Pneumonia is a severe respiratory disorder which highly infects the lungs. Pneumonia attacks when foreign particles intruded into the lungs causing inflammation of the alveoli of lungs. Alveoli are the very small bag like structures present in the lungs whose function is to absorb oxygen. Pneumonia is of three types namely viral pneumonia, fungal pneumonia and bacterial pneumonia. The foremost triggers of pneumonia are bacteria, fungi and virus. Such microbes weaken the human immune system. Weakened immune system is highly prone to secondary infections. Air is the medium through which pathogens intruded into the lungs. Pneumonia is extremely transmittable. Inhaling contaminated air and when a healthy individual gets in contact with infected patient or his/her stuff results in causing pneumonia. Outbreak of bird flu, severe acute respiratory syndrome, H5n1 influenza etc. can also cause pneumonia.
Identifying the symptoms and its causes is mandatory as it makes easier to treat. Cough is a major symptom of the pneumonia. High fever and chills can be observed. Mild and severe headache, weight loss, chest pain due to chest congestion, breath shortness is the most commonly observed symptoms. People with impaired immune system are at high risk of getting affected by pneumonia. Most common bacteria causing pneumonia in adults is streptococcus pneumoniae and mycoplasma pneumoniae in children.
TYPES OF PNEUMONIA
Apart from bacterial, viral, fungal pneumonia there are few more types like.
- Aspiration Pneumonia:-
When external bodies enter into the lungs through food, saliva results in aspiration pneumonia. Drug addicts, alcoholics, smokers are easily infected by this disorder. Individuals who suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease can be susceptible to this disorder.
- Community Acquired Pneumonia (CAP):-
CAP can be usually seen during winters resulting in severe chest pain, high cough, and shortness of breath. CAP caused due to the infection of pathogens in the bronchitis of the lungs.
- Opportunistic Pneumonia:-
This disorder is due to fungal growth. Individuals with compromised immune system are at high risk of formulating this disease.
- Walking Pneumonia:-
This shows less severe and hospitalization is not necessary. Mycoplasma is just like the causative agent. It even can be cured at home.
DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT:-
Diagnosis of pneumonia include tests like chest CT scan, arterial blood gases test (to identify the oxygen supply), is executed. In order to determine the causing agent tests like gram stain or sputum culture test, ample test, chest x-ray, breathing analysis, WBC test, bronchoscopy are performed.
It is highly recommended to treat in primary stages of infection because the chances are high that it may turn worse and life threatening too, if untreated. Treatment is given as per the severity of the disease. Physician may prescribe medications like antifungal or antibiotics or antiviral depending upon the causative agent. Aspirin can be given to cure the fever and to maintain the normal body temperature. Vaccination in childhood is the best way to stay away from this disorder. Cough can be relieved by taking expectorants and cough medicines as prescribed by the doctor. Hospitalization is must for the patients of age 65 or more as they may be suffering from diabetes, asthma etc. The pneumococcal vaccine or ‘pneumo jab’ is helpful to battle against pneumonia and restricts spreading. Hygiene and a healthy diet which keeps your immune system strong must be followed. Aromatherapy is helpful to clear the respiratory path.
FOODS RECOMMENDED DURING PNEUMONIA:-
The rich carbohydrate food whole grains like brown rice, oats, barley, quinoa, popcorn. Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are highly beneficial. Puddings, milkshakes and custard are preferred as it contains high calories which provide energy. Cereals, Breads, pasta, crackers are rich whole grains foods. Protein foods like beans, skinless poultry and fish, lentils. High intake of water and other fluids keeps the body hydrated and decreases the chest congestion. Healthy fats like peanut butter, avocados, olive oil, sunflower seeds nuts, soy milk, olives. Natural pulmonary expectorants herbs are highly preferred. Vegetables and fresh fruits containing rich vitamins are also recommended. Decoction of fenugreek, eucalyptus, sesame seeds, and licorice can clear the respiratory tract. Pear juice loosens the chest congestion.
FOODS MUST BE AVOIDED
Red and processed Meat should be avoided which contains fat causes inflammation. Oil and spicy foods must be avoided as it can severe the condition. Alcohol and caffeinated drinks must be avoided as it may disturb the treatment. Pastries, cheese, butter, margarine, ice cream, coconut oil which are unhealthy fats. Milk and dairy products must be removed from diet as it increases mucus secretion. Foods containing artificial colors, additives and flavors are strictly not allowed.
HOME REMEDIES TO CURE PNEUMONIA
Camphor, lemon, pine, eucalyptus steam vapors fight against the infection and improve respiration. To cure fever take a spoon of natural honey add powdered ginger, few drops of lime juice mix it well and apply on forehead.
Honey is potent medicine for alleviating cold, pneumonia and cough. Simply mix one to one and ½ teaspoon of honey in one glass of lukewarm water. Drink around 3-4 glasses of this mixture as it will assists in calming the symptoms of pneumonia.
- Juice therapy:-
Drink 6-7 ounces glasses juices of parsley, carrot, spinach with cumin powder and a piece of garlic.
- Homeopathy: -
Phosphorous: – It can be given for the patients having symptoms like phlegm of rust color, trembling, cold drinks desire, weakness.
Bryonia: – It is best for chest pains which are sharp caused by movements.
Sanguinaria: – it should be given when right lung having chest compression and flu like symptom.
Aconite: – It is excellent for fever and anxiety like symptoms.
Nutritional supplements: – Quercetin, manganese, bee pollen, pine tree bark, zinc, acidophilus supplements, proteolytic enzymes can strengthen the immune system.