Emphysema of the lungs

General description of the disease


Emphysema of the lungs is a disease that affects the respiratory tract, which is characterized by a pathological increase in the air space of the bronchioles, accompanied by changes in the walls of the alveoli of a destructive and morphological nature. Emphysema is one of the most common forms of nonspecific and chronic pulmonary disease.

Read also our dedicated article on nutrition for the lungs.

The factors that are responsible for the occurrence of emphysema are divided into 2 groups:

  • Factors that disrupt the strength and elasticity of the lungs (congenital alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency, tobacco smoke, nitrogen oxides, cadmium, dust particles in space). These factors cause primary emphysema, during which the pathological restructuring of the respiratory part of the lungs begins. Because of these changes during exhalation, pressure on the small bronchi increases, which passively fall off under its influence (merge and form bullae), thereby increasing the pressure in the alveoli. Increased pressure in the alveoli occurs due to increased bronchial resistance on exhalation. It is worth noting that after such changes, the patency of the bronchi when inhaling air is not impaired in any way.
  • Factors that increase the stretching of the alveolar passages, alveoli and respiratory bronchioles (are the cause of secondary emphysema). The most dangerous factor of occurrence is the presence of chronic obstructive bronchitis (bronchitis and asthma), even tuberculosis, which can develop due to long-term smoking, polluted air, the specifics of professional activities (this category includes builders, miners, workers in the metallurgical, cellulose industry, coal miners, railroad workers, people associated with the processing of cotton and grain), adenoviruses and a lack of vitamin C in the body.

Forms of pulmonary emphysema:

  1. 1 diffuse – there is complete damage to the lung tissue;
  2. 2 bullous – diseased (swollen) areas are located close to healthy parts of the lungs.

Symptoms of pulmonary emphysema:

  • shortness of breath, choking;
  • the chest takes the shape of a barrel;
  • the gaps between the ribs are widened;
  • bulging of the collarbones;
  • the face is swollen (especially under the eyes and in the area of ​​the nose);
  • cough with hard sputum, the strength of which increases with physical exertion;
  • to facilitate breathing, the patient raises his shoulders, which gives the impression that he has a short neck;
  • “pant”;
  • when passing an X-ray, in the picture, the pulmonary fields will be excessively transparent;
  • weak, quiet breathing;
  • sedentary diaphragm;
  • bluish nails, lips;
  • thickening of the nail plate (nails become like drumsticks over time);
  • heart failure may occur.

With emphysema of the lungs, you should be wary of any infectious diseases. Since, due to a weakened broncho-pulmonary system, they can quickly develop into chronic ones. At the first symptoms of an infectious disease, treatment should be started immediately.

Useful foods for pulmonary emphysema

  1. 1 cereals;
  2. 2 raw vegetables and fruits (especially seasonal) – zucchini, carrots, broccoli, pumpkin, tomatoes, bell peppers, all leafy vegetables and citrus fruits;
  3. 3 sugar and sweets must be replaced with dried fruits (prunes, figs, raisins, dried apricots);
  4. 4 seafood;
  5. 5 seriously ill patients need to adhere to a protein diet and focus on cottage cheese, legumes, lean meats and fish;
  6. 6 herbal teas from currant, linden, wild rose, hawthorn.

The portions should not be large, it is better to eat less at a time, but more often. This is due to the fact that with an increase in lung volume, a smaller stomach volume becomes (therefore, taking a large amount of food will create abdominal discomfort).


Means of traditional medicine:

  • Physiotherapywhich helps to improve lung function.

    Exercise 1 – stand up straight, put your feet shoulder-width apart, blow out your stomach and inhale at the same time. Place your hands in front of you, bend over and at the same time draw in your stomach and exhale.

    Exercise 2 – lying on your back, put your hands on your stomach and inhale, hold your breath for a few seconds, then exhale deeply, while massaging your stomach.

    Exercise 3 – rise, spread your legs shoulder-width apart, put your hands on your belt, do short, jerks, exhales.

    The duration of each exercise should be at least 5 minutes, the frequency of repetition is 3 times a day.

  • Good respiratory trainer are hiking, skiing, swimming.
  • Every morning is necessary rinse the nose cool water. It is very important to constantly breathe through the nose (it is strictly forbidden to switch to breathing through the mouth – because of such actions, heart failure may develop).
  • Oxygen therapy – inhalation with an increased oxygen content, which can be done at home. You can use a simple substitute for these inhalations – the “grandmother’s” method – boil potatoes in their skins and inhale their steam (you should be extremely careful not to burn your face from hot steam).
  • Aromatherapy… Add a couple of drops of essential oil to water and heat in an aroma lamp. The vapor that will appear must be inhaled by the patient. You can use chamomile, lavender, eucalyptus, bergamot, incense oils. This procedure should be repeated three times a day until the disappearance of the disease.
  • Drink decoctions and infusions from chamomile, coltsfoot, centaury, centipede leaflet, buckwheat and linden flowers, marshmallow and licorice roots, sage leaves, mint, anise fruits, flax seeds.
  • Massage – helps the separation and discharge of sputum. The most effective is acupressure.

Before proceeding with treatment, the first step is to quit smoking!

Dangerous and harmful foods for pulmonary emphysema

  • dairy products (cheese, milk, yogurt), vegetables and fruits containing starch (potatoes, bananas) – increase the volume of mucus;
  • a large amount of pasta, bread, buns (not made from whole grain flour);
  • fatty, cold food (confectionery, meat, nuts);
  • alcoholic beverages;
  • strong coffee and tea, cocoa;
  • salt in high dosages;
  • products containing dyes, preservatives, flavors and other additives of synthetic origin.


The administration is not responsible for any attempt to use the information provided, and does not guarantee that it will not harm you personally. The materials cannot be used to prescribe treatment and make a diagnosis. Always consult your specialist doctor!

Nutrition for other diseases:

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