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Chronic lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) means more than a simple decline in one’s ability to carry out even the most basic tasks. As the disease progresses, there will be an incremental breakdown of the lung’s airways and passages, which ultimately creates respiratory complications that will keep increasing over time.
Although the description of this progress may seem dark, it is important to know the seriousness of each stage so as to be able to prepare and confront it.
In the fight against COPD and other lung related disease, the biggest obstacle is time. As humans, time is the greatest resource we have, simply because we can choose to do anything we want with it– up to and including the management of your health and well-being.
However, we know how complex it is to discuss time in relation with COPD Life Expectancy. Therefore, understanding your disease and knowing its progression and acting quickly to help maintain your quality of life is a very important step.
COPD Life Expectancy:
Gauging one’s life expectancy in any field of medicine is not an exact science. A person diagnosed with cancer and given six months to live may well live for just 3 months and in some cases, may also live for years. The progression of diseases in different bodies vary.
COPD diagnosis uses a staging system known as the GOLD COPD Stages. With this system, the severity of one’s disease progression is checked using metrics such as your forced expiratory volume in one second reading (FEV1), which is collected during your pulmonary function test.
The GOLD COPD stages are broken down into four major stages, and the general breakdown of life expectancy is as follows:
- Stage I- Mild COPD (predicted normal life expectancy is common)
- Stage II- Moderate COPD (predicted 5+ life expectancy with treatment)
- Stage III- Severe COPD (predicted 5+ life expectancy with treatment)
- Stage IV- Very Severe COPD (predicted time is limited even with treatment)
When increasing one’s life expectancy, the major emphasis is avoiding any form of negative or respiratory-harming conditions like smoking while closely following the prescribed treatment regimen of your primary physician. As many who develop COPD typically fall within stages II or III, there is a need for treatment to maintain a desired quality of life while extending your life expectancy as long as possible.
How Do I Extend My Life Expectancy?
The major step to extending one’s life expectancy is to consult your doctor to know the best treatment plan for you. Below are some tips that may be used in combination with your doctor’s prescribed treatment plan that can help you feel better.
Quit Smoking: Smoking has a negative effect on the general wellbeing. Unless you quit smoking, the internal damage to your respiratory health will only keep progressing. Although quitting can be difficult especially when its already a habit, it’s important to the forming of a healthier life.
Change Your Diet: You should change your diet to better promote a healthier life and increase the energy within your body. Eating a well-balanced diet provides your body with all the nutrients it needs to regulate your organs and keep you healthy.
Exercise Regularly: Exercise is very important for the body; it keeps the heart pumping. We don’t mean you should hit the gym. This means allocating sometime during the week to take a walk, you can just stroll to your mailbox, to the end of the street, etc. You can set a goal and challenge yourself to beat it. However, you should not be taking long walks as a start.
Know Your Treatment Options: When fighting COPD head on, it is wrong to address the disease without a proper treatment plan. There are different treatment options available to tackle COPD, ranging from stem cell therapy, to inhalers, steroids, to supplemental oxygen. You should consult your doctor for the best treatment plan for you and make sure you adhere to it.
COPD life expectancy can be disheartening but you should see it as a guidepost to make a few changes that improves your lifestyle. The biggest factor in managing one’s health is making swift decisions that affects your health positively.
With a few changes in some lifestyle behaviours, you should be experiencing some positive changes with COPD symptoms. However, when lifestyle changes fail to improve your quality of life as expected, it may be time to consider stem cell therapy. Rather than addressing the symptoms of lung disease, stem cell therapy works directly on disease progression, helping to improve quality of life.