Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchi - the tubes that connect your trachea to your lungs. Acute bronchitis is usually caused by an infection - typically bacterial or viral - while chronic bronchitis is caused by a continuous irritation to the lungs, such as smoking or exposure to toxic chemicals.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Dietary Supplements
- Hot Water Bottles
- Vitamin C
- Pollen/dust Masks
- Hot water bottles
Take steps to reduce your exposure to toxins. Avoid smoking and breathing in secondhand smoke, stay indoors as much as possible during periods of high air pollution, and wear the appropriate face mask and protection if you work with chemicals or other irritants.
Use a humidifier or vaporizer to add moisture to the air. This will help loosen secretions and help you breathe easier.
Place a hot-water bottle or a warm, moist cloth on your chest and back. This will reduce inflammation and is particularly useful at night, when you want to sleep.
Cover your nose and mouth with a scarf if you must go out into cold air. The cold can further aggravate bronchitis.
Avoid using a cough suppressant, except at night. You need to cough in order to bring up secretions.
Take medications as directed. If you are taking antibiotics for a bacterial infection, take the entire dose, even if you start to feel better before it is completed.
Use aerosols and inhalers as directed. Do not use a larger dose than directed and do not use more frequently than directed. This can cause side effects.
Talk to a naturopathic doctor or general practitioner about dietary supplements such as goldenseal, echinacea, colloidal silver, zinc, coenzyme Q10, and vitamins A and C.
Improve your diet. Drink plenty of fluids, such as water, herbal teas and soups.
Eliminate or reduce your intake of mucus-forming foods such as dairy products, white flour, sweet fruits, sugar and some processed foods, and avoid substances that cause allergic reactions.
Tips and warnings
- You should see a doctor if symptoms last longer than a week; if your mucus turns yellow, green or rust-colored; if the cough increases in severity; or if you have deep chest pain when you cough.
- Call your doctor if you are having trouble breathing, or seek emergency care.
- If you have any questions or concerns, contact a physician or other health care professional before engaging in any activity related to health and diet. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.