COPD-What Are the Risk Factors? No ratings yet.

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Smoking is not the only way to get COPD. There are other ways to get the disease.

What is COPD? It is an acronym – C meaning chronic or doesn’t go away, O or obstructive- not getting enough air out or the airways, you can get it in buy getting it out is the problem. THen P or pulmonary which means the lung area and then D stands for disease. Read more

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The Global Legacy of Jean Nicot de Villemain No ratings yet.

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Hachis parmentier is a culinary delight; deli sandwiches are mouthwatering; nicotiana tabacum is prized  worldwide; All three commodities derive their name from the individuals who made them known to the world: Hachis parmentier from Frenchman Antoine-Augustin Parmentier; the sandwich is  named after the 4th Earl of Sandwich; finally nicotine is coined after Jean Nicot de Villemain

But the buck stops here. This naming business is the only thing that nicotine has in common with the other two products because hachis parmentier and sandwiches are nutritious and  will not kill you, but nicotine will destroy you.

So what was Jean Nicot thinking when he took the tobacco plant from Brazil and  introduced it  into France? this was a gift offered to King Henry II in the form of  seeds; at the time Jean Nicot was  the French ambassador to Portugal. In those days (1560), diplomats wore many hats: they were navigators, traders and explorers;  in addition to signing treaties and annexing lands.they introduced foreign specimens to their countries in the form of plants, animals (how do you think our zoos were born? ) and human beings (but they preferred to call them slaves or captives).  In  return, Africa and New world countries were given diseases or new governors.

Global thinking comes with the territory of the Internet  (nothing new), so when we, in the developed world  want something such as lucrative cash crops, we give no thought to  the repercussions on other countries, nor on the poor and disadvantaged workers within our own industrialized nations; the same can be said of the European nobility and aristocracy in the 17th century who enjoyed tobacco, ( as well as  tea, coffee and chocolate) and used it for every little ailment it  could fancy: – from ointment for sores to snuffing powder for headaches; the truth of the matter is in all ages, one group has selfishly reaped sensory or material benefits from the sweat of others (slaves, indentured servants, farmers, sharecroppers or plant workers). This pattern repeats itself over and over from 1560  all the way to 2013.

 

So think about it: nothing good  has come out nicotiana tabacum; today it is still associated with exploitation of cheap labor, cash crop plantations (which is fertile land that should really be used for food crops); moreover plenty of diseases and poverty are associated with this crop. Right here in the United States, African American tobacco farmers have died or wasted away because of tobacco cultivation: journalist Rebecca Skloot describes their unhealthy and impoverished  lives in the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Yet it is a  $ 27 billion industry (fujiub.com);  

Right from the start, Nicotiana Tabacum was a part of every pre-colonial and colonial enterprise and today it prides itself as being the mark of the 21st century. Jean Nicot de Villemain really earned the last part of his name:  in French "vile main" translates as  "foul hand" in English. How ironic is that? Nicot joins the ranks of History makers along with Christopher Columbus who  was equally attracted to those fragrant  tobacco leaves offered innocently by the natives (1492); and the rest is history…

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Blessings of Freedom No ratings yet.

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When I was smoking, hardly a day went by that I didn't seriously consider quitting. Your own personal mileage may vary, but I would imagine that as a fellow smoker, you have had similar feelings. The expense of the habit always loomed large, and this was before all of the serious hikes in taxation occurred. The madness of having to pay some $8.00 a pack puts a serious dent in anyone's walking around money. This article is filed under the heading "Benefits of Quitting". However, I would like to refer to these benefits, as blessings. It is truly a blessing not to feel like lighting up immediately after a meal. Sneaking around to smoke when it is looked upon unfavorably by those around you, is then no longer an activity that consumes your time.

Think about the day when you are free of the withdrawal symptoms, and the shakiness and irritability that comes between fixes of your favorite drug, nicotine.  Imagine a day when you can walk up stairs without feeling winded, when you can get out of bed without coughing your head off. These are all blessings. Not the least of which, is throwing down those sticks and knowing that you will no longer smell like an nasty ashtray. Nor will your clothing reek and sometimes sustain burn holes. You will have more money in your pocket. It will be money which you can use to truly treat yourself.

Your sharpened sense of smell will enhance your everyday experience. When you are no longer a slave to the habit, you can enjoy these blessings of freedom. You no longer need to plan how to keep the habit fed, and you can remove those seeds of doubt that constantly nag at you. Will I have to carry around an oxygen bottle or be confined to a hospital bed from emphysema or COPD or cancer? To be released from worrying about those scenarios is indeed not just a benefit, but truly a blessing. Perhaps the most meaningful benefit is that you can again be a role model to a youngster, and that would be the greatest blessing of all.

