Bronchiectasis, or BE, cannot be cured. The disease causes the lungs to scar and can happen to anyone after a respiratory illness or with conditions such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Cystic Fibrosis. With the pandemic, we will likely see a sharp increase in the number of individuals with bronchiectasis.
Until recently, bronchiectasis was considered a rare disease with less than 200,000 cases in the United States. However, with the increased use of High-Resolution Computerized Technology (HRCT) scans as well as a heightened awareness in the medical community, bronchiectasis is
being diagnosed more than ever. Researchers now suggest that a significant percentage of the 20 million COPD sufferers in our country also have undiagnosed BE.
Although BE is a permanent condition, it can be effectively managed and its spread mitigated or even prevented. Based upon my personal experience with bronchiectasis and professional experience as a health and fitness educator, I have developed the BE CLEAR Method. Together with traditional medical treatments of the disease, the BE CLEAR Method empowers individuals living with BE to be actively involved in their own care. The overarching goal of the method is to sustain healthy lungs while building a stronger body and mind to meet the daily and life-long challenges of our disease.
Through dedicated practice, the BE CLEAR Method becomes not just a road map but a travel companion for those living with bronchiectasis. The two key elements of the BE CLEAR Method are exercise and airway clearance both of which help remove harmful mucus from the
lungs. The method also employs a broader approach including effective breathing and meditation practices to deal with the anxiety and depression that is common among people with chronic health conditions. In addition, better relaxation and sleeping habits are discussed as well as the
importance of a nutritious diet to maintain a sound body and mind.
Mystery surrounds bronchiectasis. Many of the afflicted do not know how they got it. Those I have talked to in support groups on-line and in-person want clarity. Most of all, they want to feel better. As someone who shares in their struggle, as someone who lives with BE every day, it breaks my heart to hear their stories.
That’s why I wrote The BE CLEAR Method to Living with Bronchiectasis. I want to share with others the practices I have used for years to stay full of energy and positive-minded. I encourage people with BE to stay on task and do the daily work. At the same time, I point out that we are all at different points along the health continuum and we need to move forward from our unique place.
In BE CLEAR, I weave current evidence-based research into my own story with humorous anecdotes that they will recognize and appreciate. Ultimately, my goal in writing this book is to show people living with BE that they have more control over their disease than they think. With the regular application of the BE CLEAR Method, they can lead a full and joyful life.
The “BE CLEAR Method to Living with Bronchiectasis” is available on Amazon.
#bronchiectasis #airwayclearance #lungdisease #maclungdisease
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Linda Cooper Esposito, MPH is a health educator with bronchiectasis. She developed the BE CLEAR Method to Living with Bronchiectasis and writes with compassion and humor about this chronic lung disease.