Common doctor-prescribed treatments for COPD vary and include a bronchodilator, corticosteroids, PDE4 inhibitors, methylxanthines and oxygen therapy. However, the following natural treatments used in collaboration, are also shown to work:
1. Watch caloric intake
Watching caloric intake is key as a person with severe COPD burn upwards of 10 times the calories than someone without. Nutritionists are important in deciding a proper COPD diet, as they are able to lay out an eating plan to manage weight for those overweight and underweight. Increasing fresh produce while limiting salt intake will help reduce water retention, which also affects one’s ability to breathe.
2. Remove irritants from your home
There are many hidden factors in your home that can make breathing difficult for those suffering from COPD. Removing pesticides, old paints and varnishes, while limiting cleaning products can help. Circulate air through the house by opening windows, or even using air filtration systems. Pet dander and dust are also irritants. It’s imperative that people stop smoking as well.
3. Physical and breathing exercises
Breathing exercises are useful in improving heart and lung function, but also strengthening muscles as a whole. Two of these are considered especially important: pursed lip breathing and belly breathing. Pursed lip entails breathing in through your nose and breathing out at least twice as long through your pursed lips. Belly breathing, also called diaphragmatic breathing, is breathing in through your nose until you feel your stomach rise up. Then breathe out through your mouth to to three times as long. Exercising is a great way to reduce stress and boost mood levels. Those who have COPD are suggested to have pulmonary appropriate exercises from a specialist. Something like yoga is perfect, as it keeps you moving while maintaining focused breathing.
India, China and other Asian cultures are known for their long history of traditional herbal remedies. Rising popularity in western countries have people with COPD searching out ways to supplement their current treatment with a more natural approach. The following supplments have been shown to soothe COPD:
- English ivy is used by herbalists since ancient times to now to help treat COPD, bronchitis, asthma and other respiratory issues by relaxing airways.
- Red sage aids in protecting the lining of blood vessels from injury. For COPD sufferers who have low blood oxygen levels, this antioxidant may help.
- Ginseng has multiple benefits that includes improving the immune system and lung function, and it’s also a stress reducer, anti-inflammatory and energy booster.
- Melatonin aids in reducing oxygen-related stress, helping people breathe easier.
- Turmeric and its antioxidant curcumin are one of the best anti-inflammatories, second to fish oil. It’s believed to block off an inflammatory producing protein.