What is Pneumonia?
A health article about Pneumonia from Your Health Online the A to Z directory of dealing with Health Problems & nutritional Self Care Strategies
This is an inflammation of the lungs that's usually caused by infection with bacteria, viruses, fungi or other organisms. Pneumonia is a particular concern for older adults and people with chronic illnesses or impaired immune systems, but it can also strike young, healthy people. Worldwide, it's a leading cause of death in children.
There are many kinds of the infection ranging in seriousness from mild to life-threatening. If it is acquired while in the hospital can be particularly virulent and deadly. Although signs and symptoms vary, many cases of pneumonia develop suddenly, with chest pain, fever, chills, cough and shortness of breath. Infection often follows a cold or the flu, but it can also be associated with other illnesses or occur on its own.
The most common two types of pneumonia are lobar pneumonia and bronchopneumonia They, however, run into each other and are treated in the same way.
becomes more serious if both the lungs are affected. It is called double pneumonia in common
Although antibiotics can treat some of the most common forms of bacterial pneumonias, antibiotic-resistant strains are a growing problem. For that reason, and because the disease can be very serious, it's best to try to prevent infection in the first place.
Signs & Symptoms of Pneumonia
Most cases of pneumonia begin with a cold in the head or throat. The patient generally feels
chill, shivering, difficulty in breathing and sharp pain in the chest. This may be followed by a
cough with pinkish sputum which may later become brownish.
The patient usually suffers from
fever and headache. In more serious cases of pneumonia, the sputum may be of rusty colour. In
your children, the disease may cause delirium and convulsions.
Most patients feel very miserable
and sweat profusely. The temperature may rise to 105 o F and pulse may go up to 150 beats per
minutes. A common complication of all kinds of pneumonia is pleurisy.
Types of Pneumonia
There are basically two types of pneumonia, called lobar pneumonia and bronchopneumonia.
What Causes Pneumonia?
Pneumonia is caused by various types of germs such as streptococus, staphyloccus and
pneunococcus variety. At times, certain viruses are also responsible for the disease.
causes of diseases are fungal infection, irritation by worms, inhaling foreign matter, irritant dust
or noxious gases and vapours such as ammonia, nitrogen dioxide or cadmium.
The real cause of pneumonia , however, is the toxic condition of the body, especially of the lungs
and air passages, resulting from wrong feeding and faulty life style.
Persons with healthy tissues
and strong vital force are unlikely to catch pneumonia. It is only when the system is clogged with
the toxic matter and the vitality is low that the germs of pneumonia invade a person.
Pneumonia in Children:
Pneumonia is the infection of the either one lung or both. When both the lungs get infected it is known as double pneumonia. When the pneumonia is mild enough that the visit to the doctor can be avoided and the child can carry out daily activities normally, it is known as walking pneumonia.
The lungs are an important part of the respiratory system. The air which is breathed in contains oxygen, which is filtered by the lungs. This oxygen then is carried around the body with the help of blood which is passed from the breathing tubes by the alveoli.
Capillaries or the minute blood vessels are surrounded by small air sacs known as alveoli. There are over six hundred million alveoli in the human body.
The air which is taken in is supplied to the alveoli; the oxygen extracted from the air is dissolved in the blood. Then it is the job of the red blood cells to distribute the oxygen to all the body parts.
Oxygen is vital in the proper functioning of the human body and insufficient supply of oxygen can damage the organs and sometimes can be life threatening. This functioning is disturbed when the lungs get infected by pneumonia.
Pneumonia does not allow the lungs to function properly, because the infection produces fluid which obstructs the alveoli. In turn the oxygen does not penetrate deep inside the lungs and lesser oxygen is supplied to the blood. The breathing is affected and the condition worsens when both the lungs get infected with pneumonia.
People of all ages from infants to old could get affected with pneumonia. It is a myth among people that getting wet makes the person catch pneumonia. But it is actually the virus or the bacteria which causes the infection.
When a person infected with flu or cold faces a deterioration in his/her condition, he/she can be infected with pneumonia. This happens because the irritation caused by the flu or cold helps the pneumonia germs to get into the lungs easily and move around to spread the infection.
The virus or bacteria which cause pneumonia can cause damages, whose severity can depend on the health of the child. If the infection is caused by bacteria, the child will get sick very soon and can get high temperature fever accompanied with chills.
Pneumonia caused by virus develops very slowly and it takes longer time to go away. The child can also experiences cough, chest pain, headache, and or muscle ache.
It can also make it difficult to breath, so the child will start to breath faster which may make him cough out gloppy mucus. The child would have to totally abstain from eating.
When given the right treatment, the child can recover fully. The doctor will first examine the heartbeat and breathing with the help of the stethoscope. The stethoscope also helps to check the lungs, the sounds made by the lungs help to determine if it contains any fluids.
Sounds such as crackling or bubbling are indications of pneumonia.
Chest X-ray will be taken too. White patchy area will show fluid buildup. By looking at the X-ray, the doctor can also determine whether the infection is caused by bacteria or virus.
If it is caused by bacteria, antibiotics will be prescribed. And if it is difficult for the child to swallow the medicine or to retain it inside, he/she will be injected with IV fluid.
And if virus is responsible for the infection, antibiotics won’t work. Fever reducers, along with cough medicine, will be given in this case. The medicines will be of no use, if the child doesn’t take adequate rest and plenty of liquids.
Shots can be taken to prevent pneumonia. These series of shots are called pneumococcal.
Regular flu shots can also prove helpful, especially for kids who have asthma or other kinds of lung infection.
Rest and sleep also strengthens the immune system.
Washing hands regularly can keep harmful germs at bay.
