Nutrition and Healing
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  • Kick this #3 killer to the curb

    Q: Can COPD be reversed? Are there any natural means that can minimize the breathing difficulty and chest pain?

    GR: As I’ve shared with you in past editions of eTips, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) isn’t just one disease… but a “catchall” for a number of progressive lung conditions.

    Those can include emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and asthma — all of which can saddle you with a constant cough and literally take your breath away.

    And since COPD can be fatal — it’s the No. 3 killer in America — you want to do everything you can to protect your lungs.

    COPD can develop later in life and progress over time, making it harder and harder to breathe. Most people who have it are over 60 and are smokers or former smokers.

    Needless to say, kicking the habit can make a huge difference in the quality of breathing for anyone with COPD.

    But that’s not all — because folks with COPD should also take inventory of the toxins in their environment. And it’s not just a matter of polluted air.

    A recent study found that disinfectants containing bleach, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, and “quats” (a.k.a. quaternary ammonium compounds) — which are common in floor and furniture cleaners — all contribute to COPD risk.

    And if you’ve already got COPD, those cleaners certainly aren’t going to make it any better.

    Swap out your chemical-loaded products for “green” cleansers — just be sure to read the ingredients carefully. Sometimes, once you take a closer look, what’s labeled “all-natural” turns out to be just as bad as the stuff that hasn’t been green-washed!

    You can also clean things the “old-fashioned” way and use time-tested germ busters like baking soda, vinegar, and plain old soap and hot water.

    As well, according to a recent Danish study, physical activity — even in cities — can help prevent the onset of COPD and its severe flare-ups. It can even help you RECOVER if you’ve already got it!

    And here’s the kicker: The study found that the benefits of exercise outweighed any negative impact of exposure to higher levels of air pollution in the participants’ environment.

    Some people find relief from respiratory symptoms with the herb Rhodiola crenulata. Tibetans have known about this Himalayan plant’s healing properties for hundreds of years, but it only recently got the attention of Western doctors when a recent study showed positive effects on COPD patients.

    Keep those great questions coming! Drop me a line at and look for answers to your concerns and queries every Friday in eTips.

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