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Five Tips For Coping With COPD Fatigue

Photo by Victoria_Borodinova/5062When your body is running low on oxygen, you feel tired. And when your lungs can’t properly inhale and exhale, fatigue sets in. Consequently, fatigue is an issue for anyone suffering from breathing illnesses such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Fatigue creates an unhealthy cycle: People feeling lethargic aren’t likely to engage in physical activity and a lack of physical activity can lead to reduced stamina and exacerbate feelings of fatigue. Eventually, performing even the most menial tasks can leave COPD sufferers exhausted.

If you have fatigue related to COPD, these tips can help:

  • Stop smoking: Smoking is hazardous to everyone’s health, and it’s the most common cause of COPD. Quitting can help those with COPD preserve what remaining lung function they have and make physical activity easier.
  • Get regular exercise: While there is no way to reverse the damage done by COPD, physical exercise can help your lungs and slow progression of the illness. It is important to consult your doctor before starting any exercise plan, as doing too much too soon can make COPD symptoms even worse.
  • Adopt a healthy lifestyle: Eating well and staying active helps stave off COPD fatigue and can prevent further complications such as high blood pressure and heart disease.
  • Learn breathing exercises: After diagnosing your COPD, your physician will likely refer you to a respiratory therapist who can help you breathe more efficiently. After you explain your breathing problems and fatigue, the respiratory therapist will teach you breathing exercises that can help whenever you’re tired or short of breath.
  • Get plenty of sleep: COPD coupled with a bad night’s sleep will make you even more tired the next day, so getting the right amount of sleep will supply your body with the energy it needs. If you are getting at least eight hours of sleep at night yet still feel tired in the morning, you may have obstructive sleep apnea, which is common among those with COPD. This condition is very serious and should be examined by a doctor.

Read the whole story to learn more about the effects of COPD fatigue.