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Respiratory Diseases - Treatments, Bronchial Diseases, Bronchodilators, Tuberculosis, Pneumonia, Cancer, Miscellaneous Disorders - flu Colds and allergies

allergic nasal fever mucous

There are many different types of respiratory diseases that interfere with the vital process of breathing. Respiratory obstructions arising from diseases can occur in the nasal area, the regions of the throat and windpipe (upper respiratory system), or in the bronchial tubes and lungs (lower respiratory system). The common cold and allergic reactions to airborne pollens block the nasal passages by creating nasal inflammation (rhinitis). Viral and bacterial infections of the upper respiratory tract inflame various parts of the airways. These infections lead to fever, irritation, coughing, and phlegm, which is mixture of mucus and pus. Inflammations may occur in the throat (pharynx), tonsils, larynx, and bronchial tubes. Damage to these parts of the respiratory system and to the lungs can also result from the inhalation of tobacco smoke, air pollution caused by smog, and industrial waste products.

With the mid-twentieth-century discovery and use of antibiotics, the two major respiratory killers of the past, tuberculosis and pneumonia, were brought under control. In place of those diseases, lung cancer began to emerge in the 1940s as an epidemic disease among those who are heavy smokers of cigarettes and those who are exposed to some forms of hazardous environmental pollution. Worksite populations exposed to such materials as asbestos, chromium, and radioactive substances were also found to have a higher incidence of lung cancer.


Colds, like flu and allergies, challenge the breathing process. There are no cures for these conditions, but they are usually not life threatening, unlike many other respiratory diseases. Prescription medicines and over-the-counter medications may provide temporary relief of the discomforts associated with colds, flu, and allergies, while asthma, tuberculosis, and other respiratory diseases require long-range medical attention and supervision.


Colds

The entire tubular system for bringing air into the lungs is coated by a moist mucous membrane that helps to clean the air and fight infection. In the case of a cold, the mucous membrane is fighting any one of over 200 viruses. If the immune system is unsuccessful in warding off such a virus, the nasal passages and other parts of the upper respiratory tract become inflamed, swollen, and congested, thus interfering with the breathing process. The body uses the reflex actions of sneezing and coughing to expel mucus, a thick sticky substance that comes from the mucous membranes and other secretions. These secretions come up from the infected areas as phlegm.

Coughing is a reflex action that helps to expel infected mucus or phlegm from the airways of the lungs by causing the diaphragm to contract spasmodically. It is characterized by loud explosive sounds that can often indicate the nature of the discomfort. While coughing is irritating and uncomfortable, losing the ability to cough can be fatal in an illness such as pneumonia, where coughing is essential to break up the mucous and other infected secretions produced by the body in its battle against the disease.

Antibiotics kill bacteria but not viruses; hence they are not effective against cold viruses. The body has to build up its own defense against them. Since there are so many different types of viruses that can cause a cold, no vaccine to protect against the cold has as yet been developed. Though the common cold by itself is not a serious condition, it poses a threat because of the complications that may arise from it, especially for children, who are much more prone to colds than older people. Colds are usually contracted in the winter months, but there are other seasonal conditions that make individuals receptive to colds.


Influenza

Other viruses cause different types of influenza, such as swine flu, Asian flu, Hong Kong flu, and Victoria flu. Some of the symptoms of influenza resemble the common cold, but influenza is a more serious condition than a cold. It is a disease of the lungs and is highly contagious. Its symptoms include fever, chills, weakness, and aches. It can be especially dangerous to the elderly, children, and the chronically ill. After World War I, a flu epidemic killed 20 million people throughout the world. Fortunately, there has so far not been a repetition of such a severe strain of flu. Flu vaccines provide only seasonal immunity, and each year new serums have to be developed for the particular strain that appears to be current in that period of time.


Allergic rhinitis

Every season throughout the world, ragweed and pollens from grasses, plants, and trees produce the reactions of sneezing, runny nose, swollen nasal tissue, headaches, blocked sinuses, fever, and watery, irritated eyes in those who are sensitive to these substances. These are the symptoms of hay fever, which is one of the common allergies. The term hay fever is really a misnomer because the condition is not caused by hay and does not cause fever. Allergic respiratory disturbances may also be provoked by dust particles. Usually, the allergic response is due more to the feces of the dust mite that inhabits the dust particle. The dust mite's feces are small enough to be inhaled and to create an allergic respiratory response.

Colds and allergic rhinitis both cause the nasal passages and sinuses to become stuffed and clogged with excess mucous. In the case of a cold, a viral infection is responsible for the production of excess mucus. Inhaling steam with an aromatic oil is recommended for the cold. Decongestants are recommended to avoid infection from the excess mucous of the common cold. In seasonal allergic rhinitis, the symptoms result from an exaggerated immune response to what, in principle, is a harmless substance. Histamines released by the mast cells play a major role in an allergic immune response, and it is these chemicals, for the most part, that are responsible for the allergy symptoms.

