Jul 31, 2015 PERF Monthly Newsletter – July 2015
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.
How to Explain COPD To Friends and Family
Commercials for COPD treatments are aired on television all the time nowadays, but still, COPD is a disease that’s not well understood by the average person. If you’ve been diagnosed recently and you’re trying to explain to friends and loved ones just what COPD is, here’s a primer:
Probably least helpful is the actual name that COPD stands for: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Most people will respond, internally at least, with: “Great… What?”
My Clinical Trial – A COPD Patient’s Story
I was invited to participate in a research clinical trial at Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, an impressive medical facility located at the Harbor UCLA Medical Center Campus. It sounded so advanced, on the leading edge of medicine and an opportunity to help myself and others suffering from my disease. So I signed up after meeting the basic criteria for entering the study. The Rehabilitation Clinical Trials Center is most impressive with state-of-the-art medical equipment and an internationally known medical staff. The purpose of my trial was to explore the possible positive effects of combining a medicine with a supervised physical training program to see what effects this might have on breathing efficiency and performance.
When Short of Breath, Do Not Trust Your Instincts
Be alert to the early warning signs of a COPD flare-up – increased fatigue, increased sputum and increased cough. Sometimes these symptoms are caused by infections, but it’s just as likely that they’re brought on by other causes, including in some cases an autoimmune component. At any rate, there are things you can do to prevent or minimize these episodes.
An extremely important treatment for COPD is pulmonary rehabilitation, which significantly reduces the episodes of exacerbation and increases exercise tolerance. Pulmonary rehab also is a very effective treatment for depression, it should be noted, which is important in the management of any disease.
Be Nice To Your Lungs
Most diseases are closed within your body, so to speak, so there are treatments you can receive and healthy lifestyle changes you can make, but what you do day-to-day and where you go won’t have much effect on the course of things. COPD is different, because it’s a disease of the lungs, and the lungs are directly connected to the outside environment. In addition to adopting healthy living habits and following the treatment plan that your doctor advises, you can help yourself by being cognizant of the atmosphere around you and making conscious choices to reduce exposure to anything that could make your COPD worse or cause a flare-up.