COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a serious lung disease which constricts and obstructs air flowing into and out of the lungs. The disease is progressive and non-reversible, and, can become advanced before chronic symptoms appear. In many cases, COPD is preventable, so it is essential to know its symptoms, recognize them early, and discuss with your Houston internist any concerns you may have. It’s encouraging to know, however, that once COPD is identified, the progression of the disease can be slowed and its symptoms alleviated. Nevertheless, COPD required medical attention. According to the American Lung Association, COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States. (http://www.lung.org/lung-health-and-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/copd/ )
COPD is most often caused by a combination of two related lung diseases: emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Each of these conditions contributes to irritation and swelling of the lining of the bronchial tubes in the lungs. Emphysema results when the bronchial tube endings are damaged and destroyed by breathing toxins or pollutants such as cigarette smoke. However, even non-smokers can contract the disease via air pollution, second-hand smoke, or air-borne toxins in the work-place. For smokers, the most effective prevention is to quit smoking. Your internist in Houston, Dr. Adnan Rafiq, is skilled at identifying and treating COPD and can assist patients interested in quitting smoking.
Some of the signs of lung damage include:
• Chronic coughing and production of excessive mucus
• Shortness of breath and wheezing
• Tightening in the chest
• Low energy
• Frequent respiratory infections with slower recovery times
• Fingernail ‘beds’ show a bluish color
• Loss of weight as more calories are burned to overcome shortness of breath
If you have any of these symptoms, are a smoker, or are concerned about COPD, you should discuss your questions with Houston internist, Dr. Adnan Rafiq. Through his medical practice at North Star Medical, Dr. Rafiq will complete a comprehensive review of your symptoms, discuss with you causes of and available treatment options for COPD, and, should you have COPD, develop a complete disease management and treatment plan. Also, for smokers wanting to quit, Dr. Rafiq can assist each patient by providing a full range of both medical ‘stop smoking’ options as well as appropriate lifestyle change recommendations.
COPD is a serious illness that begins ‘quietly’ without exhibiting many symptoms. It has been estimated that fully half of all those who now have the disease do not yet know they have it. It is not until symptoms advance and become chronic that irreversible lung damage has occurred. Because of its ‘stealthy’ nature, it is crucial to catch COPD early to begin a program for managing and controlling the progress of the disease.
Dr. Rafiq and his staff are skilled at providing the highest levels of patient care. Whether you are concerned about COPD or any other medical issues, visit North Star Medical or give us a call at (281) 922-7377, and talk with one of professional staff. We will be more than happy to answer all your questions and set an appointment for a check-up or an initial consultation. Dr. Rafiq, an internist in Houston, is dedicated to serving patients throughout Houston with the very latest in diagnostic tools and disease management and treatments. Give Dr. Rafiq a call today, (281) 922-7377.