Reflections of COPD/Asthma – ‘Nutrition’, Part 4

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When I began my travels and battles with COPD/Asthma I knew that it was important to learn what and when I could to better understand as much about COPD and Asthma so I would always be up to date as to what I was up against.

I also felt that as a member of the COPD/Asthma nation, it was important to continually share information that may possible help even one other person in their own battles with COPD/Asthma.

With that, ‘Reflections of COPD/Asthma’ will cover a variety of topics to help both inform and refresh the knowledge of all that goes with battling COPD and/or Asthma.

Today we discuss or refresh your knowledge with the fourth of a ten-part series on ‘Nutrition’.

More basics to nutrition that we all need to remember are:

Always have adequate nutrients within the calorie needs for your physical well-being.

Some key recommendations would be – –

** Eat and drink a wide range of nutrient-dense beverages and foods from all the basic food groupings.

** Always choose foods that have very limited saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars, added salt or added alcohol.

** Always eat foods enough to meet the energy level needed for your physical well-being by following a well-balanced eating model.  Following a USDA Food Guide would possible be a good plan.

Some key recommendations for dealing with weight management:

** Always balance the amount of the calories consumed with the amount of calories spent to keep your body weight in a healthy range.

** Always reduce food and beverage calories in small amounts to stop gradual weight gains over time.

** Always increase physical activity when possible.

These are the basics of nutrition, many of which may be touched upon more than once in this ten-part series as they all are of most importance to any battle with COPD and/or Asthma.

Reflection Question – What if any of these references have you tried or may be using in your battles to stay nutritionally healthy while battling your own individual battle with COPD and/or Asthma?

If you would like to reflect your response to others, please leave them under the comment section of wheezingaway.com.  Thanx.

As always, if you or anyone you know have any symptoms involving lung and breathing functionality, and they linger over and over while disrupting a lifestyle – then please ask questions and get it checked out.

ALWAYS REMEMBER > A person without good breathing, is a person without a good life’, so let’s do what we can, to learn what we can, to improve what we can.

NOTE TO REMEMBER: We only give descriptions and highlights of various aspects of having COPD and/or asthma and no way do we ever want our information to be considered medical treatment type of information, always consult your physician for more, clearer and more medical founded information.

With that I bid to all – smiles, prayers, blessings and steady breathing – Mr. William.

(Copyright@2017, CrossDove Writer – reprint or use by written permission only.)

To follow more postings written by Mr. William, feel free to check out either wheezingaway.com or on Facebook at COPD Travels.

(Information used is gathered from a various number of books, magazines and websites followed and read by Mr. William.)

Reflections of COPD/Asthma – ‘Nutrition’, Part 3

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When I began my travels and battles with COPD/Asthma I knew that it was important to learn what and when I could to better understand as much about COPD and Asthma so I would always be up to date as to what I was up against.

I also felt that as a member of the COPD/Asthma nation, it was important to continually share information that may possible help even one other person in their own battles with COPD/Asthma.

With that, ‘Reflections of COPD/Asthma’ will cover a variety of topics to help both inform and refresh the knowledge of all that goes with battling COPD and/or Asthma.

Today we discuss or refresh your knowledge with the third of a ten-part series on ‘Nutrition’.

Some basics to nutrition that we all need to remember are:

** We should choose a food from each food group at each meal – because each group has nutritional values the other groups will not.

** Meat & Beans will provide nutritional value in protein, iron, phosphorus, B12, copper and zinc.

** Milk products will provide nutritional value in protein, calcium, phosphorous, riboflavin and B12.

** Fruits will provide much needed proper carbohydrates, fiber, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and folic acid.

** Vegetables will provide fiber, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, folic acid and with very few carbohydrates plus orange vegetables are a solid source of carotene.

** Grains will provide carbohydrates, plus if the starchy food is made from whole grain it should contain B vitamins and fiber – if the the grain has been refined required add-ons will be riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, iron and folic acid.

** Oils and what they call discretionary calories will provide (surprise, surprise) fat, but also vitamin A when fat is from butter, cream cheese or sour cream; you will get vitamin E from nuts, olive oil or oils not hydrogenated such as peanut butter.

These are the basics of nutrition, many of which may be touched upon more than once in this ten-part series as they all are of most importance to any battle with COPD and/or Asthma.

Reflection Question – What of these basic nutritional tidbits are used the most effectively by you in your individual battles with COPD and/or Asthma.

If you would like to reflect your response to others, please leave them under the comment section of wheezingaway.com.  Thanx.

As always, if you or anyone you know have any symptoms involving lung and breathing functionality, and they linger over and over while disrupting a lifestyle – then please ask questions and get it checked out.

