COPD – Symptoms and causes - Medicircle

COPD was the second-highest cause of death in India after heart disease in 2017, killing 1 million. Know some important inputs on COPD from Dr. Avya Bansal

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common lung disease. Having COPD makes it hard to breathe. Smoking is the main cause of COPD. The more a person smokes, the more likely that person will develop COPD. India is now the ‘COPD Capital of the World’. 

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is the third leading cause of death worldwide, causing 3.23 million deaths in 2019. World COPD Day 2021 is observed on Wednesday 17 November. India contributes a significant and growing percentage of COPD mortality which is estimated to be amongst the highest in the world. Estimates suggest there are 30 million COPD patients in India. COPD was the second-highest cause of death in India after heart disease in 2017, killing 1 million. COPD led to 13% of all deaths in India, and 7.5 million were at risk of the disease in 2016. We at Medicircle are conducting the World COPD Day Awareness Series to raise awareness, share knowledge, and discuss ways to reduce the burden of COPD worldwide.

Dr. Avya Bansal is a Consultant Chest Physician at Bombay Hospital & Medical Research Centre and Lung Care Clinic in Mumbai. He is expertise in Tuberculosis (TB) Treatment, Eosinophilia Treatment, Pulmonary Function tests (PFT), Decortication and Interstitial Lung Disease Treatment, etc.

He is a member of Maharashtra medical council, Indian Chest Society, American College of Chest Physicians, European Respiratory Society (ERS), Chest Council of India, Indian Association of Bronchology, Asian Pacific Society of Respirology and National College of Chest Physicians. He has secured 1st place in Pulmonology Quiz at State Pulmonology Conference - PULMOKARN 2016. He is the youngest recipient of the Fellowship of the Asian Pacific Society of Respirology.

COPD - Symptoms

Dr. Avya says, "COPD is a lung disease. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) affects the lungs. It has two subtypes – One is emphysema predominant and another one is chronic bronchitis predominant. Cough and mucus are more commonly seen in chronic bronchitis, it usually occurs in old ages after 50-60 years. Emphysema is commonly seen in a patient who is exposed to tobacco smoke, chemical fumes or dust from the environment or workplace.

Dr. Avya mentions, “Earlier COPD was seen only in men but due to exposure of biomass, chulha and tobacco, it is becoming more common in women as well.  Some common symptoms of COPD are

Shortness of breath, especially with physical activity
Tightness in your chest
Wheezing sounds from lungs
Frequent coughing or a cough that produces a lot of mucus
Sudden weight loss
Use of accessory muscles to breathe

Risk factors

Dr. Avya explains, “Rarely less than 1%, a genetic condition called alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency or mutation can play a role in causing COPD. Rest 99% disease is because of exposure. 

Exposure to smoking, paan, tobacco, environmental pollution, working industries like vehicle, shipping and mining industries.  The chances of COPD increase in long-standing asthma patients.  HIV itself is also the risk factor for COPD.  Other lung diseases can also increase the risk of COPD. 

COPD damages lungs

COPD reduced lung function by damaging the airways and air sacs in the lungs. When a person with healthy lungs inhales air, it travels down their windpipe and into the airways of the lungs, known as bronchial tubes. Inside the lungs, the bronchial tubes branch into thousands of smaller, thinner channels called bronchioles. At the end of these tubes are bunches of tiny round air sacs called alveoli. Capillaries are small blood vessels that surround the walls of the air sacs. Once air makes its way to the air sacs, oxygen passes through the walls of the air sac into the capillaries that transport blood.

At the same time, carbon dioxide moves from the capillaries into the air sacs. These events happen at the same time, and scientists refer to this as gas exchange. Healthy air sacs are elastic and very stretchy. People with COPD have less air flowing in and out of the airways. 

Other complications in COPD

The deficiency of calcium and vitamin D causes bone weakness. 
Long-standing COPD results in psychological illnesses like depression
Heart diseases because of smoking


Dr. Avya emphasizes some tips for management

Less exposure to tobacco smoking and chulha. The right type of Inhalers. In treatment, 50% is medication (Inhalers) and the other 50% is diet and exercise. A respiratory diet is very important for COPD patients. These patients should take fewer carbs and more protein. Physiotherapy, breathing exercises, walking. Timely swine flu and pneumonia vaccines should be given to COPD patients to decrease the intensity of the disease. Pulmonary rehabilitation is very significant for COPD patients.

