welcome to the organic green doctor blog

i am a family physician who was diagnosed with
early mild cognitive impairment(mci) amnestic type on december 21, 2010
this is a precursor to alzheimers disease
because of this diagnosis i have opted to stop practicing medicine
this blog will be about my journey with this disease
please feel free to follow me along this path
i will continue blogging on organic gardening, green living,
solar power, rainwater collection, and healthy living
i will blog on these plus other things noted to be interesting

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

acute bronchitis

am seeing a lot of acute bronchitis in the clinic

most cases of acute bronchitis are caused by a viral infection
(90% of these infections are viral)

there is no test that diagnoses acute bronchitis

the most prominent symptom is a cough which may last
for three weeks
as the cause is viral no antibiotics are indicated
even if there is green productive sputum

anibiotics should be used only if pertussis(whooping cough)
is suspected eg in unvaccinated people (there is a vaccine for
pertussis for adults <65     it is found in the tdap for tetanus  
the p is for pertussis    get it if you have not had it)

sometimes antibiotics are used for mycoplasma infections also
or in high risk patients such as the elderly or some one
with chronic lung disease

the zpack only works against the mycoplasma and pertussis
infection and not the viral infections

even if the antibiotics are used against the bacterial causes of
the bronchitis the symptoms usually remain ie the damn cough

the cough is treated with bronchidilators such as albuterol
if there is a wheezing component to the cough

antitussive medications  such as dextromethorphin,
codiene, and hydrocodone may help some
but should not be used in children under six years old

other common causes of cough are allergic rhinitis
(nasal allergies),asthma, copd, pneumonia, common cold,
acid reflux, heart failure, sinusitis, or post nasal drip

pneumonia usually causes fever, shortness of breath,
fast heart rate, abnormal breath sounds, the appearance of
looking ill

a recent adult patient with pneumonia seen in the clinic
had cough, felt bad, looked like he did not feel good,
had decreased breath sounds on one side and had
a low oxygen level  
he had pneumonia and was treated with high dose antibiotics

so what do you do if you have acute bronchitis

if cough is bothering you use otc medications such as
mucinex dm or prescription medications for cough
i personally use these so my wife she can sleep at night when
i get acute bronchitis
get rest
drink fluids
be patient
if wheezing may need bronchodilators such as albuterol

if elderly (that age gets higher every year) or if you have lung
disease or if you are in poor health see your doctor

the best treatment is usually time

a good reference for acute bronchitis for  patients is: http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/common/infections/common/mulitsource/677.html

the organicgreen doctor

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