2 Your Health

Managing lung disease during the holidays

Phoebe Brown, Staff Writer

The holiday season brings people together for many celebrations. However, for people with lung disease, the holidays can seem daunting. Between traveling, cooking and eating, someone could easily become fatigued, which could make breathing difficult. One way to avoid excessive exhaustion is to practice moderation when eating. While indulging in holiday festivities, practicing moderation can help people with lung disease enjoy the holidays and improve their overall quality of life.

Triggers such as air pollution, overexertion and overeating can cause flare-ups. While some triggers are uncontrollable, others are manageable. Staying inside when air quality is poor can help with lung function. Overeating or eating foods that cause gas or bloating can make breathing uncomfortable, so even during the holiday season, it is important to keep moderation in mind.

It might seem like common sense but taking time to enjoy good food and company at the table could help someone feel satisfied instead of overfull. Drinking plenty of non-caffeinated fluids can help control hunger and keep people hydrated. Eating smaller portions of foods, including desserts, could help reduce pressure, especially in someone who is short of breath. Extra pounds could cause extra heaviness and difficulty breathing.

For those suffering from debilitating lung diseases, options exist now to improve quality of life, such as diet and moderation. A clinic in the United States, the Lung Institute, states they have helped lung disease sufferers by offering an additional treatment option in the form of stem cell therapy.

Stem cell therapy is a minimally-invasive, outpatient treatment that harnesses the natural healing ability of the stem cells that already exist in the body. Stem cells are harvested from the patient’s own fat, blood or bone marrow, separated, and reintroduced into the body. Stem cells naturally fight infection and disease by repairing damaged tissue with new, healthy tissue. This is a slow process, but stem cell therapy has the potential to expedite the natural healing process for those with certain progressive diseases, such as lung diseases.

People with lung disease have various options to help them take their health into their own hands, such as using an alternative treatment like stem cell therapy along with diet and moderation. By controlling factors that exacerbate their symptoms, and by taking action to improve their lung function, people with lung disease can enjoy the holidays and improve their quality of life.