Re: Why do I keep getting bronchitis? Help.
I'm 32, and develop combination cold/bronchitis episodes at least 2x a year, no matter what I do. Though I can't stop them from occuring, I have learned to manage the situation so that the cold will no longer turn into bronchitis.
10 years ago, I was very frustrated at what was a clear pattern. I would get a cold, which would start in the head. Sometimes it would immediately move into my lungs, other times I'd have the cold for 1 weeks, then have a full recovery for 2 days, only on the 3rd day to develop bronchitis. I felt like I was doomed, because once the bronchitis started, it would take 4-5 weeks to get over the bronchitis.
I suspected that the bronchitis might not be a bacterial infection, but simply my lungs and nasal passages over-producing mucous in response to the cold. I began thinking that if I could reduce the mucous, I might not experience the symptoms of bronchitis. At the same time, a researcher at University of Virginia came out with a study demonstrating that a combination of a decongestent ( Pseudoephedrine ) and anti-inflammatory agent (like Advil)absolutley shortened the duration of cold/bronchitis symptoms.
So I began testing this theory, and have used this method every time I feel the first symptoms of a cold. What I do is immediately begin taking pseudoephedrine pills around the clock. I never miss a dose. I also take Advil, but found that I can skip it. If I begin taking the pseudoephedrine tablets before I "puss out" from the cold, I can prevent all that pus and mucous from forming to begin with. If the mucous doesn't form, it doesn't get into my lungs, and I don't get bronchitis. I have to stay on the pseudoephedrine until the very last day of the cold (usually about 10 days). But the miracle is, that my colds no longer turn into bronchitis. During the last 10 years, I wasn't able to get pseudoephedrine at one point, and i developed the bronchitis. With my next cold, I went back on the pseudoephedrine, and I had no bronchitis.
Pseudoephedrine is no longer sold on the pharmacy shelves in most states due to meth addicts using it to make meth. But it IS available without a prescription behind the counters of most pharmacies. You usually have to sign a register at the pharmacy with your name and addresss when you buy a pack.
The stuff that's sold OTC, that's replaced the pseudoephedrine, is called Phenylephrine - and this stuff doesn't work at all. Not for mucous-makers like us. So the brands that used to contain pseudoephedrine have replaced the OTC versions with phenylephrine, but you can still get the original versions behind the coutner fromthe pharmacist, without a prescription. You can also get generic forms of pseudoephedrine, which I prefer. I'd rather not take stuff like Nyquil or Sudafed, because I prefer the pure pseudoephedrine tablets.
To sleep at night with a cold, I just add in something like a Tylenol "simply sleep".
I promise that this works wonders!