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Pneumonia

Pneumonia

Description

Pneumonia is not a specific disease but rather a general term for several forms of lung inflammation. Pneumonia can be a mild to life-threatening acute infection of the alveolar spaces of the upper respiratory tract. This area is normally free of bacteria and other microbes.

The symptoms, affect, treatment, and prognosis of pneumonia depend on the cause and the part involved; the best classification theme is determined by the names of the cause and part affected.

Viral pneumonia refers to infection by a virus. Viral pneumonia constitutes 75% of all acute pulmonary infections; it is also the most serious since antibiotics are ineffective as treatment.

Bronchopneumonia is the patchy inflammation of one or both lungs involving the alveoli, which are contiguous with the bronchi.

Lobar pneumonia occurs when the entire area of one or more lobes of a lung is affected.

15 of every 1,000 individuals in the United States contract pneumonia each year, most commonly those under two and over 45. Some causes of pneumonia can kill an unhealthy individual within 24 hours, while others cause symptoms no worse than those of a cold.

Recovery also varies among individuals. In healthy, younger persons recovery may take only two or three weeks; in smokers or other less healthy individuals it may take much longer or result in fatality.

Pneumonia is often the final complication of another disease. Consequently, it is a common cause of death.

The best treatment for this non-infectious form is to respond with care as though the malady were a serious cold. A doctor should be sought if the chest hurts while breathing, blood is coughed up, or if there is shortness of breath, especially while lying down.

Home or hospital treatment may involve soothing cough medicines, warmth, analgesics, oxygen ventilation, and antibiotics.

Hospitalization may be required to provide professional supervision since, in some cases, pneumonia becomes extremely serious in a matter of hours.

Causes

Primary Factors
Five of the most common causes of pneumonia are lung infection due to:

Influenza virus
Other viruses
Mycoplasma
Pneumococcus bacterium
Legionnaires' disease bacterium

Other microbes which cause pneumonia are:

Staphylococci
Protozoa
Rickettsiae
Fungi


Predisposing Factors
Direct or indirect contact with carriers
Bite of an infected deer-fly or tick
Handling infected laboratory animals

Low resistance to infection due to:
Pulmonary congestion
Malnutrition
Recent travel
General anesthesia
Cranial trauma
Seizures
Debilitating loss or diminished cough reflex to clear lungs of stagnant fluid due to such
things as:
Semiconsciousness
Paralysis
Coma
Use of immunosuppressive or anti-inflammatory drugs, especially steroids.
Leukopenia
Hypostasis
Foreign matter in the lungs
Chemical damage to the lungs, especially poisonous gas and chlorine
Dying of heart failure
Cancer
Stroke
Smoking
Chronic bronchitis
Asthma
Acute or chronic alcoholism
Aging
Common cold
Bronchial tumor
Drug abuse
Pulmonary edema
Cystic fibrosis
Thoracic cage deformities
Neuromuscular disease

Signs & Symptoms

No single symptom is characteristic of all types of pneumonia. The severity, quickness of onset, and which individual symptoms are most prominent vary with the cause of infection. The most common symptoms are:

The individual was already suffering from a respiratory infection
Dry, hacking cough
Fever
Dyspnea
Production of sputum
Chest pains

Other common symptoms are:

Productive coughAccelerated pulse
Blood in the phlegmAnorexia
ChillsPleurisy
SweatingAbdominal distention
MyalgiaCyanosis
HeadacheBoils (Staphylococcus pneumonia)
NauseaAbscesses (Staphylococcus pneumonia)
MalaiseConvulsions
VomitingMental confusion
DiarrheaDelirium



Nutritional Supplements

Structure & Function:
        Immune System Support &
        Antioxidants


---------------------------------
General Supplements
---------------------------------

AdultChild/Adolescent
Beta-carotene 10 - 15 mg 5 - 10 mg
Vitamin C2,000 - 6,000 mg2,000 - 6,000 mg
Vitamin E 400 - 800 IU 200 - 400 IU



Note: All amounts are in addition to those supplements having a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Due to individual needs, one must always be aware of a possible undetermined effect when taking nutritional supplements. If any disturbances from the use of a particular supplement should occur, stop its use immediately and seek the care of a qualified health care professional.


Dietary Considerations

It is important that the individual suffering from pneumonia obtain enough calories to compensate for the amount expended in fighting the infection. An Immune Strengthening Diet consisting of soft, easy to chew foods, and a generous amount of fluids to mobilize mucus secretions are indicated.

Homeopathic Remedy

1.* Lobelia inflata - 30C
2. Carbo vegetabilis - 30C
3. Sulphurosum acidum - 30C
4.* Antimonium tartaricum tinct. - 30C

Broncho - Pneumonia

1. Squilla maritima 3C to 15C - slow acting especially good in the aged
2. Verbascum (mullein) 6X
3.* Tuberculinum - 30C especially active in children

Treatment Schedule

Doses cited are to be administered on a 3X daily schedule, unless otherwise indicated. Dose usually continued for 2 weeks. Liquid preparations usually use 8-10 drops per dose. Solid preps are usually 3 pellets per dose. Children use 1/2 dose.

