How COPD Patients can Reduce the Symptoms of Dry Mouth

2 thoughts on “How COPD Patients can Reduce the Symptoms of Dry Mouth

  1. Sandra MacFadyen says:

    I was recently tested for anemia. What is the treatment for this…and how can I gain weight, since I have lost a substantial amount of weight with COPD

    1. PERF says:

      Dr Casaburi just responded to another question on anemia, explaining how the treatment of anemia varies with the cause and the degree of anemia. Please go back and read that at http://blog.perf2ndwind.org/copd-can-lead-to-anemia-and-anemia-can-worsen-copd-exacerbations/. Your physician would decide your treatment based on your blood tests and your physical exam in order to advise you. Sometimes all that is needed is supplemental iron and some dietary suggestions.

      For treating weight loss specifically, suggestions and treatments depend on how underweight you are and why you might have lost weight. Sometimes weight loss indicates a serious underlying condition; be sure to discuss this with your physician. Do you get short of breath eating? Make it a point to eat more slowly. Try eating 5 small meals a day instead of just 3 regular ones. If you are on oxygen your physician might suggest that your oxygen flow be increased a bit. Does the smell of some foods trigger an increase in sputum and coughing? Avoiding certain foods might help with this. Do these problems embarrass you so you avoid eating with others or rush through your meal? Your physician might prescribe between meal and evening supplements such as Ensure, found in drug stores or some grocery stores. You can also request a consult with a dietician.

      Don’t underestimate the value of a referral to a pulmonary rehabilitation program! You can discuss all those problems with the staff; they have more time than your busy physician and can fine tune advice just for you. When patients were started on their exercise regime, I consistently found that as daily exercise increased, the coughing and sputum production of afflicted patients decreased while appetite and weight increased. And on the flip side, obese patients started losing weight! Everyone weighed themselves as they came into class so we could keep track of weight while also watching for unexpected gains due to fluid retention.

      We hope these few suggestions are of help for some of your problems.

      We wish you well!

      Mary Burns, RN, BS

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