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over 5 years ago

thanks for all the information you haved shared, to lot of peoples especially for me, it is really interesting and has so many knowledge to learn.

THANK YOU SO MUCH


I appreciate it much..

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almost 7 years ago

What role does the diaphram play in respiratory problems?

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over 6 years ago

Respected Sir,

Kindly publish my article about recurrent bronchial diseases in your website to generate awareness amongst masses about these.

Thanking you,

Dr. P.S. Rawat,

India




RECURRENT BRONCHIAL DISEASES


A child was given a bath in a hospital at the time of birth, got exposure and in turn suffered from Pneumonia. Thereafter, the child suffered three more attacks of Pneumonia upto the age of three years. Another child of four months of age was given bath in summer and was put to bed under a whirling fan. The child developed pneumonia. Since then the child suffered several attacks of bronchitis and bronchopneumonia.

The victims are mainly young children both male and female, generally between four and six years old. They seem to be in normal health but are mostly lean and thin, occasionally with liver enlargement. They complain of rattling sound while coughing with a feeling of congestion of throat and chest but no actual congestion is noticed. The voice may be hoarse or of normal pitch. Lack of appetite in a majority of the children has been observed. They do not feel hunger as healthy children generally do. But they are fond of piquant things like ice cream, golgappa, and other sweet or saltish preparations. And, therefore, show reluctance for their normal meal when they are offered food. Their appetite vanishes on seeing food or after taking a little food. They may have desire for cold drinks even during winter season, grinding of the teeth at night along with excessive salivation while asleep and complaints of mild pain in the belly indicating worms or symptoms. There may be a history of prolonged diarrhoea before the onset of bronchial trouble or diarrhoea may be ushered during the latent phase of the diseases. Mentally such children are either sharp or normal intelligence.

Owing to frequent relapses in the nature of these diseases, parents get worried for the well-being of their children. Doctors, in order to give relief to such victims do their best and try drugs of common use to special ones, with every successie attack but relapses do occur.

The attacks of these diseases are more frequent in winter but in true cases these come in summer too, when the conditions are rampant for such diseases. On an average, one child out of ten may easily be traced. Early age and exposure to cold act as predisposing factors and are responsible for making the young children susceptible to these diseases. Infection first settles in the upper respiratory tract and later may pass on to the lower one. This is commonly seen in cases of bronchitis and cold, where the first one turns to bronchopneumonia and the latter to congestion of the chest.

Why should a child be sensitive to such diseases in early life, can be well understood by the following facts:

1. The respiratory system of a newborn and infant is not well developed. There are only 17 degenerative branches in the respiratory tract of a newborn as compared to 23 in a grownup person. Accordingly, the volume of the lung tissue is bigger in an adult, therefore, better resistance of the respiratory system.

2. The child may get an initial attack of any of such diseases due to the carelessness of the parents or, as a manifestation of some other existing trouble. There is especially seen when the child is not treated in such a way where the resistance of the body particularly the respiratory system (lungs) is maintained. Thus, in these diseases a previous attack predisposes to repetition, rather than giving immunity. In fact only those children get subsequent attacks whose local resistance is weakened either by disease or because of the allopathic drug abuse especially broad-spectrum antibiotics like Gentamicin.

Role of Vitamins

Vitamins specially vitamins A and C play an important role in the proper maintenance of integrity and activity of normal epithelial cells of the respiratory system. Vitamin A is also called the anti-infective vitamin which along with vitamin C prevents infection. Its deficiency leads to histopathological tissue change in the lining of the lungs i.e. transformation of the simple squamous (pavement) epithelium to stratified squamous epithelium which may undergo degeneration. As a result local resistance to infection is reduced. Hence, infection from these sites easily takes place. Vitamin C maintains the normal state of intercellular substance, the acid mucopolysaccharide along with vitamin A. Susceptibility to infection increases due to deficiency of the mucopolysaccharide. Vitamin B by the name of B complex has a wide range of action but is mainly concerned with tissue metabolic activity. Thus it is recommended that vitamin A and C be used along with B when the patient is to be treated by Allopathic drugs.

Homoeopathic view: According to Dr. W.A. Dewey, “though giving vitamin-rich food is the prevailing custom, it is a crude and uncertain method, for the condition may not be altogether due to a lack of them in the food, but also and perhaps preponderately to the lack of power of the system to appropriate them.” Therefore, we must find a remedy to restore this vitamin function of the system that is lacking or deranged and this can be done in the homoeopathic way by attenuating remedies so that the system will absorb them.

