"You have end stage COPD..." is possibly one of the most frightening - and confusing - things a person can hear.
Let's talk about the four stages of COPD and what it means for you. Here are three simple steps that anybody who has heard these dreaded words - and anybody with chronic lung disease for that matter - should follow.
1.) Get the Facts Straight.
When somebody, anybody, tells you you're at a certain stage of a disease, ask questions.
First, find out what it is that determines that stage and, next, where you fit in.
The very first question I ask when a new patient comes in to Pulmonary Rehab is: "What has the doctor told you is going on in your lungs?" The answer tells me a lot about what the patient has been told, what they understand about it and what it means to them. (It's interesting to note that one study revealed that over 26% of patients were unaware of what their COPD diagnosis meant!) Most of the time when I ask patients what t...
You develop diabetes which can lead to depression which can lead to unhealthy habits which can lead to a worsening of diabetes and.....the vicious cycle continues.
Experts know that depression can have a severely negative impact on physical health. Studies now show that there's a connection between the severity of depressive symptoms and the increased likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes. And patients already coping with diabetes - are at risk of developing or exacerbating their depression. So patients and doctors need to understand the duality interaction between the two conditions.
What the studies have also shown is that if depression is instigated, the diabetes patient will typically turn to more food or less healthy food, which, will clearly make their blood sugars run high and cause further damage internally. They may also smoke, drink alcohol or abandon exercise (if it was in place) due to ongoing depression - all things that will...
Since I have started my blog many folks have asked me how I have progressed through the Stages of COPD. I have been asked: Do you know what caused it? How long have I had COPD? When did it start and how fast has it moved taking over my lungs? For those questions, I don’t have definitive answers. One of the easiest answers I do have is my COPD didn't start the day I was diagnosed.
My COPD started a long time ago. It may or may not have started with the first cigarette I smoked or maybe the first time I got bronchitis. My doctor tells me I was predisposed to COPD, like others are predisposed to heart disease, cancer, or kidney disease. Even if I had done everything right, lived in a bubble, exercised, ate correctly, and got plenty of rest, I could’ve or would’ve ended up with the COPD regardless.
The Stages of COPD
There are four stages of COPD: Mild, Moderate, Severe and Very Severe (which is now starting to be ...
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