7 Actionable Tips for Combating COPD Related Fatigue

Posted by Eden Coleman on Apr 15, 2015 10:00:00 AM

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After a COPD diagnosis there are some things that you can just expect to have to deal with. Things such as unexpected breathlessness, a chronic cough and a lifetime supply of thick and sticky mucus.

Out of all of those regular symptoms, there is one that majority of patients also suffer from that can have the biggest impact on the productivity of your day.

So what symptom am I speaking of? Well that brings us to today's topic, fatigue. There is nothing that irritates you more than waking up after a night of rest to only be more tired than you were when you went to bed.

Say your final goodbyes to constant fatigue because today you are going to be equipped with 7 actionable tips to combat your COPD related fatigue.

How to Minimize The Impact of Fatigue with COPD 

Allowing fatigue to impact your day to day life means you won't be able to participate in your favorite activities.

Being forced to stay at home because you simply do not have the energy can result in an increased level of depression, but with these 7 actionable tips you can harness their power immediately to effectively lower the impact your COPD related fatigue has. 

The Negatives of Fatigue:

  • Reduction in Physical Ability 
  • The Severity of Pulmonary Impairment Increases
  • Increased Level of Depression 
  • A Drastic impediment on Quality of Life

1) Skyrocket Your Energy Levels with Regular Physical

Activity 

elderly-patient-exercising

Does getting up and grabbing something across the room worry you due to a fear of causing yourself to be short of breath?

Well getting yourself up and exercising not only reduces shortness of breath but it can also cut fatigue down at the knees and boost your energy levels!

A lack of energy leads to reduced movement which causes muscles to decondition resulting in a reduction of physical tolerance.

Exercise is one of the key cornerstones of pulmonary rehab with patients showing vast reductions in fatigue levels and magnifying improvements to their quality of life.

 2) Nourish Your Body With Nutritious Foods

Eating a healthy well balanced diet is important for any person, but as a COPD patient it's even more necessary. Divulging in delectable, healthy foods will help your body absorb vital nutrients to function properly but it can also help to minimize the prevalence of fatigue.

Design your COPD friendly diet to incorporate energy-producing foods such as beans, cheese, spinach, lean meats, fresh fish, orange juice and soy milk.

You should also be sure to include foods that are low in fat and sugar with high amounts of fiber, you can even treat yourself to some mouth watering white meat poultry.

As a COPD patient you can require up to 10 times the daily calories of a non-COPD patient, so make sure those additional calories are loaded with nutrients. 

3) Give Your Body A Break and Rest

resting-with-copd

7-9 hours of sleep a day is recommended by the National Sleep Foundation, so when you only have a few hours of sleep regularly it can really begin to take a toll on your body.

Reduce tiredness by taking a nap or two throughout your day, listen to your body when you begin to feel tired try taking a 30-45 minute nap. When you wake up you will feel refreshed and re-energized.   

4) Curtail Stress

Stress levels can heighten after an exacerbation, a recent diagnosis, after experiencing an unknown symptom for the first time or just from being faced with constant breathlessness.

Those are just COPD related stressers, which many of them can be fixed by just following a healthy diet and exercise plan.

But what about everyday causes of stress? Well you should start by first identifying your common stressers in your day to day life.

Then once you've identified them you should make it your number one priority to avoid them as much as possible. Avoiding common stressers will help to minimize fatigue levels while also boosting your overall quality of life! 

Tips for Stress Management: 

  • Get up and exercise, as it is shown to be an incredible option to minimize stress levels. Yoga is a phenomenal place to start. 
  • Ask for help from your doctor when you need it, dealing with symptoms or feelings alone can lead to life altering depression. 
  • Be open and up front with friends and family, build a strong support group with people that only want the best for you and your health. 
  • Join a COPD support group. 

5) Hydrate Your Body With H2O

drink-water-for-better-copd-health

You've probably heard many times how important and vital to your health it is to drink plenty of water.

But as a respiratory patient with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, water is even more necessary.

A lack of water can lead to dehydration that can cause headaches, dry mouth, dizziness, and you guessed it fatigue. Speak to your doctor about the level of water consumption you should do daily, but typically the recommended amount is eight 8oz glasses.

6) Get Some Sunshine

Get out of the house and grab some rays from the beautiful sunshine. Studies have shown that COPD patients that go out into the sun have improved cognitive function and they enjoy an overall improved mood.

Patients that have a lack of vitamin D are faced with decreasing muscle strength. So whether it is with a cup of milk or through some good ol' fashioned sunshine, harness the power of vitamin D to strengthen muscles and to minimize the occurrence of fatigue throughout your day.

7) Always Eat Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal in the day, so be sure to start your day off right with a nutritious and flavor packed breakfast.

Eating a nutritious meal to start your day will provide your body with the energy it needs to have a successful and productive day.

Your body uses food as energy, so skipping a meal can actually impact your whole day causing you to feel fatigued.

Something as simple as eggs with a glass of vitamin D enriched milk with a side of avocado slices will kick your day off with energy boosting nutrients!

Conclusion

Fatigue affects every aspect of your life when you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, but by incorporating all 7 of these actionable tips into your daily routine with regular usage of supplemental oxygen you will be able to enjoy all the finer things in life.

In addition to these actionable tips you should also be open and honest with your doctor, in order for you to successfully beat constant fatigue you need your doctors knowledge and support. Which techniques do you use to combat your COPD related fatigue? Let us know by leaving a comment below!     

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