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 COPD Support News Dec 31, 2010
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Carolyn-Mi
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608 Posts

Posted - Dec 31 2010 :  09:25:23 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Volume 10, Issue 56
December 31, 2010


HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM ALL THE VOLUNTEERS AT COPD-SUPPORT, INC!


SLEEP QUALITY PREDICTS QUALITY OF LIFE FOR PEOPLE WITH COPD
Having a good night's sleep really does matter, and most of us with COPD suffer from disturbed sleep, according to an Israeli study published this month in the International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. The study finds that the quality of our sleep influences our health-related quality of life. In fact, the quality of our sleep is more closely related to our quality of life than even our FEV1 scores (a test to determine the amount of air one can forcibly blow out in once second). We often have fragmented sleep, according to the researchers, due in part to: airflow obstruction at night, decreased oxygen saturation, carbon dioxide (CO2) retention, and overuse of ancillary breathing muscles. One surprising find is that although we might have interrupted sleep, we are not particularly inclined to complain of sleepiness during the day. The researchers identify the common symptoms that interrupt our sleep as: wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, lying awake worrying or feeling depressed, racing thoughts, heartburn, and palpitations.


Sleep and COPD Medications
One of the more interesting things the researchers discuss is how medications affect sleep. Most of the commonly used COPD medications are associated with improved sleep, and therefore, improved health-related quality of life. Obviously, if you control COPD symptoms, you get a better night's sleep. The one exception to the rule, to the researchers' surprise, is the use of inhaled corticosteroids.* It appears inhaled corticosteroids might interfere with sleep, but only slightly. The researchers came up with one interesting interpretation for this: although they would ordinarily expect our airways would benefit from the corticosteroid treatment, and therefore aid sleep, they wonder if inhaled steroids are being used to avoid the use of oral steroids which, if used, might be more effective in opening airways. However, because they don't discuss how oral steroids might affect sleep, they might be a bit off in their interpretation. They also find that hypnotic sleep medications, although they improved sleep, do not improve health related quality of life. They speculate that this might be due to the carryover effect of the medications the next day. You can read the study at:
http://tinyurl.com/22mz86l

*Inhaled corticosteroids, according to Wikipedia, include flunisolide, fluticasone propionate, triamcinolone, beclomethasone dipropionate, budesonide, etc. Corticosteroids are also in combination medications such as Advair, Dulera, and Symbicort. Remember not to adjust your medications without your doctor's okay.


Tips for Good Sleeping for COPDers
If we're prone to sleep difficulties, we might need some extra help. The website Everyday Health has some basic sleeping tips for people with COPD. They suggest first paying attention to the reason why we might be having sleep difficulties. If we can identify the particular cause of our sleep problem (such as coughing, wheezing, acid reflux, worrying, etc.), it makes sense to start by directly addressing those causes first. Some of their other suggestions include:
*adjusting your sleep position
*work with your doctor to adjust your medications, if necessary
*seek help to treat any anxiety, depression or other emotional problems that interrupt your sleep
*be alert to the symptoms of sleep apnea
*treat acid reflux if it is a problem
*practice airway clearance techniques
*discuss sleep medications with your doctor
To view the Every Day Health article on sleep, visit:
http://tinyurl.com/25q2327

Good Sleep Habits
If you have sleep problems, you might want to review the list of 16 suggestions from the Academy of Sleep Medicine's article "Sleep Hygiene – The Healthy Habits of Good Sleep." Although not written for COPDers, they offer a number of practical tips, such as getting out of bed if you have not fallen asleep in 20 minutes. They also go out of their way to suggest ways to change some bad sleep habits, including the suggestion to break patterns such as using the bed for activities such as eating, watching TV or talking on the phone. Their tips are on their Sleep Education website at:
http://tinyurl.com/2d3jeo

Of course, there is always a need to reevaluate the obvious, such as the comfort level of your bed and sleeping environment. This includes not only addressing light, air movement, temperature and humidity issues, but also insuring your mattress, pillows and bedding are comfortable.


