Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a condition when breathing becomes difficult

For the metabolic activities of the human body to work fine, there is one basic ingredient required to keep the catabolism going and that is oxygen. It is inhaled by the respiratory system and lungs being the ground for exchange of gases, thereon to various organs of the body through the blood for the activity. Knowing how essential oxygen is and respiration being the essence of life if there is any discrepancy in the function of lungs at the point of exchange it is pertinent to address it as well as possible. This disturbance is termed as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD.

If one can imagine a tree in an inverted fashion it is exactly the way the airways of the lungs appear and the branches are the bronchioles and at the end of these fine branches are the alveoli or the functional unit of the lungs.

It is in these fine balloon like structures where there is a rich supply of blood through capillaries, oxygen is taken into the system and carbon dioxide is thrown out.

The unique nature of air sacs and the airways is the elasticity which helps the lung to bounce back into shape after each exhalation. But in cases of COPD, the air sacs remain filled and do not shrink back thereby the efficiency of the alveoli is decreased insisting on the lungs to work more and increasing the size of the lungs too. Apart from this predicament there is also thickening and inflammation of the airways, the mucus secreting glands insist on more production of the mucus which remains in the spaces in between the alveoli further burdening the function. All these factors make it harder for the lungs to bring out the air. This chronic obstruction of the lungs is also called as Chronic Bronchitis or Emphysema too.

Probably every other smoker over a period of time more often than not develops this illness. Probably the next worst hit are passive smokers who bear the burden of smokers in the house. Those who work or live in the vicinity of factories expelling chemicals, fumes, dusty smoke for a period of time are also likely to be affected. Last but not the least is the genetic predilection wherein the probability of developing this disease is inherited from the previous generation. All the irritants act upon the lining of the airways causing increased mucus production which clog the airways and come in the exchange of gases and the elastic fibres are destroyed too which does not allow the lung to stretch easily and come back to its resting phase. This makes breathing in and out of the lungs that much more difficult.

If one has breathlessness on slightest exercise or exertion like walking up or down a flight of stairs, develops cough at the slightest pretext with mucus and a wheeze in the chest apart from a slight constriction your physician would also suspect the probability of COPD and more so if one is a smoker.

The severity of symptoms depend on how much of the lung tissue is affected. Your physician would diagnose it by performing lung function tests wherein the capacity of inflow and outflow of air into the lungs is measured apart from a chest x ray which reveals the increased area of the lungs in the chest.

Homoeopathic medicine is best suited to treat the problem as a few remedies have a propensity to open the airways and help in breathing that much easily.

It can also help in slowing down the progression of the disease, improve the lung capacity so that shortness of breath does not set in easily and also prevent complications. Needless to say the overall health improves too. Amm carb is a remedy for such a complaint in the aged, Carbo veg improves the perfusion and Ipecac relieves constriction of the bronchioles, Antim tart helps in clearing the mucus accumulation and Ars alb is known to help in the long run.


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