COPD also referred to as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, is a progressive disease which is characterized by difficulty in breathing. The condition is manifested in the form of constant coughing which is associated with production of large quantities of mucus with tightness of the chest and shortness of breathing.
When we breathe, air flows from the nose into the trachea (air passage) and enters the lungs through bronchioles. Inside the lungs, there are small air sacs, which contain capillaries. The exchange of gases takes place at this level. In women suffering from COPD, either the air sacs lose their elasticity or the walls of the air sacs are completely destroyed.
Inflammation of the airway and bronchioles can also result in COPD.
Symptoms Of COPD In Women
The disease is attributed to a long term exposure to any type of lung irritant which may subsequently result in damage of the airways. The condition now affects men and women equally, due to changing lifestyle practices and increasing industrialization.
Cigarette smoking is identified as the most common cause of COPD which is followed by exposure to chemical fumes and dust at workplaces. A rare genetic condition called the alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency also plays a role in COPD due to low levels of AAT protein
The symptoms associated with COPD in women include,
- Persistent coughing with production of large amount of mucus.
- Shortness of breath on the slightest exertion or physical activity.
- Wheezing, a typical type of breath sounds can be heard which are associated with the condition.
- Tightness of the chest is another common indicator.
Though these are some of the common symptoms, there are certain other systemic symptoms that may be observed in women suffering from COPD, which include,
- Frequent episodes of influenza or flu indicating a weak immune system.
- Edema and swelling in the lower extremities, with bluish discoloration of the nails, indicative of low blood oxygen levels.
- Weight loss and lower endurance are some of the other symptoms that are associated with low concentration of oxygen in the blood.
- Other symptoms include tachycardia, inability to concentrate, lack of mental agility.
Natural Remedies For COPD Patients
COPD is a progressive disease condition and worsens with age. Currently there is no cure available for the condition. There are certain tips however, which can help in the management of COPD in women.
- Yoga and deep breathing exercises are considered beneficial. These exercises help increase the lung capacity, which in turn, helps alleviate some of the chronic symptoms associated with the condition. Since these yoga practices are relatively simple, they can be done even by elderly women.
- Avoid lung irritants at all times. Avoid exposure to smoke, fume, chemicals, sprays, etc.
- Always be ready for an emergency situation. As the condition progresses, medical emergencies can be frequently expected in elderly women. Being prepared to medical emergencies is very beneficial.
- Aromatherapy essential oils like lavender oil, chaste berry essential oil, etc are considered beneficial in the management of chronic obstructive lung disorders.
- Homeopathic remedies like Ant Tart, taken in low potency, helps resolve the cough and breathlessness, often associated with the condition. Homeopathic remedy like Tuberculinum is considered to increase the lung capacity substantially, which in turn is beneficial in the management of chronic obstructive lung disorder in women.