Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
COPD is the name used to describe a number of lung related conditions that affect the airways and make it difficult to breathe. Conditions like emphysema and chronic bronchitis cause inflammation and damage to the airways, and cause them to get narrower. This is what makes it harder to breathe. Inflammation of the airways and the extra effort required to breathe and carry out day to day activities increases the amount of energy (calories) and protein needed for a person with COPD to maintain their weight and strength. If these increased requirements are not met, weight loss may occur. When breathing is difficult, it can also impact on our ability to eat. Coordinating chewing, swallowing and breathing with COPD can be challenging and may lead to anxiety around eating and reduced intake of food and fluid. This may also result in unintentional weight loss. Learn more about how to support patients with COPD maintain their nutritional intake below.