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Stem cell therapy for COPD


Stem cell therapy for COPD

Everyone experiences a different effect when diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. However, with the variety of COPD treatments available, it can quite confusing to make a choice on the best treatments for you. Traditional medications involve inhalers, and oxygen therapy, and they work efficiently to manage disease symptoms. However, there is an alternative treatment method known as Stem cell treatment, which works differently than the traditional COPD treatment. Here is all you need to know about Stem Cell Treatment.

What is Stem Cell Treatment?

With their ability to regenerate, replicate and self-renew, stem cells serve as the building block of life and are essential to every organism. Adult stem cells are called undifferentiated cells, allowing cells from one part of the body can transform their function to that of other types of tissue. This quality is known as flexibility, and this is the key function of stem cells in regenerative medicine.

What is stem cell treatment for COPD?

Stem Cell treatment for COPD helps to improve healing from within the lungs. With the ability to treat disease progression and improve lung function, many people rely on stem cell treatment for COPD.

It uses the body’s natural healing mechanisms to treat diseases. In this process, the cells are removed from the patient’s bone marrow or blood by a professional, and almost immediately, the stem cells are given back to the individual intravenously. Once returned, they can begin to accelerate healing.

How does Stem cells reach my Lungs?

When substances like blood or stem cells, are introduced to the body through an IV, it is carried in the bloodstream and sent directly to the right side of the heart. Within a heartbeat or two, the cell is pushed directly into the lungs. The circulatory system then distributes the substance throughout the body.

For stem cells, this process is a bit different. In studies conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), it was found that, while stem cells undergo the same process, they become stuck in the lungs rather than spreading throughout the body in the bloodstream. This process is known as the pulmonary trap.

 

What stem cell treatment options are available?

There are many stem cell treatment options for different pulmonary conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, chronic bronchitis, pulmonary fibrosis and interstitial lung disease.

During this process cells derived from the patient’s body is used. These cells which are also known as adult stem cells can be extracted from blood and bone marrow.

The use of stem cell therapy, as opposed to other traditional forms of treatment, comes with more benefits since stem cell therapy uses the body’s own stem cells, there are virtually no risks of adverse effects.


COPD Symptoms and Causes


COPD Symptoms and Causes

COPD is a progressive disease whose symptom does not show immediately. COPD symptoms often show after sever damage has already been done to the lungs, and they get worse overtime, especially if there is continuous exposure to smoke. The major symptoms associated with this disease include daily cough and mucus (sputum) production at least three months a year for two consecutive years.

Other symptoms of this disease include:

  • Shortness of breath, especially during heavy physical activities
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness
  • Excess mucus in your lungs
  • Chronic cough
  • Blueness of the lips or fingernail beds (cyanosis)
  • Frequent respiratory infections
  • Lack of energy
  • Unintended weight loss (in later stages)
  • Swelling in ankles, feet or legs

People with COPD also experience a situation known as exacerbations, were their symptoms become worse than the usual variation and persist for some days.

Causes of COPD:

The major cause of COPD is tobacco smoking. However, it is worth knowing that COPD can be caused by other factors such as genetic disorder which is also known as Alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency, exposure to fumes from burning fuel for cooking and heating in poorly ventilated homes.

You should also know that only 20-30% of smokers will develop COPD, although most smokers with a long history of smoking may develop reduced respiratory functions.

How does COPD Affect the Lungs?

The lungs make use of the natural elasticity of the bronchial tubes and air sacs to push air out of your body. When a person develops COPD, these tubes and air sacs lose their elasticity, causing them to over-expand, which leaves some air trapped in your lungs when you exhale.

Causes of Airway Obstruction

Airway obstruction is cause primarily by to factors. They include:

  • This lung disease causes the breakdown of the fragile walls and elastic fibers of the alveoli. Hence, the small airways collapse when you exhale, obstructing airflow out of your lungs.
  • Chronic bronchitis. When this occurs, your bronchial tubes become inflamed and narrowed, causing your lungs to produce more mucus, which can further block the narrowed tubes. This is the major reason for your chronic cough as you try to clear the airways.

The Alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency

This is an uncommon cause of COPD among patients. Here, COPD is caused by the inadequacy of a protein called alpha-1-antitrypsin. Alpha-1-antitrypsin (AAt) is made in the liver and secreted into the bloodstream to help protect the lungs.

Alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency can have negative impact on both the liver and the lungs. Damage to the lung can occur in infants and children, not only adults with long smoking histories.

Risk Factors for COPD:

Some common risk factors for patients of COPD include:

  • Genetics
  • Age
  • People with Asthma Who Smoke
  • Exposure to Tobacco Smoke
  • Exposure to dust and Chemicals
  • Exposure to fumes and burning fuel.

Complications:

Patients who suffer COPD are likely to face one or more of the following complications:

  • Respiratory Infections
  • Lung Cancer
  • Heart Problem
  • Depression
  • High Blood Pressure (especially in the lung arteries)

Fighting COPD can be very complicated. However, with the guidance of your doctor and some lifestyle changes, you should be able to have a more active lifestyle.

 


Top 5 Causes of Bad Breath with COPD


Top 5 Causes of Bad Breath with COPD

COPD Bad breath as we all know can be very embarrassing to you and the people around. Often called Halitosis, bad breath is a health condition that affects over 20% of people around the world. It is believed to be caused by poor oral hygiene.  Although this can be true in most cases, it is not always the case. Bad breath can be caused by several factors including bad food, unhealthy habits, and other health related problems.

With your health in mind, we have come up with the top 5 causes of Bad Breath.

Symptoms of COPD Bad Breath: Before we start talking the causes of bad breath, knowing more about the symptoms can help know our present oral condition faster. Bad breath odors vary depending on the root cause. In most cases, people often don’t know if they have bad breath or not. So, how do you find out?

Because it can be very difficult to know how your breath smell, you can ask a friend or family to confirm any doubts.

Causes of COPD Bad Breath:

The root cause of bad breath actually varies as people have different habits and engage in different lifestyles. However, we have come up with 5 of the most common cause of Bad breath.

Food: This is a common cause of bad breath because whenever we chew and food particle, we increase the number of bacteria in the mouth. You should also note that foods like garlic, and spices, also can cause bad breath as they are usually transmitted to the lungs after digestion.

Disease: According to research, about 80% of people with bad breath get them through oral sources. Diseases like the cavities and gum diseases can lead to bad breath.

Smoking: This is an obvious cause of bad breath. Smoking infects several parts of the body and asides from making your breath smell, smoking stains your teeth, irritates your gums, thereby reducing your sense of taste.

Medication: Some medications create the right environment for to develop bad breath. Some of these medications include:

  • nitrates which are mostly used for the treatment of angina, chest pain.
  • some chemotherapy medication
  • tranquilizers (phenothiazine)

Therefore, if you find yourself using these, we recommend that you speak to your doctor for the best alternatives to this medicines.

Dry Mouth: This is usually overlooked when talking about causes of bad breath. However, it is important to note that a dry mouth provides the perfect environment to grow anaerobic bacteria.

To know if this is a cause of your bad breath, you will notice you have a foul smell in the morning which is caused by the adequate production of saliva in the mouth.

So, how do you treat bad breath with COPD?

To treat bad breath, the first step is to get a proper diagnosis as it’s the best way to identify the root cause of your foul odor. To do this you need to visit a professional dentist or doctor. Make sure you withhold no information as regards your breath from your doctor/dentist.

A proven technique to solve your bad breath problem is the use of oxygenating compounds to recuse the effectiveness of the bacteria’s production. Since these bacteria are anaerobic, consistent supply of oxygen is the natural enemy of the bacteria that cause this problem as they cannot function in the presence of oxygen.

How do you Prevent Bad Breath?

Preventing bad breath is usually easier than treating it. Therefore, you should not wait until you get them before you start working towards avoiding them.

