Posts Tagged ‘COPD’

Creatine Benefits for Non Athletes

September 14, 2015

Creatine is a naturally occurring amino acid that is found in meat and fish, and also made by the human body in the liver, kidneys, and pancreas. It is converted into creatine phosphate or phosphocreatine and stored in the muscles, where it is used for energy.

Creatine is primarily used by athletes to be able to train harder and longer! Few people though realize that creatine has other uses. Some of the other uses are:

Creatine for heart disease

A clinical study suggests that creatine supplements may help lower levels of triglycerides in men and women.

In few other clinical studies of people with heart failure, those who took creatine, in addition to standard medical care, were able to increase the amount of exercise they could do before becoming fatigued, compared to those who took placebo. Getting tired easily is one of the major symptoms of heart failure. One clinical study of 20 people with heart failure found that short-term creatine supplementation in addition to standard medication lead to an increase in body weight and an improvement of muscle strength.

Creatine has also been reported to help lower levels of homocysteine. Homocysteine is associated with heart disease, including heart attack and stroke.

Creatine for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the most common lung diseases. If you have COPD you have difficulty breathing. There are two main forms of COPD:

Chronic bronchitis, is a long-term cough with mucus

Emphysema, involves destruction of the lungs over time

Most people with COPD have a combination of both conditions.

In one double-blind study, people with COPD who took creatine increased muscle mass, muscle strength and endurance, and improved their health status compared with those who took placebo. They did not increase their exercise capacity. More studies are needed to see whether creatine has any benefit for people with COPD.

Creatine for Muscular dystrophy

The muscular dystrophies (MD) are a group of more than 30 genetic diseases characterized by progressive weakness and degeneration of the skeletal muscles that control movement. Some forms of MD are seen in infancy or childhood, while others may not appear until middle age or later.

People who have muscular dystrophy may have less creatine in their muscle cells, which may contribute to muscle weakness. One study found that taking creatine led to a small improvement in muscle strength. However, other studies have found no effect.

Creatine for Parkinson’s disease

People with Parkinson’s disease have decreased muscular fitness including decreased muscle mass, muscle strength, and increased fatigue. A small clinical study found that giving creatine to people with Parkinson’s disease improved their exercise ability and endurance. In another clinical study, creatine supplements boosted participants’ moods and they didn’ t need to increase their medicine dose as much as those who didn’ t take creatine. More research is needed in this area.

Creatine has been used primarily since the mid 80s, so it is relatively new and that is part of the reason that many outside of the sport world are not familiar with creatine!

Acupuncture – Asthma Treatments and Respiratory Health

July 27, 2015

Respiratory illnesses and health concerns can make taking a simple breath a chore for many Americans. From asthma to bronchitis to COPD, these diseases can have a significant impact on quality of life making it difficult to work, sleep, exercise and have an otherwise enjoyable daily experience. For many, inhalers or antibiotics are part of their daily routine and reliance on these medications may have some damaging effects to your health if you don’t use them correctly or attempt to decrease their use suddenly. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine provides a way to address the symptoms of these conditions naturally and holistically.

Chinese medicine views respiratory issues as conditions related to the lungs, as you might expect. The lungs are responsible for taking in the air and mixing it with the food you ingest to provide your body with the nutrients and energy it needs to function. Some other important functions of the lungs include fluid distribution and strengthening the immune system. Many people that have respiratory conditions find that they may develop fluid in the lungs or chronic fluid called edema in the body. The lungs play an important role in keeping these fluids circulating through the system. In addition, due to the fact that they are open to the external world, they can be vulnerable to attack by bacteria or virus that may cause bronchitis or pneumonia. With lungs that are functioning at their peak, an individual can expect to fight off colds or the flu even while people around them are getting sick.

This is where it gets tricky….the kidneys also play an important role in breathing and respiration. It is said in Chinese medicine theory that the kidneys help grasp the air that is inhaled and draw it down into the body. This is most evident in people that suffer from asthma and find it difficult to take a deep breath in versus exhaling that same breath. Without sufficiently healthy kidney function, the amount of oxygen and air reaching the lungs will not be optimal and overall health can suffer. In addition to strengthening the lungs, your acupuncturist may incorporate acupoints or herbal formulas that benefit the kidneys as well.

Obviously asthma and respiratory illnesses like bronchitis are the most common but there are potentially fatal diseases like lung cancer that can be treated through the use of acupuncture and herbal medicine. While conditions like mesothelioma, lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos using in older buildings, cannot be cured by acupuncture, the debilitating symptoms and pain may be eased by regular acupuncture treatments. With careful diagnosis and monitoring, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine treatment can help decrease pain, alleviate coughing spells and eliminate nausea and appetite loss caused by radiation or chemotherapy treatment. It is very important to mention that while these alternative complementary therapies can be very powerful, they should be used in conjunction with Western medicine.

When it becomes difficult to breathe normally every day or you just can’t take another winter of catching cold after cold, go speak to a licensed acupuncturist or Chinese herbalist. They just may have the treatment you need to throw off the shackles of these uncomfortable respiratory conditions.

A Brief Review of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

December 10, 2014

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, can cause a range of problems for those men and women who are diagnosed with it. Because the condition is most often associated with lifelong smokers, most doctors will likely advise their patients to kick the habit as soon as possible. Even if they already have several symptoms of the disease, it is still helpful to cut out the cigarettes. Any improvement in lung capacity may allow some of those symptoms to eventually lessen, which will improve the quality of their lives quite a bit.

If men and women are not sure of the possible symptoms, there are a range of things that they should look for. Those individuals who are frequently troubled by a dry, hacking cough may want to be checked out. In some cases, this cough may be accompanied by mucus, which indicates that the lungs and pulmonary pathways are having trouble working correctly. Some general practitioners may eventually send their patients to a respiratory specialist. These specialists can prescribe medication that should dry up the mucus and help with breathing during bad periods.

Because those with COPD do not breathe normally, they may become tired or fatigued at certain times of the day. They can combat these symptoms by eating correctly and getting some physical exercise from time to time. They should also make a concerted attempt to get eight hours of sleep each night. If they have trouble breathing during the night hours, they might take some medication before they go to sleep. Those individuals with severe symptoms may even be given an oxygen machine by their doctors. These machines, it should be noted, are delicate pieces of technology and should be treated with care whenever they are being moved.

Other natural remedies may be available. Men and women can slowly begin to build up their lung strength by taking short walks on several days each week. As they begin to feel better, they can increase the length of these walks. By adhering to a plan of aerobic activity each week, they can train their hearts and lungs to perform more efficiently during periods of rest. When they return to the respiratory specialists for a checkup, they may be surprised by how much their lung capacity has improved over just a few months or so.

As individuals continue to deal with their COPD, they should lean on family members and friends whenever they are having a particularly bad day. With the support of loved ones, they should make progress in ameliorating the condition and moving on with their lives.