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Emphysema

Emphysema

Emphysema

There are natural remedies and therapies which hugely assist people suffering with Emphysema.   They are harmless, effective, and enjoyable.   They optimize your potential and improve immune function,as well as help the breathing process.

What is emphysema?

Emphysema is a serious lung condition that forms part of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and involves the enlargement of the air sacs in the lung.
The alveoli at the end of the bronchioles of the lung become enlarged because of the breakdown of their walls. 
Unfortunately the damage is permanent  and it causes reduced respiratory function and breathlessness. The damage takes a number of forms - the sacs can be destroyed, narrowed, collapsed, stretched or over-inflated.

Causes of emphysema

The biggest known cause or risk factor for emphysema - and for COPD - is smoking.4,6-8Cigarette smoking is responsible for around 90% of cases of COPD. However, COPD will develop only in smokers who are genetically susceptible - smoking does not always lead to the disease.

Smoking is the leading cause of emphysema.
Other inhaled toxins also lead to emphysema and COPD, including work-related ones. In developing countries, smoke from indoor cooking and heating is also an important cause.

While the following are not as important as primary cigarette smoke exposure, they are minor contributory risk factors:

  • Low body weight
  • Childhood respiratory disorder
  •  Exposure to passive cigarette smoke
  • Air pollution
  • Occupational dust (mineral dust, cotton dust, for example)
  • Inhaled chemicals (coal, grains, isocyanates, cadmium, for example).
  • Genetics are responsible for a rare form of COPD - 

Symptoms of emphysema

Two symptoms are the main markers of emphysema and present early on:

 

  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough.

Shortness of breath is also known as dyspnea and gives the feeling of being unable to catch a breath. This symptom may be present only during physical exertion but as the disease progresses may be present during rest, too - emphysema and COPD take years to develop and progress.

Other symptoms may be experienced, especially in more advanced lung disease:

  • Frequent lung infections
  • Producing a lot of mucus (phlegm or sputum)
  • Wheezing
  • Reduced appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Blueness of the lips or fingernail beds (from cyanosis caused by poor respiration)
  • Anxiety, depression
  • Sleep problems
  • Morning headache signals nighttime breathing difficulty (nocturnal hypercapnia or hypoxemia)

Many of the symptoms of emphysema and COPD are shared by other medical conditions; it is important to seek a doctor's examination and diagnosis.

The Orthodox Approach

The characteristic symptoms of emphysema for which a physician will be looking include shortness of breath, first noticed on exertion but eventually present even at rest; bluish lips; possibly a barrel-shaped chest; a chronic cough and/or a slight wheeze. From these signs, a chest examination and various other tests, emphysema may be diagnosed. The tests may include a blood sample from an artery to measure blood gases; a venous blood sample to establish levels of alpha-antitrypsin (present in the rare cases on inherited emphysema); a chest x-ray to exclude other causes and determine the extent of the disease’s spread; and pulmonary function tests to assess breathing capacity and the efficiency of the alveoli.

Emphysema is incurable, so any treatment will only control the disease. First and foremost, the patient must stop smoking completely. Bronchodilator drugs are given to widen the bronchioles and ease breathing. Occasionally, corticosteroid drugs, taken by an inhaler, are used to reduce inflammation. If edema is present, diuretic drugs are prescribed to reduce the volume of fluid. In extreme cases, oxygen therapy may be used.

The Health Transformer Approach

Emphysema, being a loss of lung tissue, can lead to episodes of severe shortness of breath, often worsened by over-riding infection. Modern drugs may be necessary and therefore emphysema should initially be diagnosed and monitored by your physician. However, no orthodox treatment has methods of recuperating damaged or destroyed lung tissue, whereas complementary therapies aim at just that.

Complementary medicine cannot yet offer a cure for emphysema; however, it can not only relieve the severe symptoms, it can also considerably delay the onset of the disease.

Smoking cessation/Quit smoking

Because cigarette smoking is an established cause of COPD and emphysema, not taking it up or stopping it is preventive   Decline in lung function is worse for people who continue to smoke.  Quitting smoking also slows but does not stop the decline in lung function - the decline in people who continue to smoke is significantly greater.

Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy in the form of postural drainage and percussion can be very helpful at draining the pockets of secretions and clearing the lungs.   

Pulmonary rehabilitation

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a program of care for people with emphysema that includes the below supportive measures of help with smoking cessation and nutrition, but also includes help with physical activities - exercise, education and behavioural interventions.

Pulmonary rehabilitation may not change the overall course of the illness but can improve an ability to live with the condition, and improve exercise capacity and quality of life.
 

TCM Acupuncture

In less advanced cases of emphysema, where the lungs are not too badly damaged, acupuncturists have been able to ease a patient’s breathing and improve blood circulation in the lungs, so bringing some relief to the sufferer. They do this by applying needles on the acupuncture points on the lung meridian, and, depending on the cause and effect of the emphysema, other meridians as well. For example, many emphysema victims suffer badly with mucus, so this problem would also be addressed using the appropriate acupuncture points.

Functional Nutritional Therapy

An alteration in diet can greatly aid in the reductions in secretions in the lungs.   As to can avoiding alllrgic foods.   Certain supplements can also greatly benefit the immune system, preventing added infections and promoting optimal health.

Supportive Treatments

Essential Oils

Eucalyptus oil can be very helpful for people with COPD. A study in Respiratory Research showed that cineole, the main constituent of eucalyptus essential oil, actually reduced exacerbations in people with COPD. It also reduced dyspnea (shortness of breath), and improved lung function as well as health status overall. Furthermore, the research suggested that cineole is an active controller and reducer of airway inflammation in COPD.
To get the benefits of cineole, you can use eucalyptus oil in a diffuser and/or humidifier and breath in the anti-inflammatory air.

Reduce Stress with EFT

As with all health issues and diseases, stress only makes COPD symptoms, like airway inflammation and shortness of breath, worse. By reducing your daily stress and managing stress in healthy ways, you’re more relaxed, and this has a direct positive effect on your COPD symptoms. Emotional Freedom Technique is a brilliant therapy which can immediately reduce stress and increase lung function.
If you suffer from COPD, you should make time every day to relax both mentally and physically. Try some of these natural stress relievers to start.

Energy Healing.

For a condition such as emphysema healers will work in conjunction with other therapists to bring relief of symptoms and to help improve the patient’s breathing. Healing is a completely non-invasive therapy during which the patient lies down while the practitioner channels healing energy through to them. Some patients experience heat, cold, or tingling sensations, and the treatment will almost certainly be a powerful experience for them.