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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
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:
Eating well is important
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:
Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease
(2009). In Global Strategy for the Diagnosis, Management, and Prevention of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Available online:
November 29, 2011
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
& Ken Y. Yoneda, MD - Pulmonology
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