Bronchitis taking weeks to clear

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Does anyone have any tips re handling bouts of chest infection that take weeks to clear? Generally I can manage my condition, but after a stressful time last year I've had several bouts of bronchitis since Christmas (current one is now 4 weeks old). Repeated antibiotics, plus steriods last week, have not brought improvement re this current bout. Trying to eat well, rest, breathe correctly, use my Symbicort inhaler more etc, but does anyone have other tips or advice that could help with stubborn chest infections? Thank you

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  • Posted

    I got a nebulizer which helped enourmously.
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    • Posted

      I was given treatment with a nebuliser when I fell ill with bronchitis in Spain about 7 years ago but, until googling them just now, I hadn't been aware that you can buy them for home use. I will now buy one (don't suppose you could recommend a particular brand? I'm in the UK)

      Thanks so much for your tip. This could make a lot of difference to me. I really appreciate your reply.

      Sally

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  • Posted

    I may ask about the nebulizer.

    I have no help I'm afraid, just sympathy for you.

    I'm getting chest infections every two to two and half month cycles, which are taking 1-4 weeks to get over.

    The tiredness starts hitting then I go down hill so fast it's silly.

    They've got me on Doxycycline now, it seems that this is the only one left I can take as I'm allergic to Clarithromycin and the mycin group.

    I'm keeping hydrated, but can't seem to exercise because of the tiredness. When I hit a 'good' period, I love the play and take the dog for a walk. UK weather isn't awesome for us either lol wink

     

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    • Posted

      My experience is very similar. I can stay healthy for a couple of years at a time (relatively) but it seems to be stressful occasions that bring on a period where I suffer several episodes of bronchitis - like you, every couple of months. Augmentin is the antibiotic that has worked well for me in the past, but GPs are reluctant to prescribe this as its implicated in some way with the emergence of hospital acquired infections (in the UK). I'm intending to research home-use nebulisers as this sounds promising.

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. The sympathy is mutual!

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  • Posted

    Hi Sally,

    I have my own nebuliser, an Omron. I bought mine from my local pharmacy. She said because bx was a chronic condition she didn't have to charge me VAT. My consultant agreed to me getting one and prescribed the nebules. 

    I've just become allergic/intolerant to penicillin which has narrowed the abs that can be prescribed when I'm poorly. 

    I know a flare up takes time to clear up...mine mostly last 3 long months....

    Hope yours clears soon 

    Janet 

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    • Posted

      That's really helpful - thank you Janet, I'll look in to the Omron. 

      There seem to be so many of us who suffer these very long drawn out infections. Helps so much to share information though.

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  • Posted

    Hi Sally

    I love my Philips Innospire Go which is very fast and quiet and use it daily with 7% saline solution.  

    Please take a good probiotic after a round of antibiotics to put the good bacteria back.

    Irene

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    • Posted

      Thank you for this! So glad I joined this forum - it's providing information that I doubt I'd access otherwise; why wasn't the existence of home nebulisers even mentioned as an option during visits to various chest clinics? I was simply taught the 'Active Cycle of Breathing' (which I do think helps. Up to a point) and to have a ready supply of antibiotics at home, ready for the next outbreak. Keeping fit - when well - also works for me and is probably my best defence against infections.

      Will now investigate the Philips Innospire Go. Much appreciated.

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  • Posted

    I bought one at a medical supply store and my doctor prescribed albuterol to put in the nebulizer. It stopped my coughing. The one I bought was 50 dollars.
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    • Posted

      Thank you Mary. I'll follow up all the recommendations re nebulisers. Very encouraging - comments much appreciated.

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  • Posted

    As a former sufferer of semi-annual bronchitis outbreaks (that seemed to clear up quickly as an illness, but had a long tail of sputum on my chest that I could cough up easily) and now diagnosed 4 years ago as having bronchiectasis, my take is as follows.

    First it is not normal to have recurring chronic bronchitis as you describe. Your GP should be recommending you to a pulmonologist for assessment. The pulmonologist will undoubtedly review an X-Ray and may subsequently decide to seek a CT scan to determine whether you have any issues that an X-Ray would not detect - eg it is possible that you have developed bronchiectasis as sputum production and recurring infections fit the profile (don't panic - many people including me live reasonably normal lives with that disease and fitting the profile is not a slam dunk for having bronchiectasis).

    Whether or not you have another disease like bronchitis emerging it may still be helpful to use the techniques of the bronchiectasis sufferer to help manage your lungs through your infection events. That is:

    Daily lung excercises to bring up and cough out the sputum - a pulmonologist would be able to advise on methods and even refer you to a physiotherapist, but for many it is a simple matter of lying flat on your back and encouraging the gunk to rise up your lungs by some deep breathing followed by "huffing up" the sputum form the deeper recesses of your lungs and spitting it out

    Daily exercise (you can have one or two days a week off) - at least half an hour of power walking (or at least more than a stroll!), swimming or biking - or whatever your body can develop into along that path by starting slowly

    Obviously if you are a smoker then give up right away!

    Eating a good diet - aiming towards an anti-inflammatory diet would be beneficial if you feel inflammation in your chest when you are having your infections. Otherwise most people know these days what is a good diet and what is bad, it's the discipline that's the problem

    Get good sleep and to the extent you are able chill out and try to avoid stress. Easy enough for a financially well-resourced retiree living in paradise (Thailand) to say!

    Some bronchX sufferers work hard to avoid situations where they might come into contact with people suffering chest infections. I live in a rural environment so that helps but I don't get too hung up on public transport/doctor's surgeries etc when it's necessary.

