Healthy Living: Breathing Easier With COPD

It's the third leading cause of death in the United States, and it literally takes a person's breath away. I'm talking about chronic pulmonary disease or COPD. Some of the most effective treatments may not come in a pill or a bottle. This morning, Robyn Haines has a natural approach to breathing easier.


After 15 years as narrator at the panda exhibit at the San Diego Zoo, Kay Ferguson had to take a break when her COPD took over. Although Kay gave up smoking 25 years ago – the 30 years she did light up caught up with her. She became housebound -until she found rehab could get her back to her bears.


Here in UCSD's Pulmonary Rehab, patients focus on exercise and weight training-the key is to find out what motivates each person. Therapists help the patients do more- and be more aware of their body while doing it.


Also, what you put into your body can make a difference. New research finds 100 milligrams of ginseng a day for three months improved a patient's ability to exercise.  Vitamins C, D and E help reduce inflammation. Kali Mur eases wet coughs. Japanese researchers have found Omega-3 fatty acids decreased inflammation in the airway and helped more than 64-percent of patients breathe easier.


Eating more than 60 grams of soy, in foods such as tofu and bean sprouts also decreases breathing attacks. Patients with COPD also have a higher rate of depression.