This Guide has been created for people with COPD. Using easy to understand language, we give information about how a doctor diagnoses COPD and what that diagnosis means. We also provide info on the available treatment options. We share with you many things that you can do to have greater control over your disease.
We hope this information will push individuals with COPD to take an active role in understanding and managing their health. This may allow them to enjoy an improved quality of life.
This Guide is aimed mostly at patients, their families and their caregivers. However, we hope it can also be helpful to doctors and other health care providers working with COPD patients.
Organization of the Big Fat Reference Guide
This Guide is divided into three main sections:
Section A “Managing Your Health” provides a basic understanding of what each of us can do to be as healthy as possible.
Section B “Managing Your Disease” provides more specific information. It will help you understand COPD and the available treatments. It gives suggestions for how you can adapt to the physical limitations you may have in the work place, in your community and at home.
Appendix: We end the Guide with a list of additional resources. These include worksheets for you and your health care provider and more information on some of the topics in the Guide. There are also lists of books, videos, web sites and organizations dedicated to helping COPD patients.
How to Use this Reference Guide
- Read Sections A and B to gain an understanding of your disease and how to manage it.
- Use the worksheets, at the back of this Guide, for patients and health care providers.
- Share the clinical assessment tools at the end of this Guide with your doctor and other health careproviders.
While there is no cure for COPD at the present time, there are very effective treatments. These include medicines and other treatments such as exercise, oxygen and immunizations. New treatments are becoming available every year. Hopefully in the future COPD will no longer be a major killer of men and women in the world.