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Weight Gain & Quitting Smoking No ratings yet.

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It's an urban myth that ex-smokers always gain weight as soon as they quit. Only a small number actually gain more than a couple of pounds and this usually occurs during the first few months of quitting. This is largely because smokers generally weigh less than non-smokers, although the reasons for this are not clear. It is known that nicotine speeds up the metabolism by about 10% which would cause a smoker to burn around 200 calories per day more on average than someone who doesn't smoke. Smoke also damages the taste buds which makes food less enjoyable and a cigarette distracts the smoker from eating and therefore ingesting calories.

A few tiny changes in your diet and lifestyle will keep the flab at bay while you're quitting. Try choosing fruit or yoghurt instead of crisps or chocolate; cut down alcohol to one or two small drinks per week and use low fat spread on your toast instead of butter. You could also swap your usual mints for sugar free ones too and nibble on fruit or carrot sticks instead of boiled sweets.

Some people experience an increased appetite when they quit smoking, probably because their sense of taste and smell gets better. It can also be tempting to replace your usual after dinner cigarette with extra nibbles or polish off left overs. The best way to fend off hunger pangs is to eat little and often. Stick to three main meals each day but make sure you have a piece of fruit or yoghurt to hand for mid-morning and afternoon snacking. Never go shopping on an empty stomach – it's virtually impossible to walk past the sweetie display at the checkout without picking up something sweet and full of calories!

Despite what many diet books would have us believe, it's actually easier to keep your weight stable if 55 to 60% of your daily food intake consists of complex, unrefined carbohydrates. Examples of complex carbs are; fruit and vegetables, potatoes, wholemeal bread, rice, pasta and porridge.

Exercise is great for helping you quit as well as keeping your weight under control. And did you know that the greater your muscle mass, the more calories you will burn as your metabolism increases? Exercise also reduces any stress you may be feeling while you're going through the process of quitting and will treble your sense of achievement and motivation. After all, not only are you winning the war against the dreaded ciggies, you're also getting yourself fit and losing weight! Win, win win!

And even if you do put on a couple of pounds, always remember that quitting cigarettes is the best move you can make for your health so never let a small setback like that deflect you from your ultimate goal. Even if you did put on two stone in weight (which you won't), your future health would be far less compromised than it would be if you continued smoking.

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Realism- COPD and Relationships No ratings yet.

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Most cases of COPD are caused by smoking. But there is about a 20% chance that the illness is caused by other pollutants in the air besides cigarette smoke. Nearly everyone is vulnerable, due to what they inhale. In the past, COPD was mostly something men got, until recently, when it was found that more women are smoking. Women are actually a bit more subseptible to this disease because their lungs are smaller.

COPD, or common obstructive pulmonary disease is a term for several lung disorders such as chronic bronchitas and emphysema. After having trouble catching your breath and coughing for several years and finally getting a diagnosis from the doctor, there may be some familial grieving and even some depression that needs some support.

COPD has generally taken several decades to creep up on a perso,n and so they may be rather out of shape and even living a more sedetary lifestyle. Physical activity can help a person feel better. Getting up and moving, doing some exercises like bike riding, all of this can give a person with COPD more lung capacity and help them to live a better life.

30 minutes of exercise daily, or even three sets of ten minute sessions daily can do the trick. Using an inhaler will make it easier to begin with. Your local hospital probably has a program for COPD patients where they can learn to improve their breathing by learning to exercise and reduce stress. This should also include a resistance training program to improve balance, stability and muscle strength.

Many patients ask if they should give up their sexual relationships and the answer is no. Sex is actually good relaxation and physical activity.

If the COPD patient is still smoking, it is a good idea to ask for support from his or her family. Helping your loved one to relax will help them with COPD symptoms and make life more enjoyable. For women, COPD may get even more advanced. She needs to have her partner understand that she may be less energetic than he is.

Family members might offer to accompany their loved one to the gym or on walks. Having a buddy can really help exercise go by more quickly and be more enjoyable. Reach out to family members who seem to be reclusive after getting the COPD diagnosis. Take them to get groceries or for a walk in the park. Some COPD patients who use oxygen equipment do not like to be seen. Actually, the equipment is becoming much smaller and easier to handle and manuver, and it is becoming more common to see people using it.

