acute atypical bronchitis - COPD - Definition, Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment
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COPD - Definition, Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment

What does COPD mean? COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. It encompasses two types of disease processes namely chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Quite often, people who suffer from COPD show a combination of features of both disease processes. In lay person's term, COPD means persistent lung disease with features of airway narrowing. To be more specific, bronchitis means inflammation of the bronchi or the larger airways of the lungs whereas emphysema means destruction to the smaller airways and alveoli or airsacs of the lungs. Thus COPD is commonly used to describe chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or both.


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In everyday life, the mind creates the illusion that we are separate from reality, and thus protects us, like a veil, from experiencing the vastness of the universe. Access to the truth without preparation could be a radical shock to the system.

It is never too late to give up smoking, even those who have smoked for 20 years or more can realize tremendous health benefits from giving up the habit.

' Sachamangua; This is a large single seeded fruit, which when you crush the fruit and squeeze the juice into the nose, it warms the area locally (it can sting a bit), and it is effective for curing sinusitis. It also helps the eyesight and restores visual acuity by relieving the pressure from the sinuses. You eliminate a lot of mucus and this gives relief. The fruit when ripe is normally eaten peeled or roasted, and is a little like the aguaje fruit, but for medicinal uses it must be green. It is also good for tired feet in an poultice. Taken orally it is useful for the liver when struggling with the digestion of fat, it is also a treatment for gases. Fungal spores in the nose can cause itching, rhinitis or allergy and Sachamangua is effective for this too. Athlete's foot can also be treated with the dry powder, like talcum powder, prepared from this fruit.

Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Medicine

' Icoja; A bark used for malaria, fever, an astringent, disinfectant for healing septic wounds. Used against Uta - a kind of leprosy found in the Amazon. Wounds are washed directly with this plant, and it is also used for an infectious disease (Pilagra) in children.

From a psycho-spiritual, plant spirit, or shamanic perspective in which disease and illness can be initiated by a spiritual imbalance within a person causing the person to become de-spirited, or losing heart (in the West we would call this depression), it can restore this inner sacred union of spirit and physical body.

Linda Pogue is the webmaster of http://www.momsredkitchen.com where she regularly posts information about kitchen products, reviews cookbooks, and shares family recipes.

It grows mainly in the Upper Amazon and only a few restingas (high ground which never floods) in the Lower Amazon. The shamans say that plants connect us with nature because they take their nourishment directly from the earth, as well as the sun's rays, the air. They allow us to know and recognize ourselves. A shaman must know this and must love his people to heal them. The gift of Chirisanango is self esteem i.e the ability to recognise ourselves.

' Cat's Claw (una de gato); Cat's Claw is a tropical vine that grows in rainforest. This vine gets its name from the small thorns at the base of the leaves, which looks like a cat's claw. These claws enable the vine to attach itself around trees climbing to a heights up to 150 feet. The inner bark of this vine has been used for generations to treat inflammations, colds, viral infections, arthritis, and tumors.

Cat's Claw can be used as tonic to boost the body's immune system. And is considered by many as a 'balancer' returning the body's functions to a healthy equilibrium. Its has anti-inflammatory and blood cleansing properties as well as being able to clean out the entire intestinal tract and therefore helps treat a wide array of digestive problems such as gastric ulcers, parasites, and dysentery.

What are the symptoms of COPD? The two main symptoms are cough and breathlessness. COPD sufferers commonly complain about breathlessness and cough that develop gradually over a long period of time. The cough that COPD sufferer gets are usually productive which means they commonly cough up phlegm. The cough usually comes and goes initially but tends to become persistent as time passes. Breathlessness is usually intermittent and only occurs with exertion in the beginning, however if you continue to smoke, the breathlessness persists even when you are at rest, this can be quite distressing! Other symptoms are chronic sputum production, where you constantly cough up phlegm all day and recurrent chest infection. People with COPD are more prone to chest infection for obvious reasons, as the lining in the lung looses its normal defense mechanism against intruding bugs.

Working with teacher plants is known as the 'shaman's diet'. The purpose of the diet is to prepare the body and nervous system for the powerful knowledge and expansion of consciousness given by teacher plants.

