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VITAL BREATHING TIPS FOR COPD PATIENTS

VITAL BREATHING TIPS FOR COPD PATIENTS

Difficulty in breathing is the first sign of COPD. This can be mainly tackled with some essential lifestyle changes, which will also make the patient feel better.

STOP SMOKING
Immediately give up smoking. It is an important decision to make and will help prevent further damage to your lungs. At the same time, a person should take care to avoid second-hand smoke. Any kind of smoke can irritate the lungs and make breathing difficult.

GET FRESH AIR

It is always better to avoid any irritants that can affect the lungs and breathing. Try to find out the environmental conditions and stay home when the pollution or pollen concentration is beyond healthy limits. Stay off fumes and dust particles.

EXERCISE

Endurance is one aspect that helps to breathe. Regular exercise can improve one’s endurance and strengthen the muscles that help you breathe. Consult your doctor before starting any sort of exercise.

EAT HEALTHY

In conditions like COPD you will expend more energy to help you breathe better. A well-rounded diet will give you extra energy and help you stay active and healthy.

MANAGE BODY WEIGHT

Since it takes more effort and burning of calories to breathe, you will tend to be underweight. Your doctor can suggest supplements and help you get good weight.

AVOID IRRITANTS

You must avoid certain products like soaps and perfumes that may contain substances that can irritate your lungs and air passage. Use natural products without scents and chemicals to have good breathing.

TAKE MEDICINES

Follow your doctor’s treatment plan stringently. Take all the medicines in the right quantity and on time as per the physician’s advice.

 

 

 

CONSULT DOCTOR REGULARLY

Submit to checkups even when you feel fine. Only your doctor will be able to gauge how well your lungs are working. Get your medicines updated and do call your doctor when you feel your symptoms are getting worse.

GET SUFFICIENT SLEEP

COPD can cause very serious sleep problems.  It can be partly due to COPD and partly due to tot the medicines you take. The normal sleeeep can help you stay safe. Consult your doctor and take advice or sleep medicines for having a good sleep.

GET A FLU INJECTION

Remember to get a flu injection every year. Diseases like the flu and other respiratory issues can cause severe problems for people with COPD. Consult your doctor and find the right vaccine. Keep social distancing to prevent flu.

OXYGEN THERAPY

Many breathing problems are caused due to the lack of oxygen. In COPD condition, your lungs don’t absorb oxygen the way it should, so they can’t supply oxygen-rich fluids in your body. The condition makes it difficult for your body and organs to function normally. You can always use the modern-day oxygen therapy, to enables you to breathe properly.

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KNOW ABOUT VITAMIN DEFICIENCY AND ANEMIA

When a person has lower than the required amount of specific vitamins, it affects the overall blood cell count in the body. The low blood count results in vitamin deficiency anemia and related health problems.

Folate, vitamin B12 and vitamin C are the major vitamins that is linked to vitamin deficiency anemia. The deficiency happens when a person does not eat foods containing enough of folate and other vitamins or if the body has trouble in absorbing and processing the vitamins.

Vitamin deficiency anemia is a condition that requires your doctor’s intervention and treatment, which will consist of vitamin supplements and changes to your diet.

Symptoms of vitamin deficiency anemia

There are obvious signs and symptoms to indicate vitamin deficiency anemia like constant fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, yellow skin, irregular heartbeat, weight loss, numbness or tingling in your hands and feet, muscle weakness, behavior changes, unsteady gait and mental confusion or forgetfulness.

Vitamin deficiency anemia has a slow progress but as the deficiency progresses, the symptoms will also increase.

What causes vitamin deficiency anemia?

Vitamin deficiency anemia occurs when there is a shortage of vitamins in the body needed to produce enough red blood cells. The red blood cells function to carry oxygen from the lungs to the various parts of our body.

The various vital vitamins and the result of their deficiency include:

Folate deficiency: Folate is nothing but vitamin B9, a nutrient found in fruits and leafy green vegetables. A diet lacking in these foods can lead to folate deficiency and resultant problems. Folate deficiency occurs mainly due to small intestine surgery, celiac disease,  alcohol drinking and certain medications. Pregnant women and those undergoing dialysis will also experience a higher requirement for folate.

