Sunday, April 27, 2008

Lessons in COPD, Emphysema

Those of us with COPD, Emphysema, Asthma oftentimes must step outside the box to make ourselves better; to help ourselves and the quality of our lives. The following offers a lot of info on how to help ourselves fight the attack of the oxidants. We truly must fight to holdfast to our stability and to diligently seek ways to hopefully restore our lung power and breathing abilities. Hoping this helps. It is rather lengthy but well worth the read. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive and debilitating lung disease. The disease is characterized by irreversible airflow limitation in the lungs.

The umbrella of COPD encompasses the following conditions:
Emphysema, in which the alveoli in the lungs, the tiny sacs where oxygen transfer takes place, are destroyed and enlarged;
Chronic bronchitis, or the permanent inflammation of airways, accompanied by a chronic cough.

COPD exacts a tremendous toll on society. It affects more than 16 million people in the United States, and by 2020 it is expected to rise from the sixth- to the third-most-common cause of death in the world (Kasper DL et al 2005). Unfortunately, there is no single safe and effective treatment. However, because COPD is an inflammatory disease in which sufferers are subjected to high levels of oxidative stress, high doses of antioxidants and natural anti-inflammatories may be able to slow the disease’s progression and reduce the amount of prescription medication needed.

Inflammation and Airway Restriction
The major cause of COPD in the United States is cigarette smoking, although it has also been linked to other factors, such as hyperresponsive airways, respiratory infections, and exposure to dust and environmental pollutants. The longer and more heavily people smoke, the more likely they are to develop COPD.

COPD is usually a progressive disease that develops slowly, often over the course of decades. In a typical case, a cigarette smoker would experience declining lung function for many years before being diagnosed with COPD and receiving therapy. During those years, while the disease is developing, the lungs are undergoing several changes characteristic of the disease.

The bulk of lung tissue is composed of alveoli, or tiny sacs, where the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place. One of the primary factors in COPD is emphysema, which occurs when alveoli enlarge and cluster. This process destroys the very sensitive areas where gases are exchanged across thin walls. Emphysema occurs in stages. First, chronic exposure to an irritant, such as cigarette smoke, causes inflammatory cells (such as macrophages and neutrophils) to gather in the airspaces of the lung. These inflammatory cells release chemicals that damage the extracellular matrix of the lung, that is, the proteins that are responsible for providing structure to the lungs. Finally, the ability of the lung to repair the extracellular matrix is compromised, resulting in the coalescence of alveoli into larger, less efficient air chambers.

People with emphysema also suffer from airway obstruction, especially in airways less than 2 mm in diameter. A number of changes occur in these airways that aggravate the disease, including hypertrophy of smooth muscle cells, the formation of scar tissue in the airway walls (fibrosis), and the infiltration of inflammatory cells.

Underlying all this damage is an inflammatory response mounted by the immune system. In a typical case, cigarette smoke in the lungs would come into contact with macrophages (immune system cells) that normally patrol the airspace. In response to the toxins in the smoke, the macrophages release inflammatory chemicals and begin to recruit more immune-system cells, which in turn release more inflammatory chemicals, as well as enzymes that degrade the extracellular matrix.

These changes in the lung are detectable but incremental. Symptoms appear gradually and may actually have been present for many years before a patient seeks medical treatment. Coughing, sputum production, and breathlessness are the characteristic symptoms associated with COPD. Early in the disease, the patient’s physical examination may even be normal. Later in the disease, however, patients sometimes develop the classic “barrel chest” associated with COPD. It occurs because residual air is trapped in the lungs, leading to their hyperinflation. In addition, the increased effort required to exhale can produce wheezing, while pursed lips or grunting respirations may signal the patient’s efforts to keep the airways open by increasing pressure at the beginning of expiration (Lim TK 1996).

COPD is a variable condition, with some patients having more symptoms of emphysema, such as breathlessness and “air hunger,” while others manifest more symptoms of chronic bronchitis or asthma, such as wheezing and air trapping (Kasper DL et al 2005). The manifestations of COPD are not limited to the lungs. COPD also puts patients at increased risk of atherosclerosis and osteoporosis. Poor lung function and poor nutrition may cause muscle weakness, abnormalities in fluid and electrolyte balance, and depression.

Genetic Causes of COPD
Although cigarette smoking is the major risk factor for COPD, in recent years researchers have uncovered genetic abnormalities that may make people more susceptible to the disease. Hereditary deficiency of an enzyme called alpha-1 antitrypsin confers significant increased risk (Kasper DL et al 2005). Unlike other forms of COPD, lung damage in alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency appears relatively early in life (Lee P et al 2002). Patients with alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency also may have liver disease and other organ system damage, and they are more vulnerable to the damaging effects of cigarette smoke (US National Library of Medicine 2005).

Variations in other genes may explain some of the variability in severity and age at onset of COPD, and researchers hope to identify markers of these genes that will permit early identification of people at the greatest risk (US National Library of Medicine 2005; Meyers DA et al 2004).

Diagnosis and Conventional Treatment
COPD should be considered in any individual with a chronic cough, sputum production, shortness of breath, or risk factors such as tobacco use, alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, or occupational exposure to dust and chemicals. Diagnostic testing should include pulmonary function tests (PFTs). PFTs determine lung volume and capacity and take dynamic measurements, such as the amount of air the patient can force out of the lungs during a given time interval. The results of PFTs are used to determine the severity of COPD, which in turn can establish the likely prognosis and may help guide treatment (Pierson DJ 2006). Other tests, such as x-rays, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging, may be performed if complications such as pneumonia are suspected.

COPD cannot be cured, in part because it usually is the result of years of development. According to the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease, effective COPD management has the following goals (Global Strategy 2004):

Preventing disease progression
Relieving symptoms
Improving exercise tolerance and health status
Preventing and treating complications and exacerbations
Reducing mortality

Among the most important steps for smokers is to quit smoking immediately. Studies have shown that if smoking is ceased early in the disease, the rate of lung decline might be slowed to that of a normal nonsmoker (Kasper DL et al 2005).

Bronchodilators are first-line therapy for COPD (Sutherland ER 2004). This large group of drugs includes the following (Weder MM 2005):

Beta agonists, or agents derived from adrenaline (such as albuterol)
Anticholinergics, or agents related to atropine (such as ipratropium)
Methylxanthines, or agents related to caffeine (such as theophylline)

All three categories have some effectiveness, but all three also produce significant side effects, such as increased heart rate and blood pressure, trembling, and cardiac arrhythmias. The anticholinergics, particularly some of the more recent long-acting agents such as tiotropium, may provide the best combination of tolerability and duration of action (Koumis T 2005).

