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Muscle Weakness, Weight Loss, and Nutrition in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)


Table of Contents


Muscle Weakness, Weight Loss, and Nutrition in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

People who have severe COPD often lose too much weight. Too much weight loss causes your body to break down muscle and makes you weaker. This can lead to even more shortness of breath and even less activity. Over time, you become so weak that you need to depend on others for daily living.

Some people with COPD weigh too little for good health. People who are very underweight, especially those with emphysema, are likely to die sooner than people with COPD who are at a normal weight.1

The reasons for the weight loss and loss of muscle in COPD are not completely understood. But experts believe that it happens because of a combination of things. These may include:

Avoiding weight loss

Eating well is important for:

A registered dietitian can help you learn how much and what kinds of food you need to eat to stay as strong as you can.

For more information, see:

Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition. COPD: Keeping Your Diet Healthy.
Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition. COPD: Avoiding Weight Loss.

References

Citations

  1. Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (2009). In Global Strategy for the Diagnosis, Management, and Prevention of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Available online: http://www.goldcopd.com.


Credits for Muscle Weakness, Weight Loss, and Nutrition in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Ken Y. Yoneda, MD - Pulmonology
Last Revised November 29, 2011

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