Food to eat and to avoid

Eat – Protein such as pulses, dal, fresh vegetables and fruit, paneer, soya Avoid - Carbohydrates like oily fried food, fat intake, rice, and roti

(Edited by Renu Gupta)


Contributed By: Dr. Avya Bansal, Consultant Chest Physician, Bombay Hospitals & Medical Research Centre
Tags : #World-COPD-Day-Awareness-Series #DrAvyaBansal #BombayHospitalandMedicalResearchCentre #COPD #LungCareClinic #Asthma #COVID #Emphysema #ChronicBronchitis #Cancer #lunghealth #Stopsmoking #Resiratorydisease #Lungdisease #Medicircle #SmitaKumar

About the Author

Renu Gupta

With a background in Pharmacy which is the clinical health science that links medical science with chemistry, I had the desire to mix creativity to these fields. Medicircle provides me an avenue to apply my training in science and interest in creativity together.

Related Stories

Loading Please wait...

Trending Now

PM addresses the Nation today, announces free vaccinesJune 07, 2021
Why inhalers are best for treating asthma, well illustrated by Dr. Anil SingalMay 12, 2021
Dr. Rohan Palshetkar shares his invaluable insights about the Maternal Mortality Rate causes and improvements in India April 29, 2021
It is important to adopt a non-judgmental attitude towards any teenage girl seeking contraceptive advise suggests Dr. Teena Trivedi, Obstetrician and GynecologistApril 16, 2021
80% of the diseases are psychosomatic which means they have roots in the mind and this is where homeopathy steps in - It resolves physical ailments by finding the cause in the mind – Dr. Sanket Dhuri, Consultant Homeopath April 14, 2021
A futuristic Vision of a Healthcare Entrepreneur: Shyatto Raha, CEO, and Founder of MyHealthcareApril 12, 2021
Saher Mehdi, Founder and Chief Scientist at wellOwise talks about aspects making healthcare more equitable and reachableApril 10, 2021
Wide variety of therapies to address autism in children explained by Dr. Shilpa Jasubhai, Clinical PsychologistApril 09, 2021
Allopathic and Homeopathic medicines should not be taken together says Dr. Sunil Mehra, Homeopath ConsultantApril 08, 2021
The charm of homeopathic medicine is that it can be taken with conventional medicines – Dr. Shruthi Shridhar, Consulting Homeopath April 08, 2021
Dissociative Identity Disorder and associated concepts explained by Dr. Vinod Kumar, Psychiatrist and Head of Mpower - The Centre (Bangalore) April 07, 2021
Dissociative Identity Disorder explained by Dr. Shilpa Jasubhai, Clinical PsychologistApril 05, 2021
Sehat Ki Baat, Karishma Ke Saath- Episode 6 Healthy Diet For Boosting Metabolism Which Can Help Thyroid Patients April 03, 2021
Significant Pointers on Kidney Health by Dr. Santosh Waigankar, Consultant Urooncologist and Robotic Surgeon at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani HospitalApril 01, 2021
Dr. Vaishal Kenia, Ophthalmologist Talks About the Different Possibilities Available for the Treatment of Glaucoma Depending Upon Their Type and SeverityMarch 30, 2021
No Definitive Role of Diet in Treatment of Lymphedema but Intake of Calories, Salt and Long Chain Fatty Acids should be controlled says Dr. Ramani CVMarch 30, 2021
Dr. Kiran Chandra Patro, Senior Nephrologist Talks About Dialysis as the Temporary Process and Not a Permanent Cure for the Patients of Renal DysfunctionMarch 30, 2021
Two out of three new chronic kidney disease patients are found to have diabetes or hypertension informs Dr. Sreeharsha HarinathaMarch 30, 2021
Glaucoma Treatment: Medications or Surgery? A valuable piece of advice from Dr. Pranay Kapdia, Chairman and Medical Director of Kapadia Eye CareMarch 25, 2021
Dr. Shraddha Satav, Consultant Ophthalmologist Recommends that Everybody After 40, Should Go for the Complete Eye Checkup at Regular IntervalMarch 25, 2021