April 18, 2021

COPD Education: Most Common Conditions and Symptoms

Filed under: Uncategorized @ 9:00 am

COPD Education: Most Common Conditions and Symptoms

COPD is a leading cause of death across the world. Unlike other conditions such as heart disease, the incidences of COPD are still increasing. In the US, it accounts for 726,000 hospitalizations and 1.5 million Emergency Room visits every year.

It’s not surprising, therefore, that there is an increasing demand for COPD education among people who may be at risk of this disease. Being well-informed could prevent the onset or development of the disease.

There is also evidence to show that education and self-management can help to reduce hospitalizations for acute exacerbations for patients with COPD. Read on to find out more about the symptoms associated with a COPD diagnosis and the treatments available.

All About COPD

COPD is a serious disease, and it’s natural following a diagnosis that patients and their families will want some more COPD information to help them get to grips with understanding this condition.

COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and the name gives some clues as to what the experience of this condition is like. It’s a lung disorder that causes breathing difficulties and it can feel like there are constant blockages in the airways.

To fully understand the COPD disease process, it’s helpful to know a bit more about how the lungs work. The lungs are made up of bronchial tubes, which branch off into smaller bronchioles. At the end of each bronchiole, there are tiny air sacs called alveoli.

The alveoli fill up with air when you breathe in, then separate out the oxygen and transfer it into the bloodstream. Carbon dioxide is also expelled back into the alveoli so that it can be released when you exhale. This whole process is known as gas exchange.

COPD causes damage to the alveoli, which means that the air sacs are no longer fully functional. This can cause a variety of debilitating symptoms.

Types of COPD

COPD is actually a blanket term to describe a range of conditions that have an impact on breathing. There are two main conditions that affect most people who have been diagnosed with COPD.

Chronic Bronchitis

Inflammation or irritation of the bronchial tubes causes coughing and shortness of breath, along with over-production of mucus. If these symptoms last for at least three months at a time, and for more than two years, then this is considered to be chronic bronchitis, which is a form of COPD.

Emphysema

In patients with emphysema, the walls of the alveoli can break down. This means there is less surface capacity for oxygen to enter the bloodstream.

Emphysema also causes the airways in the lungs to become less flexible and stretchy. This results in the air becoming trapped inside, so carbon dioxide is not fully expelled. This gives a sensation of shortness of breath.

Recognizing the Symptoms of COPD

COPD is often misdiagnosed, as the symptoms could equally apply to various respiratory infections and allergies. However, early diagnosis is important in slowing the progression of the disease. You should seek medical advice if you are suffering from any of the following symptoms:

  • A chronic cough, lasting more than six-eight weeks
  • Chest tightness and shortness of breath
  • Frequent respiratory infections
  • Wheezing
  • Fatigue and reduced exercise tolerance

The Importance of COPD Education

Learning about the causes of COPD is a critical first step in preventing more people from being affected by this disease. Once diagnosed, it’s important for patients to be well-informed about their condition and learn the various techniques recommended to help ease symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.

Risk Factors for COPD

For the vast majority of sufferers, COPD is the result of smoking cigarettes. Contrary to popular belief, recent research has shown that women are actually more at risk from smoking than men. Women under 60 with COPD had worse lung function than men of the same age.

Quitting smoking is the single most important way to prevent the development of COPD. After a diagnosis, it is just as critical, as carrying on smoking can speed up the progress of the disease.

Other risk factors for COPD include exposure to secondhand smoke and chemical fumes. People with COPD should ensure they are always in a smoke-free environment and avoid heavily scented hygiene products or cleaning products containing harsh chemicals. COPD sufferers should also be mindful of allergens and air pollution.

Patient Education for People With COPD

There are several strategies that have been shown to reduce exacerbations and ease symptoms for patients with COPD. It’s important that COPD sufferers are educated in self-management techniques that can improve their quality of life.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Pulmonary rehabilitation programs are often recommended for COPD patients. These usually last 8-12 weeks and involve education about the condition, advice on exercise, social support, and learning how to do breathing exercises.

There is good evidence that participating in a pulmonary rehabilitation program can decrease the frequency of exacerbations, improve exercise tolerance, and improve quality of life. These programs can be beneficial even for patients with severe shortness of breath and advanced COPD.

Inhaler Technique

Many medications commonly prescribed for COPD, such as Advair Diskus, are delivered by an inhalation device. Others require nebulizers, which turn the medication into a mist that you can breathe in.

Both inhalers and nebulizers require a proper technique for effective use. If the devices are not used correctly, the medication is not delivered to the lungs properly and will not be as effective.

It’s important for COPD sufferers to receive specialist training in inhaler technique from their healthcare team. This, and practice, will make the process more comfortable and effective.

Life With COPD

It can feel overwhelming to be diagnosed with a chronic condition. It’s common for patients with COPD to also suffer from depression and anxiety, due to the progressive nature of the disease and the perception of a poor prognosis.

However, with good COPD education, it’s possible for patients to live a full and happy life with this condition. There are some lifestyle changes, such as giving up smoking and improving exercise and diet, which can have a very positive impact on the quality of life.

The other key issue is to get your medication regime right, in partnership with your doctor. Once you know the recommended prescription drugs that you need to help manage your condition, it may be more convenient and cheaper for you to order them online here.

CanDrugstore.com, a Canadian Internet-based pharmacy intermediary (license #BC X23), offers low cost, long-term prescription drugs. A professionally registered pharmacist fills all Canadian prescriptions. A certified member of the Canadian International Pharmacy Association, CanDrugstore.com is ranked as one of the best Canadian pharmacies online by PharmacyChecker.com. For more information on how to order your drugs from Canada safely and securely call 1-866-444-6376 or visit http://www.candrugstore.com/- a trusted and reliable Canadian online pharmacy since 2002.