The shamans say that this plant opens up the shamanic path, assuming that we are prepared to live under the rules of shamanism, to do this we need courage and no fear of extremes or negative & challenging circumstances. We need to understand what role we will play in society and have the heart of a warrior.

' Chanca piedra; Used for Kidney problems especially kidney stones (hence the name 'stone crusher'), gall bladder, disinfectant. This is recognised as a gall bladder and liver tonic. It is also used for cleansing the urinary system and for dealing with intestinal parasites. This plant is only used for its many pharmaceutical properties, not a planta maestra per se.

Some of the Medicinal Plants of the Amazon Rainforest. ' Mocura; taken orally or used in floral baths to raise energy, or take you out of a saladera (a run of bad luck, inertia, sense of not living to the full). This plant gives mental strength and you can feel its effects as also with ajosacha, both are varieties of garlic and have a penetrating aroma. Mental strength means it could be good to counter shyness, find one's personal value or authority. Medicinal properties include asthma, bronchitis, reduction of fat and cholesterol. Another of its properties is that it burns of excess fat.

Smokers also put others at risk. The dangers of breathing in second-hand smoke are well known. Smokers harm their loved ones by exposing them to the smoke they exhale. All sorts of health problems are related to breathing in second-hand smoke. Children are especially susceptible to the dangers of second-hand smoke because their internal organs are still developing. Children exposed to second-hand smoke are more vulnerable to asthma, sudden infant death syndrome, bronchitis, pneumonia, and ear infections.

After gathering all the cigarettes I had, I went to the kitchen and carefully destroyed each one, then dropped it into the trash can. By evening I was suffering, but I refused to buy more. Later, I learned my brother-in-law had just quit smoking. He told me to buy salted, roasted sunflower seeds in the shell.

Smokers have shorter lives than non-smokers. On average, smoking takes 15 years off your life span. This can be explained by the high rate of exposure to toxic substances which are found in cigarette smoke.

The medicinal properties of this plant are officially recognized by the Peruvian government and it is a protected (for export) plant. It is available widely in the west in capsule form. In the markets in Iquitos it is available in bark form, and many indigenous communities are increasingly cultivating this plant

' Guayusa; It is good for excessive acidity and other problems in the stomach and bile. Also it is both energizing and relaxing at the same time and develops mental strength. This also has the most interesting effect of giving lucid dreams i.e when you are dreaming you are aware that you are dreaming. The plant is also known as the "watchman's plant", as even when sleeping you are aware of the outer physical surroundings.

' Ajo Sacha; An important planta maestra in the initiation of Amazonian shamans. Mental strength, acuity of mind, saladera (explained above), for ridding spells, self healing. Originally used to enhance hunting skills by covering up human smell with the garlic smell of Ajosacha.

On another personal note, I found my senses being altered and enhanced with this plant. I could zoom in and focus on sounds emanating from the rainforest, my sense of smell became sharper, and in some ineffable way I could tune into the breathing or rhythm of the rainforest. The sound of insects and birds was no longer a random phenomenon, these sounds became a rhythmic breath, rising and falling. No wonder that it is used for hunting as one's sense are heightened in an incredible way.

Soon, clothes with tiny circles burned into the fabric became the norm. I couldn't breathe easily if I walked further than out to my car. I couldn't play ball with my children; I didn't have the breath. Many times I decided to quit. And I would, for two or three hours. By the end of the second year, I had had three bouts of pneumonia.

I don't remember the day I started smoking, but I'll never forget the day I stopped. On June 2, 1986, I dumped the worst habit I have ever had. Was it worth it? You bet. I no longer have pneumonia every year. Though bronchitis still bothers me on occasion, and I have chronic asthma, most of the time I can breathe without trouble. Best of all, my husband quit, too, within a month of the date that I quit. We have had a smoke free home for more than 20 years, and we have both benefitted from it.

COPD sounds like asthma, are they any different? Yes. Both COPD and asthma cause similar symptoms, however, they are different in certain ways. COPD causes permanent damage to the airways. The obstruction is 'fixed', hence it is irreversible in general terms. However, airway narrowing in asthma is intermittent and reverses quite easily with medication. Having said that, both COPD and asthma is common, people who suffer COPD can have an asthmatic component and vice versa.

I don't remember the day I started smoking, but I do remember why. My husband smoked. When we kissed, he tasted like a full ashtray smells. I started smoking so that that wouldn't bother me so much, but I knew better.

