Tag Archives: Chronic bronchitis

Forget-me-nots

Botanical Name :Myosotis symphytifolia
Family: Boraginaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Genus:     Myosotis

Common Name :Forget-me-nots

Habitat :Forget-me-nots have various species.They are widely distributed. Many Myosotis species are endemic to New Zealand, although it is likely that the genus originated in the Northern Hemisphere. One or two European species, especially the wood forget-me-not, Myosotis sylvatica have been introduced into most of the temperate regions of Europe, Asia and the Americas. Myosotis scorpioides is also known as scorpion grass due to the spiraling curve of its inflorescence. Myosotis alpestris is the state flower of Alaska.

Description:
Forget-me-nots may be annual or perennial flowering plants. Their root systems are generally diffuse. Their seeds are found in small, tulip-shaped pods along the stem to the flower. The pods attach to clothing when brushed against and eventually fall off, leaving the small seed within the pod to germinate elsewhere. Seeds can be collected by putting a piece of paper under the stems and shaking them. The seed pods and some seeds will fall out.
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There are approximately 200 species in the genus, with much variation. Most have small, (1 cm diameter or less) flat, 5-lobed blue, pink or white flowers with yellow centers, growing on scorpioid cymes. They bloom in spring. Leaves are alternate. Popular in gardens, forget-me-nots prefer moist habitats and where they are not native, they have escaped to wetlands and riverbanks. They can tolerate partial sun and shade.

Medicinal Uses:
This plant has a strong affinity for the respiratory organs, especially the left lower lung. On the Continent it is sometimes made into a syrup and given for pulmonary affections. There is a tradition that a decoction or juice of the plant hardens steel.

In Homeopathy it is used for  Chronic bronchitis and phthisis. Night-sweats. Respiratory.–Cough with profuse muco-purulent expectoration, gagging and vomiting during cough; worse while or after eating. Bronchorrhœa. Pain in left lung (lower); painful while coughing and sensitive to percussion.

Other Uses:
Forget-me-nots are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including the setaceous Hebrew character.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/f/forget29.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forget-me-not

MYOSOTIS SYMPHYTIFOLIA

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Sputum

Definition:
Sputum is matter that is expelled from the respiratory tract, such as mucus or phlegm, mixed with saliva, which can then be spat from the mouth. It is usually associated with air passages in diseased lungs, bronchi, or upper respiratory tract and also a case of pneumonia.Common types of sputum are mucus and phlegm.

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It can be found to contain blood if a chronic cough is present, possibly from severe cases of tuberculosis.

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A sputum sample is the name given to the mucus that is coughed up from the lower airways. It is usually used for microbiological investigations of respiratory infections.

The best sputum samples contain very little saliva, as this contaminates the sample with oral bacteria. This event is assessed by the clinical microbiologist by examining a Gram stain of the sputum. More than 25 squamous epithelial cells at low enlargement indicates salivary contamination.

When a sputum specimen is plated out, it is best to get the portion of the sample that most looks like pus onto the swab. If there is any blood in the sputum, this should also be on the swab.


Microbiological sputum samples

Microbiological sputum samples are usually used to look for infections by Moraxella catarrhalis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae. Other pathogens can also be found.

Purulent Sputum is that containing, or consisting of, pus.
It is usually associated with air passages in diseased lungs, bronchi, or upper respiratory tract and also a case of pneumonia. It can be found to contain blood if a chronic cough is present, possibly from severe cases of tuberculosis. A sputum sample is the name given to the mucus that is coughed up from the lower airways. It is usually used for microbiological investigations of respiratory infections. The best sputum samples contain very little saliva, as this contaminates the sample with oral bacteria. This event is assessed by the clinical microbiologist by examining a Gram stain of the sputum. More than 25 squamous epithelial cells at low enlargement indicates salivary contamination. When a sputum specimen is plated out, it is best to get the portion of the sample that most looks like pus onto the swab. If there is any blood in the sputum, this should also be on the swab.

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Sputum can be:

1.Bloody (often found in tuberculosis) (Hemoptysis)

2.Rusty colored – usually caused by pneumococcal bacteria (in pneumonia)

3.Purulent – containing pus. The color can provide hints as to effective treatment in Chronic Bronchitis Patients:-
……………..I) a yellow-greenish (mucopurulent) color suggests that treatment with antibiotics can reduce symptoms. Green color is caused by Neutrophil Myeloperoxidase.
…………….II)a white, milky, or opaque (mucoid) appearance often means that antibiotics will be ineffective in treating symptoms. (This information may correlate with the presence of bacterial or viral infections, though current research does not support that generalization.)

