How COPD Patients can Reduce the Symptoms of Dry Mouth

4 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

  2. Memon says:

    My mother is ILD patient and take contineuosly oxygen on 8 ltr . Her mouth become dry she have many problm to eat any thin becoz of mouth dry plz suggest any good medcn r gel ..
    She take delta cordril 2 tbl in morning

    1. Harry Rossiter says:

      Dear Memon,

      I would suggest you ask your oxygen provider, physician, and dentist for help and recommendations. Dry mouth can cause dental problems so dentists are concerned about this. Here are some of the things that have helped other patients:
      • drink plenty of fluids during the day
      • avoid salty foods
      • make sure the oxygen is going through a humidifier
      • keep water at the bedside and take frequent sips
      • suck on hard candies
      • try something like Biotene dry mouth spray that you can get at the drug store. This also comes as a gel or mouth rinse, but the spray seems to work the best. It is convenient and a few squirts seem to help immediately
      • if you have air conditioning or heat in the winter for her bedroom, a seperate room humidifier might help
      • remember than many fruits (such as watermelon) have a large percentage of water. If she is on fluid restriction, concerned about having get up to urinate too often at night, or sucking on hard (sugar free) candies hurts her mouth, try freezing grapes, or other pieces of fruit like watermelon, for her. Stick a toothpick in little watermelon squares for her to make them easier to eat. Grapes are more convenient.

      I hope some of these suggestions help. Your mother is fortunate to have you trying to help her.

      With best wishes,

      Mary Burns RN, BS

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