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I recently started subscribing to Dr. Andrew Weil's "Self Healing" Newsletter and his November issue has a two page article entitled "Living Well with Lung Disease". It touches on several lung diseases, including emphysema, lung cancer, pulmonary fibrosis and sarcoidosis.

It is DEFINETELY worth reading (you can get a copy by calling (888)3DR-WEIL, but to summarize, here are a few suggestions he makes:

Don't smoke!

Clear the air --invest in a HEPA filter to keep dust and irritants in your home to a minimum.

Practice breath work (I actually bought his Breathing tape -- it's good!)

Keep moving -- inactivity can worsen lung disease (consult your physician before starting exercise programs...)

Eat well!!! He states that many lung disease involve inflammation in the airways, so try avoiding foods that contain trans fats, partially hydrogenated oils and polyunsatured vegatable oils, all of which promote inflamation :!: He suggest eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, flax meal, sardines), which has the opposite effect. Antioxidants in food can nourish your lungs, so aim to eat five to nine servings a day of produce and drink lots of good-quality water to thin mucus that can clog airways, as well as a few daily cups of green tea.

Explore mind-body measures

Stay healthy -- lung disease makes your more susceptible to respiratory viruses and complications. Follow immune-boosting measures, get enough sleep and wash your hands often. Also, get a flue shot and pneumonia vaccine.

Take supplements (I found this interesting). He talks about two medicinal mushrooms showing promise for people with lung disease. One is called Cordyceps, which research suggest may improve lung function. He suggest Zhu Ling for people with lung cancer, which "has been shown to stimulate an immune response against lung tumors and increase the efficacy of chemo and radiation.

He recommends a reliable Zhu Ling product made by the Eclectic Institute (800-332-4372) and a good source for Cordyceps is Fungi Perfecti (www.fungi.com)

HOWEVER -- he also recently had an article in Prevention Magazine discussing a similar subject, and recommended "Host Defense", a supplement by New Chapter, which contains Cordyceps, Zhu ling and Ling zhi mushrooms, which are available at many health food stores.

* I have not done any research on these mushroom supplements, but intend to! I will also ask my oncologist about them during my next visit*

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Thanks for the info...

I found the stuff on the mushrooms very interesting. Let me know what your Oncologist says when you speak to him. I will also ask mine when I see him next month but I don't have any expectations for what he may answer :roll: !! He isn't very "cutting edge" I'm afraid.

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OK Deb -- I'll ask mine and you ask yours and we'll see what they say!

My oncologist didn't seem like he was going to be much of a help with that sort of thing when I first started asking about supplements/nutrition, but when he realized how serious I was about it, he did actually recommend a few supplements I should take and referred me to the hospital nutritionist. I also showed him an article once by some "nutritional expert" that I had picked up and he said "GET THAT OUT OF MY FACE -- I CAN'T STAND THAT GUY -- HE'S A FRAUD!!!!". (his forcefullness about it was rather amusing) Hopefully, he will have a better opinion of Dr. Weil!!! :wink:

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, I did ask my oncologist about the mushroom extracts the other day at my appointment. He gave me the reaction I sort of expected. He basically said he could neither recommend I take them, or advise me not to to take them. What he was saying was that they won't HURT me to take them, but he doesn't know how affective (if at all) they would be.

Deb -- have you seen your doctor yet to ask about them?

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Well, I saw my doctor today and I asked him about the mushroom supplements and received the same blank stare I have grown to know and love NOT :? . He basically said the same thing as yours..that they wouldn't hurt me...I should take them if I think that I should take them.

So much for his insight!!

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