4.Foamy white – may come from obstruction or even Edema

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sputum
http://www.righthealth.com/topic/Sputum

http://forsah.net/medical/en/image/Sputum

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/imagepages/9945.htm

Emphysema

Definition:-

Emphysema is a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) involving damage to the air sacs (alveoli) in the lungs. As a result, your body does not get the oxygen it needs. Emphysema makes it hard to catch your breath. You may also have a chronic cough and have trouble breathing during exercise.

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The most common cause is cigarette smoking. If you smoke, quitting can help prevent you from getting the disease. If you already have emphysema, not smoking might keep it from getting worse.

It is  characterized by an abnormal, permanent enlargement of air spaces distal to the terminal bronchioles. The disease is coupled with the destruction of walls, but without obvious fibrosis.  It is often caused by exposure to toxic chemicals, including long-term exposure to tobacco smoke.

As it worsens, emphysema turns the spherical air sacs — clustered like bunches of grapes — into large, irregular pockets with gaping holes in their inner walls. This reduces the number of air sacs and keeps some of the oxygen entering your lungs from reaching your bloodstream. In addition, the elastic fibers that hold open the small airways leading to the air sacs are slowly destroyed, so that they collapse when you breathe out, not letting the air in your lungs escape.

Airway obstruction, another feature of COPD, contributes to emphysema. The combination of emphysema and obstructed airways makes breathing increasingly difficult. Treatment often slows, but doesn’t reverse, the process.

Emphysema is characterized by loss of elasticity (increased pulmonary compliance) of the lung tissue caused by destruction of structures feeding the alveoli, in some cases owing to the action of alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency.

Classification:-
Emphysema can be classified into primary and secondary. However, it is more commonly classified by location.

Emphysema can be subdivided into panacinary and centroacinary (or panacinar and centriacinar, or centrilobular and panlobular).

Panacinary (or panlobular) emphysema is related to the destruction of alveoli, because of an inflammation or deficiency of alpha 1-antitrypsin. It is found more in young adults who do not have chronic bronchitis.

Centroacinary (or centrilobular) emphysema is due to destruction of terminal bronchioli muchosis, due to chronic bronchitis. This is found mostly in elderly people with a long history of smoking or extreme cases of passive smoking.
Other types include distal acinar and irregular.

A special type is congenital lobar emphysema (CLE).

Congenital lobar emphysema:-
CLE is results in overexpansion of a pulmonary lobe and resultant compression of the remaining lobes of the ipsilateral lung, and possibly also the contralateral lung. There is bronchial narrowing because of weakened or absent bronchial cartilage.

There may be congenital extrinsic compression, commonly by an abnormally large pulmonary artery. This causes malformation of bronchial cartilage, making them soft and collapsible.

CLE is potentially reversible, yet possibly life-threatening, causing respiratory distress in the neonate

Symptoms:
Emphysema symptoms are mild to begin with but steadily get worse as the disease progresses. The main emphysema symptoms are:

*Shortness of breath
*Wheezing
*Chest tightness
*Reduced capacity for physical activity
*Chronic coughing, which could also indicate chronic bronchitis
*Loss of appetite and weight
*Fatigue
When to see a doctor

*You tire quickly, or you can’t easily do the things you used to do
*You can’t breathe well enough to tolerate even moderate exercise
*Your breathing difficulty worsens when you have a cold
*Your lips or fingernails are blue or gray, indicating low oxygen in your blood
*You frequently cough up yellow or greenish sputum
*You note that bending over to tie your shoes makes you short of breath
*You are losing weight.

These signs and symptoms don’t necessarily mean you have emphysema, but they do indicate that your lungs aren’t working properly and should be evaluated by your doctor as soon as possible.

Causes:
The causes of emphysema include:

1.Smoking. Cigarette smoke is by far the most common cause of emphysema. There are more than 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, including secondhand smoke. These chemical irritants slowly destroy the small peripheral airways, the elastic air sacs and their supporting elastic fibers.

2.Protein deficiency. Approximately 1 to 2 percent of people with emphysema have an inherited deficiency of a protein called AAt, which protects the elastic structures in the lungs. Without this protein, enzymes can cause progressive lung damage, eventually resulting in emphysema. If you’re a smoker with a lack of AAt, emphysema can begin in your 30s and 40s. The progression and severity of the disease are greatly accelerated by smoking.

