Pneumonia is a serious respiratory disease that results when invading microorganisms affect the lungs, causing them to become severely inflamed. As this inflammation occurs, the part of the lung and/or bronochial tubes (bronchi) that are affected lose their natural sponginess, harden, and become less functional. In the United States, pneumonia ranks as the number one fatal infectious disease, killing as many as 70,000 people each year, and affecting another two million. Particularly at risk are children under one year of age, people 60 years and older, smokers, alcoholics, and people with diabetes
Pneumonia most commonly strikes during winter, but can occur at any time of the year. In addition, it can be contracted by visits to the hospital, and as a result of other health conditions, including colds and flu and bronchitis, as well as AIDS and other immunosuppressive diseases, such as cancer.
Caution: If you suspect you have pneumonia, seek immediate medical attention. Left untreated, pneumonia can be fatal.
Types of Pneumonia
There are two types of pneumonia—bronchopneumonia and lobar pneumonia. Bronchopneumonia affects only the bronchi of the upper respiratory tract, whereas lobarpneumonia can affect the entire lung.
The most common symptoms of both types of pneumonia are sensations of breathlessness; rapid, shallow breathing; chest pain; sore throat; headache; cough with mucus and/or blood; fever; sweating; and chills and shivering.
Approximately half of all pneumonia cases are due to viral infection. Bacterial infection is another major cause, however, with the most common bacterial causes being Pneumococcus, Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Klebsiella, E. coli, proteus, Pseudomonas, and Hemophilus. Fungal infections can also play a role in the development and progression of pneumonia, as can other chronic respiratory diseases and diseases that compromise the immune system. Hospitalization and hospital visits can also increase the risk of pneumonia, as can smoking, alcohol and drug abuse, and the use of immunosuppressive drugs.
Note: Pneumonia is a serious disease and should be treated with the help of a holistic health professional. In addition, when treating pneumonia, care must be taken to ensure that complete recovery occurs. Even after symptoms abate, they can flare up again if not properly treated and monitored, so be sure to get adequate amounts of rest and maintain your treatment protocols for at least one to two weeks after your symptoms disappear.
If you suffer from pneumonia, you need to be screened for food allergies and sensitivities, and then avoid eating those foods that you are allergic or sensitive to. In addition, avoid all sugar and sugar products, including an excess of sweet fruits, wheat and wheat byproducts, soft drinks, commercially processed foods, and all foods containing artificial ingredients, such as additives, colorings, flavorings, and preservatives. Eliminate your intake of all milk and dairy products, as they contribute greatly to mucus in the body. In addition, avoid coffee and all other caffeinated products.
Drink plenty of pure, filtered water — at least eight ounces every two hours; and for best results, add fresh squeezed lemon juice and a dash of cayenne pepper. (Be sure to brush your teeth or rinse well after citrus foods.) Also enjoy fresh squeezed, organic vegetable juices throughout the day, as well as hot broths, especially miso and other soups. Take in lots of warm liquids. Vegetable juices are an important addition to the diet, and the very best option for providing extra nutritional support, especially while sick. They are best made using primarily green vegetables. Use just enough carrot to make your juices sweet enough to be palatable. Add ginger or garlic if desired for a nice warming effect. Diluted organic pear juice can also be helpful, in order to loosen up lung congestion.
At mealtime, emphasize organic, whole foods, especially plenty of fresh, raw organic vegetables, lightly steamed vegetables and veggie soups, miso soup, preferably soaked nuts and seeds, organic, free-range meats, poultry, and wild-caught fish. Eat small quantities of fresh sweet fruits — limit your selection to plums and pears, all berries, including Goji berries, and other less sweet exotic fruits you may find in the region where you live. Non sweet fruits such as avocado, pepper, tomato and cucumbers can be eaten freely. Garlic, ginger, cayenne pepper, chili peppers, and onions should be eaten regularly, due to their powerful health benefits for the lungs and overall respiratory system. Organic, extra virgin olive oil and raw virgin coconut butter/oil can and should be used liberally.
According to leading naturopathic physician and researcher Joseph E. Pizzorno, N.D., President Emeritus of Bastyr University, a vegan diet can significantly improve symptoms of most respiratory conditions, including pneumonia. Such a diet involves eliminating all animal products, as well as fish, eggs, milk, and all other dairy products. Grains should be avoided as well, or eaten in minimal amounts. Dr. Pizzorno also advises limiting your fluid intake to pure, filtered water (avoid chlorinated, fluoridated tap water), and emphasize plenty of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, especially romaine lettuce, carrots, beets, onions, celery, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumber, radishes, Jerusalem artichokes, beans (except soy and green peas), blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cloudberries, black currants, gooseberries, plums, and pears. Apples and citrus fruits (except lemon) are not recommended, however.
