Introduction

 

This essay will
entail a discussion chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and
specifically emphysema and osteoporosis. I will be explaining what these
conditions are and how it relates to an individual’s physiological state and
how their body would change. With the case study, there is an 87-yeard old man
with emphysema and throughout the discussion of emphysema and how this affects the
patient.

 

COPD

 

What is
COPD?

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COPD is an inflammatory disease of the airways, mainly associated with
cigarette smoke
it is a widely used term,
which is used to describe progressive lung diseases such as: chronic
bronchitis, emphysema, asthma and some forms of bronchiectasis. COPD. This
disease is commonly associated with breathlessness with moderate exertion and a
persistent cough. This is a group of lung conditions, that make it difficult to
empty out of the lungs due to the airways being narrowed, COPD is a
multicomponent disease with extra-pulmonary effects.

 

COPD is a
preventable and treatable disease, this is characterised by low amount of
respiration which is cannot be fully reversed. This respiration problem is
progressive, and this correlates with abnormal inflammatory response of the
lungs to destructive chemicals such as; cigarette smoke, occupational hazards,
foreign or environmental chemicals.

 

COPD is
commonly associated with age and many individuals mistake their breathlessness
and coughing as ”normal”, signs of ageing which is not always the case. This
essay will be concentrating on Emphysema (COPD) as this is the chosen type of
COPD and the effects this has on the body. This relates to the patient within
the case study and will explain the effects this has on an individual of that
age and lifestyle.

 

Emphysema

 

What is
emphysema?

 

Emphysema is
chronic irreversible lung condition, which causes shortness of breath. With
emphysema, it is commonly associated with pursed lip breathing. This condition
is under the classing of COPD as it is a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
The alveoli within the lungs are damaged and over time the inner walls of the
alveoli weaken and rupture. This essay will go into more detail about the
destruction of the alveoli later within the essay. Due to this, the air spaces
within the individual’s lungs then permanently enlarge which make the spaces
much larger instead of lots of small spaces. Overall, this then reduces the
surface area within the lungs and then this would reduce the amount of oxygen
that reaches your blood stream. When someone exhales
with emphysema, the damaged alveoli don’t work properly. Old air then becomes
trapped within the lungs, which then leaves no fresh and oxygen rich air to
enter the lungs.

How
common is COPD – emphysema?

 

Emphysema is
known as an epidemic which is affected worldwide, this is said to have affected
300 million patients per year, 3 million individuals out of this statistic has
been said to have died from emphysema per year. However, from this there has
been said that there is no current treatment available to reduce the mortality
rate of emphysema (COPD).

 

Statistics
state that there are around 900,000 people within the UK, that have been
diagnosed with COPD. This also states that roughly two million individuals have
the condition but do not know about it. The NHS also states that, emphysema
causes around 250,000 deaths per year.

 

Emphysema risk factors

 

There are many
risk factors associated with emphysema, these would include: smoking, age,
occupation, gender, hereditary, HIV infection and connective tissue disorders. The
largest risk factor for emphysema is smoking,
long term cigarette smoking, is known to be responsible for 85-90% of COPD
cases within the UK and is most likely to develop emphysema by this type of
smoking. Within this smoking category this would include different types of
smoking; such as pipe smoking, cigar smoking, marijuana smoking and cigarette
smokers. Long term exposure to second hand smoke, is also a risk of emphysema
and individuals with asthma who smoke are at risk of emphysema also. This
essay, will go into more detail about smoking with emphysema later within the
document.

 

Age is a common factor within COPD emphysema, most people who
have emphysema are known to develop emphysema when they are over the age of 40
years old. Lung damage is associated with emphysema, as emphysema is known to
develop over time with lung damage. Other sources suggest that, smoking related
emphysema would have symptoms of the disease at the age of 50 – 60 years old. Within
gender, men are more commonly
affected by emphysema, than women are. Although, this statistic is changing
this is due to women taking up smoking. Occupation
also plays a risk factor within emphysema, this is due to different types of
occupations can involve working around; dust, chemicals and fumes. Hereditary is also a risk factor, this
is due to a rare genetic disease which is called alpha 1- antitrypsin
deficiency. Statistics have stated that, this genetic disease is only as common
as 1 percent of the emphysema condition on the risk factors. HIV infection is in the risk category, this
is due to smokers living with HIV are more at risk of retrieving the condition.
As well as this, individuals can develop this at a rather young age, smokers
who also don’t have an HIV infection but smoke are still at risk of developing
emphysema but, not as common as individuals who have the sexually transmitted
diseases. Connective tissue disorders are
among the many risk factors with emphysema, the condition can also affect the
connective tissue. The fibres which then provide and support the framework of
the body.

 

 

Is
emphysema autoimmune or idiopathic

Autoimmune
diseases, is that the body’s immune system which is the bodies protection
against any harm such as, foreign substances that do not belong within the body.
But, with autoimmune the bodies protection wrongly attacking different parts of
the body for no reason, there is a prompt within the body to then activate
antibodies within the immune system, to then wrongly attack different body
tissues. With this disease, the cause for this is largely unknown. Examples of
autoimmune disorders would include: inflammatory bowel disease known as IBD,
type 1 diabetes, gullliain-barre syndrome, psoriasis and lupus.

Whereas,
idiopathic is a disease that is unknown. This is when the disease could have an
unknown origin or that the disease is uncertain. When this happens, the disease
would be then put under the term idiopathic. Although, the cause may be unknown
it could have recognisable signs and symptoms and from this be curable. An
example of diseases such as this would be; idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis,
idiopathic interstitial pneumonia, idiopathic pulmonary haemosideorosis,
idiopathic scoliosis and idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis.

So, with
emphysema this would be characterised as an umbrella term this is due to COPD
having many terms. Such as emphysema which is what this essay, is discussing.
Emphysema is known as an inflammatory disease of the airways, this is due to
the airways being blocked.

 

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