Nutrition for patients with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
1. What is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease?
Smoking is the most common cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. As the lung becomes more damaged over time, it becomes increasingly difficult to breathe. As the damage spreads, the lungs also become unable to get enough oxygen into the bloodstream and remove excess carbon dioxide. These changes all lead to shortness of breath and other symptoms.
Treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease often helps control shortness of breath, cough and sometimes, can slow the progression of the disease. The most important thing you can do to improve your condition is to stop smoking and avoid inhaling secondhand smoke.
2. How is food related to the breath?
The process of converting food into fuel in the body is called metabolism. Oxygen and food are the raw materials of this process, and energy and carbon dioxide are the finished products. Carbon dioxide is a waste product that we exhale.
Carbohydrate metabolism produces the most carbon dioxide, so for some people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, eating a diet low in carbohydrates and high in fat helps them breathe easier.
3. Nutrition for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
For weight loss: Choose fresh fruits and vegetables instead of bread and pasta because of the majority of complex carbohydrates. To gain weight: Eat a variety of whole-grain carbohydrates along with fresh fruits and vegetables. Limit simple carbohydrates like table sugar, candy, cakes, and regular soft drinks. Eat 20 to 30 grams of fiber each day, from items like bread, pasta, nuts, fruits, and vegetables.
3.2. Protein Get a good source of protein at least twice daily to help maintain strong respiratory muscles. Good protein choices include milk, eggs, cheese, meat, fish, poultry, nuts, and dried beans or peas.
For weight loss: Choose low-fat protein sources like lean meats and low-fat dairy products. For weight gain: Choose higher-fat proteins, such as whole milk, whole milk cheese, and yogurt.
To lose weight: Limit your intake of these fats. To gain weight: Add these types of fats to your meals. Limit foods that contain trans fats and saturated fats. Examples: Butter, lard, meat fat and skin, hydrogenated vegetable oils, shortening, fried foods, cookies, crackers and cakes.
Note: These are general nutritional guidelines for people with COPD. However, everyone's needs are different. So talk to your doctor before you change your diet
3.4. Vitamins and minerals Many people find it helpful to take a multivitamin. Usually, people with COPD take steroids. Long-term steroid use can increase your calcium needs. Therefore, consider taking a calcium supplement. Look for more foods that contain vitamin D. Calcium carbonate or calcium citrate are good sources of calcium. Before adding any vitamin to your daily routine, be sure to discuss it with your doctor.
3.5. Sodium Too much sodium can cause edema (swelling) or increase blood pressure. If you experience swelling or high blood pressure, talk to your doctor about how much sodium you should be eating each day. Ask your doctor about using spices and herbs in seasoning and other ways you can reduce your sodium intake.
3.6. Fluids Drinking plenty of water is not only important to keep you hydrated, but it also helps keep mucus thin for easier removal. Talk to your doctor about how much water you should drink each day. A good goal for many people is to drink 6 to 8 glasses (8 fluid ounces each) per day. Don't try to drink too much water at once, though; spread out throughout the day.
Some people find it very helpful to fill their water tank every morning with enough water they need to drink for a day. Remember, any healthy liquid that doesn't contain caffeine counts towards your fluid goal, and most foods also contribute a significant amount of fluid.
4. Use of medical nutrition products
5. Dietary suggestions for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
In order to improve service quality as well as meet the requirements of comprehensive health care, Vinmec now also deploys convenient medical services such as a lung cancer screening package, which is especially useful for those patients who regularly smoke and are exposed to tobacco or have a history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and many other respiratory diseases.
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