This month, the COPD Foundation is helping us take a closer look at a few of the non-medication things that affect COPD: exercise, nutrition, pulmonary rehab, lung procedures, and airway clearance. These are things that take a different kind of effort on our part, rather than swallowing a pill or taking breathing medications in through an inhaler or nebulizer.
This week we’re looking at nutrition. They say, “you are what you eat,” and we all know that’s true to some extent, whether we have a chronic disease or not. It’s easy to understand how the foods we eat have a big effect on those with some health conditions. Here are few examples: A person diagnosed with diabetes has to be careful with how many sugary foods they eat. A person with Crohn’s disease may have problems from consuming dairy, fiber, and spicy foods. Folks with gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) may have to avoid chocolate and caffeine, and those who have heart disease have to watch their intake of saturated fats and sodium. But what if you have COPD? That’s a lung disease. We don’t put food into our lungs, so how does what we eat have any effect on our COPD?
Let’s talk about how the foods you eat impact your COPD. What helps you feel better and breathe easier? It's important to remember that the same things don't necessarily work for everybody. But maybe something that works well for you can help somebody else!
- Have you found that following some recommended food habits helps your days go better?
- Have some other food-related things gotten in the way of you breathing as well as you should?
- Do you cook? If so, do you have any tips for cooking with less shortness of breath? Or have you given up on preparing food yourself because it takes too much energy?
- Are you watching what you eat to lose weight? Or have you experienced unplanned weight loss and need to put on more weight?
- Do you enjoy eating, or is it a chore?
Let's talk. I look forward to hearing from you!