Causes & Treatment for COPD

By Patricia | May 26, 2009

Natural cure for thick mucus in lungs of COPD patient: What will make my wife cough up the thick mucus in her lungs. She's a copd patient.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD is a disease of the lungs that causes the death of lung tissue. This is manifested in conditions like chronic bronchitis and emphysema. The causes for this disease are usually the intake of air pollutants that cause an inflammation in the lungs and this further, over time, causes the degradation of the lung tissue. Currently, patients who suffer from COPD can avail of some drugs that are available to tackle this disease.

Typically, the patients of this disease are smokers. In fact, smoking is the foremost cause for emphysema and chronic bronchitis. COPD develops after a prolonged period of smoking when the alveoli of the lungs accumulate a lot of carbonic deposits from cigarette smoke. This causes an inflammation and mucus production leading to the characteristic sputum contained in the cough of the COPD sufferer. The root cause of lung death is because of lack of Alpha 1 antitrypsin glycoprotein. When an inflammation takes place, the body’s inflammatory cells go into a “kill” mode to destroy and eject foreign objects; however, to protect lung tissue from being marked for destruction by the enzymes of the inflammatory cells, Alpha 1 antitrypsin comes into play. An enzyme called elastase breaks down elastin, which keeps the lung tissue elastic. It is understood that cigarette smoke reacts and destroys Alpha 1 antitrypsin and this in turn allows elastase to destroy elastin, causing the death of lung tissue.

The treatment of COPD is focused more on managing the disease rather than curing it. The most important part of the treatment is to remove the pollutant that is causing the breakdown of Alpha 1 antitrypsin. Depending on the severity of the disease, inhalers, supplementary oxygen and exercise are usually advised. In time, some of the damage caused is reversed or at least further damage is stopped. The intake of anti-inflammatory herbs is also advised. Ginger, spicy food that uses red chili and cumin are some of the foods that need to be added to the diet. Steam treatment should also be used to dislodge mucus. Finally, breathing exercises as those done in yoga should also be practiced to exercise the lung tissues. These involve taking in huge quantities of air and slowly exhaling. You should also talk to you doctor about some of the Alpha 1 antitrypsin treatments that are available. These are currently the only real “cure” for COPD.

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