Just a few days ago, I posted an article that stated that more than 100 million people in China suffer from COPD. Now, we have another story about 1.2 million people in the UK who suffer from COPD. In the U.S. there are almost 16 million who have been diagnosed. Add that to the tens of millions of others in the world and you have to wonder why research is so underfunded for lung disease. Is it because treating symptoms is so lucrative for Big Pharma and a cure would be bad for business? Is it because too many think it is just a disease that patients brought on themselves by poor lifestyle choices and therefore they "get what they deserve"? I don't really know, but I am tired of seeing no major progress since the Stem Cell Pioneers forum was started over a decade ago unless you consider an endless array of inhalers some kind of progress which I don't. Time for some VERY serious stem cell/gene therapy based research on humans, not mice.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-new...smoke-12360834

Kim Lam is one of 1.2 million people in the UK with COPD chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

ByDanny Buckland
14 APR 2018

Kim Lam, 31, suffers from a lung condition, despite having never smoked

Marketing executive Kim Lam is one of 1.2 million people in the UK with COPD chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Now 31, she has never smoked but her lungs are irreversibly damaged, as she tells in her own words.

To look at, I seem completely normal. But no one understands the daily battle I have simply to breathe.

Three years ago I was in top health, and moved to London from Edinburgh for a dream job.

I ate well and loved going to the gym salsa classes were my joy.

But after three months I suddenly changed. Id get breathless just climbing the stairs.

After a raft of tests I was found to have the lung condition COPD.

At 28, doctors said I had the black lungs and the lung function of a 60-year-old smoker even though I dont smoke.

I was in hospital 11 times over the next two years the last time, it felt like I was on my death bed.

My body weak and destroyed, I was gasping for air.

It triggered my move back to Scotland to survive I now need to spend an hour every morning getting ready to do anything.

Each morning and evening I spend 20-25 minutes on a nebuliser to clear my airways.

Respiratory conditions are affected by weight loss, so its important to eat well. I follow a balanced diet with lots of greens, vegetables, protein and carbs.

I also take cod liver oil, vitamin C, ginger root and turmeric.

I take one preventative antibiotic pill (azithromycin), and one carbocisteine to ward off infection and disperse the mucus build-up. I use inhalers throughout the day.

Whenever I go back to London for work, I have to wear a mask because of the air pollution.

I was recently there for just a week and ended up coughing up blood for 14 days.

It was a really scary experience as it felt like my organs were failing and, if Im honest, I wasnt really sure how long I had left.

When you start a job you do your best to be professional, but I was getting constant chest infections and calling in sick.

I experienced wheeziness and a crackling in my breathing because of the mucus. I could hear myself in meetings, which was disconcerting and it was very embarrassing in social settings.

Kim was coughing up blood for 14 days after her last visit to the capital
For the most part, I felt ashamed, upset, frustrated and that my constant coughing was probably a nuisance to others. The doctors and my family were concerned because the cause of my COPD was unknown.

I had asthma when I was born and my lungs were underdeveloped, but the doctors said I grew out of it. Although I had an inhaler, I never had any trouble.

Now I got breathless catching a tube, going up stairs or just going out at lunchtime with my colleagues to get some food.

The uncertainty made me constantly question my lifestyle. What was I doing wrong? I felt worried I was letting work down, and really scared because of the lack of any medical answers.

I put a lot of pressure on myself, feeling I was somehow not good enough to do the job. Yet my bosses were great, letting me move back to Scotland so I could breathe fresher air.

Eventually I got the diagnosis of COPD with emphysema and bronchiectasis. I was born with weak lungs, and exposure to second-hand smoke and air pollution had been too much for them.

The sacs that compress and move air in my lungs were baggy and inefficient while some of my airways were so narrow I couldnt get enough oxygen in or get rid of the CO2 when I breathed out.

What is OCPD?
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease describes progressive lung diseases including emphysema, chronic bronchitis, non-reversible asthma and some forms of bronchiectasis.

Emphysema is where air sacs in the lungs are damaged, while chronic bronchitis is a long-term inflammation. In bronchiectasis, parts of the airways are enlarged.

Increasing breathlessness is a symptom, especially when active, as is a persistent cough with phlegm, frequent chest infections and persistent wheezing. Damage gets worse with time and is permanent.

Being unable to efficiently rid my body of toxins means Im susceptible to infection.

My family, friends and colleagues have been very supportive and my partner at the time was also understanding but still it makes you feel lonely and isolated.

I now live in Aberdeen and manage the condition with a strict daily routine and twice-weekly visits to salt caves.

These are rooms whose walls and ceilings are coated with salt crystals, so that you breathe in air infused with salt, which is believed to help.

Kim appears normal but her body is susceptible to infection (Image: ©Stan Kujawa)
If I go for walks and its windy, I need a face mask to assist my breathing.

At first I stopped exercising, but I researched and found its good for my condition. I now do tai chi, yoga and pilates.

There is little awareness of COPD, so its easily dismissed as being to do with smoking but its an invisible and insidious condition that can creep up on you.

The lung damage is irreversible. If it had been spotted earlier, Id be much better.

On my blog, lungevity.blog, I can support people going through that same scary period I did. But Im also positive about life, and want people with COPD to know they can enjoy a full life as long as its managed well.

The key is to educate yourself about the disease, to get proactive and to keep positive.