Some easy ways to prevent this disease include:

  • Avoid dry medication
  • Eat fibre-rich food
  • Ensure to use mouthwash (this help to get rid of bacteria).
  • Stop smoking
  • Drink water regularly
  • Clear your diet of dietary products.

Bad breath is a very bad medical condition you should try avoiding at all cost as it can lead to several uncomfortable situations, making you lose some relationships along the way.


Treat COPD


Stem cell therapy to treat COPD

Everyone experiences a different effect when diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. However, with the variety of COPD treatments available, it can quite confusing to make a choice on the best treatments for you. Traditional medications involve inhalers, and oxygen therapy, and they work efficiently to manage disease symptoms. However, there is an alternative treatment method known as Stem cell treatment, which works differently than the traditional COPD treatment. Here is all you need to know about Stem Cell Treatment.

What is Stem Cell Treatment?

With their ability to regenerate, replicate and self-renew, stem cells serve as the building block of life and are essential to every organism. Adult stem cells are called undifferentiated cells, allowing cells from one part of the body can transform their function to that of other types of tissue. This quality is known as flexibility, and this is the key function of stem cells in regenerative medicine.

What is stem cell treatment for COPD?

Stem Cell treatment for COPD helps to improve healing from within the lungs. With the ability to treat disease progression and improve lung function, many people rely on stem cell treatment for COPD.

It uses the body’s natural healing mechanisms to treat diseases. In this process, the cells are removed from the patient’s bone marrow or blood by a professional, and almost immediately, the stem cells are given back to the individual intravenously. Once returned, they can begin to accelerate healing.

How does Stem cells reach my Lungs and treat COPD?

When substances like blood or stem cells, are introduced to the body through an IV, it is carried in the bloodstream and sent directly to the right side of the heart. Within a heartbeat or two, the cell is pushed directly into the lungs. The circulatory system then distributes the substance throughout the body.

For stem cells, this process is a bit different. In studies conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), it was found that, while stem cells undergo the same process, they become stuck in the lungs rather than spreading throughout the body in the bloodstream. This process is known as the pulmonary trap.

 

What stem cell treatment options are available? Treat COPD

There are many stem cell treatment options for different pulmonary conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, chronic bronchitis, pulmonary fibrosis and interstitial lung disease.

During this process cells derived from the patient’s body is used. These cells which are also known as adult stem cells can be extracted from blood and bone marrow.

The use of stem cell therapy, as opposed to other traditional forms of treatment, comes with more benefits since stem cell therapy uses the body’s own stem cells, there are virtually no risks of adverse effects.


COPD and Exercise: Is Exercise Good for COPD?


COPD and Exercise: Is Exercise Good for COPD?

Since COPD makes breathing more difficult, many patients wonder if it is right for them to exercise. Feeling concerned about exercising with COPD is normal. We are here to help you understand COPD and exercise.

COPD and Exercise

Typically, most COPD patients distance themselves from exercising as it may worsen their COPD symptoms. However, inactivity may actually end up giving the same result. This is because inactivity results in reduced muscle mass and a decline in cardiovascular function. The heart and lungs must work together to deliver oxygen to the body.

However, certain exercise can help reduce shortness of breath and other COPD symptoms. As you exercise, you strengthen your muscles and improve your stamina. Regular exercise and physical activity also helps your body to efficiently utilize oxygen and can improve circulation. This helps your body work more efficiently.

What Exercises Can be of Help?

There are different types of exercises that can help you improve your symptoms and quality of life. However, under the supervision of your doctor, combining the following exercises may be of help.

  • Cardiovascular Exercise: Known as aerobic exercise, cardiovascular exercise uses large muscle groups and helps to strengthen your heart and lungs. It also has potential to improve how effectively your body uses oxygen.
  • Strength Training: This type of exercise is very effective when improving your strength. As you build muscles, your body will feel stronger and more capable of doing more activities.
  • Stretching: When you stretch, you help keep your muscles from getting too tight. Stretching works to improve your flexibility and can help your body stay more relaxed.
  • Breathing for COPD and Exercise: Breathing exercises can be incredibly useful for people living with COPD. As COPD and exercise can be challenging, learning how to breathe effectively can help reduce stress and shortness of breath.

