How Diet Can Affect COPD Symptoms

According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, an estimated 12 million adults are currently diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and it’s estimated that another 12 million may be living with the disease without even knowing it. It’s also worth noting that COPD usually strikes in middle age, with smoking as the primary risk factor. Consistent exposure to occupational dusts and chemicals also presents a high risk factor.

If you have been diagnosed with COPD, living healthier can make a difference in symptom severity. In fact, eating a healthier diet can make a person with COPD feel better, gain vital energy needed for breathing, and fight chest infections.

Follow these tips to help manage COPD symptoms:

  • Eat your breakfast. For a person with COPD, breathing burns ten times more calories than it does for a person without COPD, so starting your day off with a healthy breakfast can give you the calories and nutrients you’ll need for the day.
  • Increase potassium. COPD patients on diuretics may require more potassium. Try oranges, bananas, potatoes, and tomatoes to get the healthy potassium you need.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, but hold the caffeine. Fluids help keep mucus in the airways thin and easier to clear. But caffeine can interfere with some medicines and may cause restlessness, so stick to non-caffeinated beverages.
  • Avoid gas-inducing foods. Foods like beans, carbonated beverages, and fried foods that cause gas and bloating can make it harder to breathe. Try to avoid these kinds of foods to stave off COPD symptom flare-ups.
  • Sodium can cause water retention, which makes it harder to breathe, so it is best to avoid foods that have more than 300 milligrams of sodium per serving. No-salt spices including garlic, oregano, basil, curry, onion, parsley, rosemary and lemon juice are all good alternatives.

Hillendale is experienced in working with COPD patients and their family members to manage symptoms and ensure that the home is a safe environment and free from irritants. Our in-home care helps sufferers manage COPD through education, exercise, nutritional support, psychological support and coping skills. Call Hillendale today at 925-933-8181 or contact us online to learn more about managing COPD symptoms. We service Walnut Creek, Lafayette, San Ramon, Danville, Pleasant Hill, Alamo, Concord, Moraga, Antioch, Clayton, and the East Bay area.