Emphysema

We would suggest the following vitamins and supplements:

Omega 3 fatty acids: Will improve and help with inflammation. Can be found in fish, seeds, nuts and supplements.

CoQ10 and Creatine: Natural chemicals that are involved in supplying energy to the cells. Improves exercise tolerance, shortness of breath, flare-ups and quality of life.

Vitamin D: Helps the lungs function better and can help prevent flare-ups.

Vitamin C: Can help prevent shortness of breath, wheezing and mucus.

Vitamin A and E

– Listed by Sharon Olivier, February 2021

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We would suggest the following minerals:

Magnesium: Can support lung function. *Check with complications with medications prior to use.

Calcium: Some meds may cause calcium loss. It can be ingested by foods and supplement dosage, if necessary.

– Listed by Sharon Olivier, February 2021

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We would suggest the following herbs:

Turmeric: The curcumin is a natural, potent anti-inflammatory and can help with inflammation of the airways.

Ginseng: To help build up lung strength.

– Listed by Sharon Olivier, February 2021

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We would  suggest the following diet:

Herbal teas: These teas have been known to reduce symptoms.

Green tea, chamomile tea, lemon balm, lime, linseed, sage, thyme, mallow, rosehip, mint

– Listed by Sharon Olivier, February 2021

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Lifestyle changes:

Quit smoking: Clearly, the tobacco will irritate the lungs further and cause further obstruction.

Improve air quality at home: Be aware of irritants like paints/varnishes, chemical cleaning products, pesticides, tobacco smoke, dust. Limit contact with household chemicals, open windows to increase airflow, use an air filtration system and have it cleaned regularly to prevent the growth of harmful mould and mildew. Vacuum regularly and avoid clutter to avoid dust congestion.

Manage stress levels: Stress weakens the immune system. Stress and emotional stress can cause flareups. Meditation can help ease the symptoms of stress. Simply focusing on your breathwork.

Exercise: To develop muscle strength is important. It can be difficult but avoiding it can cause further muscle weakness and fatigue.

  • Interval training: this entails periods of high and low-intensity exercise. Exercising the muscles without overloading the heart and lungs.
  • Strength training: Using resistance methods such as weights or bands to increase muscle size and strength. Building up muscles in the lower body can help improve shortness of breath.
  • Water-based exercise: If muscle and bone conditions make it more difficult to exercise, water-based exercise is gentler on the body. The water supports the body through buoyancy and provides resistance to increase exercise intensity.

Breathing exercises: The breathing exercises below can help with exercise.

  • Pursed lip breathing: Inhale through the nose. Exhale through tightly pursed lips.
  • Diaphragm breathing: Put your hand on your belly and let out as much air as possible and then take air in while your belly pushes your hand out. Repeat.
  • Pranayama: Commonly used in yoga. Concentrate on the areas of the body involved with breathing.  And you can also breathe into different areas of your body.  Use your mind.

*Shortness of breath and quality of life may not improve, but the breathing techniques may help with exercise tolerance for those that battle to exercise*. – Listed by Sharon Olivier, February 2021

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Essential Oils

We would suggest the following:

  • Lavender Essential Oil
  • Eucalyptus Essential Oil
  • Frankincense Essential Oil

Massage – Buy a base oil: coconut, sweet almond, grape seed for example. If you have 20ml of base oil, add half the amount of Essential Oil drops. In this case, you will add 5 drops of Lavender, 3 drops of Eucalyptus and 2 drops of Frankincense. Rub the blend over the chest and shoulders, as required. Especially effective after a bath.

Bath – Your skin is the most absorbent part of the body. The heat of the bath assists in the absorption. There are 2 ways to do this:

  1. Diffusing 5 drops (maximum) of Essential Oils into a teaspoon of milk. Or a cup, if you would like more of a Cleopatra style bath. Use 2 drops of Lavender, 2 drops of Eucalyptus and 1 drop of Frankincense. Add Epsom salts.
  2. Or simply add 5ml of your massage blend.

Close all windows. Soak for 15-20 minutes minimum. Avoid splashing in the eyes.

Inhalation – Eucalyptus – Very useful for congestion, easing catarrh and soothing the respiratory tract: The age-old method of a towel over the head. Pour boiled water into a bowl. Add 10 drops of Eucalyptus. Agitate the water. Close your eyes. Place a towel over your head. Inhale the vapours for a few minutes at a time, for up to 10 minutes, or as long as comfortable. Repeat as many times as necessary. A facial steamer can also be used, but with 3-5 drops of Essential Oil.

Cloth/tissue – Place 1 or 2 drops of Essential Oils (Eucalyptus) of your choice onto a cloth/tissue. Inhale. Repeat throughout the day as necessary.

Sleep – You can place 1 drop of Lavender on your pillow at night to aid sleep.

Diffuser/Burner – Add 5 drops into a diffuser. (2 drops of Lavender, 2 drops of Eucalyptus and 1 drop of Frankincense).

** A patch test is required – 1 drop of aromatherapy oil to 4 drops of base oil. Apply a coin size amount to a patch of skin on the inner arm **

If sensitivity occurs, apply more base oil to soothe the area. Possibly avoid use for a further 10 days. If you wish to continue, dilute to ¼ of the original amount and test on a small area of skin. If there is no further reaction, continue with that dosage.

** Oils are for external use only and must be blended with a carrier oil. Always avoid the eyes, ears and nose **

** Eucalyptus – Avoid during pregnancy/lactation, epilepsy, on homeopathic remedies. Avoid use for children under 1 and with caution up to the age of 8 **

** Lavender is the safest of oils, if on a rare occasion you react, apply more base oil to the skin to soothe it and dilute the massage blend with more base oil **

** Frankincense – Avoid use during pregnancy/lactating, if any bleeding disorders or on anticoagulants. Avoid with children below 5 and caution below 8 **

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