There are treatments designed to help anyone struggling with COPD, and one of them is pulmonary rehabilitation. This treatment has been shown over and over to help people with chronic lung diseases to live fuller, more satisfying lives and function at the highest possible level.
How is this possible? Only through the help of a full medical rehab team that usually includes doctors, nurses, rehab therapists, dietitians and mental health professionals. These people form a team that focuses on your specific pulmonary situation and works to help you.
Here are some of the components of pulmonary rehab:
- Exercise is a major part of rehab. It can help improve both your heart and lung function. While it may seem scary to push yourself into situations that make you short of breath, just sitting around actually weakens these two all-important organs. Carefully guided exercise and breathing training are included in pulmonary rehab.
- Management of emotions is another important part. Anxiety and depression can go hand in hand with COPD. Because you are limited from doing things that you want to do, depression can be a real risk. Rehab always includes counseling, stress management, and relaxation techniques that can help you cope.
- Nutrition is a key component. Eating and weight management are issues that you must cope with if you have COPD. When you eat, what you eat and how much you eat can all affect the disease. Your pulmonary rehab team will work to provide you with a good nutritional plan that works for you.
If you want to get involved in a pulmonary rehab program, talk to your doctor and your insurance company. Also, the American Lung Association is a great resource.
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