Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD is a chronic respiratory disorder characterized by shortness of breath. The energy requirement for COPD patients is greater than that of healthy individuals. The respiratory muscles of a person suffering from COPD would require ten times more calories than a non-COPD person would need for breathing.
Infections in the respiratory tract would further worsen the lung function of COPD patients, forcing them to burn more calories for breathing. Modification of the diet might not heal this chronic respiratory disorder, but it can reduce the discomfort by meeting the optimal calorie requirement.
Your body weight
Being overweight or underweight are both equally bad for people with COPD. Excess body weight could aggravate breathing difficulties. Excess energy spent in respiration could also enhance weight loss. People with COPD often tend to become underweight. In COPD patients, being underweight is perhaps worse than being overweight. People who are underweight have greater difficulty in tackling the symptoms of COPD and meeting the excess energy demand.
The respiratory muscles are further weakened. They have greater risk of developing infections. They would become tired easily. It is recommended that people with COPD should weigh themselves at least once a week. If you lose or gain 5 pounds in a single week, you should immediately consult your physician. Your physician might adjust your calorie intake to prevent further weight loss or gain.
Increase consumption of nutritious foods
Have plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Fiber rich foods are especially beneficial for people with COPD. Fiber promotes elimination of wastes from the digestive tract. They are necessary for flashing out excess cholesterol and fat from the body. You should try to take at least 20 grams of dietary fibers each day.
Protein is an important part of the COPD diet. Often COPD patients suffer from protein deficiency. Low fat milk and dairy products, egg white, lean meat, nuts, beans and pulses would help to meet your protein need.
People with COPD should drink about six to eight glasses of water and fluid everyday. Water makes the mucus thin, making it easy to cough it up. However, if you are suffering from COPD, avoid intake of caffeinated beverages, colas and alcohol.
Salt increases fluid retention. People with COPD should limit salt intake.