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Nutrition for patients with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a condition in which the airways in the lungs become inflamed and narrowed (chronic bronchitis) and the air sacs are damaged (emphysema). Besides medication, nutrition also plays an important role in the treatment of COPD.

1. What is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (commonly referred to as "COPD") is a condition in which the airways in the lungs become inflamed and narrowed (chronic bronchitis) and the air sacs are damaged (emphysema).
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?

Most people are surprised to learn that the food they eat can affect their breathing. Your body uses food as fuel for all its activities. The right combination of nutrients in your diet can help you breathe easier. No single food provides all the nutrients you need - a healthy diet includes a lot of different foods.
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

3.1. Carbohydrates Choose complex carbohydrates, such as whole-grain breads and pastas, fresh fruits and vegetables.
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.
Thực đơn cho bệnh nhân COPD
Protein là nguồn dinh dưỡng quan trọng đối với bệnh nhân COPD
3.3. Fats Choose monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which do not contain cholesterol. These are fats that are usually liquid at room temperature and come from plants, such as canola, safflower, and corn oils.
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

You may find it difficult to meet your nutritional needs with common foods, especially if you need a lot of calories each day. Also, if your doctor suggests that you get more calories from fat — the polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, and low-cholesterol varieties — you may not be able to reach this goal easily with other foods. common food. Your doctor may suggest that you drink a liquid called a medical nutritional product (supplement). Some of these products can be used as a complete diet for people who cannot eat regular foods, or they can be added to regular meals for people who cannot eat enough.

5. Dietary suggestions for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Thực đơn cho bệnh nhân COPD
Bệnh COPD nên tránh tiêu thụ những loại thức ăn gây chướng bụng
Rest just before eating. Eat more food early in the morning if you're usually too tired to eat later in the day. Avoid foods that cause gas or bloating. They tend to make breathing more difficult. Eat 4 to 6 small meals a day. This allows your diaphragm to move freely and helps your lungs fill with air and expel it more easily. If drinking liquids with a meal makes you feel too full, limit fluids during meals and drink one hour after a meal. Consider taking a nutritional supplement at night to avoid feeling full during the day. Vinmec International General Hospital is the address for examination, prevention and treatment of many respiratory diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The examination, diagnosis and treatment of diseases are carried out by qualified and well-trained doctors along with modern medical equipment, which will bring optimal treatment results to patients.
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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Reference article: update.com

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