Self Care strategies for Living with Pneumonia
Certain home remedies have been found beneficial in the treatment of pneumonia. During the
early acute stage of this disease, a herbal tea made from fenugreek seeds will help the body to
produce perspiration, dispel toxicity and shorten the period of fever. In can be taken up to four
The quantity should be reduced as condition improves. To improve flavour, a few
drops of lemon juice can be used. During this treatment, no other food or nourishment should be
taken as fasting and fenugreek will allow the body to correct these respiratory problems in a few
According to Dr. F.W. Crosman, an eminent physician, garlic is a marvelous remedy for
pneumonia, if given in sufficient quantities. This physician used garlic for many years in
pneumonia, and said that in no instance did it fail to bring down the temperature as well as the
pulse and respiration within 48 hours.
Garlic juice can also be applied externally to the chest with
beneficial results as it is an irritant and rubefacient.
Sesame seeds ( til ) are valuable in pneumonia . An infusion of the seeds, mixed with a
tablespoon of linseed,a pinch of common salt and a desert spoon of honey, should be given in
the treatment of this disease. This will help remove catarrhal matter and phelgm from the
The pain of pneumonia can be relieved by rubbing oil of turpentine over the rib cage and
wrapping warmed cotton wool over it.
Diet change strategies:
Pneumonia often starts with a bad cold but spreads to the lungs, where it causes infection. You may have a mucous cough and may have difficulty taking a deep breath. Severe pneumonia often requires a hospital stay.
Mild pneumonia may be treated with herbal remedies, especially if you are prone to this type of condition. Always have your condition checked by a doctor to ensure that it does not progress in severity.
• Echinacea – This immune boosting herb is often effective by helping the body fight off infections. This is available in capsule form as well as in a tea or tincture.
• Goldenseal – This herb helps fight bacteria and can also help stimulate the body’s immune system. You can take this in capsule form or as a tea or tincture. In capsule form, take up to 1,000-milligrams three times per day.
• Mullein – This herb is known to help the respiratory tract and can help fight inflammation. It also eases coughs, helping the body get needed rest. Usually used as a tea, steep the dried root in hot water for 10 minutes. Remove the herbs and drink the tea. You may drink up to 3 cups of tea per day.
Using Ayurveda Therapy:
To begin with, the patient should be kept on a diet of raw juices for five to ten days, depending
on the severity of the disease. In this regimen he should take a glass of fruit or vegetable juice
diluted with warm water every two or three hours.
Fruits such as orange, mosambi, apple,
pineapple and grapes and vegetables like carrots, tomatoes may be used for juices.
After a diet of raw juices, when the fever subsides, the patient should three or four further days
on an exclusive fresh fruit diet, taking three meals a day of juicy fruits such as apple, grapes,
pineapple, mangoes, orange, lemon and papaya.
Thereafter, he may gradually adopt a
well-balanced diet of natural foods consisting of foods , seeds, and grains, vegetables and fruits
with emphasis on fresh fruits and raw vegetables. The patients should be given warm
enema daily to cleanse the bowel during the period of raw juice therapy and all fruit diet and
thereafter, when necessary.
The patient should avoid strong tea, coffee , refined foods, fried foods, white sugar, white flour
and all products made from them, condiments and pickles. He should also avoid all meats as
well as alcoholic beverages and smoking.
Sipping of cold water has also been found beneficial in the
treatment of pneumonia. The patient should sip cold water at short intervals so long as the fever
continues. The cold water is cooling to the feverish blood.
Vitamin & Nutrient Associations
Even when we try to eat well, we're disadvantaged. The nutritional content of most food has been compromised over the years, not only by deficient soils and modern production, transportation, storage and processing methods, but also by the enormous amounts of chemical and artificial substances added to promote growth, storage life, taste and appearance.
It's for this reason that more and more medical authorities are advocating the use of vitamin and mineral supplements. However, finding them in the right combination can be both confusing and costly.
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This allows the cells to grow, repair and to perform their functions with the best possible efficiency so that we feel and look better and are more able to prevent and fight disease. Once the body begins to clear itself of toxins it can more efficiently absorb nutrition.
Aloe Vera Juice is a refreshing and anti-bacterial drink, you might find that taking this daily, diluted in some filtered water will not only refresh you like ‘a shower inside you’ but also assists in dealing with any digestive issues you may also be experiencing.
You may find benefit from our information on detoxification as well as a bit about detoxing because of change of diet
It may be due to difficulties with your digestive system that is causing your body to be starved of key nutrients, vitamins or minerals. In this case you may find useful answers by reviewing our article on Nutrition For Your Cells. There is also more information here about why is nutrition such an issue nowadays?
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Further reading through our articles on Pneumonia health issues will give you a body of information that will help you decide what options you have to deal with the underlying causes of your problem through giving your body the nutrition products that will assist you body to heal from the inside out.
We wish you well in your search for solutions to this Pneumonia problem and your movement towards better health in all areas.
More Resources available about Pneumonia :
What is Flu or Influenza?
Influenza, also known as flu, is the clinical condition that results from infection with influenza
viruses. The main effects of the influenza viruses are on the upper respiratory tract, the nose
and throat, with possible spread and involvement of the lungs and bronchi.
The disease is highly contagious and it has potential to cause wide spread epidemics affecting
sizeable portion of a population at any time. Although it is more common during winter it may
strike at any time. It affects people of all ages.
Influenza strikes suddenly. It usually begins with chills, fever, headache, and severe muscular pains. The patient feels miserable and weak. There is an inflammation in the nose and throat, which may spread down the windpipe to the lungs, resulting in a sore throat, cough, and running of the nose and eyes
In milder cases, the temperature rises to 39degree C or 102degree F, and in severe cases, it may go up to 40degree C or 104degree F. The consequent weakness and fatigue may continue for several weeks. This may be followed by a
deep chest cough due to irritation in the windpipe.
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