Chronic Bronchitis Symptoms
The symptoms of bronchitis differ from person to person. Sometimes symptoms will progress very quickly, and other times symptoms will remain mild to moderate for years until progressing rapidly in later stages. Sufferers may experience episodes in which their symptoms suddenly worsen; these episodes are referred to as acute flare-ups of the disease. Shortness of breath is the most common complaint of bronchitis sufferers, other symptoms include:
- Achy joints
- Weight loss
Unfortunately, there has not been a cure developed for chronic bronchitis, but that does not mean that the disease cannot be treated. The first recommendation by any pulmonary physician is to advise individuals to stop smoking and stay away from smoke-filled locations. Many physicians also prescribe a combination of bronchodilators and steroids to help expand the airways, thus allowing more airflow to and from the lungs and reducing shortness of breath. Bronchitis is also commonly treated with a series of pulmonary rehabilitation (aerobic exercise) and nutritional support. For people in the most severe stages of bronchitis, supplemental oxygen is also used for treatment—ranging from occasional use to 24/7 use. Most invasively, a physician may suggest a lung transplant, but this often has limited availability and challenging requirements for eligibility. Sadly no treatment improves lung function, but rather deter the progression of the disease…until now.
What is Chronic Bronchitis?
Breathing comes naturally to many of us. In doing so, we breathe in much needed oxygen into our bloodstream, which enables the body to work and grow. Almost every day, an average person will breathe in and out nearly 25,000 times. Now imagine having a lung disease and struggling just to do this very simple action. Pretty scary if you think about it!
One such lung disease is that of chronic bronchitis. Chronic bronchitis is one of the major conditions contributing to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Bronchitis is a condition in which the air passages of the lungs become inflamed. The inflammation occurs in the trachea (or windpipe), and in the large and small bronchi (or tree-like air passages in the lungs). Bronchitis is the result of irritation or infection, and can either be short-lived (acute) or re-occurring (chronic). When irritation or infection is present in the lungs the thin mucous linings that protect the lungs become inflamed. As a response to the inflammation, the airway linings start to leak fluids. Coughing is the body’s natural reflex to clear the air passageways in the lung. As a result, sufferers of bronchitis often exhibit a wet painful cough.
Cell Therapy for Chronic Bronchitis
In the case of bronchitis, autologous stem cells are used, meaning they come from the patient’s own body, and can be found in adult bone marrow and in the patient’s blood. Stem cells derived from bone marrow or blood have the capacity to form many types of differentiated cells. During the procedure, stem cell treatment involves isolating adult stem cells from bone marrow and blood, which requires special laboratory techniques to collect them. After being extracted from the patient’s body, they are isolated and reintroduced to the patient intravenously. The treatment is minimally invasive, typically an outpatient procedure, and performed in a clinical setting under the supervision of a medical professional.
If you have exhausted conventional medical treatments and are looking for alternatives, stem cell treatment may be a viable option for you. If you or a loved one is interested in cell therapy for lung disease, contact the Lung Institute to learn more or call (800) 729-3065.