“Bronchitis is an inflammation of the large airways. Bronchitis can be caused by a number of different things, most commonly infections”
Professor of medicine and associate director of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at the University of Texas Houston Medical School, Richard Castriotta, MD, speaking about the difference between Asthma and Bronchitis.
I’m a chronic sufferer from Bronchitis, not Asthma, as I may have previously mentioned (Deer, 2015, May 1) on my Blog My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica. The two diseases are very similar (Vann, 2011), but have important differences.
My doctor and my parents have set me straight on the facts, as I’d have died a long time ago, really. BOTH Asthma and Bronchitis (Zanni, 2013) are lung disease that involve the inflammation of the bronchial tubes, making it hard for the sufferer to breathe.
However, Asthma is a chronic disease whereas Bronchitis can either be:
- Acute (short term)
- Chronic (long term)
This inflammation is caused either by infections or exposure to irritants, such as cigarette smoke, blocking the airways to the lungs. Mucus is produced by the bronchial tubes resulting in the sufferer having a persistent cough, the body’s way of clearing the blocked passage way in order to breathe.
In the case of Asthma, this persistent cough (Campbell, 2015, May 18) is often accompanied by repeated flare ups of the disease with the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Tightness in the chest
- Wheezing during an attack
Bronchitis on the other hand, has on peculiar symptom (Vann, 2011) that differentiates it from Asthma; a mild fever:
- Low-grade fever
- Shortness of breath
- Tightness in the chest
- Wheezing during an attack
Albeit the condition is often associated with smokers, I assure you, I do not smoke, but I do get attacks when around people who smoke. Both Asthma and Bronchitis can be caused by smoke from cigarettes, cigars, Industrial smoke (Esposito, 2015) and even e-cigarettes!
The cause of both diseases is unknown but attacks are triggered by a variety of stimuli:
- Air pollution
- Respiratory infections
- Weather conditions
- Sulfites in food and certain medications
So what drugs are there to treat Asthma and Bronchitis? Well I can tell you what I use!
Current Asthma Medication – Why I absolutely hate Salbutamol and Beclometasone inhalers
There are many medical treatments for Asthma or Bronchitis, mainly involving taking Salbutamol pills or the use of a Salbutamol and Beclometasone inhalers.
Salbutamol (C13H21NO3) is also called albuterol and is often marketed as Ventolin, Ventoline, Ventilan, Aerolin, or Ventorlin.
It’s used as a relief of bronchospasm, the rapid contraction of the bronchial smooth muscles during a Chronic Asthma or Bronchitis or a combination of both plus emphysema called COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease).
Salbutamol’s side effect (Wikipedia, 2015, August 27) includes:
- Disturbances of sleep and behaviour
- Dry mouth
- Fine tremor
- Muscle cramps
- Myocardial ischemia
Beclometasone, more properly called Beclometasone Dipropionate, (C28H37ClO7), potent glucocorticoid steroid, is used to reduce the formation of more mucus.
This means it’s a prophylactic of Asthma, preventing a simple Bronchitis attach from escalating into a Bronchial Asthma attack.
Side effects from the use of Beclometasone include:
- Cough upon inhalation
- Deposition on the tongue and throat
- Nasal congestion
- Oral candidiasis
- Smell similar to burning plastic
- Unpleasant taste
- Visual changes
I usually take the Salbutamol as 4mg pills of Salbutamol Sulpate, and I have both a Salbutamol and Beclometasone inhalers on standby at all times.
But I dislike the taste of these medications as well as their side effects. Salbutamol Sulphate pills causes your heart to race if you take more than two (2) them and without the Beclometasone inhaler, their effects take a good 20 minutes to kick in fully.
By then your heart is racing and pumping at a phenomenal rate, implying that this is really a steroid and can potentially give you a heart attack or a serious stroke.
But worse to me is the inhalers, especially if you have the combined Salbutamol/Beclometasone inhalers. I’ve found that the best way to alleviate those symptoms is to just simply sterilize my inhalers with alcohol with bleach before use and then brush my teeth immediately after to get rid of the taste.
This as I often get a throat cold every time I use my inhalers, as often, albeit covered with their caps, I don’t clean them after each use as dust, mucus and spit may swirl and congregate on them inside of my bag where I keep them while attention the MICO University College.
