Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Healthy Eating for COPD Patients

How many COPD patients can relate to this... "It takes a lot of effort to eat large amounts of food." As for myself, if I try to put too much in my mouth, I do get short of breath. It is hard to chew, swallow and breathe when your lung functions are not good. Therefore, eating small amounts of food at a time is recommended due to the energy used to chew and swallow. This is something they teach you if you attend Pulmonary Rehab classes.

I have listed a few facts that I hope will help you begin to "Eat Healthy". This is so important for those of us with COPD.

- Fish Oil and supplemental omega-2 fatty acids. Although no strong evidence supports this, researchers believe that fish oil may be beneficial for COPD patients as they have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects on the body.
- Vegetables. High amounts of antioxidants are found in fresh, green and yellow-orange veggies. Such as kale, spinach, brussel sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, broccoli, beets and red bell peppers.
- Protein and Fats. A diet low in fat is best for healthy individuals. But for COPD patients, we need a greater amount of fat... healthy fat... in our diets. Proteins from fish, poultry, lean meats, also olive oils and oily fish are good to include in your diet.
- Fruits. Fruits are loaded with vitamins and easy to chew. Berries, peaches, plums, prunes, raisins, grapes, kiwi fruit, cherries, and oranges are high in antioxidants. Very good for your diet!

As you can see we have mentioned "Antioxidants" several times in our diet. Why? Because antioxidants fight disease by helping to repair damaged cells that are affected by the oxidation process which occurs during normal cell functioning. Vitamin A and carotenoids, C, E, selenium, flavonoids, lycopene, lutein and lignan all make up antioxidants.

- Dietary Supplements. Zinc and selenium in foods may help to reduce the severity of upper respiratory tract infections, but there is little evidence that vitamins and minerals have any ability to improve lung function. Please talk to your doctor before adding any dietary supplements to your diet.
- Red Wine. Research has shown that the chemical resveratrol, which is found in red wine, grapes and olive oil, can have health benefits. Also, some researchers believe that used in moderation, red wine may even provide protection to the lungs. It also should be noted that a high intake of wine can have a reverse effect, which may cause weakening of the immune system. Again, talk to your doctor before including alcohol or red wine to your diet.

You will find alot of information on the internet concerning "Healthy Eating for COPD Patients". My recommendation is to talk to your Pulmonologist about what foods are good for "your body" and "your health". We all may read something on a website or in a book and feel that this will "cure" us, as it is written in stone.
I would like to share with you a sad but true story written by Lori Palermo about her dad Wayne Litzenberger who passed away of COPD/Emphysema.


Eat Well My Friends and Breathe Easy,

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Friday, September 21, 2007

A Women's Lung Health Luncheon

I received a very special phone call this week that I could not wait to share with all of you. You see, I have felt for a very long time that my "lot in life" was to help other human beings... to reach out to COPD and other Lung Disease patients. Starting my own BLOG has brought me so much joy and satisfaction knowing that I AM reaching out to these patients and making a difference.

Now to tell you my exciting news! The special phone call I received was from Mr. Kurt Goerke, the Regional Director/State Camp Director for the American Lung Association of Florida Inc. Gulfcoast Area, (I met Mr. Goerke at the Asthma Walk last spring).
Mr. Goerke invited me to the "Catch Your Breath" Women's Lung Health Luncheon to be held on Friday, October 12, 2007 at the Bonefish Grill, Fort Myers, FL. To say the least, I am ecstatic to receive this special invitation. Mr. Goerke also mentioned that he "has seen what I am doing on-line and greatly admires how I am reaching out to others."

The luncheon will be of great interest as their program consists of Speakers & Presenters from the Lee Cancer Care and Health Park Pulmonary Associates. Also Personal Testimonials from a Lung Cancer Survivor, a Lung Cancer Victim's Daughter and a Chronic Asthmatic.