As per the homoeopathic system: “disease is nothing more than an alteration in the state of health of the individual which express themselves by perceptible symptoms. For treatment, the totality o the symptoms mentioned above constitute the disease.” Hahnemann considered the totality of symptoms as the living or dynamic pathology of the patient. If all the symptoms are eradicated the disease is cured internally. Drugs are administered to diseased persons with the idea that if a morbid vital process is change to the original normal state, the pathological changes in the organism would be restored to physiological, structural and functional state of the individual. In other words resistance is built up by correcting the normal functioning of the tissue cells of the respiratory system in particular and the body in general. Thus the disease is annihilated permanently and no further relapses occur.

Therapeutic Hints

The basic aim of treating patients of recurrent bronchial diseases is to change their constitution since these patients are susceptible to cold owing to lack of vitality. Therefore, medicines which generally bring about change in the body are deep acting constitutional remedies. No doubt in the acute phase of the disease, on the basis of prevailing symptoms, we should also prescribe short-acting medicines. Thus the lowered vitality is to be corrected by increasing the resistance. The most commonly used medicines are as under:

Phosphorus: One of the deep-acting constitutional medicine, somewhat specific in most of the cases and nearly 90% cases are covered by this medicine alone, when there is history of repeated pneumonia or protracted diarrhoea at the time of birth or after birth and the patient is treated with strong antibiotics like Gentamicin or its equivalent.

Persistent rhinorrhoea since the time when the victim got first attack of cold, child likes to play near water. Desires cold drinks even in winter season. There may be lack of appetite. Though child is susceptible to cold but throws off coverings at night. He may have asthmatic family history. Constitutionally, may be lean and thin with a pigeon chest.

Symptoms in acute phase: Child gets fever after exposure to any form of the cold where the lips may become dry and dark, dry cough, hoarseness, panting respiration, malar flush, soreness of the chest and later on congestion of the chest. The fever may be high or low grade with or without thirst. The chest may also get congested when coryza settles in the chest.

Sangunaria: The child may have pin worms in the stool. He may feel irritation at and surrounding area of the anus at night and may complain mild pain in abdomen. There may be darkness under the eyes. He may desire piquant things in the dormant phase of the disease. He is susceptible to cold and gets fever, dry cough, circumcised redness of the cheeks together with other hyperaemic symptoms in the form of high or low-grade fever. Constitutionally, the child may look like phosphorus type but when it cannot be given or repeated too frequently

Antim tart: When a very young child has history of exposure at the time of birth but no persistent rhinorrhoea and has cough with or without fever. The child becomes dull and the face and lips become dark or blue. There may be flapping of the alae nasi. The cough sounds loud, though rattling may or may be there. The tongue is white, milky coated and the patient wants to be carried. When given in high doses on the above indications, it stops recurrency by raising the body’s resistance against exposure.

Ipecac: It follows Antim tart on similar indications, but the tongue is not coated or when Antim tart though indication has not acted well.

Bryonia: In acute attacks when there is dry cough, heat and pain in the chest while coughing, there may be thirst for water but no flushing of the face, no restlessness and no congestion of the chest occasionally, the cheeks may be circumcised red.

Spongia: When there is change of weather from heat to cold and there is sawing sound or crepitations, rales, and rhonchi present in the chest on auscultation.

Kali bich: Nose remains full of crusts, cough rattling, expectoration tough, tenacious, glutious and worse in the morning.

Hepar Sulph: Rhinorrhea, cough sounds rattling but chest is found clear after exposure to cold air especially after snowfall.

Sulphur: May be given as an intercurrent and in lingering on cases.

Bacillinum: When the above-mentioned remedies are unable to stop the recurrency in the patient, then this is the medicine which could be given after any short-acting medicine has subdued the acute attack. It is one of the constitutional remedies which suits especially those victims who are constantly catching cold and are hardly gotten rid of before another attack of cold is contracted.

Dr. P.S.Rawat
B.Sc., BHMS
M.D. (Homoeo) Scholar

Formerly:- Professor and Principal at:

Homoeopathic Medical College and
Hospital Chandigarh, Chandigarh

Professor and Principal-cum-officer
Incharge Research at:

Institute of Post Graduate Homoeopathic
Medical Education and Research
S.A.S Nagar (Mohali) Punjab

Address for correspondence:-

Flat No. 2032/1, Sector 45-C,
Chandigarh (U.T), Pin-160047 INDIA.

Phones: 91-9456577638, 91-9463966155,
91-0172-2630069

E-mail address: dr.psrawat47@gmail.com,
premrawat182@gmail.com






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over 6 years ago

what is wromg

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about 5 years ago

thanks for more information that i have learned................