Side effects of these drugs include chest pain, blurred vision, and more.

Theophylline has fallen out of use in the industrialized world because of better alternatives, but its low cost and wide availability make it a still-useful agent in less-developed countries (Weder MM 2005).

Patients who cannot be maintained on bronchodilators may need to start an inhaled steroid medication. At low doses, these medications are safe, and they have been shown to contribute to an improvement in quality of life for patients suffering from COPD (Calverley PM 2004).

When COPD patients experience an exacerbation of their disease, more aggressive medical therapy may be required. The most commonly used medications in this situation are the short-acting bronchodilators, which are sometimes used on an as-needed basis to relieve acute symptoms (Chorostowska-Wynimko J 2005; Urbano FL 2005). Inhaled and occasionally oral steroid medications may be added as well. If the acute exacerbation is caused by a bacterial infection, antibiotics may be prescribed.

The most severe exacerbations of COPD require hospitalization, often with mechanical ventilation in an intensive care unit. Unfortunately, ventilatory management of COPD patients is complex and has many pitfalls. This has led to increased use of home, noninvasive, positive-pressure ventilation systems that may stave off the need for more-aggressive treatment (Brochard L 2003; Wijkstra PJ 2003).

New drugs
About 70 therapeutic drugs are in development for related COPD needs. The newest class of drugs is phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitors; two of these, roflumilast and cilomilast, may be available in the near future (Business Wire 2004). Phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitors produce bronchial smooth muscle relaxation by taking away the intracellular stimulus that maintains contraction. This effect is similar to that of the other bronchodilators, though it is produced by a different and more targeted mechanism and produces fewer side effects.

These drugs have been shown to reduce inflammation, improve lung function, decrease exacerbations, and improve quality of life (Vignola AM 2004).

Researchers are also reporting amazing results with retinoic acid, a biologically active form of vitamin A. In a mouse model of emphysema, retinoic acid was able to completely restore lung architecture and alveolar function (Hind M et al 2004; Maden M et al 2004). Human studies have been similarly encouraging.

In one randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, all-trans-retinoic acid was administered in low doses to 20 patients with severe emphysema. The drug was well tolerated, with few side effects, and the researchers called for longer studies with higher doses (Mao JT et al 2002). The same group of investigators also found that retinoic acid restores the balance of important enzymes called matrix metalloproteinases that are thought to contribute to alveolar breakdown (Mao JT et al 2003).

Flu vaccines
Flu vaccines can reduce COPD exacerbations, serious illness, and death by 50 percent. They are given in the fall or twice a year, in fall and winter. Vaccines that prevent infection with the bacterial organism pneumococcus can reduce complications such as pneumonia and may reduce the rate of exacerbations of the disease. (Alfageme I et al 2006; Ansaldi F et al 2005).

Nutritional Therapy
Medications and surgery can be effective in treating symptoms, but they do little to prevent disease progression. Mortality rates from COPD are still high, and quality of life is often severely impaired.

Nutritional supplementation aimed at increasing antioxidant capacity and reducing inflammation may offer significant added value (Schols A 2003; Romieu I et al 2001). In addition, people with COPD have increased energy requirements because it is harder for them to breathe. Difficulty breathing may affect eating, potentially resulting in malnutrition. Proper nutrition through a balanced diet and appropriate supplementation is important in COPD management.

Because of the role of oxidant stress in causing and perpetuating COPD (Drost EM et al 2005) and the low levels of natural antioxidants in patients’ tissues (Kluchova Z et al 2006; Rahman I et al 2006; Nadeem A et al 2005), antioxidant supplementation may be helpful (Kelly FJ 2005; Spurzem JR et al 2005; Romieu I et al 2001).

Vitamins A, C, and E. Levels of vitamins A and E are significantly lower during exacerbations of COPD than they are in stable COPD, suggesting that antioxidants should be used during exacerbations (Tug T et al 2005). Although vitamins A, C, and E are beneficial, vitamin A may be most important because it catalyzes removal of the most reactive form of oxygen radical (Tug T et al 2005). Serum levels of vitamin A are lower in those with moderate or severe COPD. Vitamin A supplements for 30 days improved performance on PFTs in one small study (Paiva SA et al 1996).

Vitamin E levels are low in smokers, increasing their susceptibility to injury from free radicals. Vitamin E supplementation can reduce the risk of COPD in smokers (Daga MK et al 2003). Serum vitamin C levels are also frequently reduced in COPD (Tug T et al 2005). High-dose vitamin C may prevent oxidant-mediated lung injury during inflammation. Vitamin C also reactivates vitamin E that has been depleted by oxidant molecules.

Coenzyme Q10. When coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) was given to eight COPD patients with low levels of the nutrient, they experienced improved oxygenation of blood without a change in lung function. Oxygen pressure significantly improves, and heart rate decreases. Exercise performance increases. CoQ10 affects muscular energy metabolism in chronic lung diseases (Fujimoto S et al 1993).

N-acetylcysteine. N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is a powerful antioxidant that protects against toxins, including acrolein, found in cigarette smoke. NAC is a selective immune-system enhancer, improving symptoms by breaking down mucus and preventing recurrence of lung illness such as chronic bronchitis. Supplementation with NAC reduces exacerbation and improves chronic bronchitis (Stey C et al 2000).

L-carnitine. Respiratory infections increase the frequency and severity of exacerbations. L-carnitine may boost immune function, enhance fatty acid and glucose energy metabolism, and prevent wasting syndrome. In one very recent human trial, carnitine improved exercise tolerance and the strength of respiratory muscles in COPD patients; levels of the metabolic by-product lactate, which causes fatigue, were also reduced (Borghi-Silva A et al 2006).
Bromelain. Bromelain, which is present in the pineapple fruit, can benefit stable COPD patients and decrease exacerbations by reducing mucus production (Bernkop-Schnurch A et al 2000). Individuals allergic to pineapple may be sensitive to bromelain. Gastritis can be aggravated by bromelain (Jaber R et al 2002).