For me to receive such a marvelous compliment from a wonderful person made me feel great! I will be attending the luncheon with honor. I hope you will look forward to my post after the luncheon, as I will tell you all about it!

Let us all reach out to one another and share our "Breath for Life".

1 2 3... Inhale ... 1 2 3 4... Exhale

Breathe Easy,



Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Using O2 but still Smoking?

I would like to tell you about an incident that I observed in a restarurant the other day, which brought back memories of my "smoking days".

As a former smoker, I can relate to how very difficult it is to give up a bad habit. It wasn't easy quitting. I was fortunate that I had a great support team... my family and friends! It was difficult at first. I actually did it for my great nieces, right after they were born. I was at my nephews house for Christmas and my niece brought the twins over for a visit. I really could not hold them because I could smell the acrid cigarette smoke on my clothes. I did not want them to be subjected to the secondhand smoke odor no matter how young they were. So, that was the beginning of the end... of my "Smoking Days"! Those girls were my inspiration. I am thankful that I stopped smoking. I have been smokefree now for over five years and feel this is a major accomplishment for me! Every now and then I do get the desire to have a "smoke"... but then I remember where I was five years ago and how far I have come.

What brought that story on is this: I was visiting a restaurant the other day and happened to see a woman come in wearing an O2 cannula. I thought "how lucky I am that I do not have to be on O2". The woman went outside to sit in the smoking section. The next thing I noticed, she had taken her oxygen off and lit up a cigarette! Her cough was awful! Once she finished her cigarette she put her O2 back on. I imagine she just needed those few puffs to make her feel better??...

What do you think?

I am not exactly sure how I feel. At this point in my life I don't believe I would pick up another cigarette, but then if that "stressful situation" arises... what would I do? Again, being an ex-smoker, I know how hard it is to quit. But on the other hand... if you need oxygen on a daily basis, your lungs must be in pretty bad shape. So, why would you continue smoking?

I try each and every day to help myself to do the best I can with what I have... COPD/Emphysema and Asthma, all as a result of Cigarette Smoking.

I ask you all to please share your stories with me. You may send me a private e-mail or I will share your story with our readers if you would like.

1 2 3... Inhale ... 1 2 3 4... Exhale

Breathe Easy,

I would like you all to meet my great nieces Lauren and Haley, the two beautiful little girls who were truly my inspiration to quit smoking. The girls will be 5 years old on 27 September 2007. Also my "quit date" anniversary of "Big Tobacco"!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Caregivers are Special People

I received an e-mail the other day from someone who was not only a friend but was was also my caregiver. Kathy read my BLOG and would like me to share her e-mail with all of you. But, before I do that I will give you a bit of a history lesson!

Kathy was/is a very dear friend of mine, we have known each other for many years. She was my caregiver when I was first diagnosed with CFIDS, Fibromyalgia, and a few other illnesses. Kathy was always there to help me... shower, dress and with eating. At the time I was first diagnosed with these illnesses, I was in complete bed rest, unable to use any motor skills. I couldn't stand on my own and had to have assistance to the bathroom. I can remember I found myself reading one word out of the dictionary because I had no control of my thought process. In order to use it... and not completely lose it, I would read one word for weeks until I could remember it.
I am grateful for each day that I can get our of bed and appreciate life... and I know that she played a huge part in helping me recover.

I wanted everyone to know that I know, how much music does mean to you. I've known nyou for almost 30 years and some of the happiest times we spent was you singing along with the music and doing your karaoke. The music has helped you through some of the toughest times in your life. It's kept you going... and me too!

I've been there too with your family and saw how much everyone enjoyed the get togethers and sing-a-longs. Everyone had such great voices! The way your mother always whistled!!! I know where you get it from.

I miss hearing you sing, but I'm glad to know that you are still doing it.


Thank you all for allowing me to share a "piece of my past" with you.


Please don't forget our breathing...

1 2 3... Inhale ... 1 2 3 4 Exhale