When taking this exercises, you should ensure to take necessary precautions. You should not overdo it.

How often do I need to exercise?

The frequency at which you should exercise actually depends on different factors including the severity of your COPD symptoms and your current level of activity. You should work hand in hand with your doctor to develop the best exercise plan for you.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation for COPD and Exercise

In some cases, doctors recommend that their patients attend pulmonary rehabilitation. In pulmonary rehab, you learn the best ways to exercise and breathe efficiently under the care and supervision of a team of doctors, nurses, and respiratory therapists. Pulmonary rehab usually combines exercise, education, and support to help you learn how to breathe and function at the highest level you can.

You should speak with your doctor to find out if this is the best option for you.

You’re Ready for the next step

Now is the best time to kick start that treatment plan. You should not wait for the symptoms to get worse before consulting your doctors. It might be hard at the beginning but starting an exercise plan under the guidance of your doctor could be of great benefits to you. Even gentle exercises like walking, yoga and Tai Chi build strength and stamina. Speak with your doctor about the best exercise plan for you.


Treatment for COPD Sufferers


Treatment for COPD Sufferers

Being diagnosed with COPD is not the end of life. COPD has different stages and in most cases, people tend to fall into the early stages which is the mild form of the disease which requires little therapy other than smoking cessation. Even the more advanced stages of the disease can be controlled with effective therapy, helping to curb complications and exacerbations, and improve your ability to lead an active life.

Smoking cessation

The major step any COPD sufferers can take in any treatment plan is to stop smoking. Doing this is the most effective way to keep COPD from increasing- which will eventually damage the lungs and make breathing more difficult. However, quitting smoking is not an easy one, and it can be more daunting if you are very addicted to it.

You should speak to your doctor for nicotine replacement products that can be of help.

Medications: Doctors prescribe different types of medications based on how severe your condition is. Some medications are taken on a regular basis and others as needed.

Bronchodilators: Usually comes in an inhaler, this medication helps to relax the muscles around the airways, reducing cough and shortness of breath and making it easier to breathe. Depending on the level of your COPD, you may need a short-acting bronchodilator before activities, a long-acting bronchodilator that you use every day or both.

Inhaled Steroids: Inhaled corticosteroid medications help to reduce inflammation along the airways while preventing exacerbations. This medication is very effective, but it has some side effects like bruising, oral infections and hoarseness. It is frequently used for patients who experience frequent exacerbations of COPD. Examples of this medication include Fluticasone (Flovent HFA, Flonase, others) and budesonide (Pulmicort Flexhaler, Uceris, others).

Combination Inhalers: In some cases, doctors prescribe medications which has a combination of bronchodilators and inhaled steroids. Salmeterol and fluticasone (Advair) and formoterol and budesonide (Symbicort) are typical examples of combination inhalers.

Oral Steroids: People who have a moderate or severe acute exacerbation make use of short courses of oral corticosteroids prevent further worsening of COPD. However, when this medication is used on the long-term, it can lead to serious side effects, such as weight gain, diabetes, osteoporosis, cataracts and an increased risk of infection.

Antibiotics: Respiratory infections like the acute bronchitis, pneumonia and influenza, can worsen COPD symptoms. Antibiotics help to treat acute exacerbations, but they aren’t generally recommended for prevention.

Lung Therapies: Often times, doctors make use of additional therapies for people with moderate or severe COPD. The two major types of therapies include:

  • Oxygen Therapy: Oxygen therapy is a proven method that actually improves the quality of life. It is the only COPD therapy proven to extend life. You should speak to your doctor about your needs and options.
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation program: Combining education, exercise training, nutrition advice and counselling; this program helps to shorten hospitalizations while increasing your ability to participate in everyday activities and improve your quality of life.

Managing Exacerbations: Exacerbation may occur for different reasons ranging from respiratory infection, air pollution to other triggers of inflammation. When this occurs, you should seek medical help immediately.

