of bronchitis - COPD - Definition, Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment
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COPD - Definition, Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment

What does COPD mean? COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. It encompasses two types of disease processes namely chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Quite often, people who suffer from COPD show a combination of features of both disease processes. In lay person's term, COPD means persistent lung disease with features of airway narrowing. To be more specific, bronchitis means inflammation of the bronchi or the larger airways of the lungs whereas emphysema means destruction to the smaller airways and alveoli or airsacs of the lungs. Thus COPD is commonly used to describe chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or both.


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Long-term smoking can directly lead to chronic bronchitis and different respiratory harming factors can make the bronchial tree vulnerable to bronchitis and fibrosis. Chronic bronchitis is usually connected to the pulmonary emphysema meaning mass pulmonary disruptions.

The most common symptoms of pneumonia are shortness of breath; chest pain, especially when breathing in; coughing; shallow, rapid breathing; and fever and chills. Coughs usually bring up mucus, also called sputum. The sputum may even be streaked with blood or pus. In serious cases, the patient's lips or nail bed will appear blue due to lack of oxygen.

- Baikal skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis). Scientific data from China indicates that the root of this plant, which is closely related to skullcap, has potent, broad-spectrum antimicrobial effects. This herb helps inhibit flu viruses and several pneumonia-causing fungi, and in some cases, Chinese physicians sometimes inject a solution of Baikal skullcap, goldthread and amur cork tree extracts to alleviate or treat pneumonia, flu and other respiratory infections.

If you have severe pneumonia, you'll be hospitalized and treated with intravenous antibiotics and put on oxygen. If you don't need oxygen, you may recover as quickly at home with oral antibiotics as in the hospital, especially if you have access to qualified home health care. Sometimes you may spend three or four days in the hospital receiving intravenous antibiotics and then continue to recover at home with oral medication.

Garlic, pepper and chicken stock are recommended during acute bronchitis to dilute the mucus and help its elimination. Eucalyptus aromatherapy calms irritation in the bronchis and lungs improving the respiration. Warm baths and warm compresses applied on the chest clear mucus and stabilize breathing. Patients with bronchitis must really consider giving up smoking and take cautions also against people smoking around them.

Helpful Herbal Treatments For This Disease Aside from regularly taking the medications your doctor prescribes, you may also try some herbal and nutritional alternatives that have been noted to possess anti-pneumonia fighting qualities. However, you need to first consult with your doctor before using any of these herbs.

Pneumonia is an infectious disease which lies deep in the lungs, as in contrast with bronchitis, which is an infection in the gateway to the lungs, or the bronchial tubes. Among the noted infectious diseases in the US, pneumonia is currently the nation's leading killer and the nation's fifth leading cause of death overall, claiming more lives annually than AIDS.

Aloe vera, aloe vera juice Also Read about Green Tea, green tea benefits and herbal remedies, home remedies">Pneumonia means that there is an infection or inflammation in the lung tissue. It can be caused by a lot of different micro-organisms - viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites that are too small to see - but it can also be caused by corrosive chemicals breathed into the stomach or toxic gases from a fire.

Treatment If you have community-acquired pneumonia, your doctor will prescribe you antibiotics immediately, often prior to tests on the phlegm sample. Antibiotics treat pneumonia caused by bacteria. Antibiotics are usually given straight away as bacterial infections are the most common cause of pneumonia and antibiotics are generally very effective. It is usually safe to assume that the infection will respond to standard antibiotics such as amoxicillin. Generally for chest infections you should take antibiotics for about seven days and you must complete the full course.

- Astragalus (Astragalus, various species) This herb, which is also called huang qi, astragalus is a potent immune booster and traditional Asian medicine's answer to our own echinacea.

- Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) A large number of clinical trials have analyzed and demonstrated dandelion's potency against pneumonia, bronchitis and upper respiratory infections. In preparing a solution, it is suggested to cook the greens and roots. Afterwards, drink the juice that remains after the greens are cooked. You can also drink tea made from the dried herb, or you can also take this in capsule form.

Acute bronchitis has the signs of a chest cold: fever, dry or mucus expectorating coughing, feeble voice, speak problems, chest pain, nausea, and anorexia. Acute bronchitis is caused by bronchial inflammation is usually self-limiting. Symptoms can sometimes be impossible to detect because of the constricted contractions of the respiratory system. If not treated in time, acute bronchitis gives complications like chronicisation, asthmatic bronchitis; most dangerous are cases in children, newborns or adults suffering from emphysema.

- Echinacea Antibiotics may be indicated in treating bacterial pneumonia, however in any type of infectious pneumonia, which could either be bacterial, viral or fungal, herbalists recommend herbs that enhance the immune system, and among the herbs they recommend is Echinacea. Many scientific studies indicate that this herb aids the body in warding off all sorts of bacteria, viruses and fungi.

Treating the bronchitis is mainly done by administering drugs to increase the volume of bronchial tubes, to calm coughing; infection is treated by antibiotics but a complete cure would be also giving up smoking.

According to health experts, most of those deaths come from two sources; first is influenza, which may progress to pneumonia, particularly in the elderly, and hospital-acquired infections in those who are ill from other causes but develop pneumonia because they have weakened immune systems.

More informations about chronic bronchitis or acute bronchitis can be found by visiting http://www.bronchitis-guide.com

What are the treatments of COPD? First of all. Stop smoking. This cannot be stressed enough. Smoking cessation is the first thing you have to do if you want to get better. As the underlying mechanism of COPD is irreversible, medications are used with an aim to slow down it's progress. Drugs that are commonly used to treat COPD include short-acting bronchodilator inhalers (i.e. salbutamol), long-acting bronchodilator inhalers (i.e. tiotropium), steroid inhalers and tablets are all available drugs for treatment of COPD. Again, no treatment is more important that stop smoking. Lung transplant is the last option and should be reserved for people with severe COPD.

