Skip to content
This content is selected and controlled by WebMD's editorial staff and is brought to you by Grifols.

3. Avoid colds, flu, and bronchitis.

A simple cold can hurt your lungs when you have AAT deficiency. Prevention is your best defense. Wash your hands often, and carry hand sanitizer in case you can't wash your hands. Get a yearly flu shot, and ask your doctor how often you need the pneumonia vaccine.

Be germ-smart:

  • Shopping malls and movie theaters can be germ magnets. Go during off-hours, when crowds are smaller.
  • Visit with children when you know everyone is healthy. Take a rain check if someone comes down with a cold.
  • During cold and flu season, avoid busy airports and the confines of an airplane by driving to your destination instead of flying, if it's practical.
  • At the doctor's office or hospital, you can swab arm rests and door handles with an antibacterial wipe before touching them. Don't touch the magazines.

Call your doctor right away if you think you're coming down with a cold. Your doctor may be able to help prevent an infection in your lungs. Look for a fever, more coughing or shortness of breath, and changes in the color or thickness of phlegm.

4. Get regular exercise.

Exercise can make a big difference in keeping your lungs healthy. "In general," Metcalf says, "you want to remain as active as you are able."

Upper-body exercises and walking or bike riding are great ways to maintain lung health.

If you're not active now, tell your doctor before you start a new exercise plan. Start off slowly, with even just a few minutes a day, and build intensity as your endurance and strength improve.

5. Watch your weight and your diet.

A balanced diet with plenty of fruits and veggies helps keep all of you healthy, including your lungs.

One way to lower blood pressure and lose weight is the DASH diet. Or cut out processed foods, says J. Michael Petway, MD, a lung expert in Cumming, Ga. You'll eat much less sodium.

Protein is important for lung health. Tofu, beans, nuts, and Greek yogurt fit the bill. They also tend to cost less and are less fatty than red meat.

Eden advises getting plenty of vitamin D, which also promotes lung health. Always talk to your doctor before taking a supplement.

is the cause of your copd genetic

Is the Cause of Your COPD Genetic?

Knowing if you have alpha-1 is the first step to getting help from your doctor. An alpha-1 blood test is the only way for you and your doctor to know whether you have alpha-1. And if you do, your doctor can discuss potential treatment options and testing for other family members.

close

From Our Sponsor

Content under this heading is from or created on behalf of the named sponsor. This content is not subject to the WebMD Editorial Policy and is not reviewed by the WebMD Editorial department for accuracy, objectivity or balance.

Important Safety Information

PROLASTIN®-C (alpha1-proteinase inhibitor [human]) is indicated for chronic augmentation and maintenance therapy in adults with clinically evident emphysema due to severe deficiency of alpha1-proteinase inhibitor (alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency).

The effect of augmentation therapy with any alpha1-proteinase inhibitor (alpha1-PI), including PROLASTIN-C, on pulmonary exacerbations and on the progression of emphysema in alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency has not been conclusively demonstrated in randomized, controlled clinical trials. Clinical data demonstrating the long-term effects of chronic augmentation or maintenance therapy with PROLASTIN-C are not available.

PROLASTIN-C is not indicated as therapy for lung disease in patients in whom severe alpha1-PI deficiency has not been established. PROLASTIN-C is contraindicated in IgA-deficient patients with antibodies against IgA due to risk of hypersensitivity.

Hypersensitivity reactions may occur. Should evidence of hypersensitivity reaction be observed, promptly stop infusion and begin appropriate therapy.

PROLASTIN-C may contain trace amounts of IgA. Patients with known antibodies to IgA, which can be present in patients with selective or severe IgA deficiency, have a greater risk of developing potentially severe hypersensitivity and anaphylactic reactions. PROLASTIN-C is contraindicated in patients with antibodies against IgA.

The most common drug-related adverse reaction observed at a rate of > 5% in subjects receiving PROLASTIN-C was upper respiratory tract infection. The most serious adverse reaction observed during clinical trials with PROLASTIN-C was an abdominal and extremity rash in 1 subject.

Because PROLASTIN-C is made from human plasma, it may carry a risk of transmitting infectious agents, eg, viruses and, theoretically, the Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) agent.

Please see PROLASTIN-C full Prescribing Information for complete prescribing details.