ALWAYS REMEMBER > A person without good breathing, is a person without a good life’, so let’s do what we can, to learn what we can, to improve what we can.

NOTE TO REMEMBER: We only give descriptions and highlights of various aspects of having COPD and/or asthma and no way do we ever want our information to be considered medical treatment type of information, always consult your physician for more, clearer and more medical founded information.

With that I bid to all – smiles, prayers, blessings and steady breathing – Mr. William.

(Copyright@2017, CrossDove Writer – reprint or use by written permission only.)

To follow more postings written by Mr. William, feel free to check out either wheezingaway.com or on Facebook at COPD Travels.

(Information used is gathered from a various number of books, magazines and websites followed and read by Mr. William.)

Lenny’ and Me 4 Today – My Oxygen Levels……

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‘Lenny’ is my constant companion the doctors call COPD/Asthma.  Naming my constant health companion seems to make life easier for me in relating to my disease as it gives it a bit of a personality.  Besides treating ‘Lenny’ as a companion, come good days or bad, is much better than always dealing with it as an enemy.

This ‘Lenny and Me for Today’ is an occasional write about the adventures and handling of life together of ‘Lenny’ and me.

Let’s see where ‘Lenny’ and Me have been most recently – My Oxygen Levels…..

Recently I read a posting about the difference between normal and low oxygen levels and I found it much interesting.

In turn, the read made me stop and think about my own dealings with oxygen levels within my own battles with COPD and severe Asthma.

When I was diagnosed with late Stage III COPD a little over four years ago, the pulmonologist immediately put me on supplemental oxygen 24/7 which surprised me at first and definetly made for a major change in routines.

For nearly a year and a half I was on that supplemental oxygen, until I decided to change my oxygen provider and was required to have updated testing done on my breathing and oxygen levels.

It was diagnosed that my oxygen levels did not drop often enough and stay low long enough to be covered by my medicare and supplemental insurance, so I was left with a choice – either come up with the money to cover the cost or go without.

I choose to go without and after a few weeks of being very leery of how I did nearly anything, I soon discovered that at this point of my battles with COPD and severe Asthma I could survive without having oxygen 24/7.  Being on a C-Pap machine for sleep apnea made the oxygen need unnecessary for those times I was to be sleeping, so I became supplemental oxygen free once again.

What I discovered was that at this point I could still survive without the oxygen and have been very grateful for that.  But I also understand that because I do not have oxygen available even in emergencies, I have to work at always keeping those levels in mind.

It means I carry my oximeter with me nearly every I go, especially when I know I may be doing anything with much physical effort or a walk that includes a steep incline or stairs.

Most of the time my oxygen level stays between 92-94, but it does not take much effort many days to exert myself and find “Lenny’ flaring up and dropping my oxygen levels to around 90 and if it is a ‘weather’ day of humidity, fierce wind or odor/smoke in the air – then it can plummet to 88 in a hurry.

My worst enemy can be just taking a shower and that is hard because I for one would like to take a bit hotter shower, but if it gets steamy enough – just the physical effort you put on taking a steamy shower can and will agitate ‘Lenny’, which in turn will drop my oxygen level to as low as 87.  While it will not stay there for very long, my body will feel the results for a while.

Compared to many, I am doing great – but I also know how quickly my ‘Lenny’ can and will flare up and that I know is just the way life is now for me.

So, for now, I am still supplemental oxygen free with a constant thought on the mind directing me to keep in mind – will my next event run the risk of agitating ‘Lenny’ and dropping that very valuable oxygen level to critical.

And that my friends, is where ‘Lenny’ (my COPD/Asthma) and me are at 4 today.

As always – if you or anyone you know have any symptoms involving lung and breathing functionality, and they linger over and over while disrupting a lifestyle – then please ask questions and get it checked out.

Remember – ‘a person without good breathing, is a person without a good life’, so let’s do what we can, to learn what we can, to improve what we can.

I bid to all – smiles, prayers, blessings and steady breathing – Mr. William.

(Copyright@2017, CrossDove Writer through wheezingaway.com – no part of this write may be used or copied without written permission.)

NOTES: Sometimes we share what may seem like medical information, but we are only giving descriptions and highlights of various aspects of having COPD and/or Asthma and no way do we ever want our information to be considered medical treatment type of information, always consult your physician for more, clearer medical founded information.

Notes to Know About COPD/Asthma – Normal & Low Oxygen Levels

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It is always important to know what is going on in the world of COPD/Asthma, hence a weekly (at the minimum) posting of ‘Notes to Know about COPD/Asthma’ – because those of us battling the issue should always be up to date on what is going on, and that includes both the positives and the negatives of the COPD/Asthma life.

