black tea contains chemicals related to the stimulant theophylline, which is also the basis of many modern medical remedies. Three or four cups of black tea can open airway passages and ease breathing.
- Ginkgo – when used regularly the active ingredient has helped some patients to cut down on prescribed medication. Taken three times a day for a week or a month at a time. Ginkgo helps relax the lungs and keeps the breathing passage clear. Check with your Doctor before taking this herb.
- Vitamin C and magnesium – improves lung function.
- Pleurisy Root – possesses a specific action on the lungs, assisting expectoration, subduing inflammation and exerting a general mild tonic effect on the system, making it valuable in all chest complaints. It is of great use in pleurisy, mitigating the pain and relieving the difficulty of breathing, and is also recommended in pulmonary catarrh. The infusion may be prepared by taking 1 teaspoonful of the powder in a cupful of boiling water. The decoction is taken in doses of 2 to 3 fluid ounces. The dose of the fluid extract is 1/2 to 1 drachm; of Asclepin, 1 to 4 grains. A much-recommended herbal recipe is: Essence of composition powder, 1 OZ.; fluid extract of Pleurisy Root, 1 OZ. Mix and take a teaspoonful three or four times daily in warm water. Doctor before taking this herb.
- Yerba Santa Holy Herb – medicines prepared with it or its extracts to treat bronchial and laryngeal problems. In addition, in combination with other herbs such as Grindelia robusta (good for Asthmatic bronchitis) yerba santa is also effective in curing insistent pulmonary infections, hay fever and asthma. There is no proven safe or effective dose for yerba santa in adults. Traditionally, 1-2 milliliters of fluid extract has been taken by mouth with a spoon every 3-4 hours for no more than ten days.