All through high school, P.E. and health teachers preached the deleterious effects of tobacco smoke on the body. Television, newspapers, magazines, doctors, and the Surgeon General all reported that cigarette smoking caused cancer, emphysema, and many other health problems. I didn't need to hear or read their stories. Both my parents have smoked since their teens. I saw firsthand what smoking does to the smoker.

 
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What are the causes of COPD? Smoking. Smoking is the number 1 cause of COPD. More than 90 percent of COPDs are caused by smoking, cigarette or otherwise. About 30 percent of long term smokers will eventually show symptoms of COPD of varying degrees. Other causes include air pollution and inherited enzyme deficiency namely alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.

The indigenous people of the Amazon see life as having enough purpose just as it is. Fulfillment comes from being in tune with the spirits so there is an abundance of fish, bananas, yucca for making masato (alcoholic beverage), and plenty of healthy children, in short, life is for being happy!

What are the treatments of COPD? First of all. Stop smoking. This cannot be stressed enough. Smoking cessation is the first thing you have to do if you want to get better. As the underlying mechanism of COPD is irreversible, medications are used with an aim to slow down it's progress. Drugs that are commonly used to treat COPD include short-acting bronchodilator inhalers (i.e. salbutamol), long-acting bronchodilator inhalers (i.e. tiotropium), steroid inhalers and tablets are all available drugs for treatment of COPD. Again, no treatment is more important that stop smoking. Lung transplant is the last option and should be reserved for people with severe COPD.

There are many ways to take tobacco. You can chew it, inhale it through the nose, and smoke it in the form of cigars or cigarettes. No matter how it's taken it is dangerous, but because smoking is the most popular way to consume tobacco it has also received the greatest attention from the medical field and the media.

Nicotine stained fingers, face, and teeth are just the beginning. Besides the offensive smell, there is the layer of nicotine that stains everything in the smoker's home:, furniture, walls, carpets, everything. On several different occasions, both my parents were extremely sick with illnesses directly attributable to smoking, eventually culminating in lung cancer for my dad. Cigarettes were so important to them, that they budgeted the smokes in with groceries. If money was tight, we ate beans and potatoes, but they never did without cigarettes. I promised myself in my teens that I would never smoke. I broke that promise sometime in the summer of 1981.

"Suck the salt off and spit out the seeds," he said. "Salt cuts the craving for nicotine." It worked. For six weeks, I carried sunflower seeds around with me. Anytime I started to crave a cigarette, I popped four or five sunflower seeds in my mouth. The times I felt foolish for constantly having sunflower seeds in my mouth, I would just remember the new skirt I had thrown away. Don't misunderstand. Quitting cigarettes was the hardest thing I ever did, but I was more determined than I had ever been.

Besides cancer, smoking is also related to several other diseases of the lungs. Emphysema and bronchitis can be fatal and 75% of all deaths from these diseases are linked to smoking.

After smoking for five years, I thought I was doomed to be a lifetime smoker just like my parents. Then something frightening happened. I fell asleep in my chair with a lit cigarette in my hand. Unlike many others who died after they went to sleep with a burning cigarette, I was fortunate. I wasn't hurt. Not physically, anyway.

What tests are needed to diagnose COPD? A test called spirometry is often performed to diagnose COPD. Bronchodilators (drugs that cause the airway to dilate) are usually added to confirm the diagnosis. If the test result does not show improvement with bronchodilators, then COPD is very likely.

Is COPD a common condition? It is one of the commonest conditions that require hospital admission during period of flare-ups. According to one epidemiology study in the US, approximately eight million people have chronic bronchitis whereas 2 million people have emphysema. As we can see, chronic bronchitis is more common than emphysema.

How does smoking cause COPD? Smoking inadvertently damages the lining of the airways. As with any other part of the body in response to injury, inflammation occurs. Inflammation stimulates the damaged lining to secrete mucus in an abnormal amount and also causes the airway to constrict (narrow).

Learning to smoke was difficult for me. I had so many reasons not to, that I really had to push to get it done. After years and years of second hand smoke exposure, my health began to deteriorate immediately. By the end of the first year, I had chronic bronchitis. Cigarettes became a crutch. If life was stressful, I smoked. If I was ill, I smoked. If everything was great, I smoked. My habit was so bad, I couldn't drive down the street or cook a meal without smoking. The first thing I did in the morning was light a cigarette. The last thing I did at night was put one out.