Essential Fatty Acids
Essential fatty acids are those that cannot be produced by the body and must come from dietary or supplemental sources. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential in modulating toxic inflammatory responses. Omega-3 fatty acids such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) protect against damaging inflammatory reactions and, with vitamin E, build healthy cell membranes and repair tissues (Ergas D et al 2002; Fernandes G et al 1996).
The destructive effects of chronic inflammation on cellular structures can be reduced by supplementing with EPA and DHA, which repair both cell and mitochondrial membranes (Chapkin RS et al 2002). Mitochondrial membranes, because of their involvement in energy production, are especially susceptible to oxidant damage.

Supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids improves oxygen transfer in adult respiratory distress syndrome, a condition in which oxidant damage and inflammation cause impaired lung function. Omega-3 supplements have been shown to be beneficial in patients with COPD. One study showed a significant improvement in dyspnea and pulse oximetry levels and a decrease in inflammatory markers in serum and sputum in a group of patients receiving supplementation, compared with controls (Matsuyama W et al 2005). Higher dietary levels of omega-3 fatty acids may protect smokers against COPD (Shahar E et al 1994).

Nondrug Strategies
Smoking cessation and patient education. The major cause of COPD is cigarette smoking. Comprehensive smoking cessation programs include counseling, organized “quit” plans, and when necessary, nicotine replacement therapy (such as gum, inhalers, skin patches, and other methods). Drugs such as bupropion (Wellbutrin®) are also effective when taken under a doctor’s care (Cornuz J 2006). Both hypnosis and acupuncture may be helpful in quitting smoking (Zwick H 2005). The National Network of Tobacco Cessation Quitlines at 1-800-QUITNOW (1-800-784-8669) can provide information on finding a quitline in any geographical area in the United States.

Exercise programs. Because air passage is obstructed in COPD, the lungs and heart work harder to carry oxygen throughout the body. Exercise programs strengthen chest muscles and facilitate breathing. Multidisciplinary pulmonary rehabilitation programs provide well-monitored exercise programs.

Breathing exercises. Breathing exercises induce relaxation and make breathing easier. Pursed-lip breathing stimulates relaxation, increasing oxygen intake and preventing shortness of breath. It has been shown to increase exercise tolerance and shorten recovery times (Garrod R et al 2005). Breathing exercise regimens are an important part of a COPD rehabilitation program. Respiratory therapists working closely with physicians can specify the best regimen for each individual (Beckerman M et al 2005).

Oxygen therapy alleviates a lack of oxygen but increases oxidative stress, potentially increasing damage to airways. Patients with COPD are known to have reduced antioxidant capacity (Kluchova Z et al 2006; Rahman I et al 2006), which may be further diminished by oxygen therapy (Nadeem A et al 2005). A recent study, however, demonstrated that supplemental oxygen actually reduced levels of oxidant molecules and inflammatory cytokines in exercising patients with COPD, presumably by supporting normal metabolism and preventing stress-induced oxidant species from being produced (van Helvoort HA et al 2006).

Surgical interventions are becoming more important in COPD as techniques improve (Kasper DL et al 2005). When alveoli coalesce in emphysema, they can form large blebs, or bullae; surgical removal of these bullae can help restore lung volume and allow remaining healthy parts of the lung to function better. Similarly, lung volume reduction surgery has been used successfully to improve lung function and quality of life. Lung transplantation is also a consideration for COPD sufferers.

Life Extension Foundation Recommendations
Any patients with COPD, emphysema, or bronchitis are urged to stop smoking and to limit their exposure to environmental toxins whenever practical. Additionally, exercise, breathing exercises, and oxygen therapy may be helpful, as well as the use of steam and hot-mist vaporizers. If the breathing difficulty results in trouble eating, a strong multivitamin that includes magnesium is recommended to prevent malnutrition and restore energy to damaged cells.
Studies have shown that retinoic acid has a remarkable ability to restore alveolar architecture. Retinoic acid is available as Vesanoid (tretinoin) for the treatment of leukemia, but it can be prescribed for COPD.
In addition, the following nutrients have been shown to restore antioxidant capacity and help reduce inflammation:
Vitamin A—25,000 international units (IU) daily
Vitamin C—3000 milligrams (mg) daily
Vitamin E—400 IU daily (with at least 200 mg gamma tocopherol)
NAC—600 mg, three times daily
CoQ10—200 to 400 mg daily
Omega-3 fatty acids—1000 mg DHA and 1400 mg EPA daily
Gamma-linolenic acid—900 to 1800 mg daily
Acetyl-L-carnitine—2000 to 3000 mg daily
Bromelain—500 mg at the beginning of each meal

Product Availability
All the nutrients and supplements discussed in this section are available through the Life Extension Foundation Buyers Club, Inc. For ordering information, call anytime toll-free 1-800-544-4440, or visit us online at

The blood tests discussed in this section are available through Life Extension National Diagnostics, Inc. For ordering information, call anytime toll-free 1-800-208-3444, or visit us online at

COPD Safety Caveats
An aggressive program of dietary supplementation should not be launched without the supervision of a qualified physician. Several of the nutrients suggested in this protocol may have adverse effects. These include:
Acetyl-L-carnitine can cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea and diarrhea.
Consult your doctor before taking bromelain if you are taking anticoagulants or antithrombotic agents. Bromelain can thin the blood.
Bromelain can cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea and diarrhea.
Bromelain can cause bleeding from the uterus between menstrual periods (metrorrhagia) and excessive uterine bleeding during menstruation (menorrhagia).
Coenzyme Q10
See your doctor and monitor your blood glucose level frequently if you take CoQ10 and have diabetes. Several clinical reports suggest that taking CoQ10 may improve glycemic control and the function of beta cells in people who have type 2 diabetes.
Statin drugs (such as lovastatin, simvastatin, and pravastatin) are known to decrease CoQ10 level.
Consult your doctor before taking EPA/DHA if you take warfarin (Coumadin). Taking EPA/DHA with warfarin may increase the risk of bleeding.
Discontinue using EPA/DHA 2 weeks before any surgical procedure.
Consult your doctor before taking GLA if you take warfarin (Coumadin). Taking GLA with warfarin may increase the risk of bleeding.
Discontinue using GLA 2 weeks before any surgical procedure.
GLA can cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea and diarrhea.
NAC clearance is reduced in people who have chronic liver disease.
Do not take NAC if you have a history of kidney stones (particularly cystine stones).
NAC can produce a false-positive result in the nitroprusside test for ketone bodies used to detect diabetes.
Consult your doctor before taking NAC if you have a history of peptic ulcer disease. Mucolytic agents may disrupt the gastric mucosal barrier.
NAC can cause headache (especially when used along with nitrates) and gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea and diarrhea.
Vitamin A
Do not take vitamin A if you have hypervitaminosis A.
Do not take vitamin A if you take retinoids or retinoid analogues (such as acitretin, all-trans-retinoic acid, bexarotene, etretinate, and isotretinoin). Vitamin A can add to the toxicity of these drugs.
Do not take large amounts of vitamin A. Taking large amounts of vitamin A may cause acute or chronic toxicity. Early signs and symptoms of chronic toxicity include dry, rough skin; cracked lips; sparse, coarse hair; and loss of hair from the eyebrows. Later signs and symptoms of toxicity include irritability, headache, pseudotumor cerebri (benign intracranial hypertension), elevated serum liver enzymes, reversible noncirrhotic portal high blood pressure, fibrosis and cirrhosis of the liver, and death from liver failure.
Vitamin C
Do not take vitamin C if you have a history of kidney stones or of kidney insufficiency (defined as having a serum creatine level greater than 2 milligrams per deciliter and/or a creatinine clearance less than 30 milliliters per minute.
Consult your doctor before taking large amounts of vitamin C if you have hemochromatosis, thalassemia, sideroblastic anemia, sickle cell anemia, or erythrocyte glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency. You can experience iron overload if you have one of these conditions and use large amounts of vitamin C.
Vitamin E
Consult your doctor before taking vitamin E if you take warfarin (Coumadin).
Consult your doctor before taking high doses of vitamin E if you have a vitamin K deficiency or a history of liver failure.
Consult your doctor before taking vitamin E if you have a history of any bleeding disorder such as peptic ulcers, hemorrhagic stroke, or hemophilia.
Discontinue using vitamin E 1 month before any surgical procedure.

