How to stay healthy with Bronchiectasis

Posted by janeb @janeb, Dec 17, 2019

Dear Friends,
I was diagnosed with the big B four years ago. I have been very fortunate and have what my Pulmanologis calls “flare ups” only occasionally…a week of antibotics puts things back in order. I am not sure what brings the flare ups on. Our home is hepa filtered throughout and when the forest fires come in the late summer I stay inside. I’m wondering whether you all use care to avoid certain environments or circumstances. Can you give me some advise regarding what to avoid? Thank you all in advance for any thoughtful advise.
Jane

Liked by lorifilipek

@janeb Hi Jane – If you have been living with bronchiectasis successfully for 2 years with few flareups and no further damage from the MAI, I would say keep doing what you are doing now.
If you are feeling worsening lung symptoms, like cough, shortness of breath, fever, fatigue or recent weight loss, it might be time for another doctor visit.
I am curious about the "flare ups" – what symptoms do you have that make you seek care? What diagnostics are perfomed before meds are prescribed?
Sue

REPLY
@sueinmn

@janeb Hi Jane – If you have been living with bronchiectasis successfully for 2 years with few flareups and no further damage from the MAI, I would say keep doing what you are doing now.
If you are feeling worsening lung symptoms, like cough, shortness of breath, fever, fatigue or recent weight loss, it might be time for another doctor visit.
I am curious about the "flare ups" – what symptoms do you have that make you seek care? What diagnostics are perfomed before meds are prescribed?
Sue

Jump to this post

My coughing increases, I notice an increase in phlegm (I use a flutter valve nightly) and I experience a general loss of energy and shortness of breath.

REPLY
@janeb

My coughing increases, I notice an increase in phlegm (I use a flutter valve nightly) and I experience a general loss of energy and shortness of breath.

Jump to this post

@janeb Hi Jane – Glad to hear your doc has found a plan that works for you!

REPLY

@janeb Hi Jane…. I have learned from this site that showerheads are a breeding ground for MAC. Many on this site take baths or use a specific head that can be opened up to dry. If I am dying for a shower, I personally have a stock of cheap shower heads from Lowes for about $2-3 which can be removed afterward so that water is not pooling in it…then tossed after a few uses. As to other things to avoid….swimming pools and hot tubs are high on the list. Gardening, especially around peat. I use a surgeons mask that filters out viral and other pathogens etc when I garden and also when flu season hits when grocery shopping or in close contact with people. I am not sure if I am overboard or not but those are my precautionary measures.
I find that for me, keeping a pretty pure diet is important to overall health and lung health. I try to eat mostly natural foods. (plant-based.)

I just did come across this video on specific foods for lung health and thought it might be helpful. It is mostly veggies and fruits as you will see…but, yay, chocolate is included also!! Dark chocolate is my weakness, though now I can certainly feel better about it. Also, look into NAC as a supplement which is great for the lungs.

Here is the food/lung video: https://www.brighteon.com/dae77fd0-f67a-4574-a437-32b55b66b718

Here is a brief article on NAC benefits inclusive of the lung: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/nac-benefits#section1
and a more in-depth one on NAC mainly for lung health: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2706612/
So…that is my contribution….stay as healthy as possible! Best wishes!! Good luck with those scary fires!
Kate

REPLY
@alleycatkate

@janeb Hi Jane…. I have learned from this site that showerheads are a breeding ground for MAC. Many on this site take baths or use a specific head that can be opened up to dry. If I am dying for a shower, I personally have a stock of cheap shower heads from Lowes for about $2-3 which can be removed afterward so that water is not pooling in it…then tossed after a few uses. As to other things to avoid….swimming pools and hot tubs are high on the list. Gardening, especially around peat. I use a surgeons mask that filters out viral and other pathogens etc when I garden and also when flu season hits when grocery shopping or in close contact with people. I am not sure if I am overboard or not but those are my precautionary measures.
I find that for me, keeping a pretty pure diet is important to overall health and lung health. I try to eat mostly natural foods. (plant-based.)

I just did come across this video on specific foods for lung health and thought it might be helpful. It is mostly veggies and fruits as you will see…but, yay, chocolate is included also!! Dark chocolate is my weakness, though now I can certainly feel better about it. Also, look into NAC as a supplement which is great for the lungs.

