Emphysema is a serious disease of the lungs in which small air sacs, called the alveoli, are permanently stretched, or distended. This chronic condition causes the lungs to lose their elasticity and reduces the number of blood vessels in the lungs, making breathing difficult. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for emphysema. While there are prescribed medications that have been developed for the treatment of emphysema, a number of home remedies are available that might reduce the symptoms of this affliction. Here are five suggestions for easing the torments of emphysema.
Probably the number one thing that all emphysema sufferers can and should do is quit smoking. While this may sound like a no-brainer, many people with emphysema continue to smoke. The hot smoke that is drawn into the lungs through the act of smoking irritates the lining of the organs, thus making the condition worse. Smoking can also lead to other problems, such as lung cancer.
Exercise is crucial for anyone, and people with emphysema are no exception. Keeping fit helps sufferers remain active as long as possible. Although it isn't necessary to partake in overly strenuous activity, staying mobile aids overall body function, making the afflicted more comfortable and symptom free. Be sure to consult your physician before starting a new exercise program.
Eat a Healthy Diet
It is also important to maintain your overall health as much as possible if you suffer from emphysema. You don't need to go on a special diet. Just be sure you eat a variety of nutritious foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and meats. These foods will provide the vitamins and minerals your body needs to prevent other problems from occurring.
You should eat several small meals throughout the day, which will have the added benefit of helping you maintain a proper body weight. It is also advisable to limit the amount of salt you consume. An excessive intake of salt can lead to added lung inflammation by upsetting the body's sodium-potassium ratio.
Wear Loose Clothing
This suggestion might sound a bit strange, but tight clothing — particularly tight shirts — can be restrictive, not allowing the diaphragm to expand and contract as much as it needs to. Wearing loose clothing will give you more breathing room, and may reduce overall chest discomfort.
It might be beneficial to eat a clove or two of garlic each morning. Garlic has been used to liquefy mucus. If you liquefy the mucus in your lungs, you can expel it through the act of coughing. It is suggested to eat the garlic in the morning on an empty stomach; this can help clear or reduce daily chest congestion and discomfort. You can also add crushed garlic to fruit and vegetable juices and drink them throughout the day.