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Asthma/ques about copd


QUESTION: Hi have ques about copd. Would u be able tonhelpnme. My mom is 67 and was diagnosed for cops. My ques is there are So manybremedies to takevso not sure which ones r best.what is best way to reduce phlegm in my chest? Also which multi vitamin is best for her to take? She hasn't been taking it recently with all her other meds she us on...plscadvise thanks

ANSWER: Hi Cari,
   Is your mother being seen by a lung specialist (pulmonologist)?  Does she smoke? Is she on any medications at present, and not just for her lungs, but also things like blood pressure, diabetes, female hormones, urinary issues? Does she have medical insurance?
  Unless your mom doesn't eat well, there generally is no reason to take vitamins, unless she has been shown to have a need based upon lab tests.

Once your get back to me with this information, I'll be in a better position to guide you.



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: No she is not being seen by pulmnologist. Also she does have medicare and suppninsurance. She takes verapamil for high blood pressure.and med for cholesterol avorstatin. She stopped smoking over avyr ago whuchbisbgreat. She has good days but others she gets very tired and sometimes sweats at night. She tries to get out almost everyday to do some exercise even some walkj g but sometimes she vets a crash of tiredness. What is best multi vitamin and do u also know anything about red yeast rice Is it is a good substitute for avorstatin? Pls reply as soon as u can. Also have u heard about Himalayan salt tgerapyvif it is good for copd?

Hi Cari,
  Your mom really needs to be properly evaluated by a Pulmonologist to discover the degree to which her lungs functioning has been reduced. For example, a typical 55 year old, non-smoker (not exposed to second-hand smoke either), generally has lost 10-20% of the breathing capacity they had at the age of 25, when the lungs are fully developed. So, some loss is a normal part of aging. How much more loss that has occurred becomes the starting point of which medication would be best to improve breathing, and yet have very little in the way of side effects. The Pulmonologist is in the best position to evaluate this. It may be mild where she may only need to see this doctor once a year, with your moms regular doctor managing her. If worse, then for you mom to have the best breathing, being under the care of the lung doctor would be the best route. Without this information, it would not be  appropriate to recommend a specific therapy.
   As far as vitamins, if you mother frequently works hard at breathing, then there are a number of dietary supplements like Ensure, and Pulmocare that provide not only the appropriate vitamins and minerals, but also the other nutrients the body needs in order to best stay strong.
   Regarding Himalayan Salts, I checked a number of medical research references and came up blank. There are constantly natural products that are promoted as "wonder treatments", but the major health improvement is in the wallet of those who push it. I cannot recommend this without seeing any well designed study with a large number of patients involve.
   Also, while red yeast rice does help cholesterol , it's a nice add on, but not a replacement.

  Hope this helps guide you and your mother.



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Marc Rubin, RPh Asthma Educator


I have worked directly with patients as well as caregivers for over 30 years. Have made presentations throughout Illinois educating school nurses as well as the teaching and coaching staff of public schools about asthma, and how they should respond to these students needs. Presented a public education program on asthma through the US Department of Public Health. Specialize in helping guide asthmatic patients to take control of their disease in order to live a near-normal, fully active life.


Practicing pharmacist for 40 years, specializing in asthma and COPD for 12 years. Developed nationwide education to nurses, teachers and athletic coaches regarding asthma and exercise induced bronchospasm. In addition, and closer to home. my daughter has asthma, and my son has exercise induced bronchospasm. In addition, I serve on the boards and committees of a number of asthma organizations: Sports, Exercise and Fitness Committee of AAAAI, Population Health Committee and Sports Medicine Committee of ACAAI, Sports Medicine Committee of the World Allergy Association. Board of Directors of the Chicago Asthma Consortium, Board of Directors of the Christopher D. Redding Youth Asthma Foundation, as well as the advisory board of a medical education company, Emmi Solutions. Directly involved in the creation of public education programs for asthma, COPD and diabetes.

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology / Sports Medicine Committee, American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology / Population Health Committee and Sports Medicine, American College of Chest Physicians, American Thoracic Society. World Allergy Association, Chicago Asthma Consortium / Professional Development Committee, Christopher D. Redding Youth Asthma Foundation, and Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago: Development Committee for AE-C prep class, and presenter.

AAAAI PowerPoint on the new guidelines for EIB (Exercise Induced Bronchospasm), AAAAI Powerpoint on Asthma in School Setting for Teachers and Coaches, Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology: Transition guide for teens with food allergies or asthma going out of the home to live independantly.

BScPharm, RPh, (NAECB Certified asthma educator in 2002), NIPCO Certified Respiratory Care Pharmacist

Past/Present Clients
Emmi Solutions, Chicago Next Level Health, Chicago

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