9. Take Vitamin D
People with COPD tend to have low levels of vitamin D in their body. This vital vitamin protects the body against viral and bacterial infections. It also reduces compounds in the body that destroy tissues and helps the lungs function properly.
All these factors provide protection against COPD flare-ups. Though there is little research in this field, the possible role of vitamin D in managing symptoms cannot be ruled out.
Exposure to early morning sunlight for about 10 minutes (without sunscreen) can help your body produce vitamin D. In addition, you can include foods rich in vitamin D like fatty fish, fortified milk, liver and eggs in your diet. Another option is taking vitamin D supplements, but only after consulting a doctor.
10. Acupuncture and Acupressure
Both acupuncture and acupressure are traditional Chinese treatments that can help manage the symptoms of COPD. In acupuncture, very thin needles are used on acupressure points that lie along meridians in your body. In acupressure, pressure is applied on the points instead of needles.
A 2012 study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine found that acupuncture helps improve dyspnea (labored breathing) on exertion, a major symptom of COPD. After a 3-month acupuncture treatment along with medicines, COPD patients were able to walk longer without becoming breathless.
Be it acupuncture or acupressure, it is best to get it done by an expert.
- See your doctor regularly. Stick to your appointment schedule and follow all the suggestions given by your doctor.
- Get plenty of sleep and rest to help your body manage the symptoms.
- Try relaxation techniques like meditation, guided imagery and relaxation therapy to manage stress and ease symptoms. Stress tends to exacerbate your symptoms.
- Try to keep yourself free from grief, anger, anxiety and depression that are normal responses to chronic illness.