Depression is common after the diagnosis. Having family members and friends who have become knowledgeable about COPD can help the patient feel better about themselves. We all need that sometimes. Those who have severe cases, should join a program where they can meet other people in the same situation. A good choice of a program is Better Breathers Club. They have social gatherings and occasional guest speakers and some have an exercise program. To contact a Better Breathers Club in your area, you will want to call your local hospital or the American Lung Association.

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Manhattan’s First E-cigarette Store Opens No ratings yet.

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E-cigarettes are the latest tool in the armoury of those looking to kick the smoking habit for good. Almost overnight the electronic cigarette business has mushroomed and there are now dozens of brands to choose from. It was only a matter of time before the traditional street corner tobacco kiosk was joined by an e-cigarette specific equivalent, and sure enough Manhattan's first such store opened on the Lower East Side last week. This venture joins their other small operation Queens and there are plans to open a second large store in Brooklyn later in the year.

The store exclusively sells e-cigarettes and accessories and customers are encouraged to sample the various flavours and nicotine strengths on offer before they buy. The featured brand is VapeNY. The cigarettes can be tailored to customers' specific requirements; flavour and strength etc. You can even choose different colours and patterns. Users concede that e-cigarettes don't taste the same as the real thing although if the vapour is right, the experience is pretty close to smoking for real.

Demand for e-cigarettes is now so great and growing so rapidly that established major brands such as Playboy and Marlboro have recently announced their intention to launch their own brands. E-cigarettes are proving contentious however as they fall into a grey area as regards regulation. Public health organisations are demanding caution and have expressed the need to further investigate and assess potential risks.

In the UK, e-cigarettes are currently permitted in pubs, restaurants and bars although there have already been calls from anti-smoking groups for their use to be banned. These groups argue that the impact of their use on health has not been fully investigated. It is also feared that children may be attracted to e-cigarettes because of their many fruity and sweet flavours and the fact that they look "cool". This may ultimately lead to children taking up smoking for real. Minors under the age of 16 are currently prohibited from purchasing the devices.

E-cigarettes are powered by a battery which uses the heat reaction as the user inhales to vaporise the nicotine-filled liquid cartridge and in doing so creates a smoke-like mist. The resultant vapour is a mixture of water, vegetable glycerine and propylene glycol. Recent research published by the University of Catania in Italy indicates that 10% of e-cigarette users reported the devices assisted them in giving up smoking. Other reports from unspecified sources however suggest that inhaling the vapour they produce can actually cause respiratory problems including blockages. The general consensus among users is that it is the toxins and tar contained in tobacco and smoke that are dangerous to health, not the nicotine. It is not thought likely that anyone could overdose on nicotine from "vaping" e-cigarettes.

One thing is for certain; e-cigarettes are here to stay and if they help to save the lives of those who take up "vaping" instead of smoking, that can only be a good thing.

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Tips For Dealing With Nicotine Withdrawals While Quitting No ratings yet.

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Quitting an addiction, particularly when the substance is smoking, is one the hardest things to do. The body and mind are very powerful, especially in working together. When starting to quit, have a plan about what to do when the nicotine withdrawals start to occur, so that you don't go back to smoking.  You also don't want to resort to binge eating and go from one addition to the next, and then back again.

Yes this is very hard. When you work three times as hard at it, I think you will be more successful in not going back to it. Here are a few tips:

1. Choose your method to quit, date and time.  Some of you may want to cut down one cigarette a day until the pack is done and not go back to it. Others may want to quit cold turkey.

2. Have a plan ready for when nicotine withdrawals occur. It should be a plan with goals that doesn't involve food or going back to smoking. Utilize this plan fully until your through this stage.

3. If you can do pushups when you feel the withdrawals, do them. Seriously!

4. Meditate and your mind to a place that you want to be.  Or do other forms of meditation.

Here is one meditation exercise to get through your withdrawals: You are in a bike race. You notice in your peripheral vision that the person behind you is coming up on your left to pass you. As that person passes you, you notice that they are the new you winning, leaving the old you behind. How do you feel now?

Work very hard at it.  Keep these tips in mind and keep focused. Add in some exercise and good nutrition. Here's to wishing you well with your new healthier life.

 

 

All votes and comments are welcome.

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COPD- After the Diagnosis No ratings yet.

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Instead of the being out of breath just because of age, you now know that it is COPD chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Just doing common household chores or taking a walk can make the majority of COPD patients experience shortness of breath. This disorder includes a group of Read more

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Hearing Loss Linked to Prenatal Smoking No ratings yet.

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In the past few years, many discoveries have been made about the type of damage that smoking during a pregnancy can cause. A particular study, recently published on the JAMA Otolaryngology, describes one of such latest findings.

