There are a many different types of respiratory problems such as respiratory infections which include the common cold, tuberculosis and pneumonia; lung disease which includes asthma, emphysema and bronchitis and other types of lung disease which are related to a person’s work environment. Symptoms include:
Difficulties in breathing
Chills and fever
Other respiratory problems may also be accompanied by:
Shortness of breath
Pain in the chest
Common cold symptoms - sore throat, sneezing and a runny nose
If you are suffering from a cold respiratory infections are rather mild, however they can get worse depending on how serious the illness is. Respiratory infections are usually caused by viruses or bacteria. There are different causes for lung disease. Asthma for example can be aggravated by irritants, allergens or excessive exercise. Emphysema on the other hand is caused by excessive smoking. There other types of lung disease which are brought on by the person’s work environment and are caused by such things as asbestos. Your doctor will be able to give you the proper diagnosis for your respiratory infection and he will also know what is causing it and how best to treat it.
Bed rest, fever or pain medications, plenty of filtered water and hot drinks such as herbal teas, supplements of Echinacea, vitamin C and garlic and humidity or steam are the best remedies for most respiratory problems.
You should get your body in tip top shape before winter begins and the cold virus starts spreading, so that you are able to fight any virus that comes along. It can be done by eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, garlic, onions, wholegrain breads and cereals. Drink plenty of filtered water and natural fruit and vegetable juices. Try and eat plenty of spicy foods as well, as they are believed to help in the drainage of mucous. You should also try and avoid mucous forming foods such as dairy products, these foods should be limited and low fat versions should be used in their place. You should also cut down on starches, sugar and eggs. Remember a good diet is essential for resisting and recovering from a cold. Supplements of Vitamin A, B complex and C, fish liver oils and the minerals copper and zinc.
When to seek further professional advice
If you are still suffering from a cough or common cold after 10 or more days and over the counter medicines are not relieving the symptoms. If you are having difficulty breathing and if you have a high fever, pain in the chest, chills or if when you cough you are bringing up bloody mucous.
There are a number of alternative remedies that have been found to be very effective in relieving the symptoms of respiratory problems. A naturopath should be consulted before any treatment though. These treatments should be started as soon as you see or feel the first symptom. Use a steam inhalation to help reduce congestion and if the temperature is rather hot it will also kill cold germs on contact. A few drops of Eucalyptus, peppermint or wintergreen oils can added to a bowl of boiling water, you can then place a towel over your head and lean over the bowl and breathe in the vapors. Echinacea is a very beneficial herb as it can reduce a cold’s severity and often prevent it from becoming a full infection, this is because Echinacea helps to stimulate the immune response and enhances resistance to all other infections. It is available in capsule form at most pharmacies. Garlic capsules, tablets, oil rubbed on the skin or whole garlic cooked or roasted in other foods is a very potent and powerful healing herb and will help shorten the duration and severity of the cold. Horseradish capsules will help rid the body of excess mucous as will goldenseal help clear the mucous from the throat. Cold symptoms usually respond quite well to homeopathic remedies, you can ask your pharmacist for advice on what to take, he will probably recommend Arsenicum album, allium cepa and bryonia etc.
Most viral respiratory infections go away on their own in a week to 10 days and do not need any treatment, there is a range of conventional and alternative treatments that are available if you are still suffering with it. If you are suffering from a bacterial respiratory infection, you will probably have a antibiotic prescribed by your doctor to help speed up recovery.
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.