Monday, July 16, 2012

Bronchitis Epidemic?

Lungs...we don't think about them as we go around breathing freely every day.  We don't think about them at all unless something goes awry!

I have seen a huge outbreak of bronchitis this year.  I finally caught a nasty case of it myself.  In an effort not to "share" it with all my doctor's other patients, I called in for some prescriptions which she was glad to furnish.  She didn't want me sharing it either! 

This seems to be a particularly contagious, and difficult to beat bronchitis.  It takes weeks and weeks, and unfortunately antibiotics don't seem to help much.  I have gone through Amoxicillin and and half way through a dose of Levofloxacin (whih is a kind of super antibiotic given to people who are exposed to Anthrax!).  All to no avail.  Cough syrups and drops haven't helped either.  This stuff is debilitating! 

So here is some advice for those of you have been lucky enough NOT to have gotten this stuff yet:

1.  Avoid closed in crowded areas...

2.  Hand washing is essential...everything you touch has germs on it...especially places like those
     handles on grocery carts, restaurant door handles, telephones, remotes...especially in hotels, etc.

3.  Stay out of smoke filled rooms and avoid any area with low air quality.

4.  And, although this may sound silly, AVOID individuals who are coughing! 

You must also focus on HEALTHY eating...avoid fatty/fried foods.  Eat more fresh vegetables.
Eat less meat.  Avoid large amounts of sugar, which can damage your immune system. 

Whether or not your bronchitis is viral or bacterial, it will take TIME to get rid of it.  Don't expect an antibiotic to work overnight, and don't quit taking it if you do happen to feel better.  I personally feel that the current round of bronchitis is probably viral and very contagious.  Closed in environments like airplanes, busses, trains other public transportation are particularly dangerous for acquiring lung diseases.  If you haven't had a TB test in years....get tested!  Although people seem to believe that TB is not a problem any more...believe me it still is.  The even scarier part is that the new TB strains are more difficult to treat. 

If bronchitis becomes chronic, it can damage the lungs and lead to COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and debilitating illness.  Pay attention to those lungs!  They are irreplaceable.

So, a reminder...wash hands...stay out of enclosed, crowded places, avoid those coughing people.  Take care of yourselves and stay healthy!!!

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