7 Things That Cause COPD Besides Cigarettes

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7 Things That Cause COPD Besides Cigarettes

Postby Wilberforce » Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:55 pm

7 Things That Cause COPD Besides Cigarettes
By John Bottrell, RRT · March 23, 2018

Despite many misconceptions and stigma, COPD can be caused by a number of things, not just cigarettes.
Here is a list of seven things, other than cigarettes, that may cause COPD

1. Wood Smoke and Coal.

Wood and coal are both biomass fuels. Many people around the world burn them to produce heat or light. Heat is another byproduct of combustion. But, also produced is smoke. In this smoke are many of the same chemicals and particles in cigarette smoke. These are aerosolized and easily inhaled.

When inhaling this smoke day after day after day, it can damage lungs. So, studies of women in third world or developing nations show high incidences of COPD. It’s not caused by cigarette smoking in these cases, as they rarely smoke. But, they do spend their days cooking over wood stoves. They also use wood and coal to stay warm.4

Not everyone who cooks over wood stoves will develop COPD. Smoke usually goes up, and people try to avoid it. So, it’s rare that you can develop COPD from campfires and things like that. Researchers believe burning biomass in poorly ventilated areas is what is likely to cause COPD.

2. Cigar and Pipe Smoke.

You may be inhaling less smoke. But, you are indeed inhaling smoke. And, this smoke is formed by combustion of biomass. So, both of these may also cause COPD. We should also include marijuana here. Marijuana is shown to open airways. But, the risks may, in this case, be greater than the benefits. Some studies show that your risk for developing COPD if you smoke marijuana daily is the same as if you inhale tobacco smoke daily.

3. Outdoor Air Pollution.

Yes, you can develop COPD even if not exposed to smoke. Early studies seem to indicate that you can get it by inhaling outdoor air pollution. When this occurs, it is definitely done naturally. You just happen to inhale the polluted air. You do it unknowingly. You can’t see it. You can’t smell it. It’s just there. It’s probably more likely to cause COPD in populated areas. But, this is only a theory. Studies are ongoing to learn more about the impact of outdoor air pollution on COPD. Further studies may prove this theory false too.

4. Indoor Air Pollution.

Say you work in a factory. You are inhaling dusts or fumes every day. The dusts contain harmful particles. The fumes contain harmful chemicals. Both may cause changes inside your lungs. Both may cause COPD.

5. Genetics.

There is a particular gene that may cause COPD. It’s called the alpha-1 antitrypsin gene. If you have it, you may develop COPD even if you never smoked. You can learn more about it by reading, “It’s a Genetic Thing

6. Poor Lung Growth.

Your mom’s environment may contribute to your COPD. So, your mom smokes. Or, maybe your mom doesn’t smoke. Maybe she lives in an urban area and inhales lots of outdoor air pollution. Or, maybe she has a job that requires her to inhale dusts or fumes. In either case, this may lead to poor lung growth. This can predispose you to developing COPD later in life. I described this in more detail in my post, What Is The Fetal Origins Hypothesis.

7. The Aging Process.

In this case it’s called senile emphysema or COPD. It’s when your lungs naturally break down over time. It’s part of the normal aging process. Most people will develop this if they live long enough. Like any disease, it develops at different times and intensities from one person to another. It’s generally not diagnosed until after the age of 70. And it’s usually not considered a disease, but a result of aging. In most people, it’s never significant enough to even be recognized.6
Why is this important?

It can help researchers better understand this disease. It can help them learn better strategies for treating it. And, ultimately, this may lead to better guidelines to help doctors best treat you. It may even lead to an eventual cure. This is all in an effort to help you breathe easier and live better with COPD.

These are seven things that may contribute to the development of COPD over time. While cigarette smoke is the most likely culprit, there are many other causes as well. Sometimes it’s even diagnosed in people who never smoked. A simple query about your lifestyle and your environment can help doctors learn how you got it.
View References

• The Surgeon General has determined that there is no safe level of exposure to ambient smoke!

• If you smell even a subtle odor of smoke, you are being exposed to poisonous and carcinogenic chemical compounds!

• Even a brief exposure to smoke raises blood pressure, (no matter what your state of health) and can cause blood clotting, stroke, or heart attack in vulnerable people. Even children experience elevated blood pressure when exposed to smoke!

• Since smoke drastically weakens the lungs' immune system, avoiding smoke is one of the best ways to prevent colds, flu, bronchitis, or risk of an even more serious respiratory illness, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis! Does your child have the flu? Chances are they have been exposed to ambient smoke!
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