My mother was diagnosed with emphysema and COPD early in 2003. No signs of the disease were present at the time of her diagnosis. I had worked in a hospital many years earlier when I was in college and remembered seeing emphysema and COPD patients. Each time they were admitted they looked a bit more disheveled and worn out as the disease squeezed the last bit of life out of them. I realized that unless the pharmaceutical companies had developed new medications for the treatment of emphysema and COPD, my mother would now suffer the same fate.
I began researching the disease immediately but kept ending up on web sites controlled by the pharmaceutical companies or the medical industry. No one had any good news. The claimed the newest drugs they had developed would “slow the progress” of the COPD and emphysema but would not cure it or even stop its progress. I was shocked that in more than 20 years since I had worked in that hospital the pharmaceutical and medical industries still had not solved the big mystery of what was actually causing the progression of emphysema and COPD.
COPD and Emphysema Medications
My mother stopped smoking immediately and multiple prescription medications and treatments were added to her daily regimen. These included Spiriva, Advair, Albuterol Sulfate (for use in the nebulizer) and Combivent as a rescue inhaler. These were the drugs that had slowed the disease progression in clinical trials. As time went on, I doubted this very much. After all, the same drug company that spent millions of dollars developing the drug was performing the clinical trials. Do you really think they would determine that their own drug did not work? I have never once heard of that happening. They have an unrealistic and utterly amazing track record of only developing drugs that work perfectly! (Did you detect the sarcasm in that statement?)
End Stage Emphysema
More than two years went by with my mother taking every drug that was prescribed and doing the 4 ordered nebulizer treatments each day. She had not smoked one cigarette during this time yet she ended up on January 24, 2006 in “End Stage Emphysema.” The reason I know the date is I requested a copy of her medical record and it was plainly recorded on that date. I did not truly need the doctor’s word on that since I saw her condition. She had deteriorated down to only 77 pounds from 103 pounds at the time of her diagnosis. She was requiring 4 liters of supplemental oxygen 24/7 and was still gasping for air most of the time. She could only sleep for about an hour at a time and that was only if I propped her up on 4 pillows. She awoke multiple times throughout the night in the middle of exacerbations. I was staying up all night at that time. I made a pot of coffee at about 11 pm and checked on her every 10 or 15 minutes until she was up and ready for coffee and breakfast the next morning. I would then sleep from 6 or 7 am until 11. This went on for a year and a half.
COPD Research Reveals Answers
Since I was up all night anyway, I researched every night, all night looking for anything that might help my mother. I already knew the pharmaceutical and medical industries had no answers so I looked for alternative treatments that might provide some help. By this time I had observed my mother all day, every day (and every night) for more than two years. I noticed that as her oxygen requirement increased her meal size decreased. Why? I also noticed that even in the absence of smoking this disease was progressing. Why? The doctors said that smoking caused the COPD and emphysema. I agreed with them on that fact. What was causing the disease progression? She had not smoked for more than 2 years so it could not be smoking causing the progression of her emphysema and COPD.
I wondered if maybe smoking had introduced some pathogen into her lungs that was proliferating and had been proliferating for more than 40 years. This seemed more logical than what the doctors were saying which was that the progression of COPD and emphysema was a result of some big mystery. My mother was now dying from this disease so it was time this mystery was solved. I didn’t care if the doctors agreed with me or not. They seemed intelligent until they told me of this big mystery then they seemed like storm troopers, mindlessly regurgitating what the pharmaceutical companies had told them to say.
COPD Disease Progression Hypothesis
My research resulted in the compilation of more than 30,000 pages of information along with daily observation of my mother’s deteriorating condition. I eventually developed a “Disease Progression” hypothesis that I believe describes the cause of the progression of COPD and emphysema. This hypothesis is as follows:
“Smoking introduces a pathogen into the lungs that begins proliferating immediately and continues proliferating unless it is stopped or the patient succumbs to the disease. As the pathogen proliferates it begins occupying lung volume that is needed by the patient for gas exchange (breathing). The body adapts to this proliferating pathogen by distending the lungs creating additional lung volume for breathing. This proliferating pathogen and resultant lung distention continues for years, even decades until it results in a condition common to emphysema and COPD patients known as ‘Barrel Chest.’ This back and forth continues until the distending lungs eventually crowd the stomach making normal-sized meals impossible. This results in severe weight loss.”
We have all seen these patients sitting in wheelchairs, on supplemental oxygen and looking like “skin and bones.”
Think about this carefully and see if it makes more sense than what you are hearing from the medical and pharmaceutical industries. I can tell you that after treating my mother’s emphysema and COPD as if it were a proliferating pathogen her condition began improving almost immediately. Her improvement began with a diet that essentially begins starving this pathogen.
View the 5 minute video: “Stopping the Progression of COPD”
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