ALSO IN THIS ISSUE
- HAPPY NEW YEAR! SO, CAN I DRINK IF I HAVE COPD?
- RESPIRATORY PROBLEMS IN AIR TRAVEL FOR PEOPLE WITH COPD
- FIRST PATIENTS START TREATMENT IN TRIAL OF GSK'S NEW COPD DRUG
- HELP WITH CLEANING: DO ROBOTIC VACUUMS WORK?
- MEDICARE'S NEW REQUIREMENT COULD HARM HOME HEALTHCARE AND HOSPICE
- COLD AIR PRODUCTS AND COPD
- MEDS FOR STOMACH ACID MAY INCREASE RISK OF PNEUMONIA
- VACCINE FOR RESPIRATORY VIRUS STARTING CLINICAL TRIAL
- CHARITABLE FOUNDATION FUNDS RESEARCH INTO NEW ASTHMA AND ALLERGY TREATMENTS
- RECALL OF DIABETES TEST STRIPS
- MISCELLANEOUS
TIMES SQURE IN OLD AND NEW PHOTOS
THE MANY USES FOR BAKING SODA
BEER: WORTHY OF WORSHIP?
HAPPY NEW YEAR WORD SEARCH PUZZLE


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SOURCES: News items summarized in The COPD-NEWS are taken from secondary sources believed to be reliable. However, the COPD Family of Services does not verify their accuracy.
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HAPPY NEW YEAR! SO, CAN I DRINK IF I HAVE COPD?
You already know the answer… "check with your doctor." That beinng covered, an equally important question might be to ask how much you can drink. Too much alcohol can slow your breathing and impede your ability to cough up mucus. For more information on alcohol and COPD, see:
http://tinyurl.com/2djuh4q
Corticosteroids and Alcohol
If you are on an oral corticosteroid (such as prednisone, prednisolone, methylprednisolone, etc), a number of websites urge caution, particularly due to the gastrointestinal irritation that both the drug and alcohol can cause. For more information on the alcohol-corticosteroid interaction, see:
http://tinyurl.com/2f6l8rw

Alcohol and Medication Interactions
Alcohol can interact with many medications, so be sure to check to see if any of your medications interact harmfully with alcohol. For a nice long list of some medications that might react negatively with alcohol, this sobering website from the National Institutes of Health can be read at:
http://tinyurl.com/2c7x2j5

RESPIRATORY PROBLEMS IN AIR TRAVEL FOR PEOPLE WITH COPD
The holiday season and winter months are popular times for air travel. A study published in Respiratory Medicine's January 2011 issue reveals something most of us already know: people with COPD have more incidents of severe shortness of breath when flying than people without COPD. Although this finding is less than surprising, it reminds us that everyone with COPD, weather or not we are on supplemental oxygen, should talk with our doctor before making air travel arrangements. The Respiratory Magazine's article requires registration and a fee, but the free abstract can be found at:
http://tinyurl.com/23hkwu7

FIRST PATIENTS START TREATMENT IN TRIAL OF GSK'S NEW COPD DRUG
The first patients are being treated by a new drug for COPD under investigation by the UK manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline and their U.S. partner Theravance. The study, involving about 425 moderate to severe COPD patients, is being conducted in Europe and South Africa. This new drug, called GSK961081, works in two different ways (as a muscarinic antagonist and a beta2 receptor agonist if you're inclined to look such things up). It is currently being studied to determine its effectiveness and safety, as well as to determine the best doseage. You can read more about this at the PharmaTimes website at:
http://tinyurl.com/2fusupd

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COMMERCIAL FREE: We do not accept any paid advertising. Any corporations, products, medicines (prescription or over the counter) mentioned in this newsletter are for informational purposes only and not to be construed as an endorsement or condemnation of same.
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HELP WITH CLEANING: DO ROBOTIC VACUUMS WORK?
Kathie from Montana asked if anyone had a robotic vacuum like the Roomba. She wanted to know how well they work. Our own former newsletter Editor (and current backup) Joan Costello came to the rescue with the following:


~They work, but there are a couple of things to watch for. First of all, it needs a clear docking space. It has to be out in the open so Roomba can receive signals. Since it runs on batteries, the charging dock needs to be connected to an outlet at all times. If having pieces of household equipment out in the open jars your esthetics, Roomba is not for you. They sell cute little dress outfits for Roomba but I haven't gone that far off the deep end yet. <g>


~It is necessary to check Roomba's patrol area to see that all lamp cords, etc., are off the floor. Otherwise Roomba will pull them right down. Also, Roomba has a tendency to get into small places. I have a floor Heating/AC unit in one room that I block off because Roomba crawls up the filter area and gets stuck. On the other hand, Roomba is good for getting under the king size bed, and I make sure nothing is stored under it so I don’t have to get down on my hands and knees to free a stuck Roomba.


