The latest thing in helping smokers to quit is “talking” cigarettes, it seems! Yes, you read that right. Or not so much cigarettes, as the cigarette packets. Scientists at Stirling University in Scotland have invented cigarette packs which, when opened, verbally warn the user about the dangers of Read more
Stopping smoking is never easy but when you’re expecting a baby, kicking the habit has never been more important.
It is medically proven beyond reasonable doubt that smoking whilst pregnant significantly increases your risk of having: Read more
Common seasonal activities such as basking in the sun, biking or barbecues can be difficult for those who have difficulty breathing. Outdoor activities can bring serious problems for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) which is an umbrella term for long term conditions including chronic asthma, bronchitis and emphysema. The simplest outdoors activities can bring on a COPD flare up. Read more
Common everyday activities for the patient with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease(COPD) is not easy. Eating and dressing and breathing problems can drain you of energy and can also be stressful.
For those people who have smoked multiple packs of cigarettes each day for years thewheezing, shortness of breath, allergic reaction to perfumes and aerosol sprays are probably daily occurences already. The doctor's confirmation probably isn't any surprise.
Even the most mondain daily activities become horrible when you can't breath and have to rest. It all just becomes too much. And by the time COPD has been diagnosed some patients are dealing with only have their lung capacity.
But there are things that people with COPD can do to make their days more productive and enjoyable.
The very first thing is to quit smoking. After smoking for so long quitting won't be easybut breathing will improve alittle but if they continue to smoke the patient will double the amount of lung loss.
Not being around toxic industrial chemicals, cigarette smoke and perfumes will help to not irritate their breathing. Things such as mold, dust, fumes, smoggy days, and second hand smoke. Cover the mouth on cold days because cold air can trigger problemsbreathing.
Exercise is a very good way to strengthen chest muscles and improve breathing. Justwalking for 30 minutes three times a week will help. And they aren't running a race it is for endurance and building lung capacity.
Half of COPD patients are over weight. Eating large meals may push upon the diaphram. Eating several small meals throughout the day instead of three large ones. Be sure to drink plenty of water and avoid gassy foods such as cabbage, soda and brussel sprouts. Being ten pounds over their ideal body weight is best.
Avoiding catching colds and be sure to take flu and pneumonia vaccinations because COPD patients are at greater risk for contracting these diseases.
Getting their rest is important too. Sleeping during the day isn't good, the better quality of sleep is at night. Avoid caffiene after 5p.m. and eat a small protein snack before bed.
Engage in heavy exercise early in the day and rest after ward. If you exercise in the morning a short nap afterward is okay. Standing requires more energy so sit when drying your hair or applying mae up. Conserve your energy. Digesting food takes energy so rest after eating.
Taking up yoga or meditation is smart because it teachs you to control your breathing. Use imagery to help to relax and practice breathing techniques that are approved by your doctor. Become a member of a COPD support group so they have some one to talk to or place to go when under stress.
(Nicotine Part II)
When I stumbled upon the research conducted by Hermann Niemeyer from the University of Chile in Santiago about pre-hispanic societies consumption of nicotine, I was at first stunned.
Let me explain: Read more
How would you like to die?
Would you like to die rich, fighting for every breath while tethered to every conceivable life support system in the medical world? You are surrounded by lawyers, accountants, relatives, and heck, even distant relatives wishing that you would either pass or not. Or would you like to die a poor man, with not a single cent to your name, with only four or five family members attending your funeral? The cheap white casket gleams with the 15 watt fluorescent bulb at the sides, while daisies and mums adorn your surroundings. Guests are served $10 biscuits.
Danny, don't write about this, nobody in the nine hells cares or wishes to read something negative, something utterly dark and forlorn, something that most people would rather like to delude themselves about or pretend to not exist. As I prevent my fingers from doing their dreary dance on the keyboard, I am reminded that the whole point of trying to quit smoking is to try and stop myself from dying. Every puff, every breath, and every stick is a dreary number deducted from the total I will have. Be it thirty-two years, forty, fifty or god forbid 90 years, I am going to die one day. With smoking, that death becomes more painful for me and my family. But open your mind and think about this for a while: who really knows how they're going to die or when?
