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Have COPD, taking Prednisone, want advice on natural supplements or vitamins.

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Practicing since : 2003
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I am looking for a naturalpath who can advise me on supplements/vitamins or natural products. I have copd and am a long time prednisone user. I take multiple other medications and would like advice on how to counteract the effects of the medication.
Posted Tue, 8 May 2012 in Alternative Medicine
Answered by Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra 51 minutes later

Thanks for posting the query.

After reading your query, I understand that you have been diagnosed as a case of COPD and you are currently on medications for the same.

I would like to comment the following:

1. The main treatment in COPD is "quit smoking" if you are a smoker.
2. The next treatment is inhalers and oral bronchodilators after pulmonary function testing.
3. Since you are a long term prednisolone user, your COPD seems to be of secere grade.
4. In such a case some important component options of your management include - Long term oxygen therapy, Pulmonary vaccination (yearly flu and 5 yearly pneumococcal shots) & a comprehensive pulmonary rehabilitation programme for COPD patients. Please do discuss these options with your physician / pulmonologist.
5. Nutritional supplementation is a part of pulmonary rehabilitation programme. Nutritional supplement "Pulmocare" is specially designed for COPD patients and you can start taking this with consultation of your physician.
6. I would also like to mention a few points regarding diet that you need to follow (We provide these recommendations to each and every COPD patient of ours under pulmonary rehabilitation programme and it really helps them):

-Maintain a healthy body weight. Ask your health care provider or registered dietitian what your "goal" weight should be and how many calories you should consume per day.

-Include high-fiber foods — such as vegetables, cooked dried peas and beans (legumes), whole-grain foods, XXXXXXX cereals, pasta, rice, and fresh fruit — in your diet.

-Monitor your weight. Weigh yourself once or twice a week, unless your doctor recommends weighing yourself more often. As you are taking prednisone, you should weigh yourself daily since your weight might change. If you have an unexplained weight gain or loss (2 pounds in one day or 5 pounds in one week), contact your doctor. He or she may change your food or fluid intake to better manage your condition (This titration is done on individual basis).

-Drink plenty of fluids. You should drink at least 6 to 8 eight-ounce glasses of non-caffeinated beverages each day to keep mucus thin and easier to cough up. Limit caffeine (contained in coffee; tea; several carbonated beverages such as cola and Mountain Dew; and chocolate) as it might interfere with some of your medicines.

-Include high-fiber foods — such as vegetables, cooked dried peas and beans (legumes), whole-grain foods, XXXXXXX cereals, pasta, rice, and fresh fruit — in your diet.

-In addition to decreasing the salt intake directly keep the following points in consideration:
*Use herbs or no-salt spices to flavor your food.
*Don't add salt to foods when cooking.
*Read food labels and avoid foods with more than 300 mg sodium/serving.
*Before using a salt substitute check with your doctor. Salt substitutes might contain other ingredients that can be just as harmful as salt.

-Avoid overeating and foods that cause gas or bloating. A full stomach or bloated abdomen might make breathing uncomfortable. Avoid the foods that cause gas or bloating. Some foods that cause gas for some people include:
*Carbonated beverages
*Fried, greasy, or heavily spiced foods
*Apples, avocados, and melons
*Beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, corn, cucumbers, leeks, lentils, onions, peas, peppers, pimentos, radishes, scallions, shallots, and soybeans.

-If you take diuretics (water pills), you might also need to increase your potassium intake. Some foods high in potassium include oranges, bananas, potatoes, asparagus, and tomatoes.

-If you are short of breath while eating or right after meals, try these tips:
*Clear your airways at least one hour before eating.
*Eat more slowly. Take small bites and chew your food slowly, breathing deeply while chewing. Try putting your utensils down between bites.
*Choose foods that are easy to chew.
*Try eating five or six small meals a day instead of three large meals. This will keep your stomach from filling up too much so your lungs have more room to expand.
*Try drinking liquids at the end of your meal. Drinking before or during the meal might make you feel full or bloated.
*Eat while sitting up to ease the pressure on your lungs.
*Use pursed-lip breathing.

Tips for improving your appetite:
*Talk to your doctor. Sometimes, poor appetite is due to depression, which can be treated. Your appetite is likely to improve after depression is treated.
*Avoid non-nutritious beverages such as black coffee and tea.
*Try to eat more protein and fat, and less simple sugars.
*Eat small, frequent meals and snacks.
*Walk or participate in light activity to stimulate your appetite.
*Keep food visible and within easy reach.

Meal guidelines
*Drink beverages after a meal instead of before or during a meal so that you do not feel as full.
*Plan meals to include your favorite foods.
*Try eating the high-calorie foods in your meal first.
*Use your imagination to increase the variety of food you're eating.

Snack guidelines
*Don't waste your energy eating foods that provide little or no nutritional value (such as potato chips, candy bars, colas, and other snack foods).
*Choose high-protein and high-calorie snacks.
*Keep non-perishable snacks visible and within easy reach.

Dining guidelines
*Make food preparation an easy task. Choose foods that are easy to prepare and eat.
*Make eating a pleasurable experience, not a chore.
*Liven up your meals by using colorful place settings.
*Play background music during meals.
*Eat with others. Invite a guest to share your meal or go out to dinner.
*Use colorful garnishes such as parsley and red or yellow peppers, to make food look more appealing and appetizing.

I hope, I have answered your query effectively. Please do let me know if there are any follow up queries.
In case there are no further queries please accept my answer.

Wish you good health.

Take care.


Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra

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