Vitamin B12 deficiency: The deficiency of vitamin B12 happens due to a diet lacking in products like meat, eggs and milk. A condition where the immune system mistakenly attacks the intrinsic factor a substance in the body also causes B12 deficiency. Some people will experience difficulty in absorbing vitamin B12 in the small intestine, causing anemia. The disease of the small intestine, bacterial growth, Crohn’s disease, and tapeworm attack also are main causes.

Vitamin C deficiency: Vitamin C deficiency develops due to a diet deficient in the vitamin or due to the body’s inability to absorb the vitamin. Smoking is a major cause of this condition. Certain chronic illnesses like cancer, kidney disease also increase the risk of deficiency.

What are the complications of the condition?

Pregnant women experiencing vitamin deficiency anemia will have complications in pregnancy and even lead to premature birth. The untreated condition can cause neurological problems like persistent tingling sensation in the limbs, mental confusion and forgetfulness. The deficiency also causes scurvy with excessive bleeding under the skin and in the gums.

How to prevent vitamin deficiency anemia?

Choosing a healthy diet is one significant preventive action against vitamin deficiency anemia. Foods rich in folates like green vegetables, nuts and fruits can be taken. Eggs, meat, cheese and seafood will provide vitamin B12 and foods like broccoli, citrus fruits, green peppers and tomatoes can help in providing the necessary vitamin C.

Vitamin supplements, quitting smoking and drinking in moderation can all contribute to keep the body well supplied with vitamins and thus prevent vitamin deficiency anemia.

 

 

 

 

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KNOW THE PROBLEMS OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY

Childhood obesity is not a matter of cuteness or one to be admired. It is a serious medical and health issue. Obesity in children and adolescents is a substantial medical problem today. Children who have above the healthy weight for their age and height come into the category of obese children.

Health problems which were once considered as exclusive adult-oriented are now embracing children mainly due to obesity. Health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol now affect obese children. Many of these overweight children grow into obese adults, especially when one or both their parents are obese.

On the psychological front, childhood obesity can lead to poor self-esteem and depression.

The whole family has to be involved in tackling childhood obesity. The family can improve its eating and exercise habits and thus influence the change in obese children. Treating and preventing childhood obesity helps in protecting the child’s health in the present and as the child grows in the future.

What are the symptoms of childhood obesity?

Some extra pounds in a child does not mean the child is overweight or obese. Some children tend to have a larger frame and children typically carry different amounts of body fat at various stages of development. Hence it is not possible to know whether a child is obese or not just by the looks.

The best possible way is to use the BMI calculation, which provides the optimum weight to height measurement based on accepted guidelines. The doctor may also use growth charts, the BMI guidelines and any other appropriate tools and tests to diagnose whether the child’s weight is a health risk.

When to consult a doctor?

Watch your child’s weight and see if too much weight is being put on. If you see any change in the weight which is causing concern then consult your doctor. The doctor will check the child’s history of growth and development, family history of weight gain and compare the child’s growth chart. This will help determine if the child’s weight is unhealthy.

What causes childhood obesity?

Too little activity and too many calories from food and drinks is the primary reason for childhood obesity. Apart from these, specific genetic and hormonal reasons, family history and any other underlying health problem can also causes weight gain.

Recent research has found that changes in digestive hormones can affect the body’s signals that let a child know when it is full.

Health complications of child obesity

Childhood obesity will give rise to several physical, social and emotional problems for your child. Some of these complications include type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma, sleep disorders, fatty liver and bone fractures due to body weight and falls. Obese children are more prone to low self-esteem, behaviour and learning problem, poor social skills and, at times, depression.

How to prevent childhood obesity?

Parents have to take the responsibility to see that the child always maintains an optimum weight and does not overshoot the limits. You can limit the child’s consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages or avoid them altogether, provide the   child plenty of fruits and vegetables, eat meals as a family as far as possible, limit eating ooout especially at fast food joints, teach the child to make healthier food choices, adjust the portion sizes according to age, limit TV time to less than 2 hours and ensure the child gets enough of sleep.

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WHAT IS PAEDIATRIC OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA?

Paediatric obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that affects children. This is a health condition where a child’s breathing is partially or completely blocked during sleep. Paediatric obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the upper airway is narrowed or completely blocked during sleep.