Here is the food/lung video: https://www.brighteon.com/dae77fd0-f67a-4574-a437-32b55b66b718

Here is a brief article on NAC benefits inclusive of the lung: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/nac-benefits#section1
and a more in-depth one on NAC mainly for lung health: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2706612/
So…that is my contribution….stay as healthy as possible! Best wishes!! Good luck with those scary fires!
Kate

Jump to this post

Dear Kate,
Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply.
Merry a Christmas
Jane

Liked by alleycatkate

REPLY
@sueinmn

@janeb Hi Jane – Glad to hear your doc has found a plan that works for you!

Jump to this post

🙂

REPLY
@alleycatkate

@janeb Hi Jane…. I have learned from this site that showerheads are a breeding ground for MAC. Many on this site take baths or use a specific head that can be opened up to dry. If I am dying for a shower, I personally have a stock of cheap shower heads from Lowes for about $2-3 which can be removed afterward so that water is not pooling in it…then tossed after a few uses. As to other things to avoid….swimming pools and hot tubs are high on the list. Gardening, especially around peat. I use a surgeons mask that filters out viral and other pathogens etc when I garden and also when flu season hits when grocery shopping or in close contact with people. I am not sure if I am overboard or not but those are my precautionary measures.
I find that for me, keeping a pretty pure diet is important to overall health and lung health. I try to eat mostly natural foods. (plant-based.)

I just did come across this video on specific foods for lung health and thought it might be helpful. It is mostly veggies and fruits as you will see…but, yay, chocolate is included also!! Dark chocolate is my weakness, though now I can certainly feel better about it. Also, look into NAC as a supplement which is great for the lungs.

Here is the food/lung video: https://www.brighteon.com/dae77fd0-f67a-4574-a437-32b55b66b718

Here is a brief article on NAC benefits inclusive of the lung: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/nac-benefits#section1
and a more in-depth one on NAC mainly for lung health: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2706612/
So…that is my contribution….stay as healthy as possible! Best wishes!! Good luck with those scary fires!
Kate

Jump to this post

@alleycatkate There is a lot of literature about how NAC can help, but what is missing is literature that describes any adverse effects of an overdose of NAC. What I would recommend for anyone who is taking NAC is to keep track of any changes in symptoms, and stop or consult a doctor immediately if there is an adverse effect. At one time, I read some literature that suggested that an overdose of NAC could have the opposite effect and cause an increase in oxidative stress by causing an alternate biochemical reaction loop. I've been looking, but not finding related literature.

It is from my own experience that I make these suggestions and I have allergic asthma. I did take the same dose that was mentioned in the links from this post NAC 600 mg twice a day, and after a few weeks I did experience my lung function improve and the phlegm was easy to clear, but a few weeks after, I developed thirst that increased every day and became excessive. I wasn't able to tolerate eating protein foods like meat because it increased my thirst. Proteins are made of connected amino acids which digestion breaks down, and NAC also is an amino acid. I stopped taking NAC on the 5th day of the thirst. I was drinking a lot of water around the clock, but couldn't quench the thirst and had to get up several times at night. I called Poison Control and asked about overdoses of NAC, but they didn't have any advice to offer. The next day, there was slight improvement in my thirst, and it actually took 5 days to resolve which was the same amount of time it took to get to that extreme. In all fairness, I was also taking a supplement that was made from cruciferous vegetables which also helps the body detox. It may have been an effect caused by the combination of these. The detox supplement said not to take it if you have gallstones, and what also happened is that the normal amount of bile (which is stored in the gall bladder) was decreased in my intestines. Bile is what colors the end products of digestion, and without it, it is colorless. That symptom is an alarm that something might be blocking a bile duct (which could have been inflammation or gall stones). Everything returned to normal within a few days of stopping the supplement and the NAC. I did see my doctor and had an ultrasound of the bile duct and nothing was wrong. I discussed all of this, but there was no explanation as to why this happened.

Since then I have taken NAC infrequently, but no more than 600mg per day, and not every day. I don't want to do this experiment again. I think there are a lot of unknowns even among health care profressionals about what happens when too much a good thing is too much. There are a lot of benefits of NAC and it is a precursor to glutathione which is a master antioxidant in the body, so it's not a bad thing, but pay attention when you try any protocol for adverse effects. Overdoses of vitamins can be toxic too, and I just wanted to share the information in case someone else has the same experience.

