Take care of your whole health

COPD can mean dealing with other conditions, too

woman kissing her grandma

It is common for people who have COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) to also have other health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, or acid reflux. One survey of COPD patients found that most have four other chronic conditions.

If you have COPD, talk to your doctor about other symptoms you feel. Managing COPD and other conditions at the same time can be a challenge, but your health care team can work with you to build an action plan. Many of the things that will help manage your COPD will also help manage other symptoms.

Maintain your right weight. Aim for your target weight to ease breathing, and give your heart a break.

Eat well. A balanced diet will keep you strong and lower the risk of other chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease.

Drink up. Six to eight glasses of water a day helps thin the mucus in your lungs.

Wash your hands often. Use soap and warm water. Get your flu shot.

Mind your medicines. Draw up a schedule, use a pill box, set an alarm, or whatever works to help you remember.

Be active. Exercise can actually improve your breathing and strengthen your lungs. Using light weights can lower the risk of osteoporosis.