• Poor diet, dehydration, & COPD

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    Poor diet 'a risk factor' for COPD, suggests study
    By David Millett on the 4 February 2015
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    GPs should recommend a healthy diet to help prevent COPD, say researchers who discovered very poor diet could increase the risk of developing the condition by a third.

    Junk food: poor diet COPD risk
    Junk food: poor diet COPD risk
    A diet rich in whole grains and nuts but low on red meat and sugary drinks is associated with a reduced risk of developing chronic lung disease, according to the BMJ study.

    The study analysed data from over 120,000 US patients who took part in biennial health questionnaires throughout the late '80s and '90s. Patients who reported having asthma or COPD at baseline were excluded.

    Although the predominant risk factor for COPD in the developed world is smoking, up to a third of patients have never smoked, suggesting other risk factors could play a role.

    Researchers from France and Harvard University in the US calculated the Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI-2010) scores, a measure of diet quality, for these patients.

    The AHEI-2010 is calculated based on 11 components. A higher score indicates a high intake of vegetables, whole grains, polyunsaturated fats, nuts and long chain omega-3 fats, and lower intake of alcohol, red and processed meats, refined grains and sugar-
    sweetened drinks.

    Poor diet a risk factor
    Over the study period, almost 900 patients were diagnosed with COPD. The researchers then investigated whether the likelihood of developing COPD was linked to diet quality.

    They found that patients with the lowest AHEI-2010 values – and hence poorer diets – were a third more likely to be diagnosed with COPD than those who had the best quality diets, suggesting that poor diet could be a risk factor for poor lung health.

    The results were consistent across genders and independent of smoking status.

    The study authors said: ‘This is a novel finding that supports the importance of diet in the pathogenesis of COPD. Although efforts to prevent COPD should continue to focus on smoking cessation, these prospective findings support the importance of a
    healthy diet in multi-interventional programmes to prevent COPD.

    ‘Our results encourage clinicians to consider the potential role of the combined effect of foods in a healthy diet in promoting lung health.’

    The researchers found no association between AHEI-2010 diet score and adult-onset asthma.

    COPD is thought to be the third leading cause of death worldwide.

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    Staying Hydrated with COPD
    28 Aug 2016 | Under COPD, Diet and Nutrition, Lifestyle, Tips | Posted by Lung Institute | 2 Comments
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    Staying Hydrated with COPD
    For people living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), staying properly hydrated can be challenging but is an important part of managing COPD. For example, many people with COPD experience increased mucus production. The excess mucus
    becomes thick, sticky and difficult to cough up. However, drinking enough water can thin mucus and make mucus easier to clear out from the lungs. So with your health in mind, the Lung Institute has put together a few facts and tips about staying hydrated
    with COPD to help you breathe easier.

    Why is water so important to staying hydrated with COPD?
    In order to stay hydrated, it’s important to drink enough of the right kinds of fluids every day. Drinking water, of course, is an excellent way to stay hydrated. In fact, water is one of the most crucial nutrients the body needs and works with many of
    the body’s processes, including:

    Lubricating joints
    Regulating body temperature
    Protecting the eyes and mouth
    Removing waste from the body
    Transporting other nutrients throughout the body
    Actually, water makes up more than 50 percent of the human body. Through sweating, urinating and breathing, a person can lose 2-3 quarts of water per day, so it’s crucial for people to replace the water in their bodies by staying hydrated. Typically,
    doctors recommend that people with COPD drink around 64 to 96 ounces of water, which is about 8 to 12 glasses. Of course, it’s important to discuss your personal hydration needs with you doctor before drinking more water.

    As previously stated, for people with COPD, excessive, sticky mucus can make breathing difficult. Drinking enough water can thin the mucus, making it easier to cough up. However, there are more benefits to staying hydrated with COPD.

    Drinking enough water can also help people with COPD fight off infections better. For people on oxygen therapy, the oxygen can cause symptoms of dryness and irritation in the nasal passages and airways. The good news is that drinking enough water can
    help prevent this dryness while keeping you hydrated.

    What drinks should I avoid, and what drinks will help keep me hydrated? Staying Hydrated with COPD

    While there are many drink options available, it’s important to know which liquids to avoid. Drinks that contain caffeine such as tea, soda and coffee as well as alcoholic beverages can actually dehydrate you or pull water away from your body. It’s
    best to avoid these drinks or only drink them in moderation followed by a glass of water.

    Many people like to use sports drinks like Powerade and Gatorade to replenish electrolytes and rehydrate the body. While these drinks may help, they can also contain high amounts of sugar. To reduce the sugar amount, you can try watering sports drinks
    down and drinking them in moderation under the guidance of your doctor.

    There are many fluid options that will help hydrate or rehydrate you as well. You guessed it; water is the best hydrating liquid. The best drinks for staying hydrated with COPD include:

    Broth soups
    Fruit Juice (100 percent, natural fruit juice)
    Decaffeinated coffee
    Decaffeinated tea
    Coconut water
    Can certain foods help with hydration?
    You can actually eat your water and receive important nutrients, vitamins and minerals from certain foods. Foods that are excellent sources of water and also contain vital nutrients include:

    Bell peppers
    Baby carrots
    Even though these foods have a high water content, they also provide important nutrients. In fact, celery contains folate and vitamins A, C and K, and watermelon is rich in the antioxidant lycopene. Spinach contains lutein, potassium, folate and vitamin
    E, and cantaloupe provides you with vitamins A and C.

    Electrolytes and staying hydrated with COPD made easy
    Staying Hydrated with COPD

    Staying hydrated with COPD isn’t just about drinking enough water. It’s also about eating foods rich in water and maintaining a healthy balance of your electrolytes.

    When you become dehydrated, you may also experience an imbalance in your electrolytes. Electrolytes are electrically-charged minerals, which aid in regulating water quantities, muscle activity and pH levels in your body. If you’re trying to replenish
    your electrolytes while you hydrate as well, try eating foods that contain potassium, magnesium, calcium and some sodium.

    For example, bananas, sweet potatoes, baked potatoes, oranges, almonds, raisins are rich in potassium. Excellent sources of magnesium include bran cereal, brown rice, almonds, molasses, bananas, okra and Lima beans. When it comes to calcium, try foods
    such as sardines, salmon, kale, mustard greens, dried figs, hazelnuts, almonds as well as both dairy milk and fortified almond, rice or soy milk.

    Remember to discuss your personal hydration needs with your doctor before you change your diet or treatment plan. If you’re looking for more tips on foods for your COPD diet, check out our article about COPD-friendly foods. With these tips and facts,
    staying hydrated with COPD will be easier.


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