Thursday, December 22, 2005

Treating Pneumonia vs. Bronchitis

The following is from HSI:

The primary difference between treating pneumonia and treating bronchitis can be summed up in one word: antibiotics.

Dr. Spreen: "When I started practice (1985), almost any symptom of bronchitis got a Rx for antibiotics. Later on, with more news about 'superbugs,' antibiotic resistance, and antibiotic overuse, the prescriptions for antibiotics decreased for bronchitis (which already had several reports of those drugs not being effective). Today it sort of depends on the doc, as some will still prescribe an antibiotic to get a patient out of the office (and not wanting to deal with the 'please doctor DO something' syndrome). However, most docs today will try to avoid antibiotics for bronchitis, especially the first time around.

"For bronchitis (an inflammation of the larger airways that lead to the lungs, but don't include gas-exchange tissues) I'd be going heavy on vitamin C, the absolute minimum being 1,000 mg three times/day, and preferably (in my opinion) a loading dose of 3,000-5,000 mg with 1,000-2,000 mg/hour more like it for the aggressive types. If bronchitis tends to be chronic, vitamin A (not beta-carotene) and zinc should be thrown in there to help protect mucosal surfaces that may be chronically nutrient-deficient.
"Plus, I'd add Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA), as it's the best antioxidant that can reach fat-soluble spaces, along with NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine), which is known to be good for lung tissue to keep bronchitis from possibly progressing into something worse."

That "something worse" that Dr. Spreen refers to is pneumonia, which is most commonly treated with antibiotics. But he also notes that "antibiotic use mandates the addition of probiotics (acidophilus, bifidus, etc.) to re-establish the 'good-guy' bacteria after the antibiotics kill off both good and bad bugs.

"If a true purist wanted to try avoiding the antibiotics to fight pneumonia, ideas would include those from bronchitis (above), plus hyperthermic treatments (sweating in the tub...bacteria don't survive well in temps above 102F), and the addition of colloidal silver, olive leaf extract, and grapefruit seed (not grape) extract. These antibacterial/anti-viral agents would need to be in high doses and would also require adding probiotics, of course.

"There is always derision involved by conventionalists concerning the use of colloidal silver, who argue that there is no use in the human system for silver...and they're right. That's what's so interesting about it; bacteria have enzyme systems that are blocked by the silver, while no human systems have to worry. That's also why nearly all water filter systems are impregnated with silver. One last thing: the dose for antibacterial effect is far below a dose that would cause argyria (silver toxicity), which causes a grayish tint to the skin."

Dr. Spreen also notes that pneumonia and bronchitis are conditions that require a visit to a doctor or health care professional.

I would like to add that you should take lots of garlic as it is a natural antibiotic.

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