The Important Link Between Symptoms of COPD and Nutrition

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The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has estimated that as many as 12 million adults are now diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and yet another 12 million may be living with the disease and not even be aware of it. COPD generally hits in middle age, with smoking as the top contributing factor. Ongoing exposure to chemicals and dust also raises a person’s risk factor.

If you or a senior loved one has been diagnosed with COPD, making healthy lifestyle choices can make a significant difference in the severity of symptoms. Not only that, but knowing the links between COPD and nutrition, and following a healthier diet can help those with COPD feel better, gain increased strength needed for breathing, and help fight off chest infections.

Follow the recommendations below from the care team at San Diego Home Caregivers, top providers of home care and dementia care in San Diego, to better manage the symptoms of COPD:

  • Never skip breakfast. For someone with COPD, breathing burns upwards of ten times more calories than for those without COPD, so starting the day with a healthy and balanced breakfast can provide the calories and nutrients needed for the day.
  • Consume more potassium. COPD patients who take diuretics will need extra potassium. Good choices include oranges, bananas, potatoes, and tomatoes.
  • Drink plenty of non-caffeinated liquids. Fluids help to thin mucus in the air passageways. But caffeine can conflict with some medications and lead to restlessness, so stick with non-caffeinated fluids.
  • Avoid gas-inducing foods. Foods like beans, fried foods, and carbonated beverages that produce gas and bloating may make it more difficult for someone with COPD to breathe. Try to avoid these types of foods to prevent symptom flare-ups.
  • Reduce sodium intake. Sodium can lead to water retention, making it more difficult to breathe, so it’s best to stay away from foods that contain more than 300 milligrams of sodium per serving. Sodium-free spices like parsley, garlic, oregano, basil, curry, onion, rosemary and lemon juice are all wonderful alternatives.

San Diego Home Caregivers, providers of the best home care San Diego has to offer, is highly skilled in working with COPD patients and their families to help manage COPD symptoms and ensure the home is safe and free from irritants. Contact us today at (619) 487-9000 to learn more ways we can help seniors with COPD and nutrition.  San Diego Home Caregivers is there to help you on your journey on how to care for aging parents.

Clean Indoor Air Benefits Individuals Diagnosed With COPD

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If you’re providing COPD care for an older loved one, you’re probably aware that outdoor air pollution can make symptoms worse. However, did you know that reduced air quality in the home can also lead to problems? Cleansing the air in the home can help those with COPD – and everyone else – breathe more easily.

The home care team at San Diego Home Caregivers recommends keeping the following COPD care strategies in mind:

  • Prohibit Indoor Smoking. Don’t smoke or allow others to smoke in the home of a person with COPD. If there is a woodstove or fireplace in the home, realize that it can also be a source of irritation for someone with COPD.
  • Reduce Chemical Exposure. Chemicals in the home such as paint and cleaning products can trigger COPD symptoms, so reduce the use of them, and be sure to keep lids on cleaning products when not in use. It’s also a good idea to look into healthier cleaning options, like baking soda and vinegar.
  • Minimize Dust. Wash bed linens weekly, remove clutter, and keep pets off furniture in order to limit the amount of dust and dander.
  • Purify the Air. Utilize an air filtration device with a HEPA filter. Even though air pollution is not as hazardous in rural areas as it is in the city, someone with COPD will still benefit from filtering the air and clearing away irritants and toxins.
  • Sweep Floors Often. Keeping floors clean reduces allergen buildup. Bear in mind that hardwood floors are easier to keep in an allergen-free state than carpet and rugs.
  • Use a Humidifier. Dry air from the heating system can make COPD problems worse, as can air that is too damp. Strive for a level of about 40% humidity inside the home for someone with COPD.

COPD patients can breathe easier with the help of San Diego Home Caregivers. We can provide:

  • Helpful information about COPD care and management
  • Exercise recommendations to ease symptoms
  • Nutrition and dietary tips
  • Skills to best contend with symptoms
  • And a full range of home care services

Our professionally trained home care team will first provide an in-home assessment to develop a care plan to address needs. San Diego Home Caregivers is here to help with personalized Carlsbad home care services. Contact us any time at (619) 487-9000 to learn more about the many ways home care can help.