Save for those who end their lives prematurely, nobody does. It is something beyond our control even with the most stringent of measures applied. Even legendary visionaries in the known world have no control over this phenomenon of mortality. How did Steve Jobs die? Pancreatic cancer. Did he have the means to prevent it? Maybe yes, maybe no. He certainly had the wherewithal to make the event at least comfortable. There are no accounts to indicate that he was a smoker, drinker, or that he suffered from any other terminal addictions. Some even say he was a fruitarian. But he did die of the dreaded disease nonetheless. The argument is weak, I know. And if we put science into the equation, we know that it's just a matter of statistical probability. Our circumstances, habits, environment and genes all play a role in something that we cannot really factor in. At least, not just yet.
So why should we stop smoking if we are going to die nonetheless?
For the more than 12 million people who suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD it is poorly understood. It is several ailments that are characterized by airflow obstructions which includes emphysema, chronic asthmatic bronchitis and chronic bronchitis. Many who have COPD don't even know it.
According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute(NHLBI) these respitory diseases are the fourth leading cause of death after heart disease, cancer and strokes. COPD symptoms are very much like viral respiratory illnesses but if wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing that produces mucus are being suffered by you seeing your doctor is very important for early treatment is key in managing COPD effectively.
Unfortunately there is no cure for COPD but there are medications that will dilate airways and reduce inflammation and exercises to lessen symptoms and strenghthen the lungs.
More women are smoking now days and more women are being found to have the disease. They decline faster than men. And women that smoke the same amount as men are more likely to have greater loss in lung function. This is probably because women's lungs are usually smaller than men's.
Usually COPD is more common in seniors but if they smoke people younger than 65 can develope the disease. A person who started smoking in their teens can develope shortness of breath and wheezing in their 30's or 40's. There may be the early signs of bronchitis or emphazema in the lungs even before the signs of COPD become apparent. For common cancers and heart disease death rates are actually going down but the rates for COPD sufferers are going up. With proper medications and treatments people with COPD can do pretty well but others can develope heart disease and death from respiratory failure. COPD is now the leading cause of death in the U.S.
The life expectancy of a COPD patient can improve drastically if they give up smoking, change their lifestyle, take up a healthy diet, take medication and get on a exercise program. There is less strain on the lungs if the patient also loses some weight. If the patient stops smoking they will prevent more damage to the lungs and they start breathing better.
Ninety percent of COPD patients are smokers. Quitting will make a difference even if the patient has smoked for many years. COPD patients don't all have to use oxygen 24/7. Some with less severe cases only need the oxygen when they are exercizing or sleeping. Taking a spirometry test for lung function can determine if oxygen is needed or not. Those with less than 90% oxygen saturation in their lungs will need supplemental oxygen. Breathing may sap the strength of a COPD patient and they may lose muscle mass and can even become emaciated so they need more daily calories. A healthy diet of fruits and vegetables, and lean protein. This may also prevent malnutrition.
It is a good idea for the COPD patient to talk to their doctor about an exercise program tailored to their particular needs. Low impact exercise such as aerobic conditioning, light weight lifting, tread mill, stationary bikes, walking and swimming will help to strengthen the muscles in the lungs. They will want to build up endurance working slowly and sustain what they are able to do. When exercising outdoors they don't want the air to be too dry, too cold or too wet.
According to a 2009 study of the Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention those who practice deep breathing, power breathing, slow abdominal breathing experience less shortness of breath and increased oxygen absorption.It is recommended that COPD patients get a yearly flu shot, vaccine for pneumococcal infections and booster for pertussis (whooping cough).
Traveling with COPD means doing your homework ahead of time. Airline, buslines and trains may have different regulations regarding breathing and oxygen equipment. So it is best to know ahead of time what is expected of you and what your options are.
Amtrak allows portable oxygen only. Buslines allow them also. If traveling internationally by bus use carry on incase of lost luggage or delays.
Check for the altitude in the area where you are going because in higher altitudes you will want to exercise lighter and will use extra oxygen. Avoid smoggy areas such as Phoenix, Pittsburgh and Los Angelos. When traveling inside a car you may want to use the air conditioning and keep the windows up to avoid smog and exhause fumes that will irritate your lungs.
You will want to call the airlines help desk ahead of time to get permission from the carrier for use of a airline allowed oxygen compressor. You won't be able to sue your own on the plane. You will need to show medical necessity and get permission from the carrier. This will need to be done atleast 48 hours before the flight. It is a very good idea to arrive at the airport early. This part of the trip may be the hardest on a COPD patient due to all the walking, going through the screening and getting to the plane on time. Some carriers expect you to be there an hour early. You will have to get into the special screening line and have your equipment checked through airport security checkpoints.
