Can my diet affect my emphysema?

Diet can influence emphysema because specific foods may directly affect your ability to breathe. Watch David Kamrava, MD, of West Hills Hospital & Medical Center, explain more.
Your diet won't directly affect your emphysema, but eating healthy could go a long way at improving the quality of your life. Emphysema can make it difficult to perform physical activities, but eating right can help improve your energy. It can also help you stay at a healthy weight, which means your body will need less oxygen. Depending on how severe your emphysema is, eating might be difficult. Try to find foods that are easier to eat, and instead of eating three big meals, eat smaller portions throughout the day. Since metabolism of fat creates less carbon dioxide than metabolism of carbohydrates, some people try a diet higher in fat and lower in carbohydrates to help with breathing problems.

Continue Learning about Emphysema


Emphysema is difficulty breathing due to air trapped in the lung, resulting in reduced lung capacity. Smoking is usually the cause, as it damages the linings of the air sacs in the lungs making them close. This leads to areas of t...

rapped air in your lungs. Other causes may include coal dust and other pollutants. Your lungs enlarge to compensate, but there are limits to this. Treatment may be medical and include oxygen support, medication and respiratory therapy. Of course stopping smoking is always recommended. Surgical treatment by cutting out damaged portions of the lungs and reducing lung volume is also effective.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.