Wednesday, October 13, 2010
More Adventures with COPD: Ensure makes a drink for COPD sufferers—Pulmocare
This time when I landed in the emergency room of ETMC...
This time when I landed in the emergency room of ETMC, I had an additional diagnosis: pneumonia, the silent assassin. Having COPD and walking pneumonia at the same time sounds like an oxymoron because COPD in all its forms (asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema) is a very noisy illness—plenty of wheezing and choking noises. Yet pneumonia is a silent killer; maybe you think you’re tired, old, or sad and don’t have the sneaky disease. Anyway, I had to stay overnight instead of getting treated and released from the emergency room.
This turned out to be a blessing because I discovered Pulmocare in the snack room—a milk-based product made by Ensure for COPD patients. The major statement on the can declared, “Pulmocare Therapeutic Nutrition for people with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is a high-calorie, low-carbohydrate product designed to reduce carbon dioxide production.” That got me thinking. Folks with lung illnesses are waiting to exhale. So I can see why we should avoid carbohydrates since they break down into carbon dioxide. Pulmocare won the Chef Best Award for Best Taste, an award given “to the brand rated highest overall among leading brands by independent professional chefs.” So what that it only comes in vanilla.
When I finally got released from ETMC, I went to the Brookshire’s at Bergfeld pharmacy for medicine. While I was waiting on my prednisone and albuterol rescue inhaler, I started looking at can labels near the pharmacy to check for the low-carb diet, apparently necessary for COPD folks like me since they didn’t have Pulmocare at the time. Fortunately, low-carb. drinks are not rare; the low-carb and low-fat devotees are in the same camp as far as keeping slim or getting that way. The Atkins diet is just one of the low carbs choices. Remember the Caveman Diet several years ago?
The Brookshire pharmacy at Bergfeld ordered Pulmocare for me and whomever else. A case of Pulmocare arrived last week; it costs roughly $11 for six 8-ounce cans. Pulmocare has milk and soy products but is lactose and gluten free. Pulmocare meets or exceeds 25% of the required daily intake for 24 key vitamins and minerals. Pulmocare provides 25 grams of carbohydrates/28.2% of the calories, 22.1 grams of fat/55.7% of the calories, and 14.8 grams of protein/16.7% of the calories. Leading vitamins are Vitamin C --125%, Vitamin E –67%, Vitamin A—57%. All three of those vitamins are antioxidants. http://www.healthcastle.com/antioxidant.shtml Manganese is a leading mineral with 65%. I was glad to see that Pulmocare provides 25% each for Vitamin D and calcium since osteoporosis is a surprising side effect of the inflammation reducing corticosteroids.
Later I called my regular doctor’s receptionist. She agreed that gas pills after eating would be a good idea since apparently COPD folks are so full of air needing to be exhaled. That way if I go overboard on same favorite carbohydrates, I can do the “band aid” approach. I hope these latest tips help my comrades in bad lung health, such as the Better Breathers.
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