Muscle Weakness, Weight Loss, and Nutrition in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
People with severe
COPD often lose too much weight. Too much weight loss
causes your body to break down muscle and makes you weaker. This can lead to
even more shortness of breath and even less activity. Over time, you become so
weak that you need to depend on others for daily living.
Some people with COPD weigh too little for good health. People who
are very underweight, especially those with
emphysema, are likely to die sooner than people with
COPD who are at a normal weight.1
Emphysema is a chronic (long-term) lung disease, usually caused by smoking. Emphysema is the main form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Diagnosing emphysema usually requires pulmonary function tests, combined with a history of symptoms, such as shortness of breath. There is no emphysema cure other than lung transplantation. However, emphysema treatments can improve symptoms and preserve lung function.
Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease
(2009). In Global Strategy for the Diagnosis, Management, and Prevention of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Available online:
Primary Medical Reviewer
Caroline S. Rhoads, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Ken Y. Yoneda, MD - Pulmonology
May 4, 2010
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
May 04, 2010
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