Legend

X = 1 to 10 dilution - weak (triturition)
C = 1 to 100 dilution - weak (potency)
M = 1 to 1 million dilution (very strong)
X or C underlined means it is most useful potency

Asterisk (*) = Primary remedy. Means most necessary remedy. There may be more than one remedy - if so, use all of them.


References

Boericke, D.E., 1988. Homeopathic Materia Medica.

Coulter, C.R., 1986. Portraits of Homeopathic Medicines.

Kent, J.T., 1989. Repertory of the Homeopathic Materia Medica.

Koehler, G., 1989. Handbook of Homeopathy.

Shingale, J.N., 1992. Bedside Prescriber.

Smith, Trevor, 1989. Homeopathic Medicine.

Ullman, Dana, 1991. The One Minute (or so) Healer.

Tissue Salts

Ferr. Phos.Early stages;
Kali Mur.primary remedy, thick, white expectorant;
Kali Sulf.loose phlegm, or watery mucus;
Natrum Mur.clear, frothy expectorant;


Herbal Approaches

----------
Herbs
-----------


Borage
Garlic plant
Mullein
Yarrow

Dr. Christopher's Formula:

Capsicum
Lobelia

Note: The misdirected use of an herb can produce severely adverse effects, especially in combination with prescription drugs. This Herbal information is for educational purposes and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice.

Aromatherapy - Essential Oils

Respiratory problems:

Basil Essence,Benzoin Essence,
Cedarwood Essence,Eucalyptus Essence,
Frankincense Essence,Oregano Essence,
Peppermint Essence,Rosemary Essence,
Sandalwood Essence,Thyme Essence.



Infection:

Cinnamon Essence,Clove Essence,
Oregano Essence,Rose Essence.



Related Health Conditions

There are many conditions related to pneumonia, some of which are:

AbscessDrug abuse
AgingEdema
AidsFever
AlcoholismHeadaches
AsthmaHeart failure
BoilInfection
BronchitisNeuromuscular disease
CancerPain
Cerebrovascular diseaseSmoking
ColdStroke
CoughTumor
Cystic fibrosisVomiting
Diarrhea



Abstracts

References

Berkow, R. 1977. The Merck Manual. Merck Sharp and Dohme Research Laboratories Pub., Rahway, New Jersey. 2165 pp.

Bland, Jeffrey. Nutraerobics. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1983.

Bland, Jeffrey. Medical Applications of Clinical Nutrition. New Canaan, Conn.: Keats, 1983.

Bridges, A. J.: Minocycline-Induced Pneumonia., Annals of Internal Medicine, May 1, 1993;118(9):749-750.

Goldbaum, J.S. Vitamin C in the Use of Megascorbate Therapy in General Medicine. Austalas Nurses Journal, 11. 1982.

Hamilton, H.K. ed. 1982. Professional Guide To Diseases Intermed Communications Inc. Pub, Springfield, Massachusetts. 1323 pp.

Hansson LO et al., Sequential changes of inflammatory and nutritional markers in patients with community-acquired pneumonia. Scand J Clin Lab Invest, 1997 Apr, 57:2, 111-8.

Hedlund J et al., Short- and long-term prognosis for middle-aged and elderly patients hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia: impact of nutritional and inflammatory factors. Scand J Infect Dis, 1995, 27:1, 32-7.

Kaiser JD & Donegan E: Complementary therapies in HIV disease. Altern Ther Health Med, 1996 Jul, 2:4, 42-6.

Kirschmann, J.D. 1990. Nutrition Almanac: Nutrition Search. McGrew-Hill: New York.

Kunz, J.R.M. 1982. The American Medical Association Family Medical Guide. Random House Pub, New York. 832 pp.

Nockels, C.F. Protective Effectives of Supplemental Vitamin E Against Infection. Federation Proceedings, 38. 1979.

Robbins, S.L. & R.S. Cotran. 1979. Pathologic Basis of Disease. 2nd ed. Saunders Pub Co., Philadelphia. 1598 pp.

Petersdorf, R.G. & R.D. Adams. 1983. Harrison's Principles Of Internal Medicine. 10th ed. McGraw Hill Pub Co., New York. 2212

Stephensen CB et al., Vitamin A is excreted in the urine during acute infection. Am J Clin Nutr, 1994 Sep, 60:3, 388-92.

Thomas, W.R. & P.G. Holt. Vitamin C and Immunity. Clinical And Experimental Immunology, 32, 1978.

Wharton BA et al., Food and microbiological problems in the newborn: data and practice. Acta Paediatr Suppl, 1994 Dec, 405:, 29-34.

Woo J et al., Nutritional status of elderly patients during recovery from chest infection and the role of nutritional supplementation assessed by a prospective randomized single-blind trial. Age Ageing, 1994 Jan, 23:1, 40-8.

 


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