When they occur, you may need additional medications, supplemental oxygen or even treatment in the hospital. Once your symptoms improve, you would be given some measures to prevent future exacerbations like quitting smoking, taking inhaled steroids, or other forms of medications.

Surgery: Surgery serves as the last resort, especially for patients with severe emphysema which could not be controlled efficiently with medications. The available surgical options include:

  • Lung Volume Reduction Surgery
  • Lung Transplant
  • Bullectomy

COPD sufferers can be effectively managed if you use the right form of medication. You should speak to your doctor for the best form of medication that is suited to your needs.


Bronchiectasis Treatment Options


Bronchiectasis Treatment Options: What’s Available and How It Works

Not as common as other chronic lung diseases, bronchiectasis is a chronic disease that causes severe damage to the airways. It is categorized as an obstructive lung disease. Other forms of obstructive lung disease include COPD, emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Even though bronchiectasis is not a common disease, we recognize that it affects the lives of so many people. Therefore, we are here to help you understand your bronchiectasis treatment options and how they work.

What is Bronchiectasis?

It’s a common knowledge that smoking is the major cause of most chronic lung diseases. However, unlike COPD and other types of Chronic Lung Diseases, Bronchiectasis can develop even when a person has never smoked before. In fact, it causes is usually associated with smoking.

Bronchiectasis is usually of two types: congenital and non-congenital. People with the congenital form generally develop the disease through the birth defect. Examples of congenital bronchiectasis include primary dyskinesia and cystic fibrosis.

The non-congenital bronchiectasis, on the other hand, is developed after birth and is not a result of a birth defect. Typically, it occurs because of an injury to the airways or another disease, such as tuberculosis, pneumonia or influenza.

What are the Symptoms of Bronchiectasis?

Just like COPD, the symptoms of Bronchiectasis can take month or years to develop. The common symptoms associated with this disease include:

  • Chronic cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent respiratory infections
  • Coughing up blood
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing up large amounts of mucus every day

If any of these symptoms are noticed, you should contact your doctor immediately. Doing this early helps to know the best treatment plan on time.

What are the available treatment options?

While there isn’t a cure for bronchiectasis, there are bronchiectasis treatment options to help you manage your condition. Often, the major goal of these treatment options is to manage the disease and prevent further damage like infections, blockages and keep mucus production under control.

The major treatment options available is the use of bronchodilators which helps to relax and open the airways. This helps people breathe better. Antibiotics can also help people with an infection, and mucus thinners may help people thin mucus. When mucus is thinner, it is easier to clear from the lungs.

Other forms of treatment available include:

  • Breathing exercises and chest physiotherapy
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation
  • Antibiotics
  • Bronchodilators
  • Mucus thinning medications
  • Expectorants
  • Oxygen therapy
  • Vaccinations
  • Stem cell therapy

In addition to these options, stem cell therapy has been proven to promote healing within the lungs. Most patients who receive this therapy returned to their normal activities.


What is Obstructive Lung Disease?


What is Obstructive Lung Disease?

Chronic Lung Disease has to main categories known as the obstructive and restrictive. While they may have similar symptoms, they affect the lungs in different ways. Within each category are different specific types of chronic lung disease. For example, interstitial lung disease and pulmonary fibrosis make up the restrictive lung disease category. However, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema and chronic bronchitis fall into the obstructive lung disease category. In this article, we will be discussing the question “What is Obstructive Lung Disease?”

What’s the Difference Between Obstructive and Restrictive Lung Disease?

To answer the question “What is Obstructive Lung Disease?”, we have to understand the difference between obstructive and restrictive lung disease. Since they usually exhibit similar symptoms, the major difference between them is how they affect the lungs.

People with restrictive lung disease experience difficulty in expanding their lungs. Meaning they find it hard to fill their lungs with air. Simply put, their lungs have restrictions in normal breathing.

However, for people with obstructive lung disease, they experience difficulty exhaling air out of their lung, making it hard for them to inhale fresh air. The air trapped inside their lungs blocks the new air from entering their lungs.