Today we are sharing a posting presented on lunginstitute.com that discusses the ‘Difference between Normal Oxygen Levels and Low Oxygen Levels.

Special Note – Like so many others with COPD/Asthma, we rely on knowing our oxygen levels to know what is going on within our ability to breathe.  Like many, I sometimes know before even checking that my oxygen levels are out of sync.  But like many, I never can get enough information in my continued efforts to learn as much as I can about my ongoing battle with COPD/Asthma.

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The Difference Between Normal Oxygen Levels and Low Oxygen Levels

(As posted by Maren Auxier on lunginstitute.com, June 2, 2017)

Your oxygen level refers to the amount of oxygen in your blood. When that number drops below normal levels, it’s referred to as hypoxemia. People with lung conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, need to be particularly aware of their blood oxygen levels, as they are at a higher risk of hypoxemia.

Tools like pulse oximeters, a small device that attaches to your finger, help you to better understand blood oxygen levels in your body. For those who use supplemental oxygen, a pulse oximeter is a valuable tool in measuring your oxygen saturation level, helping you to understand when to use supplemental oxygen.

So, at what point do oxygen levels go from being normal to unsafe? Before we dive into that more, let’s first explore what it means to have a normal oxygen level and a low oxygen level.

What is a Normal Oxygen Level?

Most people with COPD have oxygen levels that are below normal, even when using supplemental oxygen. The best way to measure oxygen level is through arterial blood gases (ABGs), measured in millimeters of mercury, or mm Hg. In the blood, a normal oxygen level typically ranges from 75 to 100 mm Hg. When blood oxygen levels drop under 60 mm Hg, it is usually an indication that the person needs supplemental oxygen.

If you have COPD, your doctor might give you a prescription for supplemental oxygen to help you to maintain normal oxygen levels. Your doctor should give you a safe range that he or she wants you to stay within to help you better understand when to use the supplemental oxygen. If you find that you’re consistently falling below the range that your doctor suggested, notify your doctor immediately, as your doctor may need to adjust the oxygen flow rate on your supplemental oxygen. Maintaining a normal oxygen level is imperative for effectively managing COPD.

Your doctor might also give you specific directions to adjust your own oxygen flow rate based on your oxygen saturation levels. Consult with your primary care doctor or pulmonologist for the best plan of action for your specific situation.

What is a Low Oxygen Level, or Hypoxemia?

When you don’t get enough oxygen in your blood, the body has trouble effectively nourishing your cells, tissues and organs. A low blood oxygen level, or hypoxemia, can occur suddenly, or can also take place over time.  Frequently, for people with COPD, low oxygen levels occur over time. Doctors often prescribe supplemental oxygen to COPD patients with hypoxemia.

Many people with COPD, however, are not aware that they are hypoxemic. Hypoxemia with COPD can result in a reduction in quality of life, impaired skeletal muscle function, decreased exercise tolerance and increased risk of death. Because of this, it’s important to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of hypoxemia with COPD:

             > Confusion

             > A sense of euphoria

             > Restlessness

             > Headache

             > Shortness of breath

             > Rapid breathing

             > Dizziness, lightheartedness and/or fainting spells

             > Lack of coordination

             > Rapid heart rate

             > Elevated blood pressure

             > Visual disturbances

             > Bluish tint to lips, earlobes and/or nail beds

             > Elevated red blood cell count or polycythemia

             > Monitoring your Oxygen Levels

While the best way to monitor blood oxygen levels is through your ABGs, they are difficult to measure from home. The best way to measure oxygen levels at home is to use a pulse oximeter, which measures oxygen saturation. Normal oxygen saturation levels range from 95 to 100 percent. Anything under 90 percent is considered low. In general, anyone having levels below 90 percent at rest should explore their options for supplemental oxygen therapy with their primary care doctor.

If you or a loved one is experiencing low oxygen levels, contact your primary care physician immediately to discuss your treatment options. Other patients have experienced great success after undergoing stem cell therapy from the Lung Institute. Contact us today for more information about how stem cell therapy is helping COPD patients today.

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‘Notes to Know about COPD/Asthma’ will continue to feature writings from medical folks and caretakers who share insights into the world of what may be going on in the world of COPD/Asthma.  ‘Notes to Know about COPD/Asthma’ can be found at either wheezingaway.com or within the Facebook page, COPD Travels.

Remember – ‘a person without good breathing, is a person without a good life’, so let’s do what we can, to learn what we can, to improve what we can.