Cigarette smoke is composed of 43 carcinogenic substances and more than 400 other toxins that can also be found in wood varnish, nail polish remover, and rat poison. All of these substances accumulate in the body and can cause serious problems to the heart and lungs.

On another personal note, I found the experience with this plant also to be quite incredible. I found that the usual boundary between sleeping and being awake to be more fluid than I had anticipated. Even now, sometime after taking the plant my dreams are more colourful, richer, and lucid than before. For those interested in 'dreaming' this is certainly the plant to explore.

' Pi'on Colorado; this plant has short lived effect after drinking but helps dreaming later on when you go to sleep. Pi'on Colorado can also be worked with as a planta maestra (teacher plant). Medicinal properties include dealing with Insect bites and stings, vaginal infections, and bronchitis. It is possible to take the resin which is much stronger but toxic if too much ingested. The resin can be applied directly to the skin.

About the author:
Michael can be found online at http://www.smokingblogonline.com.

Another way of seeing the shaman's diet is that like the platitude 'all roads lead to Rome', all plants lead through different paths of experiences to the same place, i.e a deep and expanded understanding of one's place in the world around us and a recognition of self as an intrinsic element of this.

The underlying truth that is revealed in working with the plant spirit or consciousness is that we are not separate from the natural world. We perceive ourselves to be separate beings with our minds firmly embedded within our being (typically our head). The plants can show you that this way of being is an illusion and that we are all connected, all of us and everything else is a discrete element in the great universal field of consciousness. This is an area where the ancient knowledge of the peoples of the rainforest and modern quantum physics point in the very same direction, 'Reality is an illusion, albeit a persistent one' Albert Einstein.

Almost everybody knows that smoking is bad for the health. Images of blackened lungs line school hallways and hospital waiting rooms, but despite this people continue to take up smoking. This may have to do with the pervasive romantic image of smoking -- an image that has nothing in common with reality.

Howard G. Charing, is an accomplished international workshop leader on shamanism. He has worked some of the most respected and extraordinary shamans & healers in the Andes, the Amazon Rainforest, and the Philippines. He organizes specialist retreats to the Amazon Rainforest at the dedicated center located in the Mishana nature reserve. He is the author of the best selling book, Plant Spirit Shamanism (Destiny Books USA), and has published numerous articles about plant medicines. He was baptized into the Shipibo tribe of the Upper Amazon, and initiated into the lineage of the shamans of the Rio Napo. Howard is also an artist who's paintings have featured in major exhibitions in London and elsewhere. His artwork has also been featured on book covers.

I was terrified. If I had not wakened from the smell of burning fabric, I might have died, or at least been badly burned. The new skirt I was wearing had eight holes burned through it. The folds of fabric had protected my skin until I awoke. When I realized that I had risked my life, and ruined a brand new skirt, anger replaced the terror I felt--anger at myself.

Cancer is the most common disease associated with smoking. Smoking is the cause of 90% of lung cancer cases and is related to 30% of all cancer fatalities. Other smoking-related cancers include cancers of the mouth, pancreas, urinary bladder, kidney, stomach, esophagus, and larynx.

' Chirisanango; this plant is good for colds and arthritis and has the effect of heating up the body, so much so that the maestro advises a cold shower after each dose! This plant can be used in baths for good luck, and bring success to fishing, hunting etc. This planta maestra also makes possible for people to open up their heart to feel love for people and animals, and identify with other people as though brothers and sisters.

It offers a significant challenge for the rational Western mind to come to terms with the teacher plants, and a leap of imagination is required to incorporate the 'other' consciousness of the plant. The magical world to which we are transported by plants is not accessible through the verbal rational mind but through dream language or an expansion of the imagination. Thus dreams & our imaginative powers act like doorways during a plant diet and connect us with the plant spirit.

' Boahuasca; Used to heal Cancer of the stomach and intestines and prolapses. Also used against Uta, and cancerous, malignant wounds. The shaman's make an ointment from the ash and apply directly.

His website: http://www.shamanism.co.uk

email contact: eagleswing@shamanism.co.uk


 
 
     
 
 





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