The Abicana information site - About chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)


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About chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Chronid pbstructive pulmonaty (lung) disease is a collective term used about diseases surfaces inside the luungs for oxygen absorbtion is reduced, the elesticity in the lung tissue is dimmished or the passages of air in the lungs are narrowed. These changes make the lung less capable of absorbing oxygen. Diagnoses associated with under this aggregate term include chronic asthmatic bronchitis, chronic bronchitis with obstruction, bronchiektasia and emphysema.

Because many patients have conditions that are blending sof these disorders, the diagnosis COLSs often used instead of the specific diagnoses.

Causes and mechanisms of these diseases

COPD is often triggered by prolonged irritation of the respiratory tract. The most common cause is tobacco smoking, and the condition is therefore often called smoker's lung. The destructions are caused both by direct toxic action from the irritants and by inflammatory reactions, often of allergic kind.

The tissue destructions and the clogging of the lungs are often caused by insoluble substances depsiting themselves in the lungs, like ashes and coal from the smoke and tiny mineral corns. Toxins in smoke and pollutants often paralyze the cilia (small waving hears) on the epitelial cells in the lungs and trachea that normally move such foreign elements upwards and and out, and this enhances the tendency for glogging by insoluble elements.

Researchers at Columbia University in the United States claims also to prove a link between the consumption of bacon, sausages and other meat products that contain nitrates and development of COPD]. Also persistent air pollution can cause COPD, especially if you reside in environments that contain airborn dust of cilicate minerals and metals. Hereditary dispositions increases also the risk of developing COPD.

Congenital anatomical defects such as barrel chest (increased AP diameter), bird's chest (pectus carinatum) or funnel chest (pectus excavatum) increase therisk of developing COPD.

Hereiditary disorders, such as lack of the substance alfa-antitrypsine (A1AD), seems to be a causing fatcor.

One expects that with more than 80% of all COPD cases tobaccoi smoking is the main reason.

Symptoms and manifestations of COPD

The symptoms by COPD is difficulty of breathing, for example difficulty by inhaling, exhaling or little volume in the lungs to fill by air. Abnormal sounds by breathing is also a symptom. There will also typically occure behavioural changes which have the purpose of compensate for the decreased oxygen uptake. Increased production of slime is also a symptom. Other symptoms originate from lack of oxygen in the body, like blue lips and fatigue.

Patients with COPD often have more or less frequent exacerbations (also called exacerbations), characterized by increased breathing difficulty, increased mucus production and coughing, as well as development of pneumonia (pneumonia).

Treatment of COPD

COPD is a chronic disease with low cirability when tissue structure has been grossly destroyed. The treatment of COPD patients involves primarily to curb the further development of the condition , helping patients compensate for the condition and treating the disease complications.

Ceassation of smoking and of exposure to iritant polutant is an important measure to stop the condition from further deteriorating.

Pulmonary physiotherapy and breathing exercises are often used as a treatment.

Exercise adjusted to the condition can help to develop extra lung capacity thet compensate for some of the loss by te disease.

By accute worsening of the disease that involve serious lack of oxygen or lung inflammation or infection must be treated quickly with agents to knoxk down the infection or inflammation and oxygen therapy.

By serous chronic lack of oxygen, daily oxygen therapy is often used. However, patients using this therapy must not smoke since the pure oxygen together with smoking gives a risk for fire. Exaggerated or poorly adjusted oxygen therapy can also lead to retention of carbon dioxide in the blood. Some patients get worse by oxygen therapy, even when well controlled, due to this factor even though they suffer from under-coverage of oxugen.

Medical treatment in the stable pahses of of COPD is controvesrial, but still commonly used. Since OCPD is a common term for many individual diseases and since mixted conidtions are common, teratment of COPD must be individualized and must also be adjusted to the lifestyle of the patient.

Since COPD in most cases have inflammation as a component, inhalatory anti-inflammatory agents as steroids are often used.

Treatment with bronchodilators, such as beta-2-agonists, ipratropiumbromid and alpha-antagonists.

Also slime-loosening drugs are used.

Vaccinations against influenza and pneumococcal infections is commonly recommanded for patients with COPD.

Althernative drugs that help tissue to generate, to vigorize rinsing processes inthe airpipe and to ameliorate inflammatory reactions may also help to compensate for the condition and possibly also help mend destroyed tissue.

About Emphysema (lung emphysema)

Chronid obstructive pulomary Emphysema (COPD), often just denoted as emphysema, is a subtype of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Most people with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) has components of both emphysema and chronic bronchitis, but the amount of these components ase compared to each other varies.

COPD affects especially people who are older than 40 years and who smoke. It is a common condition, and it is present in 10-20% of older persons.

Causes and mechanisms of the disease

Emphysema is usually caused by toxic fumes or smoke, but also hereditary factors are causal factors. By emphysema the lung connective tissue and thereby the whole lungs get less elastic.

Many of separation walls in the lung alveoli are destroyed. This makes the long tissue more flaccid so that the elveoli tend to collapse during breathing. These walls also contain blood vessels that take up oxygen from the air. The destruction of the walls therefore also reduce the capacity of the lungs to take up air sgnificantly.

The symptoms of emphysema

Symptoms include shortness of breath and expanded chest.

A behaviour symptom often sen is the patiant sitting leaned foreward over the edge of a table with strained respiration both in and out while breathing with the lips. This maneure helps to create a back pressure in the lungs alveolii so that they do not collapse and thus increase the oxygen uptake.

Blue lips (cyanosis) can also see due to poor oxygenation. Such patients are also quite tired out in the far advanced situations.

The treatment of emphysema

It is important to stop the exposure to agents that cause the condition, like smoking, if the patient manages to seace the habit. It may be appropriate to give these patients oxygen. If the patient smokes, the explosion risk of oxygen may be too large, so that patients who smoke often do not receive such treatment.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is nutritional in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.