Often, teenagers will encounter trouble hearing, and this had been attributed for a long time to the use of headphones, the proclivity to attend loud concerts and other similar causes. However, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey that took into account youths between the ages of 12 and 15 in 2005 and 2006, confirmed that about 16% of the parents admitted to prenatal smoke exposure, and subsequently, the children in this subgroup were three times as likely to experience hearing loss as the children whose mothers had not smoked during the pregnancy.

Smoking as an epidemic

The widespread use of tobacco means that pregnant women are more and more commonly smoking during the early stages, even if they do quit down the line. However, it has been discovered that those that smoked even just for the first trimester, many times before they even found out they were pregnant, also had repercussions on the health of their children.

The only viable solution is quitting smoking preemptively, as due to the nature of pregnancy and the cycles and lifestyle of a particular woman, several weeks could pass before a pregnancy is detected. This could lead to the mother inadvertently smoking or engaging in other damaging acts even if she willingly quits them down the line.

Among the consequences of loss of hearing in adolescents, the natural issue of a potential disability is not top of the list. Studies report that loss of hearing can result in a diminished IQ, it could also have social and academic effects, and could even result in the child dropping out of school or engaging in damaging behavior.

Image: Freedigitalphotos.net

Thanks for reading this post. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section and do not forget to vote if you like it.

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The Warning Signs of COPD No ratings yet.

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COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease was once thought of as coal miner's disease or a man's disease but it is now being detected more in women as well. According to the National Hearth Lung and Blood Institue or NHLBI 12 million people have the disease and as many more may not be aware that they have the early stages.

If the disease is detected early lung damage can be slowed down or even stopped. Educating yourself and knowing the symptoms and treatment options can help you save your own life or that of a loved one.

COPD is a disease that slowly kills healthy lung tissue, chronical bronchitis is also characterized by a smoker's cough and is caused by inflammation and can cause bronchial scarring, and emphysema is where the air sacs lose their flexibility and makes it hard for oxygen to enter the bloodstream making it very hard to breath. This makes for more mucos, coughing and infections.

Air trapped in damaged or dying parts of the lungs keep the lungs from operating at full capacity and the patient will have trouble breathing. There is no cure to this disease because no one has discovered a way to make new lung tissue. At age 35 people will begin to lose about an ounce of lung tissue per year. This is normal and not a problem in healthy people. But for the smoker this amount of loss is quadrupled and increasing the probability of becoming oxygen dependent. After 40 or 50 years of loss this could make it difficult to do the most menial tasks.

The symptoms of the disease are the same in men and women. The progression of the disease seems to be faster in women especially if they continue to smoke or are diagnosed at a later stage.

Shortness of breath is the major symptom of COPD. And coughing up clear mucos. In the early stages most patients are fine setting or resting but have a problem with breathing just walking afew feet. It's time to see the doctor if you suddenly become winded riding a bike, getting groceries or walking the dog. Early detection of the disease may slow its progression. And the right medication can improve lung function by opening the airways.

COPD is detected by a lung function test. The two step non-envasive test is called a spirometry. It can detect the disease before you have symptoms or tack its progression. The air flow range is figured by age, weight and smoking history.

Quitting smoking will halt the distruction process but continuing to smoke destroys the lung tissue continuously and makes living with COPD harder.

Like asthma drugs COPD medications are inhaled. The two common drugs used are salmeterol and budesonide/formoterol fumarate dihydrate and fluticasone propionate. They were originally designed for asthma sufferers but have been regulated by the FDA for use in COPD. The most common side effect is dry mouth. These drugs can be expensive and aren't covered by Medicare or insurance. Alternative remedies such as herbs, accupunture and …….. have no scientific information to support their use.

There are two surgical treatments used but they are short term solutions. The first most common surgery is lung volume reduction surgery which removes about 30% of each lung which help air to circulate better. And one that is an in-patient procedure. A surgical incision through the breast bone with the effected tissue being removed through the chest. And one less evasive one which uses incisions on both sides of the chest removing the damaged tissue. These require 5-10 days in the hospital and weeks of rehabilitation. And it is a short term solution because the disease usually comes back in two or three years.

There is a new option that is being testing in the U.S. Minimally invasive valves shaped like an umbrella are put into the lungs with a flexible tube called a bronchoscope by way of the mouth or nose. This is said to redirect air flow to healthier areas from the diseased ones.

COPD is a irreversible condition but some patients have been able to manage the condition for more than 20 years. The best option, ofcourse, is to not start smoking in the first place.

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