This literature does describe an overdose of NAC that was fatal, but it happened as a medication error in using NAC to treat a patient after acetaminophen poisoning.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4354467/

Liked by lorifilipek

REPLY
@jenniferhunter

@alleycatkate There is a lot of literature about how NAC can help, but what is missing is literature that describes any adverse effects of an overdose of NAC. What I would recommend for anyone who is taking NAC is to keep track of any changes in symptoms, and stop or consult a doctor immediately if there is an adverse effect. At one time, I read some literature that suggested that an overdose of NAC could have the opposite effect and cause an increase in oxidative stress by causing an alternate biochemical reaction loop. I've been looking, but not finding related literature.

It is from my own experience that I make these suggestions and I have allergic asthma. I did take the same dose that was mentioned in the links from this post NAC 600 mg twice a day, and after a few weeks I did experience my lung function improve and the phlegm was easy to clear, but a few weeks after, I developed thirst that increased every day and became excessive. I wasn't able to tolerate eating protein foods like meat because it increased my thirst. Proteins are made of connected amino acids which digestion breaks down, and NAC also is an amino acid. I stopped taking NAC on the 5th day of the thirst. I was drinking a lot of water around the clock, but couldn't quench the thirst and had to get up several times at night. I called Poison Control and asked about overdoses of NAC, but they didn't have any advice to offer. The next day, there was slight improvement in my thirst, and it actually took 5 days to resolve which was the same amount of time it took to get to that extreme. In all fairness, I was also taking a supplement that was made from cruciferous vegetables which also helps the body detox. It may have been an effect caused by the combination of these. The detox supplement said not to take it if you have gallstones, and what also happened is that the normal amount of bile (which is stored in the gall bladder) was decreased in my intestines. Bile is what colors the end products of digestion, and without it, it is colorless. That symptom is an alarm that something might be blocking a bile duct (which could have been inflammation or gall stones). Everything returned to normal within a few days of stopping the supplement and the NAC. I did see my doctor and had an ultrasound of the bile duct and nothing was wrong. I discussed all of this, but there was no explanation as to why this happened.

Since then I have taken NAC infrequently, but no more than 600mg per day, and not every day. I don't want to do this experiment again. I think there are a lot of unknowns even among health care profressionals about what happens when too much a good thing is too much. There are a lot of benefits of NAC and it is a precursor to glutathione which is a master antioxidant in the body, so it's not a bad thing, but pay attention when you try any protocol for adverse effects. Overdoses of vitamins can be toxic too, and I just wanted to share the information in case someone else has the same experience.

This literature does describe an overdose of NAC that was fatal, but it happened as a medication error in using NAC to treat a patient after acetaminophen poisoning.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4354467/

Jump to this post

Hi Jennifer, What brand of NAC were you taking? Unfortunately there are very little if any FDA regulations on supplements such as NAC. Perhaps your reaction could have been from some added ingredient. Some of these supplements are produced in China, buyer beware. I like the LifeExtension brand and am taking 600mg twice daily. I can tell my sputum is getting easier to cough up and with more of a clear color.

REPLY
@poodledoc

Hi Jennifer, What brand of NAC were you taking? Unfortunately there are very little if any FDA regulations on supplements such as NAC. Perhaps your reaction could have been from some added ingredient. Some of these supplements are produced in China, buyer beware. I like the LifeExtension brand and am taking 600mg twice daily. I can tell my sputum is getting easier to cough up and with more of a clear color.

Jump to this post

@poodledoc I think it was the store brand from The Vitamin Shoppe. I didn't have any adverse reactions to it at 600 mg per day. I'm glad it is helping you. I have had problems clearing my lungs because of physical issues due to thoracic outlet syndrome, so my ribs don't expand properly, and it lets phlegm stagnate which leads to infections. I'm working on that in physical therapy, controlling allergies, and using good surgical masks when I will be exposed to dust or irritants, and all of that along with some generic Mucinex now and then is working. I think my best improvement is coming from progress in physical therapy and using myofascial release to reduce the pressure and get muscles around the chest moving better. I don't buy anything edible from China, at least according to labeling. Thanks for your recommendation.

REPLY
@jenniferhunter

@poodledoc I think it was the store brand from The Vitamin Shoppe. I didn't have any adverse reactions to it at 600 mg per day. I'm glad it is helping you. I have had problems clearing my lungs because of physical issues due to thoracic outlet syndrome, so my ribs don't expand properly, and it lets phlegm stagnate which leads to infections. I'm working on that in physical therapy, controlling allergies, and using good surgical masks when I will be exposed to dust or irritants, and all of that along with some generic Mucinex now and then is working. I think my best improvement is coming from progress in physical therapy and using myofascial release to reduce the pressure and get muscles around the chest moving better. I don't buy anything edible from China, at least according to labeling. Thanks for your recommendation.

