Eat high-energy foods so as not to lose weight
It is common for you to lose weight when the disease has been going on for a long time. Then you need to eat energy-rich food. You may also need to get dietary advice from a dietitian, before you have lost so much weight that you have gained underweight.
You may find it harder to breathe when you eat a lot and you can also get full very quickly if you have severe COPD. A tip then is to eat several smaller meals instead of a few large meals.
You can try breathing out with half-closed lips that help you empty your lungs of old air, so that breathing becomes more efficient. Here, a so-called PEP aid is good to use.
You often have to use more muscles than the diaphragm to get enough air in you, usually the muscles around the shoulders. Then it can be nice to have support for the arms. For example, you can support your elbows on a table. Even during activities, it is good to have support for the arms, for example a walker or shopping cart in the store.
Try to avoid infections
Try to avoid close contact with people you know have an infection. Wash your hands often. It may reduce the risk of you becoming infected.
Was out in the sun
Many people with COPD have a low level of vitamin D in their blood. Among other things, it increases the risk of osteoporosis. Being out in the sun is an effective way to increase the body’s ability to produce vitamin D. You can sometimes receive treatment with vitamin D in the form of tablets.
Learn more about the disease
It is good if you acquire knowledge about the disease, so that you can be more active in your treatment. Use the help available at the COPD clinics, and learn what you can do to live as well as possible.
Many COPD clinics hold group training for people with COPD. Ask if there is any such training where you get your treatment.
Living with COPD
Many people have COPD at an early stage when they are diagnosed. Then the problems can be quite small, especially if you have managed to quit smoking. But being told about a chronic illness like COPD can still mean that you get a crisis reaction.
You can get in touch with a COPD team that can help with this. The knowledge that the disease is strongly linked to smoking also makes many people feel ashamed of having caused their own problems. You can get conversational support from a counselor or other healthcare staff if you feel you need help.
Everyday life can be affected
It is possible to live a good life even though you have COPD, but some have more difficult problems that affect everyday life more. Then even a minor physical exertion can mean that you get severe shortness of breath and need to rest and recover for a long time after.
It can feel difficult if you can no longer participate in the activities you previously appreciated. But try to think about what works and do what you can to feel as good as possible.
Through patient organizations, you can connect with others with the disease and share experiences and thoughts. You can also get support from a counselor and other health care professionals.