COPD Foundation Blog

Find inspirational stories, tips from the COPD Coach, events, and current news on the COPD community blog. Have a question regarding COPD that you would like to share with our community? Contact our COPD Coach. Coaches Corner is aimed at providing information for individuals with COPD to take to your doctor, and is not in any way intended to be medical advice. If you would like to submit a question to the Coaches Corner email us at coachescorner@copdfoundation.org. We would love to hear your questions and comments.

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Newly Diagnosed with COPD

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Dear COPD Coach,
I was diagnosed with COPD last week. There is still so much for me to learn and figure out. What lifestyle changes will I need to make?

–Changes

Dear Changes,
You are right in saying there is a lot to learn. The more you are able to learn, the more you will be in a better position to manage your COPD. COPD isn’t a death sentence, but it certainly requires a lifestyle change.

  • Avoid strong chemical odors. This would include strong cleaning solutions, solvents, perfumes. Also avoid pollution, pollen, wood smoke, dust and anything that irritates your lungs.
  • If you smoke, quit! Avoid second- and even third-hand smoke.
  • Take your medications as prescribed.
  • Eat a balanced diet and avoid foods that cause you to feel bloated. Try eating several small meals throughout the day and avoid large meals.
  • Exercise is very important for COPD management. By keeping your muscles toned, they require less oxygen and therefore you will not get out of breath as much during exertion. (Speak with your doctor or respiratory therapist about what exercise would work best for you).
  • Avoid sick people, and when out and about, wash your hands regularly. If necessary, carry a small bottle of hand cleaner. Wearing a mask when out among large groups of people is always a good idea.
  • Try to stay indoors during high pollen or high pollution times. Also avoid going out in extreme heat or cold, as you may experience difficulty breathing.
  • Get educated! Learn to spot the signs of an exacerbation (times when your breathing becomes worse) and contact your doctor before it becomes serious.
  • Use your supplemental oxygen as prescribed.
  • Get involved with a local COPD community support group.

By following these steps, you can greatly affect the progression of your COPD. If you have any questions, call our C.O.P.D. Information Line (866-316-2763) which is staffed by COPD patients and caregivers.

Lastly, please always remember you are not alone. We are here to help if you need us!

– The COPD Coach

Ask the Expert is aimed at providing information for individuals with COPD to take to your doctor, and is not in any way intended to be medical advice. If you would like to submit a question to the Coaches Corner email us at coachescorner@copdfoundation.org. We would love to hear your questions and comments. You can address your emails to any of the following: COPD Coach, Caregiver Coach, COPD Doctor or COPD RT.

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