When you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, shortness of breath may be a daily and unwelcome fact of life. Perhaps your doctor is urging you to enter a pulmonary rehabilitation program to help you manage your disease better. Or maybe you’ve heard about various breathing techniques, such as pursed lip breathing or diaphragmatic breathing.
What can help you to cope with breathlessness and improve your quality of life? Two lung experts spoke to WebMD about useful measures that you...
Your breathing may become more difficult, especially if you carry weight around your middle.
3. When you have COPD, a diet full of healthy foods:
Helps you maintain a healthy weight
Provides your body the energy it needs
Supplies enough calories, keeping breathing and other muscles strong
Helps your body fight infections by strengthening your immune system
When you have COPD, you may need to make some diet changes. But always do this under the guidance of a registered dietitian or other health care provider who can prepare a nutrition action plan tailored to your exact needs.
Eat a variety of healthy foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, dairy products, and proteins. High-fiber foods are especially important. They help with digestion, control blood sugar levels, reduce cholesterol levels, and can help control weight.
Drink plenty of water. Not only does it help prevent gas when you eat high-fiber foods, but water helps thin mucus, so you can cough it up easier. Most people need six to eight eight-ounce glasses of water a day. Check with your health care provider, though, because some health conditions require that you limit your fluids.