Pneumonia is the inflammation of the substance of the lungs, it is relatively common and it is caused by various viral, bacterial and fungal infections. Symptoms include:
Cough - either with or without phlegm
Loss of appetite and weight
Fever - with pain on coughing or taking a deep breath occasionally
In children -
Sudden onset of fever,
Labored and rapid breathing,
Wheezing cough, and bluish skin.
The lungs become congested with fluids once they are infected and the cells leak from the affected tissue. There are generally three types of pneumonia:
Lobar Pneumonia - inflammation is limited to one lobe of one lung
Bronchopneumonia - inflammation that spreads from the bronchi to other part of one or both lungs
Double Pneumonia - if both of the lungs are inflamed.
Pneumonia usually lasts for approximately 2-3 weeks, however you may still feel fatigued for a few weeks after the condition has cleared. Viral pneumonia is generally mild, while bacterial pneumonia’s are more complex and serious. Pneumonia is a common complication of many illnesses, and it is also contagious.
Viruses and bacteria usually cause this disease. Some forms of pneumonia can be mild and treated at home or you may need to go to hospital, so it is very important that you consult your doctor for a proper diagnosis.
Vitamin C may offer substantial benefits in fighting pneumonia if it is started within two days of the onset of pneumonia. Drink plenty of fluids and vitamin A can be taken to help support your respiratory and immune systems but not for more than 2 weeks. Vitamin E may help support damaged lung tissue. Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and a zinc supplement may help your immune system fight the infection. Lactobacillus acidophilus supplements or natural acidophilus yoghurt should be taken if you are on antibiotics.
Do not drink large amounts of alcohol and avoid smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke.
When to seek further professional advice
As soon as any of your symptoms indicate that you may have a form of pneumonia
There are various alternative therapies that may help relieve your symptoms if you have been diagnosed with pneumonia. Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus), tea tree (Melaleuca spp.) lavender (Lavandula officinalis) or pine can be helpful when recovering from pneumonia if you use them in a vaporiser or if they are blended in a carrier oil. Clearing the lungs of phlegm is an essential part of the healing process, therefore using traditional herbal expectorants to promote coughing can help recovery. Some of the herbs used for this purpose are wild black cherry (Prunus serotina) bark, liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), lobelia (Lobelia inflata), coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) and horehound (Marrubium vulgare). Consult a professional herbalist for the correct dosages and preparations. Eating raw garlic (Allium sativum) or 3 garlic capsules three times daily are believed to be helpful in getting your body to fight infection. Some recommended over the counter homoeopathic remedies are phosphorus, bryonia and arsenicum album, follow the label directions carefully.
It is very important that the patient recovers from this condition quickly as problems can occur if the disease remains for too long. Every treatment includes bed rest and ridding the body of any infections and phlegm in the lungs. If you are suffering from a mild case of viral pneumonia, you will more than likely recover at home after your doctor has diagnosed you. However a antibiotic may be prescribed if you are suffering from bacterial pneumonia.
The information contained in this Site/Service is not intended nor is it implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice or taken for medical diagnosis or treatment.