When the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, COPD short, breathing is impaired due to constriction of the bronchial tubes. With progression of the disease, colloquially called a smokers lung, it becomes increasingly difficult to provide the body with sufficient oxygen. A nutrition is integral to the treatment of COPD and allows stakeholders to actively prevent the course of this pulmonary disease.
Balanced diet for smokers lungs
For COPD patients, it is particularly important to eat healthy and varied. This not only basically serves the health and strengthens the defences.
A reasonable COPD diet lowers the risk for respiratory infections and allergic reactions. What nutrition in COPD is, depends on the situation of the individual patient.
COPD increased energy demand
The body needs oxygen to burn nutrients from food. The energy released during combustion is required again for the respiratory muscles. A restricted oxygen uptake so impaired metabolism - and vice versa.
In addition, that the difficult breathing causes require up to ten times more energy. COPD patients must therefore ensure high energy to eat.
Because when the body lacks energy, it breaks down muscle protein - including the muscles of the respiratory apparatus and of diaphragm reduces. So the shortness of breath is amplified and the General resilience of the COPD patient will be further reduced.
BMI determines the ideal weight
Body weight plays a crucial role in the history of COPD disease. Ideally should the value of BMI (body mass index) between 21 and 25. Because parent - and underweight can greatly affect the health status of patients with COPD.
So, for example, overweight can worsen the breathing problems as are exposed to lung and heart and circulatory system of a larger load. Subsequently arise Comorbidities such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
Underweight in COPD
Most COPD patients are underweight, which is often due to loss of appetite and high energy consumption. As a result, they are more prone to infections and muscle wasting.
The food provides not enough calories, protein, trace elements and vitamins, it comes also to deficiency symptoms, weight loss and an increased degradation of essential amino acids. The latter serve the energy production, the weight loss is faster due to their lack of in addition.
Dietary advice for COPD patients
Due to their high energy requirements this lung disease sufferers have to change in volume and on the food choices their diet. Also obese can suffer from nutritional deficiencies, if the diet is wrong.
A dietician can help COPD patients to change their eating and drinking habits on their changing needs.
Diet tips in COPD
In COPD, the food should be nutritious, low in fat and rich in nutrients and carbohydrates. Note the following Nutrition Tips:
- Lean meat, legumes and dairy products are a good source of protein.
- Many carbohydrates are in potatoes and cereal.
- Good combination of protein and carbohydrates are grains or potatoes with milk products.
- Fruits and vegetables provide essential vitamins and nutrients. However, avoid beans, cabbage and sour fruits as these foods can cause a gas build-up in the body.
- For underweight, the meals can be enriched with vegetable fats and nuts.
- Nitrites or salty food can impede breathing.
- Calcium reduces the risk of osteoporosis that occurs frequently with COPD.
- Magnesium and Omega-3 fatty acids strengthen the immune system and help against inflammation in the body.
- A daily food supplement containing essential amino acids may be advisable, but should be discussed with a doctor.
The right eating habits
Not only the selection of food is crucial. The eating pattern also plays an important role in COPD:
- Cough up the mucus before dinner, to avoid shortness of breath while eating.
- Take time to eat and chew thoroughly.
- Many small meals relieve the digestive system and the lungs.
- Eat less especially in the evening and leave plenty of time to digest your body before going to bed.
- Watch the reaction of your body on certain foods and, if necessary, then set your diet. Some foods cause an increased gas formation in the body and increase the pressure on lungs and diaphragm.
- Drink plenty of fluids - this helps the coughing and clear so the respiratory tract. Mineral water, tea, and juice spritzers are well suited. But first drink after dinner, to become not early fed up, and avoid alcoholic, heavily sweetened and carbonated drinks.
- Combine exercise and diet
A nutrition therapy should go hand in hand with regular exercise in COPD – it strengthens the muscles, receives the mobility and reduces the risk of osteoporosis disease