Death: Individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may die from complications of the disease. Causes of death may include lung cancer, lack of blood flow and oxygen to the brain (stroke), respiratory failure, lung infections, and heart attack.
Heart problems: For unknown reasons, COPD increases risk of developing heart disease, including heart attacks. The heart may become enlarged because it is strained. COPD may cause high blood pressure in the arteries that bring blood to the lungs.
Infections: Patients with COPD may suffer from frequent infections, including the common cold, flu, and pneumonia. Lung infections make breathing even more difficult for COPD patients. Infections also cause even more irreversible damage to the lung tissue. Patients should talk to their healthcare providers about recommended vaccines. The flu shot is usually recommended in non-allergic COPD patients.
Lung cancer: Smokers with chronic bronchitis have a higher risk of developing lung cancer than smokers who do not have chronic bronchitis.
Quality of life: People with advanced emphysema are often incapacitated. They experience shortness of breath even when resting or sitting in a chair or bed. Patients should consult their healthcare providers if they experience feelings of sadness, low self-esteem, loss of pleasure, apathy, and sometimes, difficulty functioning for two weeks or longer, with no known underlying cause. These may be signs of depression.
You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Copyright © 2012 by Natural Standard Research Collaboration. All Rights Reserved.