global support for those suffering with COPD

  COPD International     Your International Support Network

You can learn to control COPD, instead of letting COPD control you!

Learn More About  Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)  

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What is COPD?

COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is an insidious, progressive disease that causes airflow blockage and breathing related problems, making it hard to breathe. "Insidious" means developing so gradually as to be well established before becoming apparent and "progressive" means the disease gets worse over time.

COPD, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, is an umbrella term used to describe a group of progressive lung diseases. The two diseases recognized by the major organizations (NHLBI - National Heart Lung Blood Institute, ATS - American Thoracic Society, ERS - European Respiratory Society, and GOLD - Global Initiative for Obstructive Lung Disease) and included within the term are emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Many other organizations include refractory (non-reversible) or chronic asthma, some forms of bronchiectasis and several other diseases which are characterized by progressive obstruction of the airflow into and out of the lungs and increased shortness of breath under this term.

This insidious disease is often not first diagnosed until long after some lung capacity is already lost. It is possible to have early stages of the disease without knowing it. In the United States, it is estimated that 24 million people have COPD, yet one half (approximately 12 million) are still undiagnosed and do not know they have it. Though almost always preventable, and almost always treatable, it is usually not fully reversible.

COPD is NOT a death sentence!

In past years surprising little had actually been learned about COPD. Studies and research were very limited. Now, however, things are improving with some very encouraging studies, clinical trials and research under way for medications and treatment protocols. Research into such areas as genetics, new medications and treatment protocols promise greatly improved diagnostics and treatments for the future. These will greatly improve the quality of life for the patient. A possible cure is no longer considered impossible. Now there also is a very active COPD awareness program underway which started in 2007. This program is designed to educate everyone about this disease, with major emphasis on early diagnosis. For more information, see sidebar links (Latest News) to the NHLBI's: Learn More, Breathe Better® program. There is a very long way to go, however.

The good news is that COPD, though considered a chronic, debilitating and sometimes fatal disease, can be managed, controlled and slowed down. We can all lead good and long lives, with a great deal of quality and joy left even after the diagnosis. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with COPD, general well-being and prognosis can improve greatly with proper treatment and care.

The most important factors contributing to a longer and healthier lifestyle include, but are not limited to:

  • Early testing and detection.

  • A physician who is knowledgeable in COPD and is proactive in disease management, preferably a pulmonary specialist

  • Following your medication regimen faithfully

  • Healthy eating habits

  • Stopping smoking - The single, most beneficial factor if you are still smoking.

  • A personal exercise program approved by your physician

  • Education about any and all aspects of the disease and its related problems

  • Infection prevention to limit exacerbations which can lead to additional lung damage


You are not alone!

  • It is estimated that there are currently 12 to13 million people in the United States diagnosed with COPD.

  • It is estimated that an additional 12-14 million or more are still undiagnosed, as they are in the beginning stages and have few or minimal symptoms and have not sought health care yet.

  • It is estimated by WHO (the World Health Organization) that close to 210 million cases could possibly be found worldwide. Some estimates put this number as high as 400-600 million

Here at COPD International, you will not be alone. This site has been organized and staffed by individuals who have been diagnosed with COPD, caregivers and other individuals interested in COPD. Designed to help you learn to control this disease instead of letting it control you, it's primary purpose is to provide a complete resource for patients, caregivers and family, through interactive support and education.

Here you will find:

  • Our main Chat Room is open to all 24 hours a day. People are coming and going all the time. Drop in and visit. It's a great source of support and information.

  • Our four communities, each have a Chat Room, as well as a Message Board. Here you can find people with similar experiences -- COPD patients, caregivers, teenagers and kids facing the fears, issues and problems associated with dealing on a daily basis. If your community has no one there when you visit, please drop into the main Chat Room.

  • Our message boards throughout the Web site are there for you to ask for and get help and guidance. Your experiences can help others there as well.

  • Our List servers, which provide round the clock information and support by e-mail.

  • Our "Quit Smoking Now" Program (QSN) to help you kick the habit and provides the ongoing support needed to help you stay smoke-free for as long as you need.

  • Guidance for your exercise needs.

  • Our "Keep in Touch" Program (KIT) is a 3 part program which provides a place for those living alone to check in on a regular basis; a way for us to find those who we have lost contact with; and a pen pal program to encourage the creation of COPD related friendships around the world.

  • Our "Loving Thoughts" Program provides a special message center for sending caring messages during tough times.

  • Don't need a Loving Thoughts page but want to send a cheerful note or special anonymous greeting, check out our Cheer Bear program.

  • Our "Welcome Wagon" Program, which is staffed by community members who are committed to supporting new arriving members by the sharing of information and providing Web site assistance and guidance.

  • An ever-expanding reference area complete with a searchable Library. Included in the library are hundreds of articles on COPD and related subjects ranging from the COPD Survival Guide to the personal experiences of patients and caregivers.

  • The latest news, articles and information at our COPD Info blog.

  • A manual and checklist with information and guidance for starting a COPD support group in your local community.

  • A weekly emailed newsletter to keep you informed on our Web site developments and the latest news.

  • Down through the years, we have lost many of our friends and family to this disease. Some visited using only a nickname, while others remained totally unknown, preferring to read, learn and seek comfort in the knowledge that they were not alone. The tribute area is dedicated to all COPD Patients, known and unknown, who have gone on before us.


Traveling, or away from your PC?   Many of the features of the this full website are now available to you on smartphones and smaller tablets including the Kindle, using our COPD mobile app!  Larger tablets and PCs have the option of accessing information through this full website link as well as the mobile link.

On the mobile site, you can access most of the important information and support areas of this main website. This includes extensive information about the disease as well as access to the library where you can search though over 500 files which have been organized in an easy to find format. There also is access to the latest news and our blog.  You can keep in touch with other patients and caregivers through the mobile site's link to this main website's message boards  There also is information on joining our chats using your mobile device.

No App to download!
Simply enter COPD-International.com on your smartphone, tablet or Kindle,
or use the link located at the top left of the pages. 
The full url, if needed, is http://copd-international.com/mobile.


You can learn to control COPD,
instead of letting it control you
!

Latest News

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Visit the Reading Room in the Library  Latest COPD News

Check out the Photo Gallery
put faces to your friends and contacts here

Are you priming and cleaning your MDI properly?
Check Here

Featured Websites
For Good Educational Information

One of the most complete resources for information on Oxygen
PortableOxygen.org

More information on
Portable Oxygen Concentrators

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) FAQ with questions & answers about home oxygen reimbursement
 PDF version
HTML version

NHLBI's National COPD Awareness Campaign information.
Click Here for current  information

 Special Areas of Our Website

Personal Experiences
A collection of articles by COPDers

Remembering those Patients who have gone on before us

NEW
Information on starting a local support group in
your community
Click Here

Thinking of participating in a research study?
Click Here

Keep in Touch
A new 3 part program featuring a membership list, a check in area for those living alone and a pen pal program.

Have you just been diagnosed with COPD?
Click Here

Breathing Exercises
Visit our Library
 

    Bill Horden Library

COPD Advocate Bill Horden's Works
Introduction

COPD Survival Guide
 

Tips for Coping

Emergency Advice
For Oxygen Users
During Outages
See Tips

Fighting Allergies
From the Inside

Tips on indoor allergies.
See Tips

Last modified:
January 01, 2014

 

Last modified: January 01, 2014

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