What is Obstructive Lung Disease?

Like we said earlier, obstructive lung disease makes it hard for people to exhale air from their lungs. The most common types of obstructive lung disease are COPD, emphysema and chronic bronchitis. In most cases, they occur together.

COPD is usually characterized by the blockage of the airways, causing obstruction of airflow into and out of the lungs. It usually includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. In emphysema, the lungs’ tiny air sacs or alveoli are gradually destroyed. In chronic bronchitis, the air passages become inflamed, and the lungs produce excess mucus.

What Causes Obstructive Lung Disease?

Smoking is the primary cause of COPD. If you are currently a smoker, you should see your doctor to get tips that can help you quit smoking and live smoke-free. Quitting smoking can be very challenging but you should keep in mind that they have lots of benefits to your health.

Aside from smoking, people working in certain polluted environments can be at a higher risk of developing chronic lung disease. Generic disorders such as alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency could also be a major cause of COPD without ever smoking.

What are the Symptoms of Obstructive Lung Disease?

The most common symptoms among patients with obstructive lung disease like COPD, emphysema and chronic bronchitis are constant coughing, shortness of breath and fatigue. However, everyone has a different symptom to this disease, so if you notice any changes or worsening of your symptoms, you should report to your doctor immediately.

Obstructive Lung Disease Symptoms include:

  • Shortness of Breath
  • Chronic Cough
  • Wheezing
  • Fatigue
  • Excessive Mucus Production
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Chest Tightness
  • Frequent Respiratory Infections

What Can I Do?

If you think you have chronic lung disease or you notice any symptoms, the first step is to visit your doctor for an evaluation. You may be required to take certain blood tests, exercise tolerance tests or pulmonary function tests to help determine if you have obstructive lung disease. After which, your doctor would design an effective treatment plan. You should make sure to follow this plan to the letter and also track any changes.

Report to you doctors regularly even if you are feeling well. This helps them to monitor your development and proffer solution to any problems along the way.

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COPD Sufferers


New Treatment for COPD Sufferers


Living with COPD Sufferers can be very hard to deal with, because the condition, which causes increased breathing difficulty and reduced capacity of the lungs to absorb oxygen can have serious impact on one’s daily activities.

Meanwhile the number of people in the US suffering with COPD are on the rise. Over 12 million Americans have already been diagnosed with COPD, and experts from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute estimate that an additional 12 million people have the disease but are yet to find out, doubling the national total. Clearly, there is a major need for new medications and cure for this disease.

Here are some of the latest treatment options for COPD and those to become available soon.

Inhalers:

What’s new: Triple Therapy

The asthma style inhalers have been the most common treatment for COPD. However, researchers are studying a more efficient method known as the Triple Therapy. Many experts believe patients perform better on the medication which combines three different medications: a long-acting beta-agonist, an inhaled corticosteroid, and the anticholinergic Spiriva (generic name tiotropium bromide). Studies show that patients who too all three medications found that their symptoms dropped by 62 percent.

Medications to Delate Blood Vessels

What’s New: Lowering pulmonary blood pressure

Pulmonary hypertension or high blood pressure in the arteries is the major cause of the edema, or swelling in the feet and ankles, that most COPD sufferers experience. When this occurs, doctors often prescribe drugs that helps to delate the pulmonary arteries, reducing the pressure of the blood pumping through.

Experts are now beginning to explore the potential of Viagra. The popular drug is now being used to treat pulmonary hypertension. Researches show that Viagra, a vasodilator, works to relax and open the blood vessels that leads to the lungs by making it easier for the heart to pump blood to the lungs, lower blood pressure in the lungs, relieving pulmonary hypertension. The FDA has approved a new formulation of sildenafil called Revatio that’s specifically for pulmonary hypertension. 

