How to take care of elderly patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in autumn

How to take care of elderly patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in autumn

COPD is a common respiratory disease, with a higher incidence rate especially among the elderly. Autumn is the peak season for COPD, because the air is dry at this time and there are more allergens such as dust and pollen, which can easily cause COPD. Stimulate the patient’s respiratory tract, causing symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing. For elderly patients with COPD, traditional Chinese medicine has proposed a series of autumn health regimens to help patients relieve symptoms and improve their quality of life.

 Chronic cough is often the first symptom

COPD, the full name of COPD, is a type of chronic bronchitis and/or emphysema characterized by airflow obstruction, which can further develop into common chronic diseases such as pulmonary heart disease and respiratory failure.

The exact cause of COPD is still unclear. It is generally believed that factors related to the occurrence of chronic bronchitis and obstructive emphysema may be involved in the pathogenesis of COPD. At present, the risk factors that have been discovered can be roughly divided into two categories: external factors (environmental factors) and internal factors (individual susceptibility factors): external factors include smoking, inhalation of dust and chemical substances, air pollution, respiratory infections, etc.; internal factors include genetic factors, Increased airway reactivity, and poor lung development or growth due to various reasons during pregnancy, neonatal period, infancy, and childhood.

The main symptoms of COPD are:

Chronic cough: Usually, chronic cough is the earliest symptom. As the disease progresses, it may not heal for life. The cough is often obvious in the morning, and there are bursts of cough or sputum at night. When the airway is severely obstructed, there is only difficulty breathing without coughing.

Expectoration is usually white mucus or serous foamy sputum, occasionally with blood streaks, and there is more sputum in the morning. During an acute attack, the amount of sputum increases, and there may be purulent sputum.

Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing is the main symptom of COPD. It appears early during exertion and gradually worsens until you feel short of breath in daily life and even at rest. However, due to individual differences, some people can tolerate this shortness of breath.

Wheezing and chest tightness are more common in severe patients or when some patients have an acute exacerbation of their condition.

In addition, symptoms such as fatigue, weight loss, and anxiety often appear when COPD is severe, but they are not typical manifestations of the disease.

The main symptoms of elderly COPD patients include chronic cough, shortness of breath, dyspnea, and accompanied by sputum production and wheezing. These symptoms usually worsen when the weather changes in autumn, greatly affecting the patient’s quality of daily life. For such patients, even simple daily activities at home may be difficult and uncomfortable. As the condition worsens, patients may gradually develop obvious symptoms of fatigue and weakness, which will aggravate the condition and form a vicious cycle.

In recent years, with the intensification of environmental pollution and population aging, the number of COPD patients and related disease burdens have been on the rise, seriously endangering public health. Currently, there are approximately 100 million COPD patients in China, with the prevalence rate exceeding 27% among people over 60 years old, and as high as 35.5% among people over 70 years old. In addition, COPD has become the third leading cause of death among residents in our country. Therefore, timely diagnosis and treatment are very important for elderly patients with COPD.

Do 5 things to enjoy the autumn smoothly

The Huangdi Neijing, a classic of traditional Chinese medicine, clearly states: “The lungs are responsible for breathing.” This view not only reveals the main functions of the lungs, but also emphasizes the important position of the lungs in the human body. In autumn, the characteristic of lung qi is that it should be collected rather than dispersed. “Suwen Zangqi Fashi Lun” mentions that “the lungs govern autumn…the lungs converge, eat acid quickly to absorb it, use acid to supplement it, and relieve it with pungent”, which means that at this time, the yang energy in nature begins to converge, For settling, people should eat more acidic foods, such as grapes, persimmons, honey, sesame and other soft foods to moisten the lungs and promote body fluids, and eat less spicy foods such as onions and ginger, because the pungent flavor spreads and purges the lungs, which can easily damage the lung qi and consume the yin and fluid in the lungs. , and can aggravate symptoms such as dry cough with less phlegm, wheezing and shortness of breath. The sour taste astringes lung qi, which is the basic principle that health practitioners need to follow.

Understanding the functions and operating characteristics of the lungs can help us maintain better health, prevent diseases, and reduce the probability of illness. Traditional Chinese medicine believes that there are five key points in maintaining health in autumn:

1. Keep indoor air fresh

Regularly open windows indoors for ventilation to reduce the concentration of dust and harmful substances. You can use air purifiers and other equipment to purify indoor air.

2. Diet conditioning

The diet of elderly COPD patients in autumn should focus on nourishing yin and moistening the lungs, relieving cough and asthma. Eat more foods rich in vitamin C, vitamin E and protein, such as fresh vegetables, fruits, fish, etc., and avoid eating too much spicy and greasy food to avoid irritating the respiratory tract.

3. Medicinal food preparation

According to individual differences and conditions, under the guidance of a doctor, medicinal foods with the functions of moistening the lungs and resolving phlegm, relieving cough and asthma, nourishing blood, clearing heat and detoxifying, such as Lily and Lotus Seed Decoction, Pear Decoction, Tremella Fungus Decoction, Pig Lung Decoction, etc., are selected for conditioning. Among them, Lily Lotus Seed Decoction and Pear Decoction can nourish yin and moisturize the lungs, resolve phlegm and relieve cough; Pig Fei Decoction and Ginkgo Decoction have the effect of relieving cough and asthma; Red Date Glutinous Rice Soup, Angelica Mutton Decoction, etc. can help patients with Qi and blood deficiency; Chrysanthemum tea and honeysuckle tea have the effect of clearing away heat and detoxifying, and can relieve throat discomfort caused by dryness in autumn.

4. Exercise appropriately

Carry out physical exercise appropriately according to your own situation, such as walking, Tai Chi, etc. Exercise can enhance physical fitness, increase lung capacity, and reduce symptoms such as dyspnea, but avoid strenuous exercise and overexertion.

5. Avoid smoke and dust irritation

Avoid inhaling tobacco smoke and harmful gases, and reduce going out to try to stay away from pollen and other allergens. In addition, you must avoid emotional excitement to avoid inducing or aggravating the condition.

To sum up, the health regimen of elderly patients with COPD in autumn should focus on keeping the indoor air fresh, paying attention to diet and medicinal diet, exercising appropriately, and avoiding smoke and dust stimulation. It is recommended to choose appropriate health regimen according to their own conditions under the guidance of a doctor to alleviate their chronic obstructive pulmonary disease as much as possible. Reduce symptoms of lung obstruction and improve quality of life.

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