Difficulty breathing, coughing, wheezing, and mucus production are all symptoms of the inflammatory lung disease called COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). COPD is a grouping of pulmonary conditions that the patient is suffering simultaneously, usually emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
COPD is not curable, but it is treatable and manageable. In addition to eliminating exposure to smoke and other air pollutants, there are certain foods that a person with COPD should avoid in order to minimize the symptoms. Let’s take a look at some of the foods and ingredients you should avoid eating if you have COPD, and who you can talk to about maintaining healthy lungs.
Foods and Ingredients to Avoid if You Have COPD
For people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, fluid retention is an uncomfortable but common issue. Edema (swelling) can develop, especially in the feet, ankles, and legs, and consuming high-salt foods can make the swelling worse. This retention of fluid occurs because COPD negatively affects the ability of the lungs and heart to process liquids properly via blood circulation.
If you have COPD, it is essential that you avoid foods with high levels of salt. An excessive amount of sodium facilitates water retention in the body.
Certain Fruits and Vegetables
We sometimes make the mistake of believing that all fruits and vegetables are good for us. In regard to COPD, fruits, and vegetables that cause bloating and gas should be avoided because of their fermentable carbohydrate content – which can cause difficulty breathing.
A few of the fruits and vegetables to avoid include:
Excessive phlegm is a problem with COPD, and dairy products can create phlegm – so they should be avoided. These include milk and milk-derived products, including butter, cheese, ice cream, and yogurt.
Caffeine impacts COPD in that it may interfere with prescribed medications. Read the medication label to find out whether you should avoid foods and beverages such as chocolate, coffee, tea, and caffeinated soft drinks.
Fried foods in excess aren’t good for anyone, but they are especially problematic for people with COPD. The grease required for frying can cause gas, and fried spicy food causes indigestion. This may exhibit difficulty in breathing. Avoid spicy and fried food if you have COPD.
It is essential that people with COPD remain well-hydrated – drinking plenty of water will thin out the mucus in the lungs, which will assist the lungs in expelling it naturally as you exhale. However, ironically, alcohol dehydrates the body as a diuretic. Alcohol increases the rate at which the body eliminates liquids from the blood and out of the body, so you become dehydrated.
Alcohol also tends to slow down the breathing rate. This inhibits the lungs’ ability to eliminate mucus naturally through exhaling or coughing.
Therefore, if you have COPD, avoid, or severely limit your alcohol intake.
Urgent Care in Rochester, NY
COPD is a critical illness, but it is highly treatable. Our experienced medical team at Cornerstone Urgent Care Center is uniquely qualified to address the symptoms of patients with COPD and other respiratory illnesses. We offer everything from immunizations to diagnostics to annual physicals.
If you’d like to learn more about our medical services, contact our friendly staff today by calling (585) 207-0088 or send us a message online now. We look forward to taking care of you and your whole family.