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COPD: Terms to Know

Addiction. A compulsive need to use a substance such as tobacco, drugs, or alcohol. Addiction can be physical or psychological. In physical addiction, your body becomes dependent on a substance and goes through withdrawal symptoms, such as diarrhea and shaking, if the substance is stopped. In psychological addiction, you have a strong craving for the substance. Your brain chemistry may have changed so that you believe that you need the substance to survive. 

Chest X-ray. A diagnostic test that uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce a picture of internal tissues, bones, and chest organs (heart and lungs) onto film. It's used to find the location, size, shape, and qualities of the heart, lungs, and blood vessels.

Chronic obstructive  pulmonary disease (COPD). A term that refers to a large group of lung diseases that can interfere with normal breathing. The two most common conditions of COPD are chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

Nicotine. A bitter-tasting compound or chemical naturally found in large amounts of tobacco leaves. Poisoning can result from getting too much nicotine, either by chewing nicotine gum or from wearing nicotine patches.

Pulmonary rehabilitation. A program for people with COPD to help them lead more productive lives and function as normally as possible. Most programs include exercise, education, emotional support, breathing exercise, and nutritional counseling. Rehab may also include medical management.