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 COPD Support News Jan 7, 2011
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Carolyn-Mi
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608 Posts

Posted - Jan 07 2011 :  09:28:22 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Volume 11, Issue 1
January 7, 2011


NASAL IRRIGATION: WILL IT DECREASE RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS?
Nasal irrigation, the use of a salt water rinse to cleanse the nose and sinuses of mucus and debris, was considered alternative medicine only a few years ago. It has grown in popularity since then and has, for some, become both a preventive practice as well as an adjunctive treatment for sinus and nasal problems. Although bending over a sink and pouring saltwater in your nose sounds uncomfortable, if not downright dangerous, a quick look at the pharmacy shelf space dedicated to nasal irrigation products will give you an idea of how popular this practice has become. Once thought to be an exotic, over-the-top form of personal hygiene, even some ENTs (ear, nose and throat doctors or Otolaryngologists) are recommending nasal irrigation (also called "nasal levage" or "nasal douche") for sinus and nasal health. Relevant to us are the claims that it might decrease respiratory infections. If it might help some of us, it's worth a closer look.


There are various devices available to accomplish the task that was once almost the exclusive domain of the "neti pot," a teapot shaped device that gets its name from "Jala neti," an ancient yogic body cleansing technique. Now, in addition to the traditional neti pot, there are bulbs, syringes, pressurized canisters and other contraptions to accomplish the cleansing task; however, do not confuse nasal irrigation with the various other nasal sprays and mists also available, often on the same shelf as irrigation products.


So What's the Connection to COPD?
You and your doctor will have to decide if nasal irrigation is good for you, but here are a few things that might help you reach a sound decision. CHEST, the journal of the American College of Chest Physicians, reports on a study that looks at the relationship between bacteria, upper airway, lower airway, and inflammation in COPD. They point out that the upper airway and lower airways are connected, and that upper airway symptoms are common in COPD. They mention that bacterial colonization can occur in the lower respiratory track because of postnasal drip from the upper airway. The researchers conclude that there is a "relationship" between upper airway and lower airway infections. They are not saying upper airway infections "cause" lower respiratory infections, but they are saying that there is a "relationship" between the two. Keep in mind, however, that researches seldom use the word "cause," and prefer to stick to the more inclusive, and safer term "relationship." The abstract can be read at:
http://tinyurl.com/2ckdo3l

The University of Wisconsin, Department of Family Health conducted four separate studies on nasal irrigation for chronic sinus conditions. They find that that nasal irrigation is an effective therapy for upper respiratory conditions including upper respiratory infections such as the common cold. Their easy to read article can be found at:
http://tinyurl.com/322pdg

Is There a Downside to Nasal Irrigation?
Web MD points out that nasal mucus helps protect us from infections. They point out that the same saline solution that washes away mucus and debris can also wash away natural antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal agents. It is therefore suggested to use nasal irrigation in moderation. The WebMD article is an interesting one, and can be read at:
http://tinyurl.com/23w9ew3

How Do You Do it?
The National Jewish Health gives all the practical advice you need to accomplish a safe nasal irrigation. Basically, you use a buffered salt water rinse to flush out your sinus and nasal cavities. They explain the equipment, proper procedures, and safety.
http://tinyurl.com/6qw4wn

Where Do I Go From Here?
If you think you might benefit from nasal irrigation, talk to your doctor. Obviously, those of us with upper airway problems might be helped more than those of us who do not have problems. It is frequently suggested that those of us on oxygen, especially high flow, might be at greater risk of nasal and sinus infections because of the drying effects of constant air flow in our nostrils. As for devices and methods, a large pharmacy will probably have a variety of products from which to choose, each with its own specific instructions. If you want to peruse some of the products and prices online, NeilMed is one of the largest producers of such products, and is a good place to start. Their website, with no endorsement implied, can be found at:
http://tinyurl.com/23nv2q8

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE
- RITEDOSE BRAND ALBUTEROL RECALL
- DO STATIN MEDICATIONS HELP COPD?
- SILK SCARF SOLUTION TO COLD WEATHER
- NEW COPD DRUG TO SEEK APPROVAL
- STATUS OF DAXAS (ROFLUMILAST) IN THE US
- AIRWAY MUCUS BUSTER DISCOVERED
- BLOOD TEST FOR CANCER BEING DEVELOPED
- OLIVE OIL AND VEGGIES HELP THE HEART
- WINTER HEALTH MYTHS
- SYMPTOM CHECKER
- MISCELLANEOUS
WORKING FROM HOME
WEIRD NEWS OF 2010
KEEPING YOUR NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS
HISTORY QUIZES, GAMES AND PUZZLES


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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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RITEDOSE BRAND ALBUTEROL RECALL
Oops, someone at Ritedose Corporation embossed their albuterol vials incorrectly! Some of their .083% 2.5 mg/3 ml vials (the standard vials most of us use) were inadvertently marked .5mg/3 ml. The company, therefore, is recalling the mismarked vials. They are packaged in 25, 30, and 60 vial lots. The following lot numbers manufactured by The Ritedose Corporation under NDC: 0591-3797-83, 0591-3797-30, and 0591-3797-60 are included in the recall: 0N81, 0N82, 0N83, 0N84, 0NE7, 0NE8, 0NE9, 0NF0, 0P12, 0P13, 0P46, 0P47, 0PF0, and 0S15. No other Albuterol formulations or products are included in this recall, and the FDA recall notice can be found at:
http://tinyurl.com/357nuya

DO STATIN MEDICATIONS HELP COPD?
Claims have been made that statin medications (such as simvastatin available as brand name Zocor, and atorvastatin available as Lipitor) might help COPD. The claims, which have been around for years, have remained controversial. A recent study, however, covered in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine says that researchers from the University of British Colombia, Vancouver, Canada, are finding, in their research on guinea pigs, that simvastatin:
-prevents smoke induced emphysema
-reverses the pulmonary vascular effects of cigarette smoke including pulmonary hypertension
-does not prevent small airway remodeling
The abstract can be viewed at:
http://tinyurl.com/29pedhf