Risk Factors:

Risk factors for emphysema include:

*Smoking. Emphysema is most likely to develop in cigarette smokers, but cigar and pipe smokers also are susceptible, and the risk for all types of smokers increases with the number of years and amount of tobacco smoked.

*Age. Although the lung damage that occurs in emphysema develops gradually, most people with tobacco-related emphysema begin to experience symptoms of the disease between the ages of 40 and 60.

*Exposure to secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke, also known as passive or environmental tobacco smoke, is smoke that you inadvertently inhale from someone else’s cigarette, pipe or cigar. Being around secondhand smoke increases your risk of emphysema.

*Occupational exposure to fumes or dust. If you breathe fumes from certain chemicals or dust from grain, cotton, wood or mining products, you’re more likely to develop emphysema. This risk is even greater if you smoke.

*Exposure to indoor and outdoor pollution. Breathing indoor pollutants, such as fumes from heating fuel, as well as outdoor pollutants — car exhaust, for instance — increases your risk of emphysema.

*HIV infection. Smokers living with HIV are at greater risk of emphysema than are smokers who don’t have HIV infection.

*Connective tissue disorders. Some conditions that affect connective tissue — the fibers that provide the framework and support for your body — are associated with emphysema. These conditions include cutis laxa, a rare disease that causes premature aging, and Marfan syndrome, a disorder that affects many different organs, especially the heart, eyes, skeleton and lungs.

Complications:-
Emphysema can increase the severity of other chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart failure. If you have emphysema, air pollution or a respiratory infection can lead to an acute COPD exacerbation, with extreme shortness of breath and dangerously low oxygen levels. You may need admission to an intensive care unit and temporary support from an artificial breathing machine (ventilator) until the infection clears.

Pathophysiology:-
In normal breathing, air is drawn in through the bronchi and into the alveoli, which are tiny sacs surrounded by capillaries. Alveoli absorb oxygen and then transfer it into the blood. When toxicants, such as cigarette smoke, are breathed into the lungs, the harmful particles become trapped in the alveoli, causing a localized inflammatory response. Chemicals released during the inflammatory response (e.g., elastase) can eventually cause the alveolar septum to disintegrate. This condition, known as septal rupture, leads to significant deformation of the lung architecture. These deformations result in a large decrease of alveoli surface area used for gas exchange. This results in a decreased Transfer Factor of the Lung for Carbon Monoxide (TLCO). To accommodate the decreased surface area, thoracic cage expansion (barrel chest) and diaphragm contraction (flattening) take place. Expiration increasingly depends on the thoracic cage and abdominal muscle action, particularly in the end expiratory phase. Due to decreased ventilation, the ability to exude carbon dioxide is significantly impaired. In the more serious cases, oxygen uptake is also impaired.

As the alveoli continue to break down, hyperventilation is unable to compensate for the progressively shrinking surface area, and the body is not able to maintain high enough oxygen levels in the blood. The body’s last resort is vasoconstricting appropriate vessels. This leads to pulmonary hypertension, which places increased strain on the right side of the heart, the side responsible for pumping deoxygenated blood to the lungs. The heart muscle thickens in order to pump more blood. This condition is often accompanied by the appearance of jugular venous distension. Eventually, as the heart continues to fail, it becomes larger and blood backs up in the liver.

Patients with alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency (A1AD) are more likely to suffer from emphysema. A1AD allows inflammatory enzymes (such as elastase) to destroy the alveolar tissue. Most A1AD patients do not develop clinically significant emphysema, but smoking and severely decreased A1AT levels (10-15%) can cause emphysema at a young age. The type of emphysema caused by A1AD is known as panacinar emphysema (involving the entire acinus) as opposed to centrilobular emphysema, which is caused by smoking. Panacinar emphysema typically affects the lower lungs, while centrilobular emphysema affects the upper lungs. A1AD causes about 2% of all emphysema. Smokers with A1AD are at the greatest risk for emphysema. Mild emphysema can often develop into a severe case over a short period of time (1–2 weeks).