Jump to this post

Sounds like you have a good plan. I think I will try taking NAC in the AM then Mucinex PM. Another thing you might try that really helps me to bring up mucous is doing the "Huff" cough as described in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UKd-GRNUFk It works best for me if I lie flat on my back. I do it a couple times a day. Good luck to you.

Liked by Jennifer Hunter

REPLY
@jenniferhunter

@alleycatkate There is a lot of literature about how NAC can help, but what is missing is literature that describes any adverse effects of an overdose of NAC. What I would recommend for anyone who is taking NAC is to keep track of any changes in symptoms, and stop or consult a doctor immediately if there is an adverse effect. At one time, I read some literature that suggested that an overdose of NAC could have the opposite effect and cause an increase in oxidative stress by causing an alternate biochemical reaction loop. I've been looking, but not finding related literature.

It is from my own experience that I make these suggestions and I have allergic asthma. I did take the same dose that was mentioned in the links from this post NAC 600 mg twice a day, and after a few weeks I did experience my lung function improve and the phlegm was easy to clear, but a few weeks after, I developed thirst that increased every day and became excessive. I wasn't able to tolerate eating protein foods like meat because it increased my thirst. Proteins are made of connected amino acids which digestion breaks down, and NAC also is an amino acid. I stopped taking NAC on the 5th day of the thirst. I was drinking a lot of water around the clock, but couldn't quench the thirst and had to get up several times at night. I called Poison Control and asked about overdoses of NAC, but they didn't have any advice to offer. The next day, there was slight improvement in my thirst, and it actually took 5 days to resolve which was the same amount of time it took to get to that extreme. In all fairness, I was also taking a supplement that was made from cruciferous vegetables which also helps the body detox. It may have been an effect caused by the combination of these. The detox supplement said not to take it if you have gallstones, and what also happened is that the normal amount of bile (which is stored in the gall bladder) was decreased in my intestines. Bile is what colors the end products of digestion, and without it, it is colorless. That symptom is an alarm that something might be blocking a bile duct (which could have been inflammation or gall stones). Everything returned to normal within a few days of stopping the supplement and the NAC. I did see my doctor and had an ultrasound of the bile duct and nothing was wrong. I discussed all of this, but there was no explanation as to why this happened.

Since then I have taken NAC infrequently, but no more than 600mg per day, and not every day. I don't want to do this experiment again. I think there are a lot of unknowns even among health care profressionals about what happens when too much a good thing is too much. There are a lot of benefits of NAC and it is a precursor to glutathione which is a master antioxidant in the body, so it's not a bad thing, but pay attention when you try any protocol for adverse effects. Overdoses of vitamins can be toxic too, and I just wanted to share the information in case someone else has the same experience.

This literature does describe an overdose of NAC that was fatal, but it happened as a medication error in using NAC to treat a patient after acetaminophen poisoning.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4354467/

Jump to this post

@jenniferhunter Hi Jennifer, Thanks for your response on NAC.  It was suggested to me to supplement with NAC by my primary Dr. for lung health. I have taken as suggested for several years with no problems, only positive results. That said,  I should probably never suggest anything without the caveat of checking with your Dr. first and checking the internet for negative responses. Thought well tolerated by most with a typical dosage, there are some reactions to note… I certainly hope it was not the NAC that made an issue for you. I checked and do see that it should be watched if you have asthma.  Perhaps as you suggest, the combo of the detoxing medication and the NAC may have been the problem. ?? It does seem that your resultant problem with bile and a detoxing supplement warning you not to take with gall bladder issues (related to bile) could indicate the detox product might be at fault. Possibly as you suggest, the combo of the two together could have been the problem…. I am sorry that you had a problem and am sure that it was alarming to you.  We should always be mindful when starting a new regime to be alert for any negative responses as you suggest. And in the future, I will certainly use more caution in any suggestions made….thank you. Even though we all have a disease in common our bodies are all quite different. I am sorry if the NAC had anything to do with your response as I am sure that was concerning and stressful for you. Happy to hear that you are feeling better. Thanks for your heads up on this. 
Best,  Kate

