Chronic Bronchitis – causes, side effects and treatments at NaturalPedia.com

Thursday, February 22, 2018 by

Bronchitis happens when the bronchial tubes, or the main airway of the lungs, are infected, causing them to be irritated and inflamed.

There are two types of bronchitis:

  • Acute bronchitis is a temporary inflammation of the airways, which usually lasts up to three weeks.
  • Chronic bronchitis, however, lasts longer – over three months of the year, or at least two years in a row.

Chronic bronchitis is classified as a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is characterized by the presence of a lot of mucus in the bronchial tubes. In addition, this also leads to coughing and shortness of breath.

A common cause of chronic bronchitis is cigarette smoking. However, other factors contribute to the condition. These include prolonged exposure to pollution, fumes, or even dust. Infections (both viral and bacterial) could also lead to chronic bronchitis.

Known risk factors and symptoms of chronic bronchitis

The following factors may increase a person’s likelihood of getting chronic bronchitis.

  • Advanced age
  • Weakened or compromised immune system
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Existing COPD
  • Exposure to irritants such as coal, manufactured vitreous fibers, oil mist, cement, silica, silicates, osmium, vanadium, welding fumes, organic dust, engine exhausts, fire smoke, and secondhand cigarette smoke.

If a person has chronic bronchitis, the following signs and symptoms would appear.

  • A cough and sputum last for over three months and may occur daily. The condition is also called “smoker’s cough.”
  • The person experiences shortness of breath with activity. This may also indicate the development of conditions such as COPD or emphysema.
  • A wheezing sound is often heard.

Other symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle aches
  • Nasal congestion
  • Headaches

When the condition worsens, this could lead to severe bouts of coughing that cause chest pain. Additionally, it could also cause cyanosis, a blue-grayish skin discoloration, as a result of advanced COPD, as well as fever, if the chronic bronchitis was a viral or bacterial infection.

Body systems affected by chronic bronchitis

Chronic bronchitis primarily affects the respiratory system.

Food items or nutrients that may prevent or relieve chronic bronchitis

There are natural ways to support the respiratory system – of which the most effective combination is elecampane, which reduces inflammation, and pleurisy root, which helps with coughing. Other herbs can be combined to address the condition.

  • Mullein (expectorant)
  • Horehound (expectorant and soothing)
  • Marshmallow (anti-inflammatory, cough reliever)
  • Slippery elm (anti-inflammatory)
  • Lobelia (relieves bronchial spasms)
  • Thyme (relieves bronchial spasms)

Garlic can also be used. It has antibacterial properties, and it helps other herbs work more efficiently.

Treatment and management options for chronic bronchitis

The best way to treat chronic bronchitis is to remove yourself from the trigger of the condition. That is, if you smoke, then stop smoking. If you are exposed to various irritants, then take measures in avoiding it.

A healthy diet and regular, moderate exercise will help you manage the condition as well. This will aid your body’s recovery and prevent lung infection. A steady weight is also beneficial to reduce shortness of breath.

Where to learn more

Summary

Chronic bronchitis happens when the bronchial tubes, or the primary airway of the lungs, are infected, causing them to be irritated and inflamed over an extended period —  usually three months of the year, or at least two years in a row.

A common cause of chronic bronchitis is cigarette smoking. However, other factors contribute to the condition. These include prolonged exposure to pollution, fumes, or even dust. Infections (both viral and bacterial) could also lead to chronic bronchitis.

While there are natural ways to support the respiratory system, the best way to treat chronic bronchitis is to remove yourself from the trigger of the condition. A healthy diet and regular, moderate exercise will help you manage the condition as well.

Sources include:

NHS.uk

MedLinePlus.gov

eMedicineHealth.com

eMedicine.Medscape.com

MedicineNet.com

Herbs.LovetoKnow.com



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