Paediatric obstructive sleep apnea is different from the adult sleep apnea. Adults usually manifest daytime sleepiness due to adult sleep apnea but children show marked behavioural problems. In many of the cases of adult sleep apnea the leading cause is excess body weight or obesity, whereas, in children, the most common cause is an enlargement of the adenoids and tonsils.

It is crucial that paediatric sleep apnea is diagnosed early to prevent later stage complications to the child, including growth, cognitive development and behaviour.

What are the symptoms of paediatric sleep apnea?

There are many symptoms that is manifested when a child is sleeping. These symptoms include some sort of snoring, pauses in breathing, restless sleep, snorting, coughing or choking, mouth breathing, bedwetting and sleep terrors. Most infants and young children do not snore and may instead have a restless sleep.

The effects of sleep apnea in children during the day can be well recognised. The children with sleep apnea may perform poorly in school, they have difficulty paying attention in the classroom, have learning problems, have behavioural problems, do not gain age-appropriate growth and weight, they will be mostly hyperactive.

What are the causes of paediatric sleep apnea?

The primary cause for paediatric sleep apnea is the presence of enlarged tonsils and adenoids. Yet, obesity also plays a key role in children. Sometimes certain craniofacial conditions and neuromuscular disorders can also lead to paediatric sleep apnea.

When to consult a doctor?

If your child is showing signs of restless sleep at night and later shows tiredness in the morning with sure symptoms of hyperactivity or behavioural problems then it is time you sought the right medical intervention for treating the condition.

What are the risk factors?

Apart from obesity, other risk factors for paediatric sleep apnea include Down syndrome, abnormalities of the skull and face, cerebral palsy, sickle cell disease, neuromuscular disease, family history of the disease and low birth weight.

Serious outcomes

Paediatric sleep apnea is not limited to just lack of sleep and behaviour problems in children. It can lead to severe health problems too.  The problems include stunted growth in children, lead to major heart problems and in some cases where proper treatment is not give cause the death of the child.

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IS SLEEPING ON AN INCLINE SAFE FOR BABIES?

Experts have been warning parents not to let babies sleep in rockers, cushions, car seats or any other product that holds an infant at an incline. The baby sleeping like that tend to have their head higher than their feet.

 

Studies have shown that babies made to sleep at an incline will suffer injuries and impair their movements. Their oxygen levels also decreased, which is a dangerous situation. Researchers have found that none of the inclined sleepers were safe for the babies. Babies should be made to sleep on their back on firm bedding and not surrounded by pillows/thick blankets.

 

How Babies Move

 

Studies were conducted on how babies move and use their muscles in inclined products. Infants from 2 – 6 months were chosen for the study.

Each infant was placed in a product for  60 sec at a time for safety.

 

The results showed some  that it was easier for the babies to roll from their backs to their stomach in the test   products. The  study team found that lying on an incline activates the baby’s stomach muscles and makes it easier for them to lift their heads and turn over, even if they have never done it.

 

What is the danger?

 

Once the baby flips over, the angle of the sleeper and the soft material that most of the products are made of can make it tough for them to get out of that position. Babies who wind up on their stomachs struggle and get extremely tired. They even lie face down and get suffocated.

 

There  are reports of thousands of such incidents and deaths from USA where all these took place within a short span of 10-15 years. The parents added that they have never noticed their baby roll-over but found them dead lying in one of these products.

 

When babies burrow their faces into a soft surface, they end up continuously breathing the carbon dioxide they exhale, eventually leading to suffocation and death.

Other precautions

Sleeping in car seat

In countries like the USA certain regulatory agencies have issued strict instructions on using inclined products for babies. Parents should not use inclined sleep products with a seat back that rises more than 10 degrees. Parents also should take care not to let babies sleep in car seats, bouncers, pillow or a seat that holds them at an angle.

 

Crib mattress

Parents tend to put a crib mattress at an incline to help with reflux. Though previously some doctors recommended that since babies tend to choke due to reflux. But recent studies show this does not help and may be unsafe.

Blankets & Pillows

In addition to inclined surfaces it is equally dangerous if babies sleep in blankets soft sheets and pillows. They tend to pull it over their face and  are unable to breathe freely.

The safest way for a baby to sleep is on their back, in  a bare crib and on a flat firm surface.

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