Note from Luna: Always consult your physician and/or pharmacist prior to adding to, taking from or altering your medications. Also, be sure to check with your pharmacist to ensure that any herb and/or vitamin supplement will not have an adverse effect on you or your medications. Some herbs and meds just do not mix well at all. So please err on the side of caution.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Reshaping of Life ~ COPD, Chronic Lung Disease, Emphysema

This came today in one of my many newsletters. I found it particularly meaningful for us COPD'ers. As we all know, a lot of reshaping is done with COPD. We're tested, pounded on, disciplined. I know I've been out on that ledge many times and will probably climb out there again! God bless all who take the time to read it. And thank you for playing in and visiting the COPD Light House today.

Anvil Time
by Max Lucado

On God’s anvil. Perhaps you’ve been there.

Melted down. Formless. Undone. Placed on the anvil for…reshaping? (A few rough edges too many.) Discipline? (A good father disciplines.) Testing? (Buy why so hard?)

I know. I’ve been on it. It’s rough. It’s a spiritual slump, a famine. The fire goes out. Although the fire may flame for a moment, it soon disappears. We drift downward. Downward into the foggy valley of question, the misty lowland of discouragement. Motivation wanes. Desire is distant. Responsibilities are depressing.

Passion? It slips out the door.
Enthusiasm? Are you kidding?
Anvil time.
It can be caused by a death, a breakup, going broke, going prayerless. (Luna's Note: It can also be caused by COPD. I know. I've been there.) The light switch is flipped off and the room darkens. “All the thoughtful words of help and hope have all been nicely said. But I’m still hurting, wondering…..”
On the anvil.
Brought face to face with God out of the utter realization that we have nowhere else to go. Jesus in the garden. Peter with a tear-streaked face. David after Bathsheba. Elijah and the “still, small voice.” Paul, blind in Damascus.
Pound, pound, pound.
I hope you’re not on the anvil. (Unless you need to be, and if so, I hope you are.)

Anvil time is not to be avoided; it’s to be experienced.
Although the tunnel is dark, it does go through the mountain.
Anvil time reminds us of who we are and who God is. We shouldn’t try to escape it. To escape it could be to escape God.

God sees our life from beginning to end. He may lead us through a storm at age thirty so we can endure a hurricane at age sixty. An instrument is useful only if it’s in the right shape. A dull ax or bent screwdriver needs attention, and so do we. A good blacksmith keeps his tools in shape. So does God.
Should God place you on his anvil, be thankful. It means He thinks you’re still worth reshaping.


Thursday, April 17, 2008


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a term used to categorize a number of lung diseases like emphysema, chronic bronchitis and chronic asthma. Living with lung disease is not easy, and there is no cure for COPD. However, there are affective ways to manage and improve COPD using alternative medicine. Acupressure /Acupuncture, Guided Imagery, Massage therapy, Yoga, and Biofeedback can all be very effective in improving the condition of COPD.

Acupressure and Shiatsu-- are both finger pressure massage systems based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), A hands on medicine that has been around for a few thousand years. This gentle approach help people with COPD start breathing easier. The idea is to treat special points along meridians, invisible channels of energy flow within the body. The pressure unblocks the energy and restores comfort. Acupuncture achieves the same goal by using simulating needles to the same points on the body and improve the function of different organs.

Studies show increased relaxation outcomes in people with COPD who use Guided Imagery Techniques. Relaxation is one of the methods of dealing with the anxiety and nervousness, which often accompanies COPD. Guided imagery is a meditative relaxation technique sometimes used with biofeedback. Audiotapes, books, are available as well as interactive guided imagery, classes, workshops and seminars to help you with this therapy.

Massage has come to be regarded as a complement to conventional medicine. Many of its positive effects seem to be mediated by increasing relaxation and decreasing stress hormones such as cortisol. For chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a massage can strengthen respiratory muscles, reduced heart rate, increase oxygen saturation in blood, decrease shortness of breath, and improved pulmonary functions.

The controlled breathing in yoga can ease anxiety, provides relaxation, and more oxygen to the blood stream. The exercises help open blocked airways caused by bronchitis or emphysema, which are linked to COPD, and improve the function of circulation. Simple yoga moves can even aid those with advanced COPD.

Those who suffer from COPD may believe exercise will make their condition worse, but studies have showed that simple exercises helps improve endurance, reduces anxiety levels, which in turn helps those with COPD to breathe more easily and improve their ability to perform normal activities.

Home Remedies Suggestions:For hacking cough, that robs you of breath several times a day, try this suggestion from an herbalist-simple place a few drops of essential oil of frankincense on a handkerchief (or tissue) and inhale ever hour or so as needed.

