PERF Monthly Newsletter – August 2017

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Here is a roundup of the articles, news & updates that we've published on the PERF blog site during the past month. Click on the "Read More" link at the bottom of each excerpt to read the full article.

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Life Hacks For The COPD Patient: 5 Tricks & Tips To Track Your Medications

If you’re living with COPD, chances are you’re taking regular medication – either for your COPD or for some other condition. We all know that it’s important to take your medications at the time of day and frequency prescribed, but it’s even more critical when you’re dealing with a condition like COPD. Other conditions that your medications are helping to manage – such as high blood pressure or edema – could affect your COPD symptoms.

So, here are some helpful tips to keep your medications on schedule at all times:

Use A Day-Of-The-Week Pillbox

Use a multi-chambered pillbox labeled with the days of the week. You can buy inexpensive pillboxes that consist of one strip of chambers, one for each day of the week, or double- or even triple-strip boxes that are labeled by both days of the week and times of day. You can buy pillboxes with either standard or extra-large chambers to accommodate a few or a lot of pills.

…Read more


Genetic Causes of COPD [Video]

COPD can develop from a number of causes, one of which is a rare genetic condition called Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency. In this video, Charles Strange, MD, of the Medical University of South Carolina, explains how this condition contributes to COPD and describes which patients should be tested for it via a simple blood test.

…Watch the video



Singing Despite COPD? No, Singing to HELP COPD

A recent email exchange between a research fellow at Haukeland University Hospital in Norway and PERF board member Mary Burns, RN, BS, about singing with respiratory disorders, brought up memories and a funny story that Mary has given us permission to share. The researcher wrote:

In the past 6 years, I have been investigating dysfunctional breathing and related respiratory conditions in a diverse population (in neonates, COPD and asthma patients as well as in athletes).

I visited Janos Porszasz last week at UCLA and he drew my attention to the PERF website, where I found some interesting blog reports related to singing and respiratory disorders. I had been involved in a project back in the UK investigating the health benefits of singing in patients with COPD and I thought our research might be of interest to you.

Here is Mary’s response:

…Read more


We Made It! $10,000 Raised for Needed Equipment. Thank You To All Who Donated.

Just about a month ago we announced that we were almost three-quarters of the way to our goal of bringing in $10,000 for much-needed equipment to use in our research laboratory, a recipient of PERF funds. The needed state-of-the-art machines are a wireless oximeter used to record pulse rate and pulse oximetry during 6-minute and shuttle walk tests, and a hand-held spirometer to measure forced vital capacity (FVC) and the forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) in patients. This equipment is to advance screening, testing, and research for COPD patients while optimizing resources and staff time.

…Read more



More Proof that e-Cigarettes May Spur More Teens to Smoke

Big U.S. tobacco companies know what they’re doing; many are developing e-cigarettes; battery-powered implements shaped like cigarettes that contain a heating element and a supply of flavored liquid nicotine. When the element heats the liquid, it vaporizes it, creating “smoke” that the user then inhales. The tobacco companies are marketing these e-cigarettes and teens are a substantial part of the market.

Study Shows Teens Respond to e-Cigarette Ads, Especially on TV

A national study of over 10,000 teenagers who were shown advertisements for tobacco products found that their recall of brand names was higher for e-cigarette products than other traditional items such as conventional cigarettes and chewing tobacco. Of all the types of advertising tested, television ads were the strongest impression-makers.

…Read more


What Happens When You Drink Alcohol with COPD?

If you’ve been diagnosed with COPD, of course you’re told that you should eat healthy, exercise, get adequate sleep, and avoid triggers such as pollen if you have allergies. Must you extend this whole “live a clean and healthy life” regimen to alcohol consumption as well? Or can you go ahead and have a drink when you want to, without affecting your COPD symptoms?

The first advice is to consult with your doctor. He or she knows your symptoms, your level of fitness and general health, and can give you the best advice on the subject. However, it’s good to educate yourself as well. Here are some things to know about drinking when you have COPD:

Alcohol Lowers Glutathione Levels

Glutathione is an antioxidant that’s found within the lungs, and when you drink alcoholic beverages, the alcohol in them will lower your glutathione levels.

…Read more


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