Fasting: Fasting 14 to 48 hours under a doctor’s supervision can often help to speedily resolve any threat of pneumonia, if undertaken at the first sign of symptoms. Fasting is to be avoided however, if the patient is too weak or frail. Seek the help of your health care practitioner in this matter.
Useful nutrients for treating pneumonia include vitamin A, beta carotene, vitamin C, bioflavonoids, pine tree bark, and zinc, all of which can help improve immune function and fight off infection. Proteolytic enzymes taken between meals, along with acidophilus supplements, can also be helpful, as can thymus gland extract. Other useful supplements include betaine HCL, bee pollen, quercetin, manganese, N-acetylcysteine (NAC), and selenium.
If you need to take an antibiotic, which is frequently the case with pneumonia, be sure to supplement during the course of treatment, and also after treatment, with a steady course of probiotics, such as acidophilus. Probiotics should be taken for at least 3 weeks following a course of antibiotics as they will help replace the intestinal flora that is weakened when taking antibiotics.
Prescription and non-prescription medication:
What non-prescription and prescription drugs are you taking? Your non-prescription and prescription are partially the reason that you have this illness or disease – you need to get off these medications but do so only under the guidance of a licensed health care practitioner.
Stress is estimated to be a primary contributing factor in over 95 percent of all disease conditions, and is especially responsible for increased susceptibility to the common cold and flu. When you are experiencing stress, your body releases hormones that cause your thymus gland to shrink. Since the thymus gland helps to maintain a strong immune system, as it shrinks, your immunity is lessened, thus increasing your risk of cold and flu viral infection. Among the most common causes of stress are anger, anxiety, depression, divorce, the death of a loved one, fear, job loss or a new job, moving to a new location, and nervousness. Lack of or fitful sleep is also a major source of stress. When you fail to get enough healthy sleep, your body’s natural killer (NK) cells, a vital part of your immune system, can be impaired, making it easier for invading viruses and other pathogens to escape being attacked and destroyed. We know that when the body is out of balance, energy doesn’t flow, leading blockages and eventually dis-ease. Here are some things you can do to combat stress and restore balance:
- Go to a Dr Morter BEST (Bio-Energetic Synchronisation Technique) Practitioner.
- Sign up for Energetic Re-Balancing: 2 practitioners to consider are:
Stephen Lewis, founder of the Aim Program. Find out more by clicking here.
. Find out more by clicking here.
- Consider using Mary Millers Iching System Products – ichingsystemsinstruments.com
- Reiki healing is very powerful in releasing stress and emotional baggage. Find a practitioner here.
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) has had remarkable results in dissolving stress. Find a local practitioner here or go to www.thetappingsolution.com or www.tftrx.com
- Try Hypnotherapy to relax the mind. Find a practitioner here.
Chinese medicine for pneumonia: www.naturalnews.com/023322_herb_Chinese_herbs.html
Coconut oil a natural cure for pneumonia: www.naturalnews.com/025038_coconut_child_oil.html
Gastric acid drugs increase risk of pneumonia: www.naturalnews.com/003090.html
Home ayurvedic cures for pneumonia: www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwCZXoBhBe8
Statins given to elderly increase pneumonia risk: www.naturalnews.com/026620_pneumonia_statins_risk.html
Zinc helps prevent pneumonia in elderly: www.naturalnews.com/029528_zinc_pneumonia.html
Anti-psychotic drugs double risk of pneumonia: www.naturalnews.com/029582_antipsychotics_pneumonia.html
Pneumonia caused by pneumonia vaccine: www.naturalnews.com/023241.html
Further Information (links and books)
Reflexology Rescues for Bronchitis/Pneumonia by Kevin Kunz and Barbara Kunz
Andrea Butje | Aromahead [email protected] – aromatherapy
Carrie Vitt [email protected] – organic food recipes.
David Spector-NSR/USA [email protected] – meditation, stress
Judith Hoad [email protected] – herbalist.
Kath May [email protected] – reiki, tai chi.
Lillian Bridges [email protected] – Chinese medicine, living naturally.
Monika [email protected] – aromatherapy.
Rakesh [email protected] – Ayurvedic Practitioner.