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Help: Bronchitis

19 Dec 00 - 08:09 AM (#359697)
Subject: Bronchitis
From: Clifton53

I've come up with a case of bronchitis again. I had it about 5 years ago and it was murder then, this time however I got a slight jump on it and got to the doc for some anti-biotics, de-congestants, and some sort of horrible syrup that helps the wracking cough.

My question is, how do I get this freight train off my chest? I can't sleep for the hacking cough, can't talk very well and have a low fever. Do I just wait it out and suffer 'til the meds kick in? I can breath alright, just not too deeply. Anyone else suffer from this malady? How do you cope? How can I be sure it's NOT pneumonia.

Don't like to air my troubles but if I can ease the pain a bit,why not?

Any suggestions? I should point out that I'm a smoker, although I'm not smoking now.


19 Dec 00 - 08:23 AM (#359704)
Subject: RE: Help: Bronchitis
From: Allan C.

The good news (and the bad news) is that the train will most likely be moving on down the line in the next couple of days after the antibiotic kicks in. Meanwhile, I am sure it will feel as if you are breathing through Brillo. My sympathies.

19 Dec 00 - 08:25 AM (#359705)
Subject: RE: Help: Bronchitis
From: Troll

If the Doc had heard anything in there he would probably have ordered an x-ray.
By the time this is over, you'll be de-toxed.Quit smoking. If others in the house smoke, ask them to please smoke outside.
Put a pan of water on to boil, drape a towel over your head and inhale the steam. Be careful not to get too close and don't set the towel on fire.
Use a moisturizing spray in your nose.
Avoid dairy products. They cause mucus.
If you're REALLY worried about pneumonia, call your Dr. and ask about a chest x-ray.
Tough it out til the drugs kick in. There are some herbs that may help with the symptoms but I'll let someone with more knowledge than me fill you in there.
Good luck.


19 Dec 00 - 08:33 AM (#359711)
Subject: RE: Help: Bronchitis
From: Clifton53

Thanks Troll, he did order a chest X-ray, I just haven't gotten it done yet.

19 Dec 00 - 08:40 AM (#359716)
Subject: RE: Help: Bronchitis

Perhaps when you go back for a follow-up with your doc you can ask him for suggestions on how to keep your bronchial tubes healthy (aside from the obvious)...otherwise not much else to do but hurry up and wait for the meds to kick in. If you're coughing especially hard, you might want to wrap your mid-section. I swear I coughed so hard I cracked a couple of ribs.

19 Dec 00 - 08:41 AM (#359717)
Subject: RE: Help: Bronchitis
From: InOBU

Jeeze Clif: Last year I broke a rib, coughing with that. If the liver is in good shape, when it gets really bad, take a SMALL sip of whiskey, no kidding, it opens the airways, and for GOD SAKE stop smoking, you are killing yourself and everyone around you. My dad killed himself with that, and my cuz just stopped after she came down with lung cancer. Be one of the smart ones, stop before it is too late. Imagine being in the state you are in now, until you strangle to death. That is all the ciggy industry gives you back for your making them rich. It is a painful stupid way to die.
Feel better

19 Dec 00 - 08:42 AM (#359718)
Subject: RE: Help: Bronchitis
From: Bagpuss

Think yourself lucky! Earlier this year I had a combination of a chest infection and bad asthma triggered by an allergy to cats. I was on steroids and anti-biotics. I had the most terrible pain in my ribs when I coughed, sneezed, laughed etc - and I noticed where the pain was, one of my ribs seemed to be misshapen. I mentioned this to the doctor and he didn't even examine me properly. After the cough was gone, I still had the pain in my ribs and couldn't sleep on my side. Mentioned it to another doc and he sent me for an ultrasound. Turns out I had a cracked rib. I had no idea how I had done it, but someone recently told me that it is possible to crack your ribs by severe coughing!

Get better soon...


19 Dec 00 - 09:12 AM (#359733)
Subject: RE: Help: Bronchitis
From: jeffp

Adding a little eucalyptus oil to the water (referring back to Troll's advice) can help to clear your sinuses and open up the passageways.


19 Dec 00 - 09:35 AM (#359750)
Subject: RE: Help: Bronchitis
From: sophocleese

If the house is dry with heating get it damper with a humidifier or any damp towels hung up all over the room you're in. You might try sleeping sitting up for a night if you're being woken up by constant coughing.

19 Dec 00 - 09:36 AM (#359751)
Subject: RE: Help: Bronchitis
From: GUEST,Jeanne

Hi, funny that I found this site!! I am on my way to the doctor this afternoon because I have wheezing in my chest and feel very tired....never had it before. Receptionist asked if I have asthma...not that know. My parents were heavy was raised around it. Now Ican't breathe the smell of cigarettes in any place. I have to leave. I am not a smoker. I would suggest that you check your type of food intake. It could very well be from food allergy. I don't know if you exercise or are overweight. Our bodies are made to heal themselves. If we eat less, they can use the energy for healing. HOpe you feel better soon...and DO stop the smoking. It is a worse addiction than cocaine, I know, from the studies made. There is nothing redeeming about the habit. A support group can help.