Also for hacking cough, try this acupressure treatment with a partners help. Find the bump in the spine where the neck and shoulders meet. Apply pressure to points directly on ether side of the bump, the amount of times depend on the severity of the cough. This treatment can be repeated throughout the day.

Vitamin C and magnesium improve lung function in the cases of those suffering from COPD.

Massage gently the lung area meridian from the top of shoulder to the end of your thumb to help clear chest of mucus. Also, massage between the shoulder blades. Then try applying a warm ginger compress to the chest and back. To make a ginger compress use 2 quarts of water and 5 ounces of grated ginger. Make the water very hot but do not boil it. Steep for 15 minutes, strain, apply as a compress by soaking a small towel in the tea, and then apply.

Try black tea, many COPD sufferers turn to tea for relief from tightening in the chest. Black tea contains chemicals related to the stimulant theophylline, which is also the basis of many modern medical remedies. Three or four cups of black tea can open airway passages and ease breathing.

Ginkgo when used regularly the active ingredient has helped some patients to cut down on prescribed medication. Taken three times a day for a week or a month at a time. Ginkgo helps relax the lungs and keeps the breathing passage clear. Check with your Doctor before taking this herb.

Chewing on comfrey leaves: Comfrey leaf helps because it stimulates new cell growth and support quick healing. This makes it an excellent natural remedy for the lungs. It inhibits the cough reflex, softens and soothes damaged and inflamed bronchial mucus membranes. It helps to loosen mucus from the bronchial tubes so that it does not accumulate. You can buy comfrey leaf or root in various forms. There was a report of a man who had chronic asthma for 30 years. One night his sleep was better than most nights. Not realizing why, he thought back to what he did the day before and remembered eating comfrey leaves. Now he eats them everyday because of the notable improvement with his asthma.

Check with your Doctor before taking this herb.

Anyone with COPD should consult his or her physician before undergoing any Alternative therapy. Also, speak with your health care provider if you are considering herbal, homeopathic, and other natural remedies to avoid any interactions with your current medication.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Most of us know what it feels like to struggle to catch our breath when we're running, biking, or trying to keep up with the latest aerobics video.

"People with emphysema experience shortness of breath when performing very simple daily activities such as brushing their teeth, taking a shower, and even eating," says Lisa Schulz, a respiratory therapist at the National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine in Denver.
As the disease progresses, however, a stroll through a garden or just a walk from the house to the car may leave you gulping for air like a goldfish.

Emphysema involves irreversible damage to the air sacs inside the lungs where the vital exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place. The air sacs lose their elasticity, making it hard to exhale fully. So the lungs remain filled with stale, oxygen-poor air, and fresh air can't get in.

This lung damage doesn't happen overnight, says Sally Wenzel, MD, associate professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver. "Most people with emphysema are long-term smokers or former smokers who develop this condition in their fifties and sixties," she says. "And these days, almost as many women as men get the disease, as more long-term female smokers hit middle age and beyond."

If you still haven't been able to kick the smoking habit, try imagining your life with emphysema.

People with severe emphysema use pressurized oxygen to get around. A new surgical procedure called lung reduction surgery also helps people with emphysema to better use the remaining good parts of their lungs. These additional tactics can help damaged lungs work their best.

Pucker up and blow. An exercise called pursed-lip breathing helps people with emphysema move more stale air out of their lungs with each exhalation, says Dr. Wenzel.
To do this exercise, inhale fully through your nose, purse your lips as though you are going to blow out a candle, and then, after holding your breath for a second or two, exhale slowly and fully for a count of at least six. "I tell people to hold the back of their hand 3 to 5 inches away, facing their mouth," says Betty Booker, a respiratory therapist and pulmonary rehabilitation coordinator at University Hospital in Denver. "If they can feel their breath on the back of their hand, they are exhaling really well." Pursed lips provide a little resistance that maintains air pressure in airways. "That keeps the airways from collapsing before air has left the lungs, which can happen in people with emphysema," says Dr. Wenzel. "That's what traps stale air in the lungs and makes it even harder to breathe." Most people do pursed-lip breathing during exertion if they feel short of breath, Schulz says. "It can require a little practice initially, especially to exhale slowly and fully, but it is very relaxing. We also encourage people to do it whenever they feel short of breath or anxious."

Breathe from your belly. To take deep breaths that fill your lungs with air from the bottom up, you need to properly use your diaphragm, the sheet of powerful muscles that create the vacuum that makes your lungs fill.
"You can learn to do this while lying down, sitting up straight in a hard chair, or standing," says Schulz.
Place your hand on your belly, relax your belly, then inhale slowly through your nose, concentrating on relaxing your abdomen so that your diaphragm drops down and your belly expands. When exhaling, pull the abdomen in and the diaphragm up, to slowly push the air out of the lungs through pursed lips. "People can learn to focus their energy on certain muscles or on certain areas of their lungs to breathe more efficiently," Schulz says. "It takes concentration and practice, but it works."

Position yourself for better breathing. "Some people with emphysema can actually get in more air if they lean forward and place their forearms on a table or shopping cart," says Karen Conyers, a respiratory therapist at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City. Most other times you'll want to sit or stand up straight, keeping your belly relaxed. "This allows your diaphragm maximum movement," she says.

Shake a leg. It's a vicious circle. People with emphysema tend to become more and more sedentary. "The gradual reduction in activity is barely perceptible to most people, but the less they do, the less they are able to do," Conyers says.
Although exercise won't improve your lungs' function, it does improve endurance, Dr. Wenzel says. "It helps the heart and other muscles to use available oxygen more efficiently, so people can do more."

Most people with emphysema can walk on a treadmill or outdoors, or use a stationary bicycle. It's best to check with your doctor first if you haven't been active, says Dr. Wenzel.

You can be tested to see if you do better getting supplemental oxygen while you're exercising.
Some people begin with only 2 minutes of walking before they need to rest. "But once they get past 2 weeks or so, they see their endurance begin to pick up and they are willing to extend the time more," Booker says. "Some really get into it." Their goal isn't marathons, but to be able to do simple activities without hauling an oxygen tank.

Don't be passive about smoke. Chances are it's cigarette smoke that damaged your lungs in the first place. So you want to avoid even secondhand smoke. "This can be really hard for people whose friends still smoke," Schulz admits.
Get extra oxygen when flying. Cabin pressures on airplanes can lower blood oxygen levels enough to cause problems for people with lung disease, Dr. Wenzel says. You won't be allowed to bring your own oxygen tank onto the plane, but many airlines can arrange for supplemental oxygen during a flight if they have advance notice.