Physical exercises are important in improving symptoms; aerobic exercise is helpful for sustaining breathing after the cure. Normal walking gives a great deal of help to bronchitis patients. Also cardiovascular sport exercises can ameliorate breathing, calm the patient and fortify muscles.

 
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COPD sounds like asthma, are they any different? Yes. Both COPD and asthma cause similar symptoms, however, they are different in certain ways. COPD causes permanent damage to the airways. The obstruction is 'fixed', hence it is irreversible in general terms. However, airway narrowing in asthma is intermittent and reverses quite easily with medication. Having said that, both COPD and asthma is common, people who suffer COPD can have an asthmatic component and vice versa.

What are the causes of COPD? Smoking. Smoking is the number 1 cause of COPD. More than 90 percent of COPDs are caused by smoking, cigarette or otherwise. About 30 percent of long term smokers will eventually show symptoms of COPD of varying degrees. Other causes include air pollution and inherited enzyme deficiency namely alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.

Renunciation to smoking can trigger to the resolution of the disease and overturn the consequences of chronic bronchitis. Patients with acute bronchitis must drink large amounts of fluids to assure hydration and humidification of the mucus. Acute bronchitis is easier to treat than chronic cases but must be in time deled with as it can cause major complications if left untreated.

While the bronchitis attacks, patients are not allowed to eat dairy products as they increase the secretion of mucus and worsen the infection by stimulating the multiplication of bacteria.

What are the symptoms of COPD? The two main symptoms are cough and breathlessness. COPD sufferers commonly complain about breathlessness and cough that develop gradually over a long period of time. The cough that COPD sufferer gets are usually productive which means they commonly cough up phlegm. The cough usually comes and goes initially but tends to become persistent as time passes. Breathlessness is usually intermittent and only occurs with exertion in the beginning, however if you continue to smoke, the breathlessness persists even when you are at rest, this can be quite distressing! Other symptoms are chronic sputum production, where you constantly cough up phlegm all day and recurrent chest infection. People with COPD are more prone to chest infection for obvious reasons, as the lining in the lung looses its normal defense mechanism against intruding bugs.

Symptoms People with infectious pneumonia often have a cough producing greenish or yellow sputum, or phlegm and a high fever that may be accompanied by shaking chills. Shortness of breath is also common, as is pleuritic chest pain, a sharp or stabbing pain, either experienced during deep breaths or coughs or worsened by it. People with pneumonia may cough up blood, experience headaches, or develop sweaty and clammy skin. Other possible symptoms are loss of appetite, fatigue, blueness of the skin, nausea, vomiting, mood swings, and joint pains or muscle aches.

Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lung tissue. It is usually due to infection. Pneumonia tends to be more serious than bronchitis. (Bronchitis is an inflammation or infection of the large airways - the bronchi.) Sometimes bronchitis and pneumonia occur together which is called broncho-pneumonia.

The bacteria that causes this infectious disease are so abundant in hospitals that according to a US health care report, an estimated 4 percent of all patients develop the infection, most likely as a direct result of their hospital stay.

What tests are needed to diagnose COPD? A test called spirometry is often performed to diagnose COPD. Bronchodilators (drugs that cause the airway to dilate) are usually added to confirm the diagnosis. If the test result does not show improvement with bronchodilators, then COPD is very likely.

Bronchitis designates the inflammation of the bronchial tree evolving with an excessive mucus secretion. It is an acute or chronic condition caused by bacterial, fungal or viral infections but also by allergens especially smoking.

Is COPD a common condition? It is one of the commonest conditions that require hospital admission during period of flare-ups. According to one epidemiology study in the US, approximately eight million people have chronic bronchitis whereas 2 million people have emphysema. As we can see, chronic bronchitis is more common than emphysema.

Causes Pneumonia usually starts when you breathe the germs into your lungs. You may be more likely to get the disease after having a cold or the flu. These illnesses make it hard for your lungs to fight infection, so it is easier to get pneumonia. Having a long-term, or chronic, disease like asthma, heart disease, cancer, or diabetes also makes you more likely to get pneumonia.

This infectious disease may be caused by bacteria, fungi, protozoa or viruses, therefore it would be wrong to self-diagnose, much less self-medicate. The diseases' symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain, coughing, difficulty breathing, as well as fevers and chills with shaking. For individuals who develop pneumonia-like symptoms, it would be best to promptly consult with your doctor.

The Social Costs of Pneumonia It is estimated that around 40,000 elderly Americans die of pneumonia each year, so it's not an ordinary disease to simply shrug off. Other individuals at risk include those with alcoholism, cancer, cirrhosis, heart or kidney failure, sickle-cell disease, spleen, disorders or recent organ transplant patients.

Bacterial pneumonias tend to be the most serious and, in adults, the most common cause of pneumonia. The most common pneumonia-causing bacterium in adults is Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus).

How does smoking cause COPD? Smoking inadvertently damages the lining of the airways. As with any other part of the body in response to injury, inflammation occurs. Inflammation stimulates the damaged lining to secrete mucus in an abnormal amount and also causes the airway to constrict (narrow).

In lieu, of injections, it is also suggested that a patient take a mixture of Baikal skullcap and either of these herbs: barberry, goldthread, goldenseal, Oregon grape and/or yellowroot. Baikal skullcap may be quite hard to find in most herbal health shops and tores, however it's readily available in most Chinese herb stores.

A premature diagnoses and treatment might negatively influence the establishment of the symptoms. The most common treatment is based on antibiotics to combat infection and inhalers are meant to reduce coughing and wheezing. Oxygen therapy is given in severe cases to support breathing.

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