Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) progressively worsens, making it difficult for the person suffering from the disease to breathe. There are no COPD cures as yet and the damage caused to the airways cannot be reversed. Lifestyle changes and treatments can help a patient to feel better, stay active and slow down the progress of the condition. However, research studies being carried out in the field of stem cell therapy are showing promising results.
COPD causes coughing which results in the production of a large amount of mucus, shortness of breath, wheezing and chest tightness, among many other symptoms. One of the leading causes of COPD is cigarette smoking, but air pollution, dust or chemical fumes that cause lung irritation can also be contributory factors. In the U.S., the two main conditions that are considered as COPD are emphysema and chronic bronchitis. This is because most people having COPD suffer from both chronic bronchitis and emphysema as well.
As the number of patients and fatality rates rise to nearly epidemic levels all over the world, scientists as well as patients are desperately looking for COPD cures. This is because the disease has a debilitating effect not on the lungs but also in terms of quality of life. As a result, doctors are now turning to therapies using adult stem cells as a possible COPD cure because of their amazing regenerative power. Research has provided proof that stem cell therapy as a treatment for COPD can provide real results, helping patients to breathe easier and enjoy a greatly improved lifestyle.
Stem cells present in a person’s body are natural cells. They can develop into all kinds of tissue cells and play a big role in natural healing response of the body. As a result of the progress being made in stem cell research, doctors and scientists are in a better position now to harness their rejuvenating power and develop COPD cures. They are also developing the capability to use stem cells for targeted work, enabling the cells to develop new, healthy tissues in place of the old and damaged ones.
Adult stem cells are either harvested from the patient’s body (fat of bone marrow – both are rich sources for stem cells) or those of a donor are used. These stem cells are then allowed to grow as well as divide in laboratory settings. Once sufficient amounts of stem cells have been cultured in the laboratory, they are injected into the lungs of the patient. These stem cells start regenerating new, healthy lung tissues which work to nullify the damage that COPD has caused. If the adult stem cells taken from the patient’s own body are used, the chances of developing a complication or a rejection are much less.
Some of the amazing capabilities that current research on stem cell therapy has revealed are as follows:
Potential as treatment or even as one of the COPD cures.Potential to protect lung tissues from further damage due to COPD by suppressing inflammation.Potential for improving pulmonary emphysema as established in clinical trials on rats.Potential for accelerating regeneration of lung tissues, including blood vessels and alveoli.
The stem cell therapy for treatment of COPD is still in its early stages, but it seems to have the potential to provide real as well as lasting COPD cures. Watch this space for updates.
Natural Remedies for COPD
Natural remedies may help to relieve the symptoms of COPD. However, studies are just being conducted to understand their effects. Some of the natural remedies available are:
A diet that is plant based is seen to reduce the production of mucus. Such a diet promotes consumption of vegetables and fruits and discourages taking too much of animal products. Studies indicate that including broccoli in the diet greatly alleviates symptoms in COPD patients. Omega-3 fatty acids are also found to be of benefit to people with COPD. Omega-3 fats are available fish such as salmon and walnuts and flax seeds. This is the reason for promoting diets as COPD cures.
Exercise may be the last thing that you may want to do if you have difficulty in breathing, but it is vital for COPD patients to exercise. This is because it improves breathing, helps you to remain active and enhances quality of life. However, it is important to consult the doctor before starting an exercise regimen. Exercise improves blood circulation and oxygen usage, strengthens the heart and the bones, lowers blood pressure, helps to maintain a healthy weight, etc. Exercises that are promoted as COPD cures include are stretching, aerobics, breathing and strengthening routines.
It is a supplement prepared using enzymes present in the stems of pineapple and the juice of pineapple. It is its ability to reduce inflammation that makes it helpful for COPD patients. Sufficient scientific evidence as regards the supplement’s beneficial effects is not available. Recommended daily dosage can in the range of 80 to 500 mg. Patients who are on blood thinners must avoid this supplement because side effects can include bleeding. Those who are allergic to pineapple must also avoid using bromelain. Further, it should not be taken with sedatives or antibiotics.
It is an antioxidant and the human body produces it naturally. Its ability to combat cardiovascular conditions may merit its use as one of the natural COPD cures. Research studies have shown that COPD patients had low levels of this antioxidant. The recommended dosage is 90 to 390 mg in a day.
The human body naturally produces L-Carnitine and is used to burn fat. A supplement containing L-Carnitine helps to strengthen the muscles and improve endurance in COPD patients. The recommended daily dosage is 500 to 3,000 mg spread throughout the day. Patients who are on HIV drug AZT, doxorubicin for chemotherapy, Accutane, Depakote or thyroid hormones should not take L-Carnitine.
Other supplements that are touted as COPD cures include N-acetylcysteine and antioxidant vitamins A, C, E and D. Herbs that are promoted as treatment for COPD are olive leaf because of its anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties; natural enzyme serrapeptase and cayenne due to its ability to improve blood circulation and breathing. Other herbs that are also seen to help ease symptoms of COPD include enchinacea, astragalus, ginseng, quercetin, milk thistle, eucalyptus, thyme and lobelia.
Summarizing, there is no cure as of now for COPD, but there are a number of measures that a person adopt to manage the condition. Adult stem cell therapy is still in its fledgling state of development and treatments are often focused on relieving symptoms. As such, a combination of treatments using prescription medication and natural remedies along with diet and exercise often provides the best COPD management plan.