Nutrition is a vital part of the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other chronic lung diseases. In fact, many foods have been shown to benefit patients with such conditions. However, there are also certain foods you should avoid if you have a chronic lung disease because they may cause an exacerbation.
What Is an Exacerbation?
You may not be familiar with the term exacerbation. However, if you have COPD, you may have experienced one. Exacerbations are sudden and extreme worsenings of chronic lung disease symptoms. They can be a problem because they make it more difficult for COPD patients to breathe, and they often result in the patient having to go to the hospital.
3 Foods That Can Increase Exacerbations
There are a variety of factors that can increase your risk of an exacerbation, and one of these factors is the foods you eat. In order to reduce your chances of having an exacerbation, there are 3 foods in particular that you should avoid.
1. Fried foods. Fried food options are plentiful and tasty, but they aren’t a healthy choice for chronic lung disease patients. Fried foods are high in free radicals, and these substances are known to cause increased inflammation. For this reason, fried foods can lead to an increased risk of chronic lung disease exacerbations.
2. Too much sodium. High amounts of salt can also increase your risk of having an exacerbation. Salt is necessary for your body for many reasons. For one thing, it’s vital to transmitting nerve impulses and muscle function. It also helps regulate the water in your body. However, high levels of salt can also cause your body to hold onto more water. In turn, this water retention can reduce the space your lungs have to expand, which can trigger an exacerbation.
3. Cured meats. Cured meats are very popular with the average American. For instance, bacon is a cured meat that is synonymous with an American breakfast. Other commonly consumed cured meats include pepperoni, pastrami and salami. Unfortunately, eating lots of cured meats can be bad for chronic lung disease patients because cured meats contain high levels of nitrates. Studies have shown that high nitrate levels can lead to a worsening of chronic lung disease symptoms, and high amounts may even increase the risk of developing COPD.
Our Lung Health Institute Health Care Team Can Help You Find Lung-Healthy Foods
Our Lung Health Institute health care team knows nutrition is an important treatment tool for chronic lung diseases like COPD. This is why nutrition is a major part of our 3 Anti-Inflammatory Initiative™, or AI2™, plans. For instance, our plans can help you make nutrition choices designed to boost your immune system and may help train your body to fight inflammation with fats.
We also offer minimally invasive cellular therapy as a treatment for chronic lung conditions. Cellular therapy is a procedure that uses concentrated platelets and cells from your blood to target lung disease. The platelets release healing properties that, when combined with proteins, growth factors and other helpful cells from your blood, may promote healing in damaged tissue and reduce inﬂammation in your lungs.
Contact one of our patient coordinators today for more information or to schedule a free consultation.