19 Dec 00 - 10:22 AM (#359782)
Subject: RE: Help: Bronchitis
From: Clifton53

Yes my ribs are killing me right now. The last time I had it, I must've loosened a kidney stone with the coughing, so I had that to deal with as well.

I feel better just reading these postings and hearing about different experiences with this condition. This forum never ceases to amaze me,i.e. in under two hours I had 8 or 9 responses to my query. The level of caring and compassion is truly gold. Even though we sometimes fight and insult each other, it's good to know that when the chips are down, a person can truly get some help here.

InOBU, I am indeed trying to quit smoking and your heartfelt advice is most appreciated. Sorry about your Dad and your cuz.

Jeanne, this is a very nice place on the whole and you should revisit often. Hope everything works out,let us know.

Sophocleese, I do have a humidifier running intermittently, the house is very dry without it.

Thanks Allan, Bagpuss, jeffp and Guest. I appreciate your help


19 Dec 00 - 11:04 AM (#359806)
Subject: RE: Help: Bronchitis
From: Mark Clark

Clifton, You have my total sympathy. I used to suffer from bronchitis all the time. I was a smoker too, started heavily at age 15. During a physical at age 18 my doctor was very worried about my chest X-rays. He told me that if I didn't quit smoking, I'd have chronic bronchitis by the time I was 25. Of course at age 18 we're all invincible so I paid no attention. At age 25, right on schedule, there I was with chronic bronchitis. Unfortunately 25 year olds are also invincible so I just waited another 5 years to see if the whole thing would just go away. Unfortunately, it wouldn't, and as you know by now, chronic bronchitis makes you really, really sick a great deal of the time.

One day I woke up in bed to learn that I'd been essentially unconscious for three days with a very high fever the whole time. Everyone was very worried. Holy cow! I thought, reaching automatically for a smoke, I'd better go see a doctor. Then for some reason it occurred to me that I had not been smoking for the three days I was out of it and maybe I should continue that behavior. I became a non smoker right on the spot have haven't touched tobbaco since. That was nearly 29 years ago.

Not only did I stop smoking but I began a vitimin regimen that I thought would help my body with the healing process. I felt better almost immediately and bouts of bronchitis became less frequent. Finally after about 10 years, they stopped alltogether. I don't kid myself that I'm home free. I could still develop emphysema or lung cancer as a result of my smoking and I don't claim to lead (or preach) a healthy lifestyle but that one act of willpower has done a great deal to improve my own life and that of my family.

Good luck. Hope you feel better.

      - Mark

19 Dec 00 - 11:09 AM (#359811)
Subject: RE: Help: Bronchitis
From: Extra Stout

Quit now, Cliff. If you dont like bronchitis, you'll really hate emphysema.

19 Dec 00 - 01:16 PM (#359879)
Subject: RE: Help: Bronchitis
From: catspaw49

You have my sympathies Cliffie...........Karen and I would go through this same thing every year for about 8 years straight. Hang gets better, but its a pain in the ass....well, really the lungs, but that does bring new meaning to the phrase "Blow it out your ass."

The Vicks/moisture thing worked about as well as anything while waiting for the meds. Get the chest x-ray man.....and then talk to your doctor about a pneumonia shot. They're good for ten years and really make a difference. One version of this year's flu has very similar symptons too. We weren't able to get flu shots til a couple of weeks ago due to lack of vaccine in this area and the only way we got one then was to be considered high risk. Anyway, I'd already got the flu and it left after about 6 days but also left behind a nasty sinus infection that augmentin is clearing up.

Stay warm, drink the liquids and ride it out. Sorry my friend, I know its a pain.


19 Dec 00 - 01:43 PM (#359894)
Subject: RE: Help: Bronchitis
From: Mrrzy

If you can lie down with no worsening of your breathing, you probably don't have pneumonia yet.

Just don't take laxatives, or you won't DARE cough!

19 Dec 00 - 04:15 PM (#360000)
Subject: RE: Help: Bronchitis
From: Peg

I second the eucalyptus oil; also tea tree oil works wonders.

In fact, I used to get bronchitis every other year or so and honestly thought I'd just keep getting it. (I was a light smoker about a decade ago but quit years before this trend in upper respiratory infection ever happened)

Once I discovered herbs and aromatherapy ( wonderful methods of healing and the provenance of people without health insurance!) my tendency towards such illness dropped away dramatically.

