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Eating & COPD
It can be a challenge!
There's nothing worse than feeling like you just ate a HUGE turkey dinner after EVERY meal. For several hours you suffer. It's uncomfortable, you're bloated, your breathing is terrible. It takes ALL the enjoyment out of eating and before you know it you're consuming a lot less food. But; you need to eat more.
Hopefully some of these tips will help....
- Sit up. Laying down or partially down isn't natural for food digestion!
- If you use oxygen on a constant basis, use it while you eat. You require more oxygen for
- Eat Slower
- Smaller bites
- Try not to let yourself get "over hungry" before you sit down to eat. Have some peanut and
crackers a little while before.
- If certain food smells makes it harder for you to breathe in the cooking process, use your
rescue puffer BEFORE the food preparation begins.
- Try not to drink too much fluid while you're eating.
- Put less on your plate to start with. You can always go back for more if you have the room.
- Try eating 6 smaller meals a day (See below)
- Put on some soft background music
- Make your meals (particularly dinner; or whatever your family's big meal is) look
appetizing. Presentation is everything!
Every nutritionist, when it comes to COPD, will tell you that you should eat six meals a day. They're right. BUT; who wants, or even does that everyday?
Why not try a food supplement or a Super Shake? There's a great recipe for one on the Cleveland Clinic website with LOTS of calories! Or a quick high calorie & protein snack?
Leftovers? Gotta love them! Cook MORE (extra food) and freeze them in microwavable meal sized containers. Slather it all with gravy, freeze..... Voila! It's ready when you want and mmmmm GOOD!
- Food is your FRIEND! Have it available and ACCESSIBLE!
Learning to Eat Without Being Short of Breath (SOB) or That
©Philip J. Cable 2006 - Permission granted to re-produce For non-profit distribution.
Note about the Author of thie following piece: Phil Cable was a COPD'er who helped many on the internet with his proper breathing techniques.
A couple of months ago I sat down to a supper loaded with turkey, mashed potatoes, carrots, peas, squash, bread dressing and condiments. I ate the whole thing with no SOB and did not have any bloated feeling!
So, what Happened? What Changed? How I breathe while I eat is what has changed. Up till then, I would breathe in as I put some food in my mouth. I would then hold my breath as I chewed the food. Then I would breathe in again; swallow the food and then exhale. In essence, I was inhaling twice for every exhale and “trapping air”. I started to exhale more while I was eating. Now, as I am chewing my food, I very gently exhale for as long as I comfortably can. That’s it! That’s the only change! I can now eat without stopping because I am too SOB or too tired to continue. As a bonus for me I gained 1˝ pounds, which is significant for a man who is 5’8” tall and weighs 99 pounds.
It takes a lot of O2 to digest your food, so please do not lie down right after supper as our breathing rate slows down when we sleep and it's harder to get O2 in and CO2 out when we sleep. I hate to break the ladies' hearts, but you should leave the dishes for a few hours, until your meal is digested.
"As a final note, most of us know how important it is for us to address our breathing problems properly. Unfortunately, the medical community has not seen that need, as yet. We have medicinal therapy, physical therapy, nutritional therapy, but no breathing therapy as such. Somehow we have to reach out to the medical community to see how this can be changed."
This page was last updated March 22, 2010