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Bronchitis Is A Beauty Buster

A large component of being beautiful is psychological.  When you feel great on all levels, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically, you feel beautiful.  When any parts of your life are out of kilter, you may be preoccupied and less like to have that beauty buzz.  Feeling physically off is definitely a beauty blocker.

How can you feel pretty if your eyes and nose are runny, you have chapped nostrils from constant nose blowing or you are wheezing and coughing?  Good points right?

One beauty buster is bronchitis which can become chronic and cause all types of physical challenges from a nagging cough and headaches to other more serious symptoms.

There are two basically two categories of bronchitis (I've had both) and they include Acute and Chronic Bronchitis:

1.  Acute Bronchitis - often caused by the secondary infection of the bronchial tubes as a result of either a virus or bacteria which may or may not first be triggered by a primary infection by means of a common cold (coryza) or flu virus (influenza).

While acute bronchitis can be challenging for adults because if not handled properly, can drag on for weeks.  It can be especially dangerous for young children, anyone with a depressed immune system or older adults with poor health.   Because Bronchitis can be either viral or bacterial, it can attack the body's normal defense mechanisms and cause additional health complications. 


2.  Chronic bronchitis is caused by a prolonged irritation of the bronchial tubes or bronchial epithelium by such things as smoke, environmental toxins or other factors.  Chronic bronchitis can last anywhere from three months up to a couple of years.  The length can depend on a wide range of factors from the basic overall health of the patient and chronic exposure to smoke of other toxins.  Chronic bronchitis may sometimes be related to a smokers cough.

General Bronchitis Symptoms

The Symptoms for both the Acute and the Chronic types of bronchitis include as a general rule the following:

Coughing up extra mucus, sometimes with blood

Inflamation of the bronchus (lower trachea)

Hardening (oedema) of the smooth muscle

Blockage of the alvola

Wheezing (bubbling - refered to as "bubble wrap effect" when heard with stethescope)

Difficulty breathing (due to above symptoms)

Blocked/Runny nose with tender skin and redness

Swollen or runny eyes

Secondary symptoms related to bronchitis include


Persistent nasuea

Headache

Exhaustion

General achiness

Muscle spasms in the chest (from chronic coughing)

Insomnia

Moodiness


How To Beat Bronchisis Before It Busts Your Beauty Bubble

Obviously having a chronic cough, feeling exhausted, not sleeping and having a runny nose can definitely make you feel yucky and not very pretty.  The key to busting bronchitis is to try and avoid getting it.  Chronic Bronchitis often can be prevent by either stopping smoking (yes, I know that can be difficult but its worth the effort) or avoiding places that are naturally smokey (some bars, restaurants or a smoker's lounge).  If you live with a smoker ask them to consider smoking away from you when possible.  Also, if you can avoid other environmental toxins, try to do so.

Bronchitis which results from a cold of the flu is a little trickier to avoid.  However, once you do get it, the key is to try and get rid of it as quickly as possible.  Although doctors do disagree, some believe that bronchitis is contagious and if you are around someone who has it, you are more likely to get it.  Which means if a family member has it, be extra careful to avoid direct contact with them or their clothing.  When possible have them sleep in an isolate location to avoid inhaling any germs that might be on droplets that are expelled from their mouth when they cough.

Once you have either type of bronchitis consider the following steps:


1.  Consult your physician to get a diagnosis. Whether you have acute or chronic bronchitis, its helpful to see your doctor.  Some forms of bronchitis respond to antibiotics, others do not.  Your physician could advise you on that.  If you have a weakened immune system or other health conditions it is especially important to consult with your doctor on proper diagnosis and treatment.

2.  Hot Moist Air Can Sometimes Help. Whether you use a humidifier or a steam shower, keeping the lungs moist and lubricated helps get rid of some of the troublemaking mucus which clogs the lungs and makes breathing difficult.

3.  Pump Up Your Cs.  Whether you feel a cold or flu coming on, which could ultimately lead to bronchitis, be sure to pump up your Vitamin C consumption.  Some recent studies have also shown that some people are more suspectible to colds and flus when their body is deficient in other vitamins as well.  Specifically Vitamin A, B and D.  When in doubt do your research and if concerned about the safely of dosages always talk with your physican.

4.  Dodge smoke and other air borne toxins.  This is true especially when you have a cold, flu or feel one coming on.  If the body is already fighting an infection of any kind, breathing in additional contaminants will only put more strain on the lungs and make them more suspectible to developing bronchitis.

5.  Getting good sleep is important. Sleeping when a persistant cough, wheezing or other lung challenges exist can be a major challenge.  Consider taking a nightly cough suppressant so that you can sleep through the night.  Experiment with propping yourself up in bed so you can breath better through the night.  When I have bronchitis I find that I sleep restfully when I am propped up with multiple pillows making nighttime breathing easier.

6.  Skip unnecessary medications. Unless your physican specifically prescribes antibiotics or other medications, avoid taking drugs that might cause more harm than good and cause additional stress on your body's kidneys or liver.

7.  Cut Caffeine Temporarily.  In some cases cafeine can worsen bronchitis symptoms.  If you don't want to go into caffeine withdrawal consider switching temporarily to decaf products which still has a little caffeine or drink hot teas.  Alternate with herbal teas, especially those designed to help with breathing.

8.  Drinkg lots of liquids. Drinking more water and other healthy liquids will help flush the virus from your body.

When You Should Be Concerned

Acute Bronchitis caused by the movement of a cold or flu into the bronchial tubes usually will clear up in 10 days or so.  If you are still having major problems after 10 days and have the following symptoms you may wish to have more extensive medical testing done:

Persistant fever

Feeling of overwhelming exhaution

Difficult breathing when lying down

Swollen feet

Coughing up blood or other bad tasting liquids

Wheezing or coughing during regular daily activities

For more information on bronchitis refer to Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bronchitis or ask your primary physican for reliable research sources.  Although the Web can be a good source of information keep in mind that there can be danger of misinformation.  When in doubt always talk to your medical expert.

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