My mum has just been diagnosed with e... - British Lung Foun...

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My mum has just been diagnosed with emphysema


Hello everyone,

My mum is 60 and she has just been diagnosed with emphysema. She isn't or wasn't a smoker. I'm trying to find out as much as I can on the Internet about it but so far I haven't found very much and I'm just wondering if anyone on this lovely forum can help? Is it the same as COPD? Does anyone know any natural remedies and if they are recommended? Any supplements she should be taking too that come recommended? Or exercises that might help? Thank you x

24 Replies

Just good eating and exersize

Thanks. Also she lives in East London which is very polluted... Do you think exercising outside will be okay?

Hello Heidi_Maria1985, I have copd and exercise every day. I try to avoid places that are likely to be heavy with pollution, such as roads etc. because you breathe deeper when lungs are working harder. We're lucky enough to have a cycle path to walk along where I live, other times if the weather is okay, my hubby drives me to the coast to walk there. If the weather isn't okay, then I have a treadmill (it gets used a lot in the winter months when the cold air affects breathing). There is a site where you can check pollution levels daily:

If you have a good look at the site, there is a section where they give information about exercise for folks with health problems. You just need to pop in your mum's area into the location part and hey presto! Hope that helps :) x

This is so helpful!! Thank you for taking the time to give me some advice!! X

COPD is an umbrella term which encompasses Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema. Your Mum needs a healthy diet of fruit/veg, exercise plus vitamin D and possibly multivitamins.

If you go to youtube and search pulmonary exercises you will find some very good ones on there.

One exercise i do which helps a lot is blowing up balloons.

Do you know what her FEV% was

Hi Heidi-Maria

I don't have Emphysema but someone will be along soon who will know more about that. As far as I'm aware it does come under the heading of COPD, and the way forward is for her (and me) to exercise as much as she is able. There are also useful breathing exercises on you tube which should help. I think the others mentioned taking vitamin D and C to help support the body to fight off colds etc which will reduce the risk of chest infections.

I'll leave it to the others to help with more detail as I too have been diagnosed within the last 6 months and am still learning about COPD. Oh and healthy eating!

Welcome to the site, there are some very knowledgeable and supportive people here. :)


For information go no further than.

Sensible diet and exercise are two factors, ask for your mother to be referred to a pulmonary rehablitation course, this is a two hour twice weekly course for six weeks , one hour exercise ( suited to your needs and abilities) and one hour education.

There are many members on the forum who can answers most questions.

Their are some gentle exercise,

i was diagnosed with COPD stage 4 one year ago and was on oxygen almost 24/7. i started immediately to do the exercises in these two videos. its 1 year later and i'm off the oxygen. exercises will definitely help. i don't know whether to give the credit to them, the magnesium pills i started taking in february, or St. Rita, saint of the impossible, on whose feast day my oxygen levels became stable or a combination thereof. all i know is i'm very grateful and my pulmonologist is amazed.

These are amazing!! Just what I was looking for!! Thank you so much!! X

i started these exercises hoping to prolong my life. i never dreamed i could improve. i'm 82. i hope exercises and magnesium will help your mom!

What dosage of magnesium do you take please?? X

i take nature made magnesium 250mg. was having such cramps from advair that the doctor put me on and to my amazement not only did it help the cramps but my oxygen level improved.

I really hope this helps my mum!! Thank you again X

helingmic in reply to jarc13

jarc13. St Rita might have a lot to do with this; but the practical videos you show are splendid and of immense help. I'm glad that you got off oxygen. with exercises, I did the same. Yu are a fan of magnesium. I'm a fan of Vitamin D3. these sunshine vitamins have just been recommended on the BBC because, apparently we don't get enough sun. Well done! Capital! Mic

jarc13 in reply to helingmic

how very wonderful to hear of someone else who had the same experience. my pulmonologist asked me what i had done. he was very interested. i was already getting vitamin d as i take a combination of calcium/vitamin d every day. i also eat a banana a day for the potassium. while googling i saw where that combination can be powerful against all kinds of health issues. while there's life, there's hope! that's for sure.... 💜

Where there is life there is hope indeed!!! I'll get mum to eat a banana a day as well as the magnesium and the vit D :) you have been so helpful X

Thank you, I'll get her some vit D3 as well l. I went in to Holland and Barret to ask what they recommend but they weren't allowed to give any advice on anything relating to the respiratory system.

i just looked up my health record and i was diagnosed last year with emphysema with chronic bronchitis and also, chronic respiratory failure. i am so grateful at how well i feel now. with those diagnoses i never dreamt i would feel better. so very happy if anything i did can help someone else. God Bless!

God bless you also :) X

Thank you everyone so much for this advice!! This is all really really helpful!! X

Heidi, If you look British Lung foundation on here you can phone them and ask for a leaflet which will explain what emphysema is. here is their phone number

Our Helpline - 03000 030 555 - is available to anyone living in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, providing guidance on how to manage and live with your condition.

Ask for a leaflet, and talk freely to their stff which is made of nurses as well as volunteers. Hope you get help soon, Mic

I will do this first thing on Monday, thank you! :)

Heidi_Maria, Ask as well for a leaflet on exercises with COPD, there are some good ones. Cheers, Mic

Amazing thank you!

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