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COPD

Ayurveda has an entire section on the treatment of pulmonary diseases. It says that in order to maintain health and prevent disease, one needs to have a balance between all three doshas (Kapha, Pitta, and Vata). While the imbalance of Dosha leads to their excesses which manifest as a disease only it is due to the weakening of Agni or digestive fire. Because Agni is responsible for burning up toxins and distributes nutrients equally throughout the body but when it is weakened then there will be improper healing from any infection or injury. When digestion does not take place properly, ama begins to form along with impaired assimilation of food. This causes symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, palpitation, loss of appetite, indigestion, flatulence, and diarrhea.

According to Ayurveda an individual who has a tendency towards Kapha doshic dominance is more prone to develop COPD. This imbalance in Vata, Pitta, or Kapha dosha can occur due to either genetics (family history) or lifestyle. In some individuals, it may be caused by their inheritance. It is important for these people to recognize the early signs and symptoms and seek treatment immediately.

Ayurvedic Treatment of COPD

According to Ayurveda the main focus should be on diet and lifestyle changes which will bring about positive results. This is what Sutra Chikitsa is all about- changing your lifestyle in order to get long-lasting benefits. A regular yoga practice, daily walks, meditation, pranayama and practicing a light form of Hatha Yoga are all very beneficial in getting rid of this disease along with its symptoms. According to Ayurveda COPD can be prevented when one practices preventive medicine through good habits. An individual who engages in physical exercise regularly will be less susceptible to contracting this disease. Exercise boosts up the digestive fire (Agni), oxygenates the bloodstream, and offers immediate relief from fatigue which eventually helps us avoid the onset of COPD.

Ayurvedic Lekhana Chikitsa is a treatment that involves herbal remedies and minerals to bring about better results. There are several herbs that can be used in the preparation of anti-COPD medicines such as Shilajit, Ashwagandha, Neem, Bhrangraj, etc. The oil or juices extracted from these herbs reduce inflammation and help with repair work on the respiratory tract lining (due to its demulcent properties). This not only helps in healing the affected areas but also relieves congestion and cough because it can thin mucus secretions while increasing expectoration. In addition, many Ayurvedic herbs have immunomodulatory properties that reduce systemic inflammation and prevent the onset of COPD.

COPD is not a life-threatening disease if diagnosed in time and treated properly. Proper diet, lifestyle changes, as well as Ayurvedic medicine one, can slow down or even reverse the progression of this disease. So it is not just about getting relief from symptoms but rather treating the root cause of this ailment through the use of Ayurveda.

The pulmonary disease remains the third leading cause of death in India after heart disease and stroke. COPD: It is a chronic problem that causes a person to breathe difficultly. Apart from the difficulty in breathing, many other symptoms are associated with COPD like Chronic cough, wheezing, loss of appetite, weight loss, etc. Symptoms of COPD can't be cured but they can be controlled. We should remember that smoking is the most common reason behind this disease so stop smoking to avoid it.

What causes COPD?

Smoking and the kind of work you do are a good number of causes behind this disease. But there are other possible reasons too like certain types of bacteria and asbestosis (asbestos buildup in the lung).

What makes COPD worse?

The symptoms become worse in case you neglect them or smoke. Smoking is known to worsen the disease.

What are the symptoms of COPD?

There are plenty of symptoms that can tell us whether a person is suffering from this disease or not.

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Weight loss
  • Coughing up mucus
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain especially when lying flat
  • Feeling exhausted even without doing any work
  • Frequent respiratory infections

Who is at risk of COPD?

What are the factors that make a person more prone to suffer from COPD?

Smoking or passive smoking, family history, and exposure to some particular kind of hazardous chemicals. And this disease can be brought on by several different diseases like lung cancer, tuberculosis etc.

How do we breathe normally?

The process is complex but easy to understand. The main players in the process inside our lungs are the Diaphragm and Intercostal muscles (the group of muscles between each rib). The diaphragm moves downward while breathing in which forces the air into our lungs. When we exhale it gets back towards its normal position which helps us to breathe out the air.

The intercostal muscles contract and relax in a specific sequence which enhances the movement of the diaphragm helping it do its job with ease.

What happens when we have COPD?

When a person suffers from COPD, there is a problem with the alveoli (air sacs) inside his lungs. The disease causes these individuals to become smaller than usual making them unable to take in oxygen normally, thereby causing trouble in breathing. This condition blocks them making it impossible for oxygen to get into our blood and reach other vital organs like the brain, heart, etc on time causing difficulty in functioning too. The intercostal muscles also weaken due to lack of use eventually leading to slower movement of the diaphragm and irregular breathing.

How is COPD diagnosed?

The medical tests required to diagnose this disease include X-rays, CT scans, Bronchoscopy etc.