    You should also take advice on whether you should be taking antibiotics for your outbreaks. For decades I suffered with what must have been chronic bronchitis and just took the advice of NHS online, which was (my take) bronchitis is usually viral so no point in consulting your doctor or taking antibiotics, just work through with it at home. I have reason now to think that advice was flawed.

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    • Posted

      Hi Steve

      Thanks so much for taking the time to put this info together for me. I have already had the bronchiectasis diagnosis (having gone down the route of visiting a chest clinic in Reading and having a CT scan etc) and, like you, mostly am pretty fit as I make an effort to keep up the exercise and good diet regime as a way of keeping chest infections at bay. It's a stressful series of events that seems to then lay me open to getting a bout, or bouts, of bronchitis (last year my mother developing dementia, eventually dying in July) - almost as if my body is having a delayed reaction to something that affected me emotionally. 

      I'm also guilty of letting the 'Active Circle of Breathing' exercises fall by the wayside a bit (the lying flat on your back is a useful tip - this wasn't part of the exercise as I was taught it, but it makes sense). Will get back on to this. As a result of other messages via this site, I'm also intending to buy a home nebuliser - didn't even know these existed! 

      Taking antibiotics is a tricky issue - I do seem to need them (at least for the feverish stage of an infection) but really hate taking them long term. There's the bigger issue of antibiotic resistance of course...

      I like your attitude to the condition - I too believe that, taking the steps you mention, it's possible to keep the bronchiectasis at bay. However life throws funny stuff at you sometimes. Can't seem to avoid that! I think I'm pretty lucky though - working as an artist and illustrator but, at 61, now able to spend more time with my husband in moderately-resourced (well...'ish'wink semi retirement in rural Kent. That's as much paradise as I need I think! 

      Again, thanks so much for your comments - it's so, so heartening to hear from people who've suffered the same health problems and to hear their take on it. 

      Sally

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  • Posted

    Thanks for the comments Sally! Sorry - should have recognised we were in the bronchiectasis forum. For some reason I thought we were on the British Lung Fed forum, which I also look at and which is more generic, so when I saw the bronchistis comment I thought that was the limit of your problems!

    BTW, I too had the same concerns about antibi resistance, which I revealed to my pulmonologist at Papworth Hospital (used to live in inner Kent - Bromley and Oprington - when working in the City, but now I go back to Cambridge where my sister lives for my annual monitoring). She's an experienced pulmo and bronchX specialist (Papworth specialist not my sister) so when she told me 'don't worry about that - there's many antibis you never see waiting in the wings if you run out of the popular ones' I stopped worrying. I'm on the 3-a-week prophylactic Azithromycin that so many bronchX sufferers now rely on. I nonetheless get frequent 'flags' of potential infection but I tend to ride those until I get something a bit stronger than one or two flags before reaching for the full-on course. That course is typically 2 weeks of amoxycillin/clavulanic acid; previously it was levafloxacin, but my local Thai pulmo recommended I switch when the levoflox wasn't killing off my infection 6 months ago (my Papworth pulmo told me on my visit last month that she recommends the amox/clav over levafloxacin as it is broader-based on the type of bugs bronchX patients typically pick up). I get about 2-3 infections a year that send me onto the 2 week course (and more than that of the mini infections that my immune system dispatches).

    I am one of a minority of bronchX sufferers whose sputum never reveals results but I seem to recover quickly 9 times out of 10, even from the full-on infections, so that's not been an issue so far.

    Wishing you wellness and happiness. As an artist you don't want to be getting too many or long ones of those tired/listless/de-motivating periods now, do you confused

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    • Posted

      Hi Steve

      This is very very welcome info. I've screenshot both your messages and I think everything you've very kindly taken the trouble to say could really help me with my own bronchX. Has made me think I should probably request a new visit to the local chest clinic (last time was at my diagnosis, 6 years ago) as this would also give me an opportunity to discuss some of treatments you've listed, which are all new to me and which I really could be benefitting from, potentially.

      Big 'thank you' again, and for your good wishes too. You're right - tired/listless/de-motivated - hate those things!

      Wishing you continued good health (bronchX aside) in which to enjoy your paradise!

      Sally

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  • Posted

    Hi Sally,

    I live in UK  and have had bronchiectasis since age 2 (I'm now 67). Suffered all my life from repeated chest infections (several each year and increasing with age); and of course repeated antibiotic courses. Got so worried about the large intake of antibiotics that - around 2  years ago - I did a lot of online research and  started taking Turmeric supplements. I take  2 x capsules daily of Real Herbs organic turmeric @ 745mg/capsule. Buy it online, the website is irealherbs but I think you can get it cheaper from other sites too. Anyway .... since starting this, I haven't had one single chest infection! - I can hardly believe  it, but my life has just been transformed and so easily. I hope this helps -     any questions,  just shout! Kind regards. Alison 

    Moderator comment: I have removed the link(s) directing to site(s) unsuitable for inclusion in the forums. If users want this information please use the Private Message service to request the details.

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    • Posted

      Hi Alison

      Thanks so much for this. I will try the turmeric supplements and I'll order from the same place as you suggest - I'd rather try something that's recommended rather than simply going for the cheapest option. It's wonderful that the turmeric has made such a difference to your condition, especially since you have suffered from BronchX for so many years. I'm 61 and was diagnosed with the condition about 6/7 years ago (via a CT scan) after suffering badly with coughs and chest infections since my mid 30s.

      Thanks so much for your tip - really appreciated.

      Wishing you continued good health

      Sally

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