Bronchi and alveoli
In chronic bronchitis, there is a persistent inflammation of the bronchi. The branches of the bronchial tubes, the trachea to the lungs. The inflammation is continuously mixed with mucus cough and respiratory problems as a result. Also, the lining of the bronchi by inflammation becomes thicker, causing additional anxiety symptoms occur.
There has been a deterioration of the alveoli in the lungs. Alveoli ensure that oxygen is absorbed from the lungs into the blood. When a reduction in the number of alveoli less oxygen can be absorbed into the blood, causing anxiety symptoms occur.
COPD is in about 80 to 90 percent of cases caused by smoking or passive smoking. Prolonged exposure to irritating factors cause an inflammatory reaction in the lungs and destruction of lung tissue. Smoking makes symptoms worse and the disease develops quickly. Even after quitting smoking COPD may still occur because of the damage that occurred earlier in the lungs.
- Air pollution and poor ventilation
- Occupational exposure to dust for example, adhesives, poisons, paint fumes
- Lung diseases such as asthma or pneumonia
- Genetic diseases
Diet and the development of COPD
In February 2015, a team of French and American researchers published an interesting study on the influence of diet on the development of COPD. From a comparative examination of the data of 120,000 people, it has been found that the power supply also has an impact on the health of the lungs. Persons especially whole grains, polyunsaturated fatty acids, nuts, and omega-3 fats and ate little red or processed meat, refined grains and sugary drinks have developed COPD used less often than average.
In the early stages of COPD are mild complaints to the fore, such as coughing, phlegm and breathlessness on exertion specify. Often the first symptoms begin around the age of 45 years with cough, often ?? mornings when getting up. In subsequent years, the cough and sputum remain unchanged until the age of 60 to 70 years. Then, there will be an increase in the complaints, especially if even then there is smoke.
As the condition progresses, the complaints, and will lead to increased shortness of breath on exertion. The cough becomes more severe, as well as give up the mucus. In some cases, a lung infection with an extra increase in symptoms as a result. Initially walking outdoors restricted, later will also run in the home are limited. At a later stage leads slight exertion such as talking or dressing to severe dyspnea. Climbing stairs is no longer possible.
Spirometry testing can be done in general practice by a qualified physician assistant. During the examination is measured, inter alia, the amount of air can be exhaled in one second. This value is compared with the expected airway capacity based on age and gender.
Pulmonary function and GOLD classification
Once the investigations have been conducted, a breakdown by the GOLD classification can be determined. The GOLD classification is an international classification, in which the reduction is expressed in lung function. In addition to the decreased lung function will often be other symptoms.
The treatment of COPD by the general practitioner or specialist comprises a plurality of steps, depending on the severity of the condition at that time. The treatment that the symptoms are reduced or alleviated as much as possible are:
- Non-drug advice: exercise, quit smoking, achieve a healthy weight.
- Advice to avoid as many other irritants.
- A self-management program startup, in collaboration with the GP Practice assistant.
- Referral to physiotherapy for movement and breathing exercises.
- Possible use of pulmonary rehabilitation to accept the complaints and constraints and to improve the condition.
- Administering annual influenza vaccination.
- Prescription medications such as bronchodilators, corticosteroids and antibiotics.
- In a later phase can provide supplemental oxygen for some relief from the symptoms.
In a self-management are a number of topics, bringing more knowledge and recognition of symptoms occurs. Some issues in many self-management ?? s covered are: information about COPD, dealing with everyday problems, adapt lifestyle, correct medication use and react to a change or increase in symptoms. Attempts to reduce the severity of symptoms and hospital admissions because of an acute attack. Since being handled in a more active manner occurs with COPD and lifestyle modification, positive effects are experienced in respect of the restrictions, condition and muscle mass.
If there is a moderate to severe COPD there is a poor prognosis, with a high risk of death. The complications that cause COPD often occur at an increased risk of death. Research from the Universities of Ghent and Rotterdam showed that the risk of sudden cardiac death three times higher than in people who do not have a prolonged and severe COPD. Especially people who have more than 5 years of the diagnosis of COPD with frequent exacerbations are at increased risk. Explanation for the increase in sudden cardiac death in this group may be caused by chronic oxygen deficiency, whereby the structure of the heart and blood vessel changes.
This abridged life there is in the years of severe COPD talk of significant constraints and a great loss of quality of life. For this reason, the maintenance of a good lung function of vital importance.