Drink enough water. Aim for at least eight glasses of water, juice, or the equivalent a day, says Dr. Wenzel. "Being well-hydrated thins out mucus in the lungs, making it easier to remove."

Dress loosely. Clothes that pinch you around the waist make it hard to breathe properly, Dr. Wenzel says.

Eat wisely. Don't eat so much that you become uncomfortably full, Dr. Wenzel says. "The size of meals is very important. If you eat too big a meal, your stomach pushes up on your diaphragm and you can't breath properly."

Guard against girth. Just as a full belly can cramp your diaphragm, so can weight around the middle, Dr. Wenzel says. "If you can keep your weight normal, you'll have fewer problems."

When to See a Doctor
If you have emphysema, you should be seeing your doctor regularly for checkups. That's because labored breathing can put a big strain on your heart. If your symptoms seem to be worsening, if you have congestion in your lungs, or if you have swelling in your legs, see your doctor as soon as possible, says Dr. Wenzel.

And be sure to line up early for flu shots. Add an acute infection to a chronic disease, and you have the potential for deadly trouble. "I tell my patients to get flu shots every year as soon as the shots are available, usually in October," says Dr. Wenzel.

If you feel like you're getting a cold or the flu, or if you have fever, chills, or severe coughing, you should get to a doctor quickly for antibiotics or other treatment. Don't wait, Dr. Wenzel says.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


The above link will take you to a short movie that is very informative about COPD and Emphysema and the treatments available. It also shows a smoker's lung before quitting and after quitting. Awesome photos!

You will learn the different inhalers and steroids as well as hear a little bit about 02 therapy. The doctor covers a lot in a short time.

I hope this short video helps you. It is awakening for those who have not yet seen the difference in the lung prior to and after quitting.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

COPD'er/Emphysema~1 Easy Step to Boost Your Immune System

Again, from Mike's newsletter. 1 very easy step to improved immune system. Enjoy and good health!

Just a quick tip today on a very simple way to make every meal you eat a lot healthier... here it is:

Make sure to ALWAYS include at least 1 source (or more) of high-antioxidant food or drink with each and every meal or snack you eat. This could be many different things...

*iced green, white, oolong, or red tea (unsweetened or very lightly sweetened with raw honey or stevia)

*hot tea (unsweetened or very lightly sweetened with honey or stevia)*pure unsweetened cocoa

*berries (blue, straw, rasp, black, etc)

*red wine (in moderation...still high cal so watch the quantity)

*raw and cooked vegetables

What I like to strive for is to try to get at least 1 vegetable with every meal I eat. Usually for bigger meals like dinner, I'll try to get at least 1 raw vegetable (or a full salad) and at least 1 cooked vegetable (there are benefits to both raw and cooked vegetables).

In addition to at least 1 vegetable with every meal, it's a huge benefit to at least try to get some other form of antioxidant-rich food/drink into the meal. For example, if you're having a smoothie, you could add pure cocoa powder(unsweetened) to the smoothie;

Or if you're having a turkey sandwich, you could add a glass of unsweetened tea and/or a handful of berries;

Or if you're having a piece of sprouted grain toast with almond butter, you could add a cup of hot green, white, or oolong tea with it.

You get the idea.

It goes a long way to helping your body battle free radicals by having a constant supply of natural antioxidants with each meal.

*One last note for today:
If you'd like some extra motivation to get in great shape by summer (and win some cashola in the process), my colleague Rob Poulos is having a contest (similar to the old Body for Life contests), and you could win your share of $2300 in cashola by entering! All you have to do is grab a copy of Rob's Fat Burning Furnace program, and then you can enter the contest. What do you have to lose? Nothing but a lot of body fat and possibly make some decent coin at the same time! Go to the following site to enter (once on the page, click the link below the days counter for the contest info):

(Note from Luna: I went to the above site and clicked on the link just below the counter and received the 40+page free ebook totally free of charge. In only minutes I had it in my email. So, you can get the info for free. YAY!)

That's all for today.
Til next time,Don't be lazy... be lean.

Mike Geary
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Monday, April 7, 2008


The following is my newsletter from Mike, the Nutritionist and Trainer. Just FYI, I have no monetary or other investment ~ interest in Mike's Newsletter or the website he mentions in the following letter. I do, however, share his interest in the Omega 3 meats and its benefits to our health. Omega 3 has helped me with the COPD/Emphysema as well as healthier heart. So, I want to share this newsletter with my fellow COPD'ers and all others who wish to further build their immune systems and get healthier. Enjoy. And thank you, Mike, for all your hard work and the sharing of information.

I know you've heard all of the buzz over the last few years about the health benefits of wild salmon and other fish that have higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids.

However, did you know that there's a "land meat" that has similar omega-3/omega-6 ratios as wild salmon? In fact, this "land meat" not only contains as much, or even higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, but without the possible negatives such as heavy metals (mercury, etc) and PCBs that can be found in fish frequently.

I've talked about this type of meat before and how it's one of the healthiest forms of meat you can possibly eat... It's grass-fed beef and other grass-fed ruminant meats such as bison, buffalo, lamb, and venison.

Now I know that a lot of people will try to convince you that meat is not good for you... and to be honest I partially agree with them when it comes to your typical factory farm-raised meat where the animals are fattened up with huge quantities of grains & soy that are not their natural diet & given unhealthy doses of hormones, antibiotics, etc.

However, when animals are healthy and eat the diet they were meant to eat naturally, the meat is actually healthy for us.

Let's take beef for example... When cattle eat mostly grain and soy, the fat composition of their meat becomes higher in inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids and lower in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids.

On the other hand, when cattle eat mostly grass instead of grains/soy, their meat becomes higher in omega-3s and lower in omega-6 fatty acids. In addition, grass-fed beef also contains much higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has shown some promising benefits in studies for losing body fat and gaining lean muscle mass.

A similar comparison can be made between wild salmon and farm raised salmon. Wild salmon is a healthier option than farm raised salmon and has higher levels of omega-3s because the wild salmon eat what they're supposed to eat naturally. On the other hand, farm raised salmon are fattened up unnaturally with grain/soy based food pellets which detrimentally changes the salmon's fat ratio of omega-6 to omega-3.

The problem is that it is VERY hard to find healthy grassfed meats in typical grocery stores. In fact, even at health food stores, you might find some "organic" meats (which is at least a little better than standard), but it is often hard to find any real grass-fed meats.