I have found that gargling 2-3x per day with warm water to which a couple drops of tea tree oil have been added, at the first twinge of sore throat or tickle, helps keep upper respiratory infections at bay. This includes strep throat, too, but if that is suspected keep an eye on it as it can grow serious if untreated.

I hate taking antibiotics and have found this remedy an excellent preventive measure, along with eating right, getting enough rest and exercise, etc. It also helps to keep the air in your home in winter moist and fresh. Boil a pan of water on the stove and add dried citrus peels, cloves, cinnamon sticks, rosemary, and any number of essential oils (lemon, orange, grapefruit, eucalyptus, lavender, clove are all good): this humidifies and purifies the air.

If you do need an antibiotic, try colloidal silver first. It is a natural antibiotic which does not wreak havoc with the immune system like standard ones do.

Drinking an herbal tea made with rose hips, echinacea, chamomile, lavender and red clover can help fortify immunity and fight the infection, too. Go easy on the echinacea; a little goes a long way! These other herbs help mask the taste of it and this is a very pleasant combination. More rose hips add more vitamin C and a nicely tangy taste. You can add honey to it as well.

(I have all these herbs readily available so if you can't get them where you live PM me and I will make up a little packet for you).

Best of luck. Do quit smoking if you can; you'll love life more, I bet!


19 Dec 00 - 04:16 PM (#360002)
Subject: RE: Help: Bronchitis
From: Liz the Squeak

Don't swallow what you cough - it buggers your kidneys trying to cope with the extra infectious bits....

And try leaning forwards when you do cough - I find leaning over a chair with my arse in the air (very dignified I know!) gives gravity a helping hand and helps to clear things out.

Good luck with it, and I hope it clears soon.


19 Dec 00 - 04:53 PM (#360018)
Subject: RE: Help: Bronchitis
From: Clifton53

I'm getting the x-ray tomorrow afternoon. Trying to digest all that's been said hear. I am overweight, been a smoker for years and work like a rented mule.

Spaw, thanks for the kind words, and although we haven't met I consider you a god friend.

Peg, your advice was very sound and healthful. Years ago I was into the herbal teas, even crushed my own rose hips and cut up lemon grass. Funny how we slip away from old habits and pick up new ones. I think I will take you up on your offer and pm you soon.

Mark, I'm usually pretty hale and hearty even with the butts, but your tale was a wake up call! And how do we deal with the fact that even down the road, with quitting now, we may still develop trouble. Not to mention the guilty feelings of subjecting those close to us to the danger.

Mrzzy, LtS, I'm thankful for the input.

And Extra Stout,(now there's a great handle), thanks for the kick in the ass, I appreciate your honesty.

Long road ahead of me, nice to know I'm not traveling alone.


19 Dec 00 - 04:56 PM (#360019)
Subject: RE: Help: Bronchitis
From: Clifton53

Oops, Spaw, that should be a GOOD friend. Whew, that was close!

19 Dec 00 - 05:37 PM (#360044)
Subject: RE: Help: Bronchitis
From: Sorcha

Well, at least I'm in good company. Been sick and miserable for a week.

19 Dec 00 - 06:01 PM (#360054)
Subject: RE: Help: Bronchitis
From: BigDaddy

Having a son was what really inspired me to quit smoking. That was in August 1995. He was a year and a half at the time. Knew I couldn't hide it and didn't want to have a double standard. Got diagnosed with congestive heart failure in November 1996, and was told I had a fifty percent chance of living longer than a year. Made me glad I quit when I did and wished I had never started. Got a good cardiologist and decided to fight to stick around. My boy needs his "Big Daddy." My thoughts and prayers are with you for a speedy recovery and the strength to fight the nicotine addiction. Maybe if we called it that instead of "smoking," people would take it more seriously for what it is. Hang in there. And keep us posted on your progress.

19 Dec 00 - 06:07 PM (#360058)
Subject: RE: Help: Bronchitis
From: GUEST,Dave (the ancient mariner at work

Try a few drops of Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca oil) in a humidifier; or the old boiling water trick breathe the steam type application, it works well. I put a drop under my nose at night and it keeps sinuses clear. Yours, Aye. Dave

19 Dec 00 - 06:13 PM (#360060)
Subject: RE: Help: Bronchitis
From: kimmers

Okay, as a physician I'm just a wee bit biased, but here goes.

Most of the advice I've read here is pretty safe; though not all of the recommendations mentioned are proven to be effective, I haven't heard you guys mention anything dangerous. I do, however, have one word of warning.

Traditional docs such as myself get a bad rap for 'overprescribing' antibiotics. This bugs the hell out of me, as I feel like I spend half my time talking people out of them. Parents have screamed at me at the top of their lungs when I refused to give little Johnny any penicillin for his viral sore throat. People, if your symptoms (or your kid's symptoms) are mild, and you've talked it over with a doc you trust, don't insist on antibiotics. If you make enough of a nuisance of yourself, your doc will give them to you anyway just to get rid of you, and that's where the stereotype of drug-pushing docs comes from.

