Top 3 Mistakes for New COPD Patients
If you are newly diagnosed with COPD or even have been living with this diagnosis for a while, it is important to follow a COPD management plan. This being said, it is also important to avoid common mistakes that can lead to further exacerbations. COPD is stressful enough on its own. Thus, the clinical support staff here at Southeastern Equipment & Oxygen has provided you with the following short guide to help you avoid unneeded mistakes in managing your disorder: “Top 3 Mistakes for New COPD Patients.”
Improper Use of Medication
You will undoubtedly be prescribed medications to help with your COPD. In fact, you may receive a plethora of them. Some are designed to control flare ups, while others are designed to be preventative. Either way, it is important that you take the medications exactly the way they are prescribed. If you take them improperly, not only will your treatment not go the way your doctor intended, but your COPD symptoms could get worse. As a result, make sure you know all you can about the medication you are taking. In fact, we recommend you use one pharmacy for all of your medications, and you consult your pharmacist with each new prescription to ensure that you know all you can. If you are having trouble keeping up with your medication regime, there are several apps you can download to your cell phone to help you with this. Medisafe Medication Manager is a good one. So is Round Health.
Unhealthy Eating & Dehydration
Do not take your nutritional needs for granted. In fact, healthy eating is the most proactive thing you can do to treat your COPD. Not only should you eliminate foods that will make your symptoms worse (consult your doctor), but you should develop daily and weekly meal plans. This will make eating healthy that much easier. Also, make sure you stay hydrated. This is super important since the main benefit of proper hydration for a COPD patient is the thinning of mucous. Don’t forget the rule of thumb: 8 glasses of water a day is the minimum you should shoot for.
Continuing to Smoke
Quitting smoking is not an easy thing. In fact, it may be the hardest thing you’ve ever tried to accomplish in your entire life. The thing is, if you continue to smoke, you are simply setting yourself up for failure in dealing with your COPD. It is true that many COPD patients feel that they cannot quit, but they can. It just takes time because it is so difficult. Although it may be difficult to quit, there are things you can do to help. For one, minimize the amount you smoke. Secondly, if you do choose to quit, there are lots of medications out there that can reduce the craving to smoke. Remember: you won’t be able to quit overnight. Therefore, make sure you take the time to get prepared to do so.
Don’t Give Up
Successfully dealing with COPD is a journey. It can be a difficult one at times, but with a good plan and support, you can live a healthy, fulfilling life with COPD. Sure: the list of mistakes above is not exhaustive. Yes, there are plenty of other things you should avoid for successful COPD management, but the best thing you can do for your COPD is to not focus on limitations. Instead, focus on positive things that bring you joy. By focusing on healthy choices and a lifestyle based on wellness, your limitations will no long be a burden. In turn, you can live your very best life.