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Mary Ella’s Weekly Message
April 16, 2012
Coping with Lung Disease
Many people decide to quit smoking when they are diagnosed with a lung disease such as emphysema or COPD. If this is true for you, you have come to the right place to receive support and tools to help you become smokefree! It's never too late to quit and you will receive immediate physical benefits from quitting smoking. Check out our list of Benefits of Quitting. If you have COPD, quitting smoking now is the single most important thing you can do to keep your COPD from getting worse.
There are about 13 million people in the United States diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. There are steps you can take to cope with the lifestyle changes that this disease brings. Learning about COPD and the treatment for it can help you feel more in control. There are American Lung Association Better Breathers Clubs that meet throughout the country for adults with lung disease. To find one that may be meeting near you, check out this page of our website or call the American Lung Association at 1-800 LUNG USA (586-4872).
The American Lung Association's Lung HelpLine is a great resource as well. You can have an online chat with a registered nurse or respiratory therapist or call 1-800-LUNG USA (586-4872). The line is open daily from 8:00 a.m. until midnight, Eastern Time, and the service is free.
The signs and symptoms of COPD include:
- Constant coughing, sometimes called "smoker's cough"
- Shortness of breath while doing everyday activities
- Producing a lot of sputum (also called phlegm or mucus)
- Feeling like you can't breathe or take a deep breath
Diagnosis involves taking a breathing test called Spirometry. If you have some of the symptoms above, ask your physician about getting a Spirometry test. Approximately 24 million Americans have evidence of impaired lung function based on this test, which suggests an underdiagnosis of this disease. The earlier COPD is detected and treated, it can be controlled and the impact on quality of life can be minimized.
If you're quitting and feel an urge to smoke, remember the 4 D's:
- Delay. The urge will pass in three to five minutes whether you smoke or not.
- Drink lots of water. Most of us don't drink enough and the recommendation is eight 8-oz. glasses per day.
- Do something else. Keep your hands busy.
- Practice Deep breathing.
Until next time, I’ll see you on the Message Boards! :-) Mary Ella
Don’t forget: If you're in the Premium program and want help fast on the Message Boards, put "HELP NOW" in the subject line of your post. If you're looking to offer help, watch for those, "HELP NOW" posts and alert your other FFS Online buddies to offer some assistance as well.