Well, about 2 weeks ago, I did some searching and found a great website that sells all kinds of varieties of grass-fed healthy meats...

They have everything you could ever want... grass-fed burgers, filet mignon & any other quality beef cuts, grass-fed buffalo, grass-fed cheeses, and even free-range chicken and turkey!

And better yet, they deliver it right to your house with no shipping costs either... and I actually found that the prices were pretty comparable to what I usually pay at the grocery store anyway.

I'll tell ya... I was like a kid in a candy store when I found this site. I placed my order for all kinds of goodies on a friday, I got a shipping notification email that Monday, and my delivery came right to my door the very next day in a sealed cooler... I couldn't believe the service I got from this company.

Wouldn't it give you peace of mind to know that you and your family are eating meat that is actually good for you instead of the mass produced junk at most grocery stores? I know I'm getting most of my meat from them from now on.

Everything in my order ended up being awesome... here's my recommendations:

*the grass-fed filet mignons (delicious and tender!)
*grass-fed burgers and bison burgers when I need a quick but healthy 5-minute meal (use some grass-fed cheese and sprouted grain roll for the ultimate balanced meal)
*the free-range chicken and turkey sausages (makes great italian dishes or healthier breakfast sausage)
*grass-fed cheese and butter (higher in CLA and omega-3 than normal butter or cheese)
*they even have free-range turkeys available for upcoming thanksgiving (you won't find free-range turkeys in stores)

Plus, besides getting much healthier meat than you'd ever find in the store, another benefit to this site was that it was like doing my grocery shopping from my living room, instead of fighting the crowds at the store.

Well, they've got me hooked, and thought I'd pass on this little discovery to you. Here's the site again...

(FYI - from looking at the site, I believe you can only order the meats if you're in the US and Canada)


If you liked todays article, feel free to fwd this email on to any of your friends, family, or co-workers that would enjoy it.

Til next newsletter...

Don't be lazy, be lean.

Mike Geary
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Friday, April 4, 2008

COPD And Strong Life Force

A strong life force
By Nicole Laskowski
Thu Apr 03, 2008, 12:31 PM EDT
Arlington, Mass. -

Arlington, Mass. - Prudy Bulger never really knew what chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or chronic bronchitis and emphysema, was until she was diagnosed with it 15 years ago. That was after she started realizing that the simple act of walking was wearing her out more than it used to, after she was admitted to Boston City Hospital because her airways had become so constricted, she was barely able to breathe. After she had a chest x-ray and a handful of breathing tests to find out just what was going on with her. When the doctors reached a diagnosis, Bulger was frightened and didn’t know what she was going to do.

But the biggest concern for Bulger wasn’t the diagnosis alone. It’s that her lungs were deteriorating at such a young age. Bulger is only 56 years old. Ten years ago, she had 25 percent lung capacity. Today, she only has 13 percent capacity. Now she’s hooked up to an Oxygen tank at all times and even has to wear a machine at night to help remove the carbon dioxide build up from her body.

“I’m so young, and the damage is so great that the doctors think some of this might be inherited,” she said. It’s not just her inherent level of susceptibility that may have contributed to her diagnosis. When Bulger was 13 years old, she remembers waking up to electrical fire in the middle of the night. Being what she described as “the rescuer” of the family, Bulger wouldn’t leave the dense smoke until she knew that her parents and all four siblings had successfully vacated the home.

Bulger also said she realizes that her almost thirty years as a light smoker didn’t help matters, which is why she gave that up nearly 10 years ago when she started having trouble breathing.

“I’m not ready to go, that’s for sure,” she said.
Because her breathing is so constricted, she has two aides who come to her home and take care of the shopping and cleaning, sometimes even washing her hair because Bulger finds the task so exhausting. While she’s homebound, she said she’s not an invalid. But she admits that without the help of her aides, she would not be able to stay on top of keeping healthy.

Bulger is now waiting for a lung transplant, her only hope for survival. To help with her chances, Bulger has been traveling back and forth between Arlington and the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio where the waitlist for a lung transplant is much shorter.

Her out-of-pocket expenses, though, in travel and hotel stays are starting to add up, forcing Bulger to borrow money from friends and balance her budget as strictly as possible. And now she’s looking ahead. She knows that it’s going to cost quite a bit of money to have the operation itself. While the operation will be covered by her insurance, it won’t pay for the airfare or the month she may have to stay in the hospital in order to recover. Because Bulger is homebound, she can’t work to save the money. Instead, she’s borrowing from friends, living as strictly as possible on the disability money she receives and is even in the beginning stages of planning a fundraiser in June with the help of one of her aides.

“I have a very strong life force,” she said. “I don’t know where it comes from. I want to live so badly.”

If you are interested in helping Bulger, make checks payable to the Prudy Bulger Transplant Fund. Mail checks to: TD Banknorth, 880 Mass. Ave., Arlington, MA 02476.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Help for Bronchitis, Emphysema, COPD~includes some helpful herbs

Bronchitis means inflammation of the air passages to the lungs. Bronchitis can be acute or chronic. Acute bronchitis is usually due to a viral infection that begins in your nose or sinuses and spreads to the airways. To be considered chronic, you must have a cough productive of sputum at least three months out of the year. Chronic bronchitis occurs most often in smokers and, together with emphysema, is known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Signs and Symptoms

Acute bronchitis:
Cough that produces mucus
Burning sensation in the chest
Sore throat

Chronic bronchitis:
Chronic cough that produces excessive amounts of mucus
Wheezing, shortness of breath
Blue-tinged lips
Ankle, feet, and leg swelling

Acute bronchitis is usually caused by a virus, but can also be caused by bacteria. Generally, acute bronchitis is passed from person to person.

The main causes of chronic bronchitis are cigarette smoking and prolonged exposure to air pollution or other irritants such as dust and grain.

Your provider will listen to your chest and back, look at your throat, and may draw blood and take a culture of the secretions from your lungs. If your doctor is concerned about possible pneumonia or COPD, a chest xray might be ordered.

Preventive Care
The best way to avoid chronic bronchitis is to not smoke and to stay away from air pollutants. To avoid infection that may lead to either acute bronchitis or exacerbation of chronic bronchitis, get an annual flu vaccine and pneumococcal vaccine once in your lifetime.

Treatment Approach
Acute bronchitis from a virus generally clears on its own within 7 to 10 days. Using a humidifier, taking a cough medicine that contains an expectorant (something that helps you "bring up" secretions), and drinking plenty of fluids can help relieve symptoms. If a bacterial infection is suspected or confirmed (by, for example, sputum cultures), your health care provider may prescribe antibiotics to help treat your bronchitis.

