Overload

COPD

Category: Illness or disabilities

Type

Involuntary

Introduction and description

The paintings on this page are all by Peter Barker and have been chosen to illustrate
the toxin and pathogen free world we should be creating, in which COPD and other
respiratory diseases never develop.  Peter is based in the UK.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), also known as chronic obstructive lung disease (COLD), and chronic obstructive airway disease (COAD), among others, is a type of obstructive lung disease characterized by chronically poor airflow. It typically worsens over time.

Chronic Bronchitis is classified as a COPD as is emphysema, as such COPD is more of a generic term than a specific illness, although it does imply an irreversible condition, permanent damage.

Worldwide, COPD affects 329 million people or nearly 5% of the population. In 2011, it ranked as the fourth leading cause of death, killing over 3 million people. The number of deaths is projected to increase due to the increase in toxins and pollutants.

 Symptoms

Source: eHealthme - Most common Chronic obstructive lung disease symptoms

  • Breathing difficulty - (13,033 reports)
  • Drug ineffective - (6,439 reports)
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - (4,882 reports)
  • Pneumonia - (4,480 reports)
  • Cough - (3,649 reports)
  • Chest pain - (2,532 reports)
  • Hoarseness or changing voice - (2,147 reports)
  • Malaise - (1,895 reports)
  • Dry mouth - (1,806 reports)
  • Nausea - (1,697 reports)

Causes

All the major pathogen types are implicated in causing COPD – viruses; pharmaceuticals; fungi; bacteria; parasites, toxins including heavy metal particles, nanoparticles and smoke; and ‘bad gases’ such as carbon monoxide.  We do not help ourselves by using immunosuppressants, anti-histamines and nasal sprays.  All these may suppress the symptoms, but they serve to suppress the immune response and thus let pathogens into the lungs.  It is perhaps little known for example that some stents are coated with immunosuppressants, as such a person with a stent may also eventually suffer from a number of infections, as they have a reduced immune response.  And COPD and emphysema can be one outcome.

Pharmaceuticals

The eHealthme site collects the Adverse Drug reports submitted by doctors to the FDA and SEDA in the USA.  It then summarises them for ease of use.  We originally provided a direct link to the COPD entry listed on this site and the pharmaceuticals that can cause it, but the eHealthme website frequently reorganise the site and thus break the links.  Thus in order to find out which pharmaceuticals are implicated in COPD

  • Follow the LINK to the eHealthme website
  • Using the ‘All conditions’ index find the appropriate entry
  • Now scroll down until you get to the section marked ‘Drugs that could cause

The list shows you all the drugs implicated in CAUSING COPD as well as the number of people who have made a complaint to their doctor and had their case reported by him.  Note that it is up to the doctor whether he reports or not.

As of October 2016, about 1,550 pharmaceuticals were in this list.

Bacteria

A number of bacteria are implicated in causing COPD one is Chlamydia pneumoniae

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with smoking but other etiological factors contribute. Chlamydia pneumoniae is an obligate intracellular bacterium causing both acute and chronic respiratory tract infections. Studies have revealed an association between chronic C. pneumoniae infection and COPD, asthma and lung cancer but there have been difficulties detecting C. pneumoniae in the bronchial tree. Cytospin slides prepared from bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid from 14 patients with COPD, 10 healthy smokers (S) and 7 non smokers (NS) were analyzed .. [for] C. pneumoniae. Lung tissue from 24 patients with advanced emphysema who had undergone lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) was examined with immunohistochemistry for C. pneumoniae. …. C. pneumoniae elementary body like structures were found in 29% of cytospin specimens from COPD patients, 14% of NS and 10% of HS. C. pneumoniae was detected in lung tissue in 8%.  PMID: 18268939

But there are many others, here is another example:

Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) is a commensal microbe often isolated from the upper and lower respiratory tract. This bacterial species can cause sinusitis, acute otitis media in preschool children, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, as well as conjunctivitis and bacteremia. … the burden of H. influenzae-related infections has been increasingly dominated by NTHi. Understanding the ability of NTHi to cause infection is currently an expanding area of study. PMID:  27508518

Viruses

A number of viruses are implicated in causing COPD one is Epstein Barr virus

This was a single-center, retrospective, observational study.  All patients admitted to an ICU because of respiratory failure were included. EBV detection from lower respiratory tract (LRT) and serum samples were routinely performed….. Twenty-eight consecutive cases who were admitted to the ICU at high-risk for an infection or clinical signs of an infection were included in our study. Among the 28 patients, 15 were LRT-positive for EBV (53.6%), and 8 were seropositive for EBV(28.6%)….. This study showed that EBV DNA is detected in LRT and serum samples of a significant number of ICU patients with respiratory failure, and seropositivity for EBV was associated with mortality. PMID:  26663042

But EBV is not the only one, viruses in general are implicated:

Viral causes of acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD) are well recognised but only recently have rapid tests become available…. [Aim] To identify respiratory viruses in the general population and those associated with hospitalisation in AECOPD … Of the 8811 tested, 5599 (64%) were positive for at least one virus and 2069 of these were obtained from adults. In adults, the most common viruses identified were Influenza A (31%), Rhinovirus (27%) and respiratory syncytial virus A/B (10%). Most patients with AECOPD (102 of 153) had NPA sent for viral PCR testing and 59 (58%) were positive. The most common viruses identified were Influenza A (31%), Rhinovirus (24%) and respiratory syncytial virus A/B (17%) with co-infecting bacteria cultured in 22 sputum samples. PMID:  27515577

 

Fungi

Aspergillus is a genus consisting of a few hundred mould species.  More than 60 Aspergillus species are medically relevant pathogens causing disease in humans and other animals.  The pathogens include  A. clavatus, A. fischerianus (Neosartorya fischeri), A. flavus, and A. fumigatus (two strains).  And they can cause COPD.

