The 4 Pillars of COPD
Russell has been talking to patient groups and respiratory professionals about how he manages his disease. The key to managing your condition is by using the four pillars of COPD – knowledge, medication, nutrition, and exercise.
The most common question I've received is what message I'd like to give fellow patients on how to manage their disease. It's simple for me, it's what I write about a lot, and that's the four pillars of living well with COPD.
Those four pillars are knowledge, medication, nutrition, and exercise. When you combine them, you're going to have a better quality of life.
Learning is about gaining knowledge from your doctor, fellow patients or from anyone who understands COPD. When people are willing to educate you about your condition, take their advice seriously as they have tips and tricks for managing it better.
The medication we take is important because it keeps our disease stable, or as stable as possible. So it's necessary that we take our medications on time every day as prescribed.
Nutrition is a significant part of how we manage our disease.
Eating the right foods can naturally keep our weight down and suppress inflammation. By doing those two things alone, you're going to be less systematic.
You're going to be able to breathe better. I know I do. So by having the right sort of nutrition, it also gives us more energy so we can do things easier, get out and exercise.
Exercise is important for COPD patients, whether it's in pulmonary rehab or whether it's going for walks, singing groups, whatever it is you use to exercise your lungs.
Having the right nutrition and having the energy will allow you to get out and do that a lot easier.
So there is the sort of points that I point out to people as far as managing their disease and what the best play forward is.
Gaining the knowledge about what works for you is the critical part because our disease is very different from patient to patient. So what may work for you may not work for someone else.