Pathogenesis
Severe emphysemaWhile A1AD provides some insight into the pathogenesis of the disease, hereditary A1AT deficiency only accounts for a small proportion of the disease. Studies for the better part of the past century have focused mainly upon the putative role of leukocyte elastase (also neutrophil elastase), a serine protease found in neutrophils, as a primary contributor to the connective tissue damage seen in the disease. This hypothesis, a result of the observation that neutrophil elastase is the primary substrate for A1AT, and A1AT is the primary inhibitor of neutrophil elastase, together have been known as the “protease-antiprotease” theory, implicating neutrophils as an important mediator of the disease. However, more recent studies have brought into light the possibility that one of the many other numerous proteases, especially matrix metalloproteases might be equally or more relevant than neutrophil elastase in the development of non-hereditary emphysema.

The better part of the past few decades of research into the pathogenesis of emphysema involved animal experiments where various proteases were instilled into the trachea of various species of animals. These animals developed connective tissue damage, which was taken as support for the protease-antiprotease theory. However, just because these substances can destroy connective tissue in the lung, as anyone would be able to predict, doesn’t establish causality. More recent experiments have focused on more technologically advanced approaches, such as ones involving genetic manipulation. One particular development with respect to our understanding of the disease involves the production of protease “knock-out” animals, which are genetically deficient in one or more proteases, and the assessment of whether they would be less susceptible to the development of the disease. Often individuals who are unfortunate enough to contract this disease have a very short life expectancy, often 0–3 years at most.

Prognosis and treatment

Emphysema is an irreversible degenerative condition. The most important measure to slow its progression is for the patient to stop smoking and avoid all exposure to cigarette smoke and lung irritants. Pulmonary rehabilitation can be very helpful to optimize the patient’s quality of life and teach the patient how to actively manage his or her care. Patients with emphysema and chronic bronchitis can do more for themselves than patients with any other disabling disease.

Emphysema is also treated by supporting the breathing with anticholinergics, bronchodilators, steroid medication (inhaled or oral), and supplemental oxygen as required. Treating the patient’s other conditions including gastric reflux and allergies may improve lung function. Supplemental oxygen used as prescribed (usually more than 20 hours per day) is the only non-surgical treatment which has been shown to prolong life in emphysema patients. There are lightweight portable oxygen systems which allow patients increased mobility. Patients can fly, cruise, and work while using supplemental oxygen. Other medications are being researched, and herbal organic remedies are being offered by companies.

Lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) can improve the quality of life for certain carefully selected patients. It can be done by different methods, some of which are minimally invasive. In July 2006 a new treatment, placing tiny valves in passages leading to diseased lung areas, was announced to have good results, but 7% of patients suffered partial lung collapse. The only known “cure” for emphysema is lung transplant, but few patients are strong enough physically to survive the surgery. The combination of a patient’s age, oxygen deprivation and the side-effects of the medications used to treat emphysema cause damage to the kidneys, heart and other organs. Transplants also require the patient to take an anti-rejection drug regimen which suppresses the immune system, and so can lead to microbial infection of the patient. Patients who think they may have contracted the disease are recommended to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

A study published by the European Respiratory Journal suggests that tretinoin (an anti-acne drug commercially available as Retin-A) derived from vitamin A can reverse the effects of emphysema in mice by returning elasticity (and regenerating lung tissue through gene mediation) to the alveoli.

While vitamin A consumption is not known to be an effective treatment or prevention for the disease, this research could in the future lead to a cure. A follow-up study done in 2006 found inconclusive results (“no definitive clinical benefits”) using Vitamin A (retinoic acid) in treatment of emphysema in humans and stated that further research is needed to reach conclusions on this treatment…..click & see

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Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emphysema
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/emphysema/DS00296

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Bronchitis

numbered version of :Image:Respiratory system ...

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This generally temporary illness often develops after a cold or the flu. However, for about 5% of Americans (mostly smokers), bronchitis is a serious, recurring disease. Acute and chronic symptoms are similar and may be effectively relieved with the use of certain supplements.

Symptoms
Cough that produces white, yellow, or green phlegm.
Low fever (100 F or less).
Coarse breath sounds (called rhonchi) that change or disappear when coughing.
Chest muscle pain from coughing.

When to Call Your Doctor
If a persistent cough interferes with your sleep or compromises your daily activities.
If mucus becomes darker or thicker or increases significantly in volume.
If your fever is above 100F.
If your breathing becomes increasingly difficult or if you cough up blood.
If your symptoms last more than 48 hours.
Reminder: If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor before taking supplements.

