Introduction to COPD: A Respiratory Disease That Can Drastically Affect Your Life

chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Story at-a-glance -

  • Contrary to common respiratory illnesses that are contracted from microbes, COPD is generally caused by habits such as smoking and exposure to chemical fumes
  • What’s worse is that COPD has no cure, and the only treatment possible is by managing the symptoms and initiating healthy lifestyle changes
  • Learn how COPD starts, its risk factors and symptoms to watch out for. It’s important that you educate yourself properly so that you can avoid this condition

Oxygen is a colorless, odorless gas that makes up 65 percent of your body mass.1 Undoubtedly, it’s essential for humans and other living beings.  Oxygen is vital because it plays a central role in cellular respiration, which is the process of making energy.

Every time you inhale, oxygen enters your lungs and goes into the bloodstream, after which it is then distributed to all cells throughout your body to be used to break down sugar into energy.2 To achieve this goal, oxygen binds itself to the hemoglobin in your blood, allowing them to circulate in your body.3

The next step of respiration is glycolysis, a process where glucose is converted into pyruvate to create adenosine triphosphate, a nucleotide that gives your cells energy. From here, pyruvate is broken down further into carbon and hydrogen atoms, one of which becomes carbon dioxide — the waste your body creates after energy is used.4

How Your Lungs Work to Supply Oxygen to Your Body

Your lungs play a central role in taking in oxygen for energy production. The process of breathing starts at the mouth where air enters into your windpipes. At the end of these passageways are your alveoli, which is where oxygen is absorbed into the bloodstream and carbon dioxide is pumped out. The oxygen goes into your heart to be distributed throughout the entire body, with the process repeating  itself.5

Your Lungs Are Quite Sensitive and Can Become Damaged

With so many working parts in the lungs, it’s no surprise that they are highly susceptible to various diseases, such as the cold and flu.6 Another disease you need to watch out for, though, is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Contrary to common respiratory illnesses that are contracted from microbes, COPD is generally caused by habits such as smoking and exposure to chemical fumes at various jobs . Over time, lung tissue becomes damaged and lung function is gradually reduced to the point where one can  develop long-term breathing problems.7

What’s worse is that COPD has no cure, and the only treatment possible is by managing the symptoms and initiating healthy lifestyle changes.8 If not treated right away, COPD can cause complications that may worsen your health further, such as:9

  • Lung cancer
  • Collapsed lung(s)
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Malnutrition
  • Acid reflux

In addition to physical problems, COPD may affect your mental health. Those who are diagnosed with the late stages of the disease often have a hard time continuing with their daily routine. As a result, they may develop depression, anxiety and panic disorders because their daily routine has been affected. These issues may necessitate more treatments aside from addressing physical concerns.10

Learn All About COPD Here

If you’re a smoker, you are at high risk of developing COPD in the future. You may not experience any symptoms right now, but you may notice changes in your breathing as time goes by. Don’t make the mistake of not getting treatment before it’s too late.

In this guide, learn how COPD starts, what factors indicate risk,  and symptoms to watch out for. It’s important that you educate yourself properly so that you can avoid this condition or help save the remaining healthy tissue in your lungs, allowing you to enjoy life longer.

MORE ABOUT COPD

COPD: An Introduction

What Is COPD?

COPD Symptoms

COPD Causes

COPD Stages

Types of COPD

COPD Treatment

COPD Life Expectancy

COPD Prevention

COPD Diet

COPD FAQ

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What Is COPD?

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