Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

COPD Overview:

COPD is an umbrella term for disorders that are defined as _______. This includes; emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and chronic asthma.

 

Aetiology:

Generally caused by chronic exposure to an airborn irritant such as smoke or air pollution. This leads to inflammation in the airway and alveoli of the lungs. Over many years, this can lead to damage and breakdown of the lung tissue.

In chronic bronchitis, this damage involves a hypersecretion of mucus into the bronchial passage, which comes with an increased risk and frequency of infection.

In emphysema, ekastin breaks down, resulting in damage to the alveolar septa and a loss of elastic recoil of the bronchial walls.

In both conditions, the end result is a reduction in epithelial tissue, reduced gas exchange, and trapped air in the lungs.

+ Emphysema

  • Enlargement of the airspaces distal to the terminal bronchioles.
  • Caused by a destruction of the alveolar walls without fibrosis.

+ Chronic Bronchitis

  • Productive cough most days, for 3 consecutive months, for at least 2 years.

Learn more about bronchitis.

 

Symptoms:

Shortness of breath

Wheezing

Tightness in the chest

Excessive mucus in the lungs

Chronic cough

Cyanosis of the lips or fingernail beds

Frequent respiratory infection

Fatigue

Swelling of the ankles and feet

 

Diagnostic Considerations

  • Pink puffer and bluw bloater
  • Increased respiratory rate
  • Pitting edema in lower limbs
  • Loss of cardiac dullness on percussion

Emphysema vs Chronic Bronchitis

Diagnostic Test Emphysema Chronic Bronchitis
Overall Appearance "Pink Puffer" "Blue Bloater"
Respiratory Rate Increased Increased
Palpation Pitting Edema Pitting Edema
Auscultation Wheezing? Wheezing?
FVC INSERT INSERT
FVC1 INSERT INSERT
Chest X-Ray INSERT INSERT
Screenshot 2018-04-24 17.27.29.png
 

Therapeutic Aims:

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Diagnostic Considerations:

  • Chest Xray
  • Vital signs
  • Chest auscultation
  • Blood testing:
    • Arterial blood glad (glad?... wtf?)
    • Full blood count
 

Differential Diagnosis:

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Herbs For COPD:


Author:

Justin Cooke

The Sunlight Experiment

Updated: April 2018


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