I bid to all – smiles, prayers, blessings and steady breathing – Mr. William.

(Copyright@2017, CrossDove Writer through wheezingaway.com – no part of this write may be used or copied without written permission.)

NOTES: Sometimes we share what may seem like medical information, but we are only giving descriptions and highlights of various aspects of having COPD and/or asthma and no way do we ever want our information to be considered medical treatment type of information, always consult your physician for more, clearer and more medical founded information.

Living-4-Today – – Why Be Afraid?

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Sharing with others daily words, thoughts and meditations that bring myself hope and renewal during my own daily battles and frustrations with COPD/Asthma.  Sharing, because as we all know – without that horizon of hope, our daily renewal of faith and fight can dim in a hurry.

Take, read, meditate and hopefully find some of the same hope in your daily battles with a chronic illness and/or disability as I have within mine….

The Word – “Why are you so afraid?  Do you still have no faith?” (Mark 4:31, NIV)

The Thought – Something that I feel pretty confident that most everyone who had been diagnosed with a chronic illness and/or disability, has discovered a new level of the word afraid.

When I had my massive heart attack, I learned quickly what being afraid truly felt like as I pondered all that was going on in the short period of time just before I literally ‘died’ on the gurney.  At moments like that, so many people, places and things flow through your mind that it can almost be overwhelming.

A heart attack is something one can bounce back from by watching diet and exercise, but when I was diagnosed with a long term chronic illness like COPD (to add to my severe asthma) the amount of being afraid once again seemed to fill every cell in my body.

But what is being afraid all about?  Is it just that we don’t know the unknown, the future?  Is it the worry about leaving this thing we call earth and leaving family, friends and places behind?

When we take time in meditation with the ‘Great Spirits’ and truly listen to the guidance and wisdom that is offered, we find that being afraid is part of the human experience while also being unnecessary for being afraid will rob a person of the opportunity to enjoy the four fundamentals of life and happiness – hope, faith, love and grace.

When we have the hope, faith, love and grace in our daily living there should be no reason for being afraid.

The Meditation/Prayer –  As we take a moment to rest in meditation, we look to the ‘Great Spirits’ with much gratitude for all that surrounds us in the walk we call life here on this wonderful gift called Earth.  ‘Great Spirits’, let us leave all our worries and fears at your feet, while listening within the quiet for the touch guidance and wisdom as we travel the constant path of life in search of a solid hold of the four fundamentals of life and happiness.  Help us notice what we may or may not need to do in order to work past those bites of life that make us afraid, so that we can get full enjoyment and fulfillment from hope, faith, love and grace.

With that we all say Hallelujah, Amen.

(Copyright@2017, CrossDove Writer – This writing may not be reused in any manner without written permission.)

(More ‘Living 4 Today’ writings can be found at either wheezingaway.com or on Facebook at COPD Travels.)

Words of COPD/Asthma – ‘Metabolism’

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When you have a disability or chronic illness, one of the most important things you can do is to learn as much as you can about it.  The more you know, the easier it should be to get a handle on those days when you feel like it is a constant battle and you are not sure you are winning.

Knowing the language or words that go with COPD/Asthma is a great way to start or to continue to refresh a person’s knowledge of the ins and outs of the lifelong health companion which we are dealing with.

With that, we discuss some of what we call ‘must know words’ of life with COPD/Asthma – and today we will discuss briefly the importance of knowing our ‘Metabolism’.

‘Metabolism’ is defined as ‘the set of life-sustaining chemical transformations within the cells of living organisms’.  These enzyme-catalyzed reactions allow organisms to grow and reproduce, maintain their structures, and respond to their environments. Metabolism can also refer to all chemical reactions that occur in living organisms, including digestion and the transport of substances into and between different cells

For the general, non-medical person, the definition of ‘Metabolism’ is ‘the consumption of nutrients combined with oxygen, which produces energy and maintains living tissue’.  Because of the constant hard work caused by the poor working lungs, those with COPD and/or Asthma should have an idea on whether they have what is called high or low metabolism.

Those considered as having a low metabolism will most likely need fewer calories taken in while those considered as having a high metabolism will consistently be in the need of a higher calorie intake.

In wanting to know your ‘metabolism’ type, a person needs to check into to finding what their individual ‘basal metabolic rate (BMR)’ would be.  Your ‘basal metabolic rate’ would be the number of calories used to sustain your life.

Sustaining your life is an everyday battle for many of us with COPD and/or Asthma, but we must know what our ‘energy needed for our body to function at rest’ which would be your ‘basal metabolic rate’.  The energy you produce from the mix of the calories and oxygen you take in is what keeps the heart, kidneys, brain and other organs operating which in turns keep you alive.