What It Is ....click & see the pictures
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the windpipe and bronchial tubes, the large airways that lead to the lungs. These airways swell and thicken, paralyzing the cilia, the tiny hairs that line the respiratory tract and sweep away dust and germs. Mucus builds up, resulting in a cough.
There are two types of bronchitis: acute and chronic. Acute is marked by a slight fever that lasts for a few days and a cough that goes away after several weeks. In chronic bronchitis, a hacking cough along with discolored phlegm persists for several months and may disappear and recur.

There are two types of bronchitis: acute and chronic. Acute is marked by a slight fever that lasts for a few days and a cough that goes away after several weeks. In chronic bronchitis, a hacking cough along with discolored phlegm persists for several months and may disappear and recur.

What Causes It
Acute bronchitis frequently follows a cold or the flu, though it can also result from a bacterial infection or exposure to chemical fumes. Chronic bronchitis occurs when the lungs have been irritated for a long time. The primary cause of chronic bronchitis is cigarette smoking. People with long-term exposure to secondhand smoke, workers routinely exposed to chemical fumes, and individuals with chronic allergies are also susceptible.

How Supplements Can Help
Supplements can help strengthen your body’s immune response and also stimulate its normal process of loosening and bringing up phlegm. The supplements for acute bronchitis should be taken only while you are ill. Those for chronic bronchitis require long-term use.
The following vitamins should be used daily. Vitamin C is particularly helpful in fighting off viruses that attack the respiratory system. Take it coupled with powerful antioxidants called flavonoids (or bioflavonoids), which are natural antivirals and anti-inflammatories. Vitamin A is also important for immune health. In chronic bronchitis, both vitamins assist in the healing of damaged lung tissue.

For an acute attack, drink horehound tea to help thin mucus secretions. Or use the herb slippery elm in place of horehound if you prefer. The amino acid-like substance NAC (N-acetylcysteine) also thins mucus and has been reported to reduce the recurrence rate of bronchitis.

The herbs echinacea and astragalus have antibacterial, antiviral, and immune-strengthening properties. At the higher doses, they can be used to fight off acute bronchitis. For chronic or seasonal bronchitis, try taking the following herbs in rotation: echinacea (200 mg twice a day), astragalus (200 mg twice a day), pau d’arco (250 mg twice a day), and 1,500 mg of reishi or 600 mg of maitake mushrooms a day. Use one herb for one week, then switch to another; continue this cycle as long as needed.

What Else You Can Do
Quit smoking — and avoid situations where others smoke.
Drink plenty of fluids, such as diluted fruit juices and herbal teas. Dehydration can cause mucus to become thick and difficult to cough up.
Eliminate the use of aerosol products (hair sprays, deodorants, and insecticides), which can irritate airway passages.
Stay indoors when the air quality is poor if you have chronic bronchitis.
When suffering from bronchitis, people often have difficulty breathing while they’re eating. So try to avoid foods that are hard to chew, such as meats and raw vegetables.
Avoid antihistamines and decongestants, which won’t help alleviate lung symptoms and may actually make your condition worse. That’s because these drugs can dry up and thicken mucus, making it more difficult for you to cough up.


Supplement Recommendations

Vitamin C/Flavonoids
Vitamin A
Horehound
NAC
Echinacea
Astragalus

Vitamin C/Flavonoids
Dosage: 1,000 mg vitamin C and 500 mg flavonoids 3 times a day.
Comments: Reduce vitamin C dose if diarrhea develops.

Vitamin A
Dosage: 25,000 IU a day for 1 month.
Comments: Women who are pregnant or considering pregnancy should not exceed 5,000 IU a day.

Horehound
Dosage: As a tea, 3 or 4 cups a day.
Comments: Use 1 or 2 tsp. per cup of hot water; add honey to taste.

NAC
Dosage: 500 mg (acute) or 250 mg (chronic) 3 times a day.
Comments: Take between meals. For long-term use, add 30 mg zinc and 2 mg copper daily.

Echinacea
Dosage: 200 mg 4 times daily (acute) or twice a day (chronic).
Comments: Standardized to contain 3.5% echinacosides.

Astragalus

Dosage: 200 mg 4 times daily (acute) or twice a day (chronic).
Comments: Supplying 0.5% glucosides and 70% polysaccharides.
Source:Your Guide to Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs

Click for herbal cure & Home remedies for BRONCHITIS

Click to learn more about Acute Bronchitis and its Ayurvedic Remedy

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.