The Transportation Security Agency does allow nebulizers and respirators and such respiratory related equipment. You will have to have a doctor's note to show necessity to remain connected to an oxygen compressor while you go through the screening and until you get to the gate. After that your will need to change to a concentrator on the plane. You will also need to arrange for a person to pick up the compressor equipment at the gate. This has to be arranged 48 hours ahead of time. If you are having someone meet you at your destination or at a layover this same rule applies. Oxygen rules for international carriers vary so it is important to do your homework.
It is a good idea to have all of the equipment that you use checked before you leave. There are battery operated concentrators that are about the size of a laptop and weigh about 15-20 pounds. Battery power of 150% of your scheduled flight time is required by The Federal Aviation Administration.
High altitudes can trigger shortness so it is a good idea to discuss your destination with with your doctor. The air being thinner at higher altitudes makes oxygen concentration s lower. You may feel sleepy and your blood oxygen levels go out of whack. You may want to check with your airlines because some limits the amount of canisters they allow. And you may want to check with your medical supplier for branches you can visit along the way. This is if you are using compressed air tanks. Or if you have a malfunction with any of your equipment.
If you have allergies you may want to ask for a allergy free room when booking your hotel. Some hotels such as The Hilton offer them. They mean that extra care has been taken to reduce dust and other allergens. Hypoallergic linens, wood flooring, and shades are extra clean in these rooms.
If you plan to be cruising you will want to contact the cruise company 4-6 weeks ahead of time for advance arrangements to use oxygen. You will want to get a letter from your doctor with a brief health history and your most recent oxygen prescription to meet the ship's requirements. In case of an emergency you may want to have a copy of this letter available for the onboard doctor. Cruise ships will be banning smoking in their cabins beginning in 2013. Check with the cruise line because some are still allowing it. Experts advise COPD patients to take copies of their prescriptions, extra medication incase of delays or being stranded. Names of local doctors and numbers for your insurance companies and health care providers, a note from your doctor detailing your oxygen needs and a brief history of your conditions. Hand sanitizers and wipes just incase there are other passengers on board who are sick. All medications, bronchodilators and nebulizers should be in your carry on incase of lost luggage or delays.
If you check ahead and do your homework. then you should have an enjoyable vacation.
Nicotine is popularly known as the addictive compound contained in cigarettes and that's how the market for Nicotine patches and Nicotine gum developed. So, yes, NICOTINE is popularly known but not popularly understood from a scientific perspective, nor from the latest anthropological finding; so let the scholarly adventure begin:
I have been pondering for several weeks about this substance called nicotine: What is it? Where does it come from? How long has it been around? And finally, How harmful is it really?
As most good researchers probably assume, the answers have been coming to me in a sychronistic manner. Today's research is intended to be part 1 of a trilogy.
First, a Merriam webster definition of the popular word Nicotine: a poisonous alkaloid C10H14N2 that is the chief active principle of tobacco and is used as an insecticide.
So never mind that it is addictive, (which does not seem to phase most smokers anyway). What did I just read? POISONOUS. And was that INSECTICIDE? The medical definition also stresses the poisonous nature of nicotine, and the fact that it is used as an insecticide. Those two words alone should steer away any smoker who has an ounce of common sense.
All environmentalists and nature conservationists remember the admirable work of Rachel Carson published as Silent Spring in 1962. Thanks to her relentless efforts, the deadly effects of insecticides on plants, waterways and humans were documented, and now many insecticides such as DDT have been outlawed and some others are being carefully regulated. So what's the link? Well, if DDT is harmful to animals, water, plants and humans, why would anyone want to expose himself to the insecticide-in-disguise called NICOTINE. The American Chemical Society explains this very well,
"Chemicals that don't outright kill, can accumulate in fat tissues causing medical problems." In addition to: "Chemicals can be transferred generationally from mothers to their young".
So even if you don't feel sick, you may be still carrying some serious dormant medical problems from just waiting on your stubbornness to quit doing it's ravaging job on your health. After all, why would anyone want to play Russian Roulette and find out about that one fateful cigarette that ignited it all, after all the times that nothing happened. It could be your fatal bullet.
Having COPD and allergies gives you added respitory problems. The two aren’t related, but having allergies can worsen your COPD symptoms. With allergies the COPD patient has a lot to fight. Coughing and wheezing increase as well as the mucos builds up and viruses and bacteria can settle in airways. These things can need immediate medical attention and increases the likelihood of life-threatening flare-ups. Read more