April 2, 2021

Top 3 Facts About High Blood Pressure: The Hypertension Silent Killer

Filed under: Uncategorized @ 9:09 pm

Top 3 Facts About High Blood Pressure: The Hypertension Silent Killer

Most of us are guilty of putting our health on the back burner. If we feel like eating junk food and sugar, we do it. If we feel like being lazy and sitting in bed all day, we do it. It’s not until a health issue arises that we try to break bad habits.

You should always take care of your health, especially if you already have a pre-existing condition like high blood pressure.

It’s the leading cause of death in the US. Hypertension takes the lives of 500,000 people each year, or more than 1,000 a day. This is why millions refer to it as the “hypertension silent killer.”

If you want to get your health under control, educate yourself about hypertension and why you should be monitoring it. Take a look at these three facts below to help you know why it’s so deadly.

1. Hypertension Has Many Risks and Complications

Family history increases your chances of hypertension. Adults 40 and up should watch for hypertension due of internal changes that alter the condition of their arteries.

Excessive salt and alcohol are other factors to watch out for. Excessive salt causes fluid retention in the body, and heavy drinking can impact normal organ function and impede normal blood flow.

Smoking narrows blood vessels and impairs blood flow to the heart and body. It’s best to quit if you’re a smoker.

Stress can also cause or worsen hypertension. Many studies found that blood vessels and blood flow are negatively affected by the release of stress hormones. The arteries contract, which contributes to hypertension.

Comorbid Factors Of Hypertension

There are also a variety of conditions associated with hypertension. When hypertension is uncontrolled, it can cause a stroke, heart failure, heart attack, or aneurysm.

Asides from the heart, hypertension can affect your eyes (vision) and your kidneys (kidney failure). Lack of blood flow to the brain can also cause issues with understanding and memory. Diabetes, dyslipidemia, and metabolic syndrome are also comorbidities that can occur.

2. About Half of Americans Have Hypertension

Detecting high blood pressure early by monitoring and making regular visits with your doctor can prevent the condition from severely affecting your health. Many people wonder, “why is hypertension known as the silent killer?” It’s because the condition often has no symptoms.

Nearly 50% of Americans have hypertension and this only counts for the 100 million people who have a diagnosis. Many more Americans are walking around with the condition, unaware they have it.

As the leading cause of death, you should take precautions and get regular check-ups. Even if you do not have hypertension now, you may develop the condition as you get older if not careful.

Believe it or not, the lifetime risk for getting hypertension is close to 90%. While this number is high, you can substantially reduce the probability simply by being more aware of your health.

Black Americans are more likely to get hypertension than any other group. When they do have it, it also tends to be a more severe form. Three in four black Americans get hypertension, with many of those getting the diagnosis early in life.

3. You Can Improve or Reverse Hypertension With a Healthy Lifestyle and Medication

As scary as hypertension is, the disease is something you can prevent and control so long as you follow a healthy lifestyle and take the right medication. There is no one diet to follow, but those who have hypertension or prehypertension can improve or reverse the condition by reducing their salt intake. This alone can help stabilize blood pressure and reduce water retention.

Changing Your Diet

The DASH diet is helpful because it limits sodium red meat, and sugar intake while focusing on eating more fruits and vegetables. You should also cut back on foods high in cholesterol, saturated fat, and trans-fat.

Another helpful idea to reduce sodium in your diet is to avoid processed and canned food. It’s better to cook your foods from scratch and season them with herbs for flavor.

Watching your fluid intake is also important with hypertension. If you drink too much fluid, this can make the condition worse by raising your blood pressure. You may notice you are drinking too much if you notice signs of water retention. Eating foods that promote the excretion of excess fluid or taking diuretics is the best solution and engaging in regular exercise.

Medication for Hypertension

However, the best way to monitor and treat hypertension in a more controlled way is by taking medication advised by your doctor. When you have hypertension, your physician will also prescribe diuretics and ACE inhibitors to reduce blood pressure.

ACE inhibitors do not work in the same way as a diuretic. It lowers blood pressure by blocking the enzyme responsible for constricting blood vessels. When you follow the right diet and get the right treatment, you can control hypertension.

Hypertension the Silent Killer or Life Saver?

Hypertension is a chronic condition you likely have to live with if you have it. When you don’t check your health, hypertension the silent killer is deadly. On the flip side, it may be the reality check you need when you receive the diagnosis. Sometimes, it takes having a condition to find the motivation to improve an unhealthy lifestyle, and turn your life around.

While life is not the same with hypertension, you can still live a full, meaningful, and life with it. You can learn how to live with hypertension. In many ways, the diagnosis saves the life of millions who wake up and learn to take better care of themselves.

Do you have a prescription for hypertension medication? If you would like to stay on top of the drugs you must take, you can complete an order online without having to take a trip to the drugstore.

CanDrugstore.com, a Canadian Internet-based pharmacy intermediary (license #BC X23), offers low cost, long-term prescription drugs. A professionally registered pharmacist fills all Canadian prescriptions. A certified member of the Canadian International Pharmacy Association, CanDrugstore.com is ranked as one of the best Canadian pharmacies online by PharmacyChecker.com. For more information on how to order your drugs from Canada safely and securely call 1-866-444-6376 or visit http://www.candrugstore.com/- a trusted and reliable Canadian online pharmacy since 2002.