Home Remedies for Emphysema

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Having trouble breathing is no fun, especially when it starts to affect the things you love to do. Emphysema can play a role in the declining health of your pulmonary system. While treatment can slow the rate of damage, it cannot reverse the condition. To treat symptoms, use home remedies for emphysema to breathe easier and get a tighter grip on everyday activities.

emphysema

What is Emphysema?

Emphysema involves the gradual destruction of the air sacs located at the ends of your smallest air passages (called bronchioles) [1]. Treating symptoms of emphysema help decelerate the progression of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) – a condition that limits airflow when you breathe out. COPD causes airways to become obstructed and when paired with emphysema – you experience great difficulty breathing.

Causes of Emphysema

With more than 4,000 chemicals swirling in the smoke of a cigarette, contact with tobacco products (including breathing in secondhand smoke) is the most common cause of emphysema. When the chemical irritants make contact with the small peripheral airways, air sacs, and their supporting elastic fibers – irreversible effects are set into motion. However, there is a small percentage of emphysema victims that suffer symptoms because of a protein deficiency called AAt – which is responsible for protecting the elastic structures in the lungs. Without AAt, progressive lung damage can take place. The end result is emphysema.

Symptoms

Major symptoms of emphysema include loss of appetite (or weight), chronic coughing, chest tightness, wheezing, fatigue, and shortness of breath. Your ability to complete physical activities will also be affected. In the beginning, symptoms of emphysema are mild and as the disease progresses, a patient will experience a worsening of the condition that increases with a steady pace.

Emphysema Home Remedies

Home remedies for emphysema can help patients deal with persistent symptoms, but it is important to become familiar with the signs of the condition that require medical attention. Red flags include breathing that worsens when you have a cold, noticeable weight loss, extreme shortness of breath, and coughing up yellow or greenish sputum. Blue or gray fingernails/nails also indicate low oxygen in your blood. Helpful home remedy suggestions for emphysema include:

a) No Tobacco Products:

Some people feel that a diagnosis of emphysema means the damage is already done and foregoing cigarettes and other tobacco products won’t help their condition. This couldn’t be further from the truth – it’s never too late to quit smoking. Any little bit helps slow down the decline of your lung health. Quitting will also help increase your capacity to exercise.

b) Practice Allergy Control:

Your allergy symptoms and the ability to breathe is affected with emphysema, meaning stay clear of allergens – from pet dander to mold spores.

c) Lifestyle Changes:

According to the American Lung Association, inhaling unknown and harmful substances greatly affects your respiratory system. One suggestion is to replace your aerosol-spray household cleaners with liquid or gel-type hair products.

d) Loose Clothing:

Allow your chest and abdomen to expand at will by wearing loose clothing. Avoid tight belts and girdles. When possible, women may want to wear camisoles instead of constricting bras.

e) Exercise:

Just because you have trouble breathing doesn’t mean you should abandon exercise. Actually, exercise tones muscles in your upper shoulders, neck, and chest, which can ease your overall condition. Walking is the best choice for an emphysema patient. If you suffer from both asthma and emphysema, incorporate a bit of swimming, which provides a supply of beneficial humidified air.

f) Small Meals:

For emphysema that has progressed to the point of constant airflow obstruction, eating smaller frequent meals helps prevent enlarged lungs that fill with trapped air. Doctors also usually suggest increasing the amount of protein-rich foods in your diet.

g) Lose Weight:

Weight gain is a common problem amongst emphysema sufferers, as it takes more energy to support extra body weight. Shed extra pounds to tighten the reigns on emphysema symptoms.

h) Protein-Rich Foods:

On the other hand, a lot of emphysema patients are slim because they are constantly breathing harder, which means they expend more energy. Once again, including high-protein foods in your diet can help your condition if you are underweight.

i) Breathing Exercises:

Since it is difficult for emphysema patients to breathe, learning ways on how to get the most out of your breaths is a good way to stay healthy. For example, try breathing from the diaphragm, where your stomach rises and falls with each breath.

j) Vitamin C:

Some doctors will tell their emphysema patients to follow a regimen that includes taking 250 milligrams of vitamin C and 800 international units of vitamin E two times per day. Vitamins C and E deliver a satisfying amount of antioxidants to the body, which may fight the damaging effects of cigarette smoke.

k) 5-Day Juice Fast:

Alternate the juices of peach, orange, papaya, apple, pineapple, and pear to clean out your system with a juice fast comprised of fresh fruits. During the five days, clear out the bowels using a warm-water enema on a daily basis.

l) Garlic:

Garlic offers a healthy boost to your overall wellness. Chew two or three cloves on a daily basis. The best time to take this home remedy is in the morning and while on an empty stomach. Another way to add garlic to your diet is to mix garlic juice with other vegetable juices or include in dishes, like stews and spaghetti sauce.

m) Lemon or Lime:

It is suggested to take one teaspoon of fresh lemon or lime juice several times per day before or between meals.

n) Avoid Salt:

It’s OK to sprinkle a little salt on your dinner, but for a patient with emphysema – going overboard on sodium can worsen symptoms and cause other respiratory diseases to emerge. A diet high in salt affects the bronchial passages, as well as the nervous system. In the end, inflammation can contribute to lung damage.

o) Raw Juices:

Purchase a juicer and get in the habit of consuming fresh juices on a regular basis, including a variety of fruits and vegetables, such as carrot, watercress, raw potato, lemon, orange, and pineapple.


Resources

[1] http://mayoclinic.com/health/emphysema/DS00296

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