Can COPD be faked

Lung disease COPD: exercise and medication prevent the downward spiral

29.05.2013 – 09:23

ABDA Bundesvgg. German pharmacists' associations

Berlin / Meran (ots)

The chronic lung disease COPD should be treated as early as possible. If left untreated, it leads to worsening shortness of breath, with the result that the exhausted patient does not move much. The resulting lack of fitness intensifies the shortness of breath and a downward spiral occurs. "Anyone who is out of breath with little exertion and has the feeling that they can no longer breathe properly should not dismiss this as a normal symptom of old age. COPD may develop slowly, but if left untreated it will progress continuously," says pulmonologist Prof. . Michael Pfeifer at Pharmacon, an international training congress of the Federal Chamber of Pharmacists. "The downward spiral can be stopped by exercise and the early inhalation of medication."

Among the over-40s, 6 percent of men and 3 percent of women in Germany suffer from COPD, and the trend is rising. The disease manifests itself through shortness of breath during physical exertion, coughing and sputum. The symptoms are often more severe in the morning than in the evening. Breathing causes disproportionate effort on the body, which is why patients are often tired and exhausted. Due to the lack of exercise, the leg and arm muscles become weaker, which further limits performance. In addition, there are psychological symptoms such as depression or anxiety, and patients often also suffer from heart disease.

The main aim of therapy is to improve performance and thus the quality of life and to avoid the progression of the disease. Pfeifer: "People with COPD are out of breath even with small exertion. It can get so bad that it is difficult for someone to get out of an armchair and take a few steps to the bathroom. Physical training, even if it is just a regular walk , demonstrably improve performance. And no matter how severe the disease is - physical performance can always be improved through exercise. "

The most important prevention of COPD is not to smoke. The abbreviation COPD comes from English and means chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

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Dr. Ursula Sellerberg
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Original content by: ABDA Bundesvgg. German pharmacists' associations, transmitted by news aktuell