Dr. Sheetu Singh is extensively recognized as a leading MD in Rajasthan. She focuses on consumer health, safety, infection control. She is one of the best doctors in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India. With expertise and experience, Dr. Sheetu helped in healing clients with authentic way. If you are finding COPD Specialist in Jaipur Rajasthan, India; she is one of the best alternatives. Dr. Sheetu is the one who deals with such diseases in a pragmatic way.
Care for Nutrition while treating COPD | Are nutritional abnormalities common in COPD?
Nutritional abnormalities are encountered in 2-50% patients of chronic obstructive airway disease (COPD).
What causes nutritional abnormalities in patients with COPD?
There are multiple reasons for nutritional imbalance in patients with COPD. These include decreased appetite, shortness of breath while eating, depression accompanying the disease, side-effects of medicines, frequent exacerbations and hospitalization.
Why is there shortness of breath while eating in patients with COPD?
Food + Oxygen → Energy →Carrying out basic body tasks like breathing and eating
Working (Day to day activities)
Airway obstruction + Infection → Major part of energy consumed in breathing → Minimal energy left for other tasks → shortness of breath while carrying daily tasks like eating.
What are the ways to reduce shortness of breath while eating?
According to the COPD specialist, a few modifications in lifestyle can help the patient to eat comfortably and acquire sufficient nutrition.
1. Eat multiple and small meals rather than fewer and larger meals
2. Bites should be small and should be chewed slowly
3. Patients on supplemental oxygen, should not remove nasal prongs and oxygen supply while eating
4. Pursed lip breathing should be practiced
5. An hour prior to eating the lungs should be cleared of secretions by coughing
6. Eat while sitting up and not in a recumbent or semi recumbent position.
What to eat and what not to?
• Diet should include plenty of fluids (unless there is accompanying heart disease and the COPD specialist has advised fluid restriction). Fluids help in thinning of mucus and clearing of secretions from the airways.
• Protein-rich diet (including milk, egg, meat, lentil and soyabean) should be consumed.
• Calorie intake is decided by the nutritional status of the patient. Under-weight patients need to have high calorie intake and over-weight patients require a lower calorie intake.
• Restrict salt intake as it causes fluid retention.
• Supplement calcium and vitamin D (milk, yogurt, cheese etc) in the diet to make bones stronger.
• Fibre should be included in the diet as it helps in improving the digestive system
• Patients on diuretics or steroids, suffer from potassium loss and require supplementation. Also, Foods with high potassium levels include bananas, tomato, potato and oranges.
• Foods causing bloating of stomach should be avoided.
Is there any role of nutritional supplementation and anabolic steroids in COPD?
Nutritional supplementation accompanied by exercise may help in patients with severe malnutrition. Anabolic steroids may increase bodyweight but has no effect on the exercise capacity.
Life style modification, rehabilitation, exercise & yoga for COPD patient
Is there any difference in the lungs of a clerk and an athlete? An athlete does not feel breathless even after running for few kilometers whereas a clerk feels breathless after running much shorter distances. Similarly physical training in patients of COPD can help them to breathe better.
What lifestyle modifications are essential for patients of COPD?
• Stop smoking – This is the only measure that can reduce the rate of disease progression.
• Clearing of airway secretion in the morning is helpful in relieving the symptoms of cough and sputum. Chest physiotherapy also helps in clearing the secretions.
• Breathing techniques should be learnt and they help the patient to breathe better. Breathing slowly and deeply is better. Pursed lip breathing is a technique which involves exhaling through pursed lips.
• Exercise helps in improving the quality of life and exercise capacity of a patient. Also, you can talk to a COPD specialist for enrollment into an exercise program suited for a COPD patient. Even walking for half to one hour every day is beneficial.
• Energy conservation is important to prevent onset of fatigue.
How can energy be conserved while performing day to day tasks?
• Plan your activity and simplify the task
• Perform tasks like combing of hair in sitting position
• Proper rest during the night and daytime is essential
• Take rest before and after an activity. If breathless during an activity, stop and take rest.
• Rest after meal for 30 minutes is recommended
• Expiration requires less energy, and thus exertion should be done during exhalation.
• Similarly, while climbing stairs, during exhalation stairs should be climbed. Pause and rest while inhaling.
• Avoid extreme physical activity
What is the role of exercise and yoga in COPD?
Although, exercise improves the well-being of the patients and also increases their physical endurance. Also, Yoga is a form of exercise which involves breathing techniques. Yoga improves physical and mental well-being of COPD patients and also teaches them to breathe better.