Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Bronchitis...Here We Go Again

Unbelievable. I've been feeling pretty good the past few days, but last night while we were watching TV, I had a little tickle at the back of my throat. My husband got me a sugar-free lozenge, and we went to sleep. By the middle of the night, I was coughing and could feel the chest congestion starting. I woke up this morning with full-blown symptoms - chest pain, tightness & congestion, constant wet cough, wheezing. All of this developed literally overnight!

My son and I both struggle with bronchitis several times a year, though immune modulators like inosine and low-dose naltrexone have helped reduce the incidence.

We are not unusual among those with ME/CFS. The specific type of immune system dysfunction in ME/CFS (Th2 dominant) makes its patients more prone to bacterial infections: our immune systems over-react to viruses and allergens and under-react to bacteria. So, we almost never get colds, but the tiniest bit of congestion and...bam! We've got bronchitis again. For my younger son, it's usually sinus infections.

Both of us have albuterol inhalers now, which help, but it still feels impossible to stop this runaway train once it starts. I already made an appointment with our doctor for tomorrow so she can listen to my lungs - fortunately, she has a very good understanding of ME/CFS and our chronic problems with bronchitis. She always treats it aggressively because she knows it could easily turn into pneumonia with us.

I tried, last fall, to get rid of it myself without antibiotics, since (like many with ME/CFS)  I have chronic yeast overgrowth that is severely flared up by taking antibiotics. I used the inhaler, took maximum strength Mucinex round-the-clock, decongestant during the day, allergy meds, and all sorts of herbal antivirals and antibacterials. But, as my husband pointed out, waiting to see the doctor only resulted in my needing 3 rounds of antibiotics instead of 1 and being badly crashed for over two months. I've learned my lesson - better to get in immediately, take those damn antibiotics, and nip it in the bud. The weather is just starting to turn nice this week, and I really don't want to spend the next couple of months in bed!

So, here I sit, coughing like crazy, dialing back my planned activities today. I still feel good this morning (other than the chest symptoms), but I know what's coming  I've been on this train before. I'll see my doctor tomorrow and hopefully get rid of this infection before it has a chance to dig in.

Have you experienced these kinds of chronic bacterial infections?


Anonymous said...

I'm 62 and had mild ME beginning in childhood. Along the way, I discovered, for me, that certain allergens and chemicals resulted in bronchitis and sinusitis. Not all of my reactions were immediate. Some required an intense exposure or exposure over time, and others required far less exposure. Some intense exposures resulted in symptoms straight away. Other exposures resulted in a 48 hour delay in symptoms, making it difficult to determine what was irritating my passage ways. Once I'd identified and avoided the triggers, these two to four times a year bouts disappeared (except for accidental exposures). Also, instead of antibiotics, I filled a sterile nose dropper with a saline solution and laid with my head facing the floor and filled up and then emptied each sinus cavity at a time. This stopped sinus irritations from progressing into infections and provided relief, helping me heal my sinuses more quickly than antibiotics. One of the things that bothers me is latex paint, and I've only had one bout of these infections in the last 20 years and that was after my whole home was painted with a low VOC paint. I entered too quickly (2 weeks after the painting was complete). I've since discovered a paint with no VOCs and a great record for people with lung conditions and allergies.

You might also want to investigate pau d'arco tea to help with yeast overgrowth.

Sue Jackson said...

Thanks so much for sharing your experiences! Wow, that is a long time to live with ME. I;m glad you've at least found some underlying causes and ways to treat them that are helping you.

This is an older post. I haven't had bronchitis in 14 months now! What did the trick for me was inosine first and then a year ago I added glutathione injections. Both help to normalize the immune system and have brought significant improvements for both my son and I in all symptoms. Here's more info in case you are interested:


Thanks for taking the time to comment and share your experience!