Liked by Jennifer Hunter

REPLY
@alleycatkate

@jenniferhunter Hi Jennifer, Thanks for your response on NAC.  It was suggested to me to supplement with NAC by my primary Dr. for lung health. I have taken as suggested for several years with no problems, only positive results. That said,  I should probably never suggest anything without the caveat of checking with your Dr. first and checking the internet for negative responses. Thought well tolerated by most with a typical dosage, there are some reactions to note… I certainly hope it was not the NAC that made an issue for you. I checked and do see that it should be watched if you have asthma.  Perhaps as you suggest, the combo of the detoxing medication and the NAC may have been the problem. ?? It does seem that your resultant problem with bile and a detoxing supplement warning you not to take with gall bladder issues (related to bile) could indicate the detox product might be at fault. Possibly as you suggest, the combo of the two together could have been the problem…. I am sorry that you had a problem and am sure that it was alarming to you.  We should always be mindful when starting a new regime to be alert for any negative responses as you suggest. And in the future, I will certainly use more caution in any suggestions made….thank you. Even though we all have a disease in common our bodies are all quite different. I am sorry if the NAC had anything to do with your response as I am sure that was concerning and stressful for you. Happy to hear that you are feeling better. Thanks for your heads up on this. 
Best,  Kate

Jump to this post

@alleycatkate That was a few years ago, and I was concerned of course. Thanks for your response. I liked your post and thought it was very informative, so no apology is necessary. I also try to be careful on how I word things and always present information and to leave a choice to the patient. I do explain how something can benefit, but also how something can be overlooked or missed, or even have a negative or unintended consequence, and I leave the medical decisions to the medically trained professionals. No one knows everything, and even doctors miss things, so as patients, we need to be vigilant about our health and question things if something doesn't seem right, but some times with questions, there are no answers. I just think that by sharing information, we all learn. NAC certainly has a lot of good benefits and there is a lot of literature backing that up. Thanks again.

REPLY
@jenniferhunter

@alleycatkate That was a few years ago, and I was concerned of course. Thanks for your response. I liked your post and thought it was very informative, so no apology is necessary. I also try to be careful on how I word things and always present information and to leave a choice to the patient. I do explain how something can benefit, but also how something can be overlooked or missed, or even have a negative or unintended consequence, and I leave the medical decisions to the medically trained professionals. No one knows everything, and even doctors miss things, so as patients, we need to be vigilant about our health and question things if something doesn't seem right, but some times with questions, there are no answers. I just think that by sharing information, we all learn. NAC certainly has a lot of good benefits and there is a lot of literature backing that up. Thanks again.

Jump to this post

@jenniferhunter …Thanks, Jennifer. You are so right about being careful in advising others. And we all do need to proceed with caution when it comes to our health.

Liked by Jennifer Hunter

REPLY
@alleycatkate

@jenniferhunter Hi Jennifer, Thanks for your response on NAC.  It was suggested to me to supplement with NAC by my primary Dr. for lung health. I have taken as suggested for several years with no problems, only positive results. That said,  I should probably never suggest anything without the caveat of checking with your Dr. first and checking the internet for negative responses. Thought well tolerated by most with a typical dosage, there are some reactions to note… I certainly hope it was not the NAC that made an issue for you. I checked and do see that it should be watched if you have asthma.  Perhaps as you suggest, the combo of the detoxing medication and the NAC may have been the problem. ?? It does seem that your resultant problem with bile and a detoxing supplement warning you not to take with gall bladder issues (related to bile) could indicate the detox product might be at fault. Possibly as you suggest, the combo of the two together could have been the problem…. I am sorry that you had a problem and am sure that it was alarming to you.  We should always be mindful when starting a new regime to be alert for any negative responses as you suggest. And in the future, I will certainly use more caution in any suggestions made….thank you. Even though we all have a disease in common our bodies are all quite different. I am sorry if the NAC had anything to do with your response as I am sure that was concerning and stressful for you. Happy to hear that you are feeling better. Thanks for your heads up on this. 
Best,  Kate

Jump to this post

@alleycatkate I think we should tell others what we do, and works for us, and then they should investigate it for themselves. We are all very keen to help others which is fantastic, I have seen so many great ideas on here that have been a big help to me. Thanks Heather

REPLY

@heatherf Heather…I have found so many great suggestions on this site but always do a little research before implementing. I guess I just assumed that everyone did that but I will be mindful in the future to suggest investigation. Yah…this site would not work well if folks did not chime in with what works for them. What a superior group of people…all so helpful and kind!! Happy Holidays, Heather. Love, Kate

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