Since most of those with COPD and/or Asthma use more energy than most while fighting for a decent breath, it is important to have some knowledge of their ‘metabolism’ rate, and a person can do that by discussing it with their physician and requesting a check of their personal ‘basal metabolic rate’.  Knowing the rate, a person makes the energy can be used toward giving them guidance in working on a diet and exercise program to help them in keeping a sustainable level of living.

Do you know your ‘metabolic rate’ so that you can work with your ‘metabolism’ and make it a productive weapon in your battle with COPD/Asthma?

As always – if you or anyone you know have any symptoms involving lung and breathing functionality, and they linger over and over while disrupting a lifestyle – then please ask questions and get it checked out.

Remember – ‘a person without good breathing, is a person without a good life’, so let’s do what we can, to learn what we can, to improve what we can.

With that I bid to all – smiles, prayers, blessings and steady breathing – Mr. William.

(Copyright@2017, CrossDove Writer, reprinting or reuse of this article is restricted without written permission.)

NOTE TO REMEMBER: We only give descriptions and highlights of various aspects of having COPD and/or asthma and no way do we ever want our information to be considered medical treatment type of information, always consult your physician for more, clearer and more medical founded information.

Know that you can follow all the writings by CrossDove Writer pertaining to COPD/Asthma by following at wheezingaway.com or on Facebook at COPD Travels.

(Image used cleared for use by yahoo.com and/or google.images.com)

(Information gathered from various books and internet sources discussing COPD, Asthma and other lung diseases)

Lenny’ and Me 4 Today – Time Brings Frustration

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‘Lenny’ is my constant companion the doctors call COPD/Asthma.  Naming my constant health companion seems to make life easier for me in relating to my disease as it gives it a bit of a personality.  Besides treating ‘Lenny’ as a companion, come good days or bad, is much better than always dealing with it as an enemy.

This ‘Lenny and Me for Today’ is an occasional write about the adventures and handling of life together of ‘Lenny’ and me.

Let’s see where ‘Lenny’ and Me have been most recently – Time…..

When a person is in his late teens or early twenties, time seems as if it will go on forever and many days or weeks would drag on and on.

Funny thing, when adulthood and responsibilities become the norm, then suddenly time starts flying by as if we just entered the Daytona 500 or something.

Then if you get hit with an event or major illness, suddenly time becomes the utmost important thing on your agenda because you suddenly have the realization that it will not always be there and eventually even we have an ending.

I have come close to death three times and the third time I did die for I think they said several minutes, and it was a very enlightening experience.  I came face-to-face with the reality that my life has an ending and it was up to me to help prevent the inevitable from happening any earlier than it may be scheduled.

Problem is I was also diagnosed with late Stage III COPD shortly after and as time as gone by me, I find myself more and more frustrated from not having the stamina or breath to do many of the things I really want to do – such as yard work, spending long days at grandkid sports events, driving long distance to just see something or visit someone and even the opportunity to work out like I want and should be doing.

The biggest frustration for me is that every time ‘Lenny’ acts up, it seems that my routine, my life gets dropped into neutral and everything around me stands still except for time, and time is not something I know I can afford to lose.

Many of us who battle constant battles with a chronic illness and/or disability are very aware of the fact that due to our situations that time is not on our side like it would be if we were healthy and that leads to much frustration.

When ‘Lenny’ kept raising the level of irritation the past couple of weeks, I realized that many of those days would go by without me having an opportunity to do what I wanted to do and that my friends leads to a level of frustration that seems to be nearly impossible to overcome – but overcome I must and knowing that unlike when I was in my early twenties, time is now a treasure worth more than gold and regardless of how ‘Lenny’ may be acting I know I must make every moment count.

And that my friends, is where ‘Lenny’ (my COPD/Asthma) and me are at 4 today.

As always – if you or anyone you know have any symptoms involving lung and breathing functionality, and they linger over and over while disrupting a lifestyle – then please ask questions and get it checked out.

Remember – ‘a person without good breathing, is a person without a good life’, so let’s do what we can, to learn what we can, to improve what we can.

I bid to all – smiles, prayers, blessings and steady breathing – Mr. William.

(Copyright@2017, CrossDove Writer through wheezingaway.com – no part of this write may be used or copied without written permission.)

NOTES: Sometimes we share what may seem like medical information, but we are only giving descriptions and highlights of various aspects of having COPD and/or Asthma and no way do we ever want our information to be considered medical treatment type of information, always consult your physician for more, clearer medical founded information.