On the other hand, if you are seriously ill and your doc recommends an antibiotic, please take it. All of it, as directed. If you disagree about the need for an antibiotic, please talk with your doc before you leave the office. Often I will give a parent a prescription and say, "You can watch your child safely off antibiotics for another 48 hours... but if at that time they're not getting better, start this."

The above recommendation regarding taking colloidal silver instead of a prescribed antibiotic... sorry, but I can't agree with that. Again, if you suspect you have a mild illness and you want to wait before you take your meds, please let your doc know. He or she may be just fine with the idea, but he or she will want to know. And if you are sicker than snot (and Clifton, you sound pretty sick) you can be playing with fire by not following directions.

In this day and age, with proper treatment, pneumonia is more miserable than dangerous. But why does it have such a scary reputation? Because back in the old days, before we had antibiotics, it killed people. Regularly.

20 Dec 00 - 02:28 AM (#360235)
Subject: RE: Help: Bronchitis
From: Extra Stout

Good luck, Clifton. I quit twenty-some years ago after twenty-some years of smoking.It makes everything better. My mother quit too late,and the end was slow and painful.

20 Dec 00 - 02:50 PM (#360515)
Subject: RE: Help: Bronchitis
From: Peg

kimmers; thanks for your additional (and actual) "medical" advice. I had hoped it would be clear, since I am not a doctor, any advice I might give on herbal or aromatherapeutic cures (which I DO have a lot of experience with) should include the caveat that one's doctor should be informed of such things.

I do still think colloidal silver works wonderfully where traditional antibiotics are sometimes presecribed when they shouldn't be (as in the example you also gave, viral sore throats). It also works on things like strep, etc. But obviously if someone's condition is serious, and a physician thinks the real thing is in order, well, then...

Clifton, just let me know and I will send you herbs! I may be off Mudcat temporarily in the next few days (I just got laid off and just ordered a new computer but I may not have it set up as soon as I'd like) but you can also email me at


20 Dec 00 - 02:53 PM (#360516)
Subject: RE: Help: Bronchitis
From: GUEST,Tim

I had Brochitis last year. When I exhaled fully, there was a gurgling noise. Turned into Pneumonia. Make sure you rest up, don't be in a hurry to get active again. Hope you feel better!

20 Dec 00 - 03:09 PM (#360526)
Subject: RE: Help: Bronchitis
From: McGrath of Harlow

Last winter I got a cough that wouldn't clear up. X-rays ruled out anything too nasty, but it was a real drag. Anti-biotics of various sorts, but nothing cleared it.

In the end the doctor decided it was probably asthma, and gave me the right kinds of inhalers, and it cleared up. Except I'll have to be useing them from now on on a regular basis, but that's not a major problem.

The point is, I've never had asthma in my life, and I'd never realsed you could develop it well-on in years. And the doctor hadn't thought of it for some time either, just took it to be an infection (which it was as well, but secondary, because I wasn't breathing properly.)

My God, this is a strange but useful place, isn't it? Is there anything that wouldn't get useful answers. And silly ones as well, which are just as important.

20 Dec 00 - 05:00 PM (#360599)
Subject: RE: Help: Bronchitis
From: The Shambles

I used to suffer badly from it when I was younger and lived next to a busy main road in London. Giving up smoking and leaving London seemed to do the trick, long-term. Short term, it was the tablets.

Being ill and not being able to go to school did have its good side. I actually learnt lots of far more useful information by watching the schools programmes at home on the TV.

It was at this period that I went off the piano accordian big-time. My father used to say that my wheezing chest sounded just like one.

20 Dec 00 - 07:49 PM (#360700)
Subject: RE: Help: Bronchitis
From: Liz the Squeak

Re: the asthma - I developed mine when I moved to London. I've had significant phases of good and bad, coinciding with the location of my job. The closer I was to a main road junction (Silvertown Flyover, A13, A12, anything along there), I was worse. The year I spent near the Silvertown Flyover, I was up to an attack a month. I moved out of that library, it practically cleared up over night.... Mine didn't get helped by an untreated chest infection (oh, it's just a cold, take 2 asprin, see me next week sort of Dr....) that turned into Pleurisy. Now I get every chest infection and bug that's going. The important thing is to rest up. Don't be doing that jogging round the park thing! Get as much rest as you can, and start back slowly.

Hope all is well still, and that the X ray isn't horrendous.


21 Dec 00 - 06:53 PM (#361408)
Subject: RE: Help: Bronchitis
From: kendall

I've found that vitamin C and zinc will prevent most breathing problems. What I thought was bronchitis last summer turned out to be a cyst on my vocal fold.