About 13 million adults in the U.S. have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to estimates from the American Lung Association, and another 10 million have evidence of impaired lung function, indicating the number of people with COPD could be much higher.  In 2010, nearly 140,000 men and women in the U.S. died as a result of COPD, making it the third leading cause of death. Adult stem cell therapy is a treatment designed to help the body’s natural repair kit work more effectively. Damage to the lungs from COPD cannot be fully reversed; however, this treatment can help manage your symptoms to reduce the effects of further damage.
COPD includes two conditions: emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Historically, emphysema has occurred more often in men than women, but in recent years, the rate of disease in women has been greater. Women also have about twice the risk of developing chronic bronchitis as men. Women are also more likely to die from COPD.
Smoking is the leading cause of COPD and is associated with about 80 percent of COPD-related deaths, but the disease can also be caused by air pollution, secondhand smoke and breathing in dust, chemicals or industrial pollutants. A history of respiratory illnesses during childhood, genetics and lower socioeconomic status have been identified as risk factors for COPD.
For emphysema alone, an inherited disorder called AAT (Alpha1 antitrypsin) deficiency results in decreased production of a “lung protector” protein and significantly increases the likelihood of developing emphysema. 
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Symptoms of COPD become worse as the disease progresses and may include:
- Persistent, chronic cough
- Excessive production of mucus
- Shortness of breath, even when doing normal activities
- Recurrent or frequent respiratory infections
- Tighness or heaviness in the chest
- Cyanosis (blueish tinge in the lips or nail beds)
Most people with COPD will experience exacerbations or flareups of their disease when symptoms become worse. When flareups are especially serious and interfere with normal breathing, hospitalization may be required. Flareups are often precipitated by triggers such as respiratory illness or air pollution.  
There is no cure for COPD, and treatment is aimed at slowing the progression of the disease, preventing flareups and relieving symptoms. Medicines like bronchodilators, steroids and other drugs help relieve symptoms like shortness of breath and to prevent flareups, and pulmonary rehabilitation helps strengthen lungs to improve overall quality of life. Lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise are also important.
As COPD progresses, oxygen therapy may be needed to compensate for damaged lungs and nutritional therapy is often required to maintain muscle and overall body strength. Many patients with COPD find they can cope better with the disease when they seek out support groups or counseling to help deal with anxiety and depression.