This unpleasantness has forced me to seek alternative treatments
Alternatives for Asthma and Bronchitis Sufferers – Dietary change and Medicinal Herbs and Spices
Some simple alternative remedies such as acupuncture, massage and herbal remedies (Parikh, 2015) can bring relief from the symptoms without the need to resort to taking drugs.
However, I’ve been exploring herbal remedies, especially as I do spend a lot of time shopping downtown (Deer, 2015, May 7) and I realize a change of diet to vegetables and less meat has been doing me a world of good.
First, you’ll have to change your diet and lifestyle (Vann, 2011) to prevent the condition that causes an Asthma, Bronchitis or COPD Attack from occurring:
- Don’t expose yourself to triggers that case an attack
- Don’t smoke, and avoid being around cigarette smoke
- Get a pneumonia shot
- Get an annual flu shot
- Remove salt from your diet
That last bit of advice on the pneumonia shot applies if you are over age 65 with emphysema, diabetes, and heart disease.
But back to the herbal remedies! I’ve have had experience with making alcoholic suspensions via organic separation method, particularly with Marijuana (Deer, 2013, October 24), so these methods can be expanded to preparing your own home remedies.
The following herbs and spices that you can find in Downtown Kingston are great for Asthma and Bronchitis:
- Eucalyptus Oil
- Mustard Oil
- Noni Wine
Masticate them and make an alcoholic suspension to preserve them for use later or use distilled water (Deer, 2013, February 5) to boil a tea and drink. I’ve been using them and they all provide relief, sometimes without even drinking but from merely inhaling the vapours.
Noni (Deer, 2014, October 31) also works to relieve Asthma, Bronchitis and COPD, though it’s harder to prepare and requires skill for extraction.
These alternatives work without any of the side effect and as I’ve used them all, I can personally attest to their curative properties.
Here’s the link:
- Campbell, S. (2015, May 18). Differences Between Asthma and Bronchitis. Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/220387-differences-between-Asthma-Bronchitis/
- Deer, L. (2013, February 5). How to Make Distilled Water using a Solar Desalinator. Retrieved from http://www.geezam.com/how-to-make-distilled-water-using-a-solar-desalinator/
- Deer, L. (2013, October 24). Ras Puddler says Legalization of Marijuana benefits large Scale Growers – How Teenagers can Learn to Extract THC for personal Use to make Chocolate Cookie, Brownies and Sorrell Cake for Christmas. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2013/10/ras-puddler-says-legalization-of.html
- Deer, L. (2014, October 31). Noni Wine from Journey’s End Wine Company by November 2014 – Panacea among the Flavours of the Past an @ackeewine success this Christmas 2014. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2014/10/noni-wine-from-journeys-end-wine.html
- Deer, L. (2015, May 1). @UniofNottingham Bald’s Leechbook recipe kills MRSA – Dark Ages shines Medieval Light on Modern Anti-biotics. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2015/05/University-Nottingham-Bald-Leechbook-MRSA-Dark-Middle-Ages.html
- Deer, L. (2015, May 7). KSAC and NWC and the Raw Sewage problem in Downtown Kingston – How to restore order by making Downtown safe for Vendors and Shoppers. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2015/05/KSAC-NWC-Raw-SewageCoronation-Market-Heywood-Pechon-Streets-Downtown-Kingston.html
- Esposito, L. (2015, May 20). COPD, Asthma and the Environment. Retrieved from http://health.usnews.com/health-news/patient-advice/articles/2015/05/20/copd-Asthma-and-the-environment
- Parikh, P. (2015, July 15). Alternative Treatments to Ease Asthma and Allergies. Retrieved from http://health.usnews.com/health-news/patient-advice/articles/2015/07/15/alternative-treatments-to-ease-Asthma-and-allergies
- Vann, M. (2011, December 6). Is It Asthma, Bronchitis, or Both? Retrieved from http://www.everydayhealth.com/Asthma/Bronchitis-or-Asthma.aspx
- Wikipedia. (2015, 15 July). Beclometasone dipropionate. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beclometasone_dipropionate
- Wikipedia. (2015, August 27). Salbutamol. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salbutamol
- Zanni, G.R. (2013, November 29). Bronchitis: Symptoms and Treatment. Retrieved from http://health.usnews.com/health-news/health-wellness/articles/2013/11/29/Bronchitis-symptoms-and-treatment