Looking for some answers regarding Bronciectisis

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Hi, wondered if anyone could help me with some questions,

I'm Simon 33, 

I got diagnosed with bronciectisis a year ago after 12 months of chest infections, they diagnosed me with a special machine which scanned my lungs. 

My question is, all my life up untill now I have had the odd (more than normal people chest infection) aswell as asthma, but untill last year I never coughed up mucus daily as I do now,

Do you think this is a late development of bronciectisis or is it that I have always had it and it has just got progressively worse?

Thankyou.

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13 Replies

  • Posted

    Hello Simon, it's a tricky one really, yes maybe you weren't diagnosed early enough and had it for a while. Is your mucus easy to bring up and what colour is it. 
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    • Posted

      Hi, well i didn't use too have it every single day, but now I have some every day, it's usually clear because I do my clearence daily, before that I was getting a lot of infections. My Scan showed widened airways. Tests showed no CF which is a relief, just seems odd how it's just gone from occasional chestyness to mucus daily. sad
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  • Posted

    The cause of bronchiectasis is often hard to pin down. For about half of  all patients it's clearly a particular damaging infection (e.g. TB) or something that had physically got stuck in the lungs and damaged them. But for about half there is a collective shrug of the shoulders and it is 'idiopathic' - or, in English, 'we don't know, just one of those things.'

    The classic definition of bronchiectasis is as a vicious circle. Infection leads to inflammation leads to damage to structure of the lung leads to inflammation and infection and... 

    The normal structure of the lungs is 'designed' to keep bugs out of the lower lung. So damage to the physical shape, or damage to the little hairs  that line the tubes and help bring inhaled stuff up to be coughed out can cause infections. Also a possible problem is an over production of the mucus or poor clearance of the mucus (like in cystic fibrosis). 

    All of these things can lead to mucus collecting and acting as a perfect breeding ground for bugs.

    Note from the above you can see that inflammation is important. Asthma is inflammation. Unsurprisingly about half of all Bx sufferers have asthma.

    So to answer your question. Bronchiectasis could be regarded as sometimes the end stage of a lot of infections and asthma. It's a progressive vicious circle that hit a 'tipping point'.

    The next question is why you have had all these infections and asthma. Was it a problem in the immune system? A problem in the structure of the lung etc etc. 

    The thing is - and it's not a very satisfactory answer - it generally doesn't matter. There are certain things that they will test for which could indicate an underlying problem that needs to be treated as well (I suspect they will hit the asthma quite hard), but it doesn't alter the fact that your lungs are damaged and you need to be treated for Bx.

    The aim is to stop any further progressive damage. Basically to break the vicious circle. So hence the clearing of the chest, the anti inflammatory inhalers, prophylactic antibis etc.

    Hope that helps.

    Stay well, good luck

    S

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    • Posted

      Thankyou so much

      That actually made a lot of sence too me. The struggle now is too keep my chest clear and stop any infections occuring which so far I think I am doing as my mucus is clearish.. What a condition, tires me out aswell.

      Thankyou for the advice, I think maybe the damage from the infections from the asthma as a child may be the culprut then? rolleyes or maybe I always had it and it has progressively spread.

      Thankyou

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    • Posted

      You have answered the question so very well, my husbands was caused I suspect by TB, not once but twice ! 
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  • Posted

    If your mucus is clear, that's a very good sign. Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland had a very good little leaflet " living with bronchiectasis". Recommend it- it's very clear and also has a mucus color chat. Good for checking how you are doing?

    S

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    • Posted

      Argh, lost this for the second time. Third time the charm!

      If you Google

      Chss bronchiectasis

      It should be the pdf second item down.

      Hope that helps!

      S

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    • Posted

      Thankyou, that will be helpfull, it is so monotonous doing mucus clearence daily and actually checking the colour, some days I will not even look. It's a hard knock life, for us smile
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    • Posted

      Yeah very tedious... And rather disgustingly noisy! 

      C'est  la vie!

      Still, a bit of exercise (get panting, helps to clear stuff), stay hydrated (helps) and don't be afraid to make a God  awful rattling huff and cough. There's a curious thing called lady windermere's syndrome. Basically it's the result of not coughing (not ladylike) and that's a bad thing. We may not have the world's best lungs, but we have the noisiest!

      Stay well, clear lungs

      S

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