If you smoke, you MUST give it up.
Smoking is obviously extremely dangerous for any person with respiratory problems. Clinical studies show that alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency causes much more severe disease in cigarette smokers than in nonsmokers. In data based on the Swedish population, among 20 year-old Pi ZZ individuals who smoke, 50% of them will die by age 40; if they don’t smoke, the 50% survival age is increased to 60. This compares to a 50% survival age of over 70 years for all 20 year-olds.
There is help available from your GP and elsewhere including No Smoking Day.
Exercise and Diet
Making the most of the lungs you have is very important. Thus exercise and diet are key to getting the most out of life. Walking and exercise such as golf are good steady regimes. Regular exercises can be learnt on a Pulmonary Rehabiliation course.
Climate and Infections
Most alpha-1 sufferers are very susceptible to chest infections. Thus the cold, wet and windy winters of northern Europe do not help. Some people have moved to southern Spain, whilst many others make the most of cheap holiday deals for Winter Sun.
Environment and Allergies
Chest infections and allergies are also closely associated with allergies to animals such as cats, dogs and horses and even birds. Keeping the home as dust-free as possible, even having hard floors rather than carpets, often helps some patients. It is worth giving serious consideration to the domestic and local environment, discussing it with medical experts and acting accordingly.