Many people with COPD experience dramatic weight loss. This is due to the greater energy demands placed on their bodies. Here we explain how the metabolism works, and how chronic obstructive pulmonary disease causes weight loss.
When your body metabolizes food, it turns the food and oxygen into energy and carbon dioxide. Your body needs this energy for every single activity, from breathing to walking. Nutrients from food, in the form of carbohydrate, fat and protein, provide your body with energy. The amount and type of food that you eat determines the amount of energy and carbon dioxide that are produced. You get rid of carbon dioxide from your body when you exhale; if you have too much carbon dioxide in your body you may feel weak.
If you have COPD breathing will take more energy than it does for healthy people. This is because the muscles required for breathing have to work up to ten times harder. If you eat the right food, you can help to boost your immunity and help to prevent infections, including chest infections, which can cause serious complications for people with COPD.
If you are overweight, you will be putting extra strain on your heart and lungs; regular exercise and a good diet can help you to lose weight in order to ease the strain of additional energy and oxygen requirements caused by excess weight.
If, on the other hand, you are underweight, you may feel weak and tired and will be more susceptible to infection.
Get into the habit of eating between four and six meals a day. This will allow you to fit more nutrients and calories into small, easy to manage meals. Take small bites, and chew slowly to ensure that you gain maximum nutrients from the food and to stop you from tiring too quickly part way through your meal.
Monitor Your Weight
Try to weigh yourself twice a week so that you can you can see if you start to experience unexplained weight loss or weight gain. If you gain or lose more than 5 lbs. in a week or 2 lbs. in a day, contact your doctor as your medication, fluid or food intake may need to be adjusted.
Increase Fluid Intake
You need to drink a minimum of 6 8 oz., non-caffeinated drinks a day. This will help to keep your mucus thin and easier to cough up. Caffeine consumption should be kept to a minimum as it may interfere with your medication. If you are unsure, consult your doctor.
Stem Cell Application For COPD
Stem cells, specifically undifferentiated adult stem cells, have the ability to change to become part of many organs and tissues within the body. Stem cells injected into a patient will go to the damaged site, or sites, within the patient’s body and restore damaged tissues, rejuvenate poorly performing cells, and turn into cells of that tissue, repairing damage done to the specific site. In this way, stem cell application can be used to repair the lung damage within COPD patients, allowing them to regain their health and prevent further degeneration of the disease.
Click here to read more about top foods to help prevent weight loss with COPD.