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More from Ann - You Are What You Eat - Treat Yourself To Better Health

Posted May 18 2010 6:44am


Those patients with COPD who do take what they eat into serious consideration, generally feel better than those who don’t. There are some excellent websites on nutrition if you are not able to get the help you need from your medical team.
<<< A healthy diet for patients with COPD can lead to better breathing and possibly facilitate weaning from mechanical ventilation by providing the calories necessary to meet metabolic needs, restore FFM, and reduce hypercapnia. Carbon dioxide is a waste product of metabolism and is normally expelled via the lungs. However, patients with COPD who have limited and obstructed airflow have a compromised ability to take in oxygen and eliminate carbon dioxide. In patients with COPD, this impaired gas exchange increases patients’ ventilatory demands, as the lungs must work harder to clear excess carbon dioxide. In healthy individuals, increased carbon dioxide levels are easily eliminated.
The Importance of Proper Nutrition - Proper nutrition can help reduce carbon dioxide levels and improve breathing. Specifically, it is important to focus on the percentages of total carbohydrate, fat, and protein that patients consume to see how their diet composition impacts their respiratory quotient (RQ), which is defined as the ratio of carbon dioxide produced to oxygen consumed. To put it simply, following metabolism, carbohydrate, fat, and protein are all converted to carbon dioxide and water in the presence of oxygen. However, the ratio of carbon dioxide produced to oxygen consumed differs per macronutrient; the RQ for carbohydrate is 1, fat is 0.7, and protein is 0.8. From a nutritional standpoint, this means that eating carbohydrates will yield the most carbon dioxide, while eating fats will yield the least carbon dioxide. That said, prescribing a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet would reduce patient RQ levels and carbon dioxide production. In fact, patients who have difficulty increasing ventilation following a carbohydrate load or patients with severe dyspnea or hypercapnia may benefit from a high-fat diet. >>>>

If you are feeling helpless and hopeless, changing your diet could change the way you feel. It will give you more energy and that in turn just might encourage you to embrace the idea of more exercise, which becomes the icing on the cake that we no longer eat. :)

You all really matter to me and this is why I keep saying ‘gee up’ rather than feeling I am flogging a dead horse. Please take this seriously, you can increase your muscle power to the point where you, too, can vacuum two rooms and a hallway non stop, after walking 2.5 miles on the treadmill, which was my crowning achievement yesterday. :) Life is good if we make it so.

Love - Ann in England - Vice President, EFFORTS

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