Oxygen therapy

What’s New: Replacing oxygen with a mix of helium and oxygen

The use of oxygen therapy has been proven to improve COPD symptoms by boosting the ability of the lungs to supply oxygen to the blood. Recent research shows that a better version of this medication will soon be available. According to the results of research conducted by the Canadian researchers at the University of Calgary determined, when 60 percent helium was combined with 40 percent oxygen — making a mixture known as Heliox – there was significant improvement on their exercise capacity by an average of 245 percent. Since helium is less dense than oxygen, it allows COPD sufferers to empty their damaged lungs more completely.

However, you should note that helium is more expensive than standard oxygen, so it might not be covered by your insurance.

Lung Surgery

What’s New: Lung Volume Reduction Surgery

Recently, in most cases of advanced COPD sufferers, most doctors recommend a surgery known as the LVRS (Lung Volume Reduction Surgery). This type of surgery helps to remove up to 30 percent of the most severely damaged lung tissue with the hope that the remaining sections will function better. The treatment is relatively new, so doctors don’t know how long the effects will last.

Now, some surgeons are exploiting the use of video-assisted thoracic surgery, using a series of tiny cuts to remove small sections of lung tissue instead of opening the chest. If found effective, it could become a mainstream treatment.

Airway Bypass

What’s New: Bronchoscopic surgery

COPD weakens and damages the walls of the air sacks in the lungs. This leads to increased difficulty in exhaling as the small airways between collapses when they try to exhale.

TO solve this problem, researchers are experimenting the possibility of using a bronchoscope-guided needle to create tiny holes through the airway walls. Miniature tubes called stents are then inserted to connect the smaller, collapsed airways with the healthier, bigger airways.

A new Anti-inflammatory Drug

What’s New: Roflumilast

The new medication, Roflumilast (otherwise known as Dexas) was approved in Europe to treat COPD in June 2010. This medication has a different kind of reaction. It worked by counteracting the effect of an enzyme that contributes to inflammation — so it targets the underlying inflammatory mechanism of COPD rather than the symptoms of inflammation.

Tests show that the Roflumilast is very effective. However, it was noticed to have some side effects like nausea, diarrhea, and headache.


What is the Connection between Agent Orange and COPD?


What is the Connection between Agent Orange and COPD?

Many remember the Vietnam war for its horrific violence and the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) it left on people. Another scar the war left behind is the result of a harmful herbicide known as agent orange. The poisonous active ingredient of orange, dioxide has been said to be associated with different health conditions, diseases and cancer. But is there any connection between Agent orange and COPD Sufferers?

Agent Orange:

During the Vietnam war, Agent Orange was used primarily as an herbicide by the United States for the purpose of removing solid vegetation that covered the country and provided camouflage for the movement of communist forces around the country. It helped the US Government to minimize surprise attacks from the enemy. Agent Orange was not available for commercial use; it was made strictly for “combat operations”. Dioxin is a known carcinogen. Therefore, a number of medical conditions and diseases are connected to exposure to agent orange. In 1991, Congress passed the Agent Orange Act which ordered the National Academy of Sciences to conduct scientific and medical research on the effects of agent orange on veterans’ health.

Agent Orange and COPD Sufferers:

In 2012, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, General (R) Eric Shinseki, tried to find out if there was an increased incidence of respiratory diseases, like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), in veterans exposed to agent orange during the Vietnam War.

COPD is a progressive disease where inflammation causes increased blockage of the lungs, thereby, causing lung damage. Though its primary cause is smoking, about 15 percent of sufferers develop COPD after being exposed to chemicals, dust and fumes. When left untreated, COPD patients find that breathing becomes increasingly difficult and symptoms such as wheezing, constant coughing and recurring upper respiratory infections begin to occur.

The research which was initiated by General Shinseki, known as the Army Chemical Corps Vietnam-Era Veterans Health Study, evaluated 4,000 veterans who served in Vietnam from 1965 to 1973. The group ran various lung function tests, and results are still being analyzed before findings can be published. Until these results are released, veterans can receive disability benefits for COPD Sufferers and other respiratory diseases based on the results of lung function testing. A lung function test measures air flow rate through the lungs. The lower the air flow, the less severe the COPD.


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