There are other fungi implicated:

To determine frequency and risk for sporotrichosis-associated hospitalizations, we analyzed the US 2000-2013 National (Nationwide) Inpatient Sample. An estimated 1,471 hospitalizations occurred (average annual rate 0.35/1 million persons). Hospitalizations were associated with HIV/AIDS, immune-mediated inflammatory diseases, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. PMID:  27648881

Sporotrichosis is caused by the infection of the fungus Sporothrix schenckii.  The fungus S. schenckii is naturally found in soil, hay, sphagnum moss, and plants, the disease often affects farmers, gardeners, and agricultural workers.  In case of sporotrichosis affecting the lungs, the fungal spores enter through the respiratory pathways. Sporotrichosis can also be acquired from handling cats with the disease; it is an occupational hazard for veterinarians.

And the list could continue, as the main problem is fungal spores, entering the lung.

Parasites

There are a number of parasites and amoeba that can enter the lung, after having entered the body.  They work their way round the system and eventually burrow their way into the lungs, laying their eggs there, increasing and thus damaging the lung.  But the following is an interesting paper as it shows that external parasites appear to be able to do some serious damage.

Scabies is a common parasitic infectious disease, and COPD is a major pulmonary disease. However, there have been no previous studies that have investigated the relationship between scabies and COPD.   This nationwide population-based study included a total of 3,568 patients with scabies as the study group and 14,255 patients as a control group. We followed up patients in both groups for a 5-year period to identify any new diagnoses of COPD. We then followed them up for an additional 2-year period to determine the severity of any newly diagnosed cases of COPD as indicated by acute respiratory events.
The results of this study indicate a 72% increased risk for COPD among patients with scabies. The results also reveal an increased risk of severe COPD complications such as acute respiratory failure, cardiopulmonary arrest, pneumonia, and acute exacerbation among patients with scabies. This useful information may help physicians in treating scabies and remaining alert to the potential development of COPD and its severe complications.  PMID:  27672322

Toxins

Emphysema and COPD can be caused by smoke particles.  It can be the smoke from cigarettes, but it can be any other sorts of fumes, such as that from diesel engines or industry.  Toxic inhaled particles in general can cause COPD

Occupational exposures in the agricultural industry are associated with numerous lung diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, lung cancer, and interstitial lung diseases. …. Occupational exposures to numerous agricultural environment aerosols, including pesticides, fungi, and bacteria are associated with impaired respiratory function and disease. Increases in certain farming practices, including mushroom and greenhouse farming, present new occupational exposure concerns.  PMID:  26761627

And

To investigate associations between respiratory disease and occupational exposures in a New Zealand urban population, the Wellington Respiratory Survey ….  in a population sample of 1017 individuals aged 25 to 74 years with spirometry and questionnaire information, including a lifetime occupational history…. Chronic symptoms were associated with self-reported exposure to hairdressing, paint manufacturing, insecticides, welding, detergents and with ALOHA Job Exposure Matrix-assessed gases/fumes exposure. The strongest association was for hairdressing. [and ] cumulative exposure to mineral dust and gases/fumes  PMID: 24327054

Heavy metals

Exposure of the lungs to airborne toxicants from different sources in the environment may lead to acute and chronic pulmonary or even systemic inflammation. Cigarette smoke is [one] cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, although wood smoke in urban areas of underdeveloped countries is now recognized as a leading cause of respiratory disease.
Mycotoxins from fungal spores pose an occupational risk for respiratory illness and also present a health hazard to those living in damp buildings.
Microscopic airborne particulates of asbestos and silica (from building materials) and those of heavy metals (from paint) are additional sources of indoor air pollution that contributes to respiratory illness……..Although the aforementioned agents belong to different classes of toxic chemicals, their pathogenicity is similar. They induce the recruitment and activation of macrophages, activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases, inhibition of protein synthesis, and production of interleukin-1 beta. PMID:  27382275

Nanoparticles

Possibly one of the greatest new threats of all.  Follow the link.

Figures below from eHealthme, USA only submitted via Adverse Drug Reports

Treatment

Find the cause and avoid it or eradicate it.

If someone already has COPD we have provided some observations from PubMed on how to alleviate it. 

 

 

References and further reading

Intern Med J. 2016 Oct;46(10):1160-1165. doi: 10.1111/imj.13213.  Viruses are frequently present as the infecting agent in acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in patients presenting to hospital.  Biancardi E1, Fennell M2,3, Rawlinson W2,3, Thomas PS4,5.

  • 1Department of Respiratory Medicine, Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. edwinabiancardi@gmail.com.
  • 2Serology and Virology Division (SAViD) SEALS Microbiology, Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
  • 3School of Medical Sciences and School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
  • 4Department of Respiratory Medicine, Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
  • 5Prince of Wales Clinical School and Inflammation Infection Research, School of Medical Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

The artist

 

Peter Barker RSMAs (born in 1954) spent his childhood in the Oxfordshire countryside, where his inherent love of nature saw his conservation interests, bird-watching, fishing and breeding butterflies and moths, flourish. He is self taught.  Peter paints landscape, marine, wildlife, still-life and portraits, both on a large and small scale and in many mediums including oil, pastel, acrylic or watercolour. He enjoys painting both ‘En plein air’ and in the studio at home in Rutland.  His work has been accepted by the Pastel Society (winning the Frank Herring award), the Royal Institute of Oil Painters (winning the Ranelagh Press Award and the Stanley Grimm Memorial Award) and the Royal Society of Marine Artists at the Mall Galleries in London, of which he is a member.

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