~Speaking of "blocking off," they sell "virtual walls" to accompany Roomba. I bought two as they are designed to stop Roomba from falling down steps, off patios, etc. The virtual walls also need so many feet of clearance to turn Roomba around. I’ve found that a step stool or upended kitchen chair works just as well. You can save yourself $50/60 by not purchasing the walls. However, by doing so, I am just stopping Roomba from entering certain areas in my condo. You may have more spaces you want to protect from Roomba.


~I have room size area rugs on top of regular carpeting. My decorative rugs have fringe and the Roomba that I bought does not play with fringe nicely. It gets tangled easily. I understand that Roomba's manufacturers have developed a robot that can cope with fringe. Until mine wears out and I buy another, I have to tuck the fringe under the rug each time Roomba is programmed to vacuum.


~Roomba is really good at spot vacuuming. I have a dark 4 by 6 area rug that seems to attract all sorts of lint, etc. I turn Roomba on spot clean and it will happily go in circles until it gets the last piece of lint up. It has a sensor that detects spots on the floor.


~If you have pets, Roomba has special robots for pet hair, or doing hard surface floors. The disposal bin on Roomba is not very large but it surprised me that it adequately handles the debris, and I only need to empty it every second time or so.


~I am satisfied with Roomba and will buy another with more features when this one goes to the recycle center.


~Also I found out something else about Roomba this weekend. It has a battery that needs to be replaced, much like other equipment. The battery is good for about 1,000 hours at a cost of $35.00. I've had my Roomba for about two years and this is the first replacement—so that's not tooo bad. Here's a couple of YouTube videos that show how Roomba operates.
http://tinyurl.com/yz43ukvand
http://tinyurl.com/25n5mtp

MEDICARE'S NEW REQUIREMENT COULD HARM HOME HEALTHCARE AND HOSPICE
In a press release, the National Association of Homecare and Hospice (NAHC), a trade association, warns that a new Medicare regulation that goes into effect on January 1, 2011, will create a "crisis" for individuals receiving home health and hospice services. The new regulation requires face-to-face encounters with doctors or nurse-practitioners in order for those services to be covered by Medicare. Whereas the intent of the new regulation is to benefit patients by insuring direct physician involvement in care planning and monitoring, there is also a downside. According to NAHC, "Elderly and disabled Medicare beneficiaries who are confined to their homes for medical reasons or hospice patients in the midst of end-of-life care will need to find a way to either get to the doctor or get the doctor to come see them." For the complete NAHC press release, visit:
http://tinyurl.com/27tpvd4

COLD AIR PRODUCTS AND COPD
We don't need a formal study to convince us that air temperature can affect our breathing. This is especially true for those of us with asthma or an asthmatic component to our COPD. Wintering in cold areas can be particularly hard on some of us. The traditional warnings still hold true: avoid wood burning stoves and fireplaces, exercise indoors, carry your rescue inhaler with you when you go out, and remember to breathe though your nose and out through your mouth as a way to heat and moisturize the air you breathe in. Yet, even if we do all of these, we may still need more help. There are a number of commercial contraptions you might want to consider. Below is a link to just one website that offers a range of products to help keep you warm, from heated car seats to heated socks. No endorsement is implied:
http://cozywinters.com/One of the more interesting things available to help us deal with the cold weather is "heat exchanging" masks. These are masks that trap exhaled heat and moisture to help warm and humidify your next inhalation (called "heat exchanging technology"). One of the most popular brands of this type of mask appears to be "Psolar." The above vendor had to remove them from their offerings, because they were unable to locate a supplier. Below is the website for the manufacturer Psolar, but be aware there are other brands of heat exchanging masks available. You might also want to consider masks other than the heat exchanging type.
http://www.psolar.com/