DO NOT smoke.
Use a humidifier or steam in the bathroom.
Drink plenty of fluids.
Rest while you have an active infection.
If you have low oxygen levels from chronic bronchitis, home oxygen therapy will be prescribed.

Bronchodilators (such as albuterol) this is an inhaler that can help open up your airways
Corticosteroids -- inhaled or oral to reduce mucus and inflammation
Cough suppressant or expectorant
Antibiotics for bacterial infection

Nutrition and Dietary Supplements
If you have chronic bronchitis, you might want to experiment with different food choices to see if changes to your diet make any difference in your symptoms. As you do this, keep a careful record of how you are feeling (that is, any changes in your symptoms). For example, try reducing your intake of dairy which may increase mucus production. Also, try eliminating eggs, milk, nuts, food coloring, preservatives, and additives. Try adding onions and garlic.

N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC)
A review of scientific studies found that NAC may help dissolve mucus and improve symptoms associated with chronic bronchitis.

Zinc supplementation enhances immune system activity and protects against a range of infections including colds and upper respiratory infections (such as bronchitis).

Other supplements to consider may help prevent you from catching an infection or may help relieve symptoms from bronchitis:

Vitamin C

The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, contain active substances that can trigger side effects and interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, herbs should be taken with care and only under the supervision of a practitioner knowledgeable in the field of herbal medicine.

Barberry (Berberis vulgaris)

This herb contains substances that help fight infection and improve immune function. For this reason, herbalists commonly include barberry in the treatment of respiratory infections like bronchitis.

Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globules)

Eucalyptus is commonly used in remedies to treat coughs and the common cold. Eucalyptus oil helps loosen phlegm, so many herbal practitioners recommend inhaling eucalyptus vapors to help treat bronchitis, coughs, and the flu.

Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)

Peppermint and its main active agent, menthol, are effective decongestants. Because menthol thins mucus, it is also a good expectorant, meaning that it helps loosen and breaks up coughs with phlegm. It is soothing and calming for sore throats (pharyngitis) and dry coughs as well.

Slippery elm (Ulmus fulva)

Slippery elm has received recognition from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a safe and effective option for sore throat (pharyngitis) and respiratory symptoms including cough.

Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica)

Active compounds in stinging nettle may act as an expectorant (meaning that it can loosen and break up a cough) and may have anti-viral properties.


Additional remedies that an herbalist might consider as part of the treatment for bronchitis or its symptoms include:

Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus)
Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia/Echinacea pallida/Echinacea purpurea)
Garlic (Allium sativum)
Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
Ivy leaves (Hedera helix L.)
Jamaica dogwood (Piscidia erythrina/Piscidia piscipula) Note: there has been little to no scientific research on Jamaica dogwood, so the safety and effectiveness of this herb is relatively unknown. Jamaica dogwood is a potent herb and should be used only under the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional.

Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) ? Note: this herb should NOT be used if you have high blood pressure

Linden (Tilia cordata and Tilia platypus)

Lobelia (Lobelia inflata), also known as Indian tobacco ? Note: this herb, which is potentially toxic, should NOT be used without specific instruction from a trained and qualified herbal specialist.

Marshmallow (Althea officinalis)
Red clover (Trifolium pratense)
Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens/Sabal serrulata)

Although very few studies have examined the effectiveness of specific homeopathic therapies, professional homeopaths may consider the following remedies for the treatment of bronchitis in addition to standard medical care. Before prescribing a remedy, homeopaths take into account a person's constitutional type. A constitutional type is defined as a person's physical, emotional, and psychological makeup. An experienced homeopath assesses all of these factors when determining the most appropriate treatment for each individual.

Aconitum -- for early stages of bronchitis or other respiratory disorders; this remedy is most appropriate for people with a hoarse, dry cough who complain of dry mouth, thirst, restlessness, and being awakened by their own coughing; symptoms tend to worsen in cold air or when when lying on one's side

Antimonium tartaricum -- for wet, rattling cough (although the cough is usually too weak to bring up mucus material from the lungs) that is accompanied by extreme fatigue and difficulty breathing; symptoms usually worsen when lying on one's back; this remedy is particularly good for children and the elderly and is generally used during the later stages of bronchitis

Bryonia -- for dry, painful cough that tends to worsen with movement and deep inhalation; this remedy is most appropriate for individuals who are generally thirsty, chilly, and irritable

Hepar sulphuricum -- for later stages of bronchitis, accompanied by wheezing, scant mucus production, and coughing that occurs when any part of the body gets cold

Ipecacuanha -- for the earliest stages of bronchitis accompanied by a deep, wet cough, nausea and vomiting; this remedy is commonly prescribed for infants

Phosphorus -- for several different types of cough but usually a dry, harsh cough accompanied by a persistent tickle in the chest and significant chest pain; this remedy is most appropriate for individuals who are often worn out and exhausted, tend to be anxious and fear death, and require a lot of reassurance

Massage and Physical Therapy
Running a humidifier with an essential oil such as cedarwoord, bergamot, eucalyptus, myrrh, sweet fennel, jasmine, lavender, tea tree, or marjoram at night may help thin mucus and ease cough. Consult an experienced aromatherapist to learn which oil, alone or in combination, is best for you.

Acupuncture can help relieve symptoms of acute bronchitis and, possibly, help improve quality of life for those with chronic bronchitis.

Acupuncturists treat people with bronchitis based on an individualized assessment of the excesses and deficiencies of qi located in various meridians. Needling treatment for bronchitis tends to focus on the lung and spleen meridians. Acupuncturists usually perform other treatments as well to clear the blockage of qi in the chest area. These treatments may include specialized massage, moxibustion (a technique in which the herb mugwort is burned over specific acupuncture points), breathing exercises, lifestyle counseling, and herbal remedies.

Prognosis and Complications

For acute bronchtitis, symptoms usually resolve within 7 to 10 days if you do not have an underlying lung disorder. However, a dry, hacking cough can linger for a number of months.

The chance for recovery is poor for advanced chronic bronchitis. Early recognition and treatment, combined with smoking cessation, significantly improve the chance of a good outcome.

ALWAYS check with your physician and/or pharmacist prior to implementing any new source into your medicinal regimen.
This is information for your use only and is not medical advise or diagnostic. Always, always check with your medical team first.

Supporting Research


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