Chronic Bronchitis: An Intro
Chronic bronchitis is one of the major obstructive lung diseases that fall under the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Bronchitis is divided into two sub-categories: acute (short-lived) or chronic (recurring). When an individual repeatedly suffers from a condition that causes the air passages of the lungs to become inflames, they are suffering from chronic bronchitis. The inflammation usually results from irritation or infection; when irritation or infection is present in the large and small bronchi (tree-like air passages in the lungs), the typically thin mucus linings that protect the lungs become inflamed. As a result of the increasing inflammation, the airway linings begin to leak fluids. In order to clear the airway, the body reacts by coughing, thus sufferers of chronic bronchitis often exhibit a moist, painful cough.
4 Stages of Chronic Bronchitis
While there are not specific stages of chronic bronchitis, many individuals use the COPD stages as a model to measure the severity of an individual’s condition. Since chronic bronchitis is one branch of COPD, it is considered acceptable, and is recommend by Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD).
People with a chronic lung disease are often monitored by their lung capacity. Due to the inflammation resulting from chronic bronchitis, it is not surprising that sufferers often struggle to breathe easily. Difficulties arise when they attempt to exhale forcefully and with the volume of air they can hold due to the lessened space. A pulmonary function test (PFT), also known as the forced expiratory volume test (FEV1) is used to monitor the amount of air an individual can expel in the first second of exhaling. This test is often performed in conjunction with a forced vital capacity test (FVC), which measure the patient’s lung volume capacity. The results of both tests are used in the following ratio to determine the severity, and resulting stage, of a patient’s chronic lung condition: FEV1/FVC.
Is It Stage 4 Chronic Bronchitis?
Stage 4 COPD is characterized by a FEV1 test score that is lower than 30 percent. If a patient also has chronic respiratory failure they may have a little as a 50 percent FEV1/FVC ratio.
Sufferers of stage 4 chronic bronchitis (and COPD) often deal with severe chronic coughing, increased sputum and mucus production, frequent respiratory infections, painful breathing, chest tightness, cyanosis (a blue hue to the lips and fingernail beds), unintended weight loss, shortness of breath and chronic respiratory failure.
Treatment for Stage 4 Chronic Bronchitis
Patients with stage 4 of chronic bronchitis have limited options to improve their quality of life. The Lung Institute offers two adult stem cell therapies for stage 4 chronic bronchitis: bone marrow stem cell therapy and venous (blood-derived) stem cell therapy. The venous therapy can be performed on its own when needed. During these therapies, the adult stem cells go through a specific process to target the damaged tissue.
Adult stem cells can be utilized in any organ in the body since stem cells are able to mimic any possible differentiated cells. Since they are capable of self-renewing indefinitely, they can divide many times and can specialize to promote the healing of organs, such as lungs, while still sustaining the original cell.
Stage 4 Chronic Bronchitis Treatment Routine
The stem cells are extracted from the patient’s body either through bone marrow or blood depending on the case. The stem cells are isolated by a trained professional in a clinical setting. The adult stem cells are quickly returned to the patient intravenously. Now, the stem cells will begin to promote the healing of lung tissue. With their ability to continually replicate, the lungs grow stronger, and patients are able to breathe easier and live better.