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MEDICAL DECISIONS. Your physician should be consulted on all medical decisions. New procedures or drugs should not be started or stopped without such consultation. While we believe that our accumulated experience has value, and a unique perspective, you must accept it for what it is...the work of COPD patients. We vigorously encourage individuals with COPD to take an active part in the management of their disease. They do this through education and by sharing information and thoughts with their primary physician and pulmonologist. However, medical decisions are based on complex medical principles and should be left to the medical practitioner who has been trained to diagnose and advise.
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MEDS FOR STOMACH ACID MAY INCREASE RISK OF PNEUMONIA
The Canadian Medical Association Journal reports on a study conducted in South Korea that warns that gastric acid reducing medications may increase the risk of both community-acquired and hospital-acquired pneumonia. Depending on the type of drug used, the medications increase the risk of developing pneumonia from between 22% to 27%. Acid suppressing drugs are prescribed for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GORD/GERD), stomach ulcers, and other diseases. Of particular interest to us is the researchers' reference to earlier studies that suggest acid-suppressing medications could increase the risk of upper respiratory infections. This may be due, they point out, to the way the medications affect our pH balance (measure of acidity-alkalinity). Although you'll find the abstract here, you can download the full study by following the instructions for the PDF version to the right of the abstract:
http://tinyurl.com/26yaro9

VACCINE FOR RESPIRATORY VIRUS STARTING CLINICAL TRIAL
Drug manufacturer Novavax, Inc., has received the FDA's approval to start their evaluation of a new vaccine to prevent respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections. There are currently no vaccines for this infection. RSV is a lower respiratory tract infection that can occur repeatedly throughout one's life. Although more common in children, it can also affect older people and high-risk adults. The infection results in about 175,000 hospitalizations a year in the U.S. alone. The Novavax press release can be found in PDF format at:
http://tinyurl.com/2dm9nbv

CHARITABLE FOUNDATION FUNDS RESEARCH INTO NEW ASTHMA AND ALLERGY TREATMENTS
Many people with COPD have asthma and/or allergies that can result in exacerbations. From St. George's University of London comes the announcement of an award of 390,000 (GBP) from the Wellcome Foundation, a charitable organization, to explore a new class of drugs to treat asthma and allergic reactions. This award follows an earlier grant of over 4 million GBPs. The research team is developing a new class of drugs called "allergen delivery inhibitors " (ADIs) which, unlike current medications, target the substances that cause the allergic reaction rather than the reaction to contact with the substances. They point out that there have been no fundamental advances in the treatment of asthma and allergies during the last two decades. For more information, please see:
http://tinyurl.com/24rtcgd

RECALL OF DIABETES TEST STRIPS
Abbott Diabetes Care announces the recall of blood glucose test strips in the U.S. and Puerto Rico:
Precision Xtra
Precision Xceed Pro
MediSense Optium
Optium
OptiumEZ
ReliOn Ultima
This FDA press release will give you the lot numbers and further instructions:
http://tinyurl.com/256z2ca

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JOIN US? Subscription to this Newsletter is free and we hope that it serves your needs. For more Newsletter information, go to: http://copd-support.com/signup-news.html

The Newsletter, like all the other endeavors of the Family of COPD Support Programs, is provided to you by COPD-Support, Inc. a non-profit member organization with IRS designation 501(c)(3). If you would like to be involved and help us provide these programs to the individuals who benefit from them, please consider joining us as a member. Further information is available at: http://copd-support.com/membership.html*********************************


MISCELLANEOUS


TIMES SQUARE IN OLD AND NEW PHOTOS
New Year's Eve and Times Square go together like the Fourth of July and fireworks. Before you watch that fancy ball drop at Times Square, put down that annoying noisemaker and take a look at some great pictures of Times Square of old at:
http://tinyurl.com/27mko6u

THE MANY USES FOR BAKING SODA
Touted as a good cleaner that won't irritate our lungs, this site will give you directions for using it as a cleanser, deodorizer, and even for grooming and hygiene.
http://tinyurl.com/2e3k6ke

BEER: WORTHY OF WORSHIP?
Like making a silk purse out of a sow's ear, you won't believe what heights can be achieved by the remnants of such a modest brew.
http://tinyurl.com/5obcj6

HAPPY NEW YEAR WORD SEARCH PUZZLE
Okay, you can probably guess the answer hidden in this word search puzzle, but you may be awake until the New Year finding it!
http://tinyurl.com/28x2d7f

For comments and questions, or to contact Richard D. Martin, please send your email to: newsletter@COPD-Support.com

Until next Friday,


Richard D. Martin, Editor


Web version of the News: http://copd-support.com/news.htmlArchives at: http://home.ease.lsoft.com/archive/copd-news.html

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