SILK SCARF SOLUTION TO COLD WEATHER
Jim A. has a great, low-tech suggestion for dealing with the cold weather. He says, "I used to work outdoors in Montana, so I've learned a bit about dressing for cold weather. The all-time best 'face mask' I've ever found is a simple, light-weight silk scarf." Jim goes on to explain how to use it: "Just position the center of the scarf to cover your nose, mouth and chin, and then wrap both sides around your neck and finally knot or tuck into your coat. In less than a minute you'll have the best air warmer ever! It forms a kind of bubble in which the heat from your breath is trapped, and keeps your face warm as well as your breath. Jim points out an interesting side effect of using the scarf in this manner: "The moisture from your breath moistens the material, which then freezes solid as a rock (in sub-freezing temps), but it doesn't affect performance at all. If you go inside and the scarf thaws, it's perfectly fine to use it again while it's still damp. A good quality silk scarf is expensive, but will last many years. Mine has lasted for many years now, and it's still good as new." Thanks Jim!


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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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NEW COPD DRUG TO SEEK APPROVAL
Forest Labs and its Spanish partner Almirall say their late stage study of a new drug for COPD, aclidinium bromide, meets all of its goals. It significantly improves breathing as measured by FEV1 scores (the amount of air that can be forcibly exhaled in once second after inhalation), and is safe. It is an inhaled long-acting anticholinergic bronchodilator, which means it is in the same class as Spiriva. They plan to seek approved in both the U.S. and Europe in the middle of 2011. The company's press release is available at:
http://tinyurl.com/2amqge5

STATUS OF DAXAS (ROFLUMILAST) IN THE US
A new medication for the treatment of COPD, called Daxas (roflumilast) is approved in the UK, Canada, and elsewhere, but is still not approved by the FDA for use in the U.S. A few months ago, the manufacturers Forest Labs and Nycomed, responded to the FDA's request for more information. On December 27, 2010, the FDA responded to their submission by asking the manufacturer for even more information and further analysis. Forest Labs and Nycomed anticipate responding to the FDA's latest request this summer, so it doesn't look like it will be approved any time soon. For the manufacturer's press release (you might need to scroll down if you see empy space), see:
http://tinyurl.com/2d7s69u

AIRWAY MUCUS BUSTER DISCOVERED
People with COPD are at risk of developing a condition in which the cells of the airway lining turn into "little mucus factories," making breathing more difficult. But researchers at the University of Texas may have discovered a way to prevent the airway cells from "morphing" into mucus producing cells (a process called goblet cell metaplasia). To date, they're still experimenting on rats, but for more information on this discovery, see the MedPage Today article at:
http://tinyurl.com/2wpdhpt

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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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BLOOD TEST FOR CANCER BEING DEVELOPED
Yes, a test so sensitive that it can detect even tiny traces of cancer cells in a sample of blood. Massachusetts General Hospital researchers are teaming up with pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson's to refine and develop this test in a five-year deal worth $30 million (USD). To read more about the advances in cancer detection technology, and more about this research, see The Boston Globe article at:
http://tinyurl.com/263uvqd

WINTER HEALTH MYTHS
Cold weather constricts blood vessels, puts a stress on the blood vessels and heart, and causes blood pressure spikes, according to this article written by Laura Roberson in Men's Health. Sure, there's a lot to worry about during the winter, but there are some myths floating around too. This article tackles 7 of them, and gives some clear explanations and practical guidance. You can test your myth IQ with the following:
-do allergies hibernate in the cold?
-does going outside with wet hair give you a cold?
-does consuming turkey make you sleepy?
-are poinsettias poisonous?
For answers, and more, visit the Men’s Health website at:
http://tinyurl.com/29ouvxv

SYMPTOM CHECKER
Hypochondriacs beware, this site is might be dangerous! The Mayo Clinic has a comprehensive symptom checker that just might belong in your "Save for Reference" file. It lists no less than 28 adult symptoms (it has a section for children too), and then lets you further refine any of the 28 identified symptoms by asking you to provide more information using check off lists. It covers everything from "abdomen" to "wheezing." It is simple to use, and can be found at:
http://tinyurl.com/28h6uck

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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


WORKING FROM HOME
In response to a question about being able to work while on supplemental oxygen, Valerie from Wyoming points out that there are indeed jobs out there. She adds that there are employment discrimination laws to protect you if you are on oxygen. Valerie, who has successfully worked at home for 10 years, points out that it is often cheaper for a company to employ you from home rather than rent or buy office space. She recommends the following websites to explore work at home employment opportunities:
- Alpine Access
http://www.alpineaccess.com/external/index.html- Convergys
http://www.convergysworkathome.com-Working Solutions
http://workingsol.com/home.htm -Arise
http://www.arise.com/work-at-home/-Guru Employer
http://www.guru.com


WEIRD NEWS OF 2010
The past year was full of strange events, and AOL came up with their list of the 10 weirdest and most bizarre news events, which you can view at:
http://tinyurl.com/28xvpfe

KEEPING YOUR NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS
How many times have you made that same New Year's resolution? If more than once or twice, you might need some tips on how to keep those resolutions, and The Dollar Stretcher website has some good suggestions:
http://tinyurl.com/2dpfunj

HISTORY QUIZES, GAMES AND PUZZLES
Yes, a new decade has begun, but before we face the future, we might want to test our ability to retain some facts from the past! To our rescue comes this website devoted to having fun by testing our memory of the past:
http://tinyurl.com/yep9v4n

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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