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Bronchitis: What to know



Those with bronchitis in their bronchial tubes have swelling and inflammation, the air passages that connect the mouth and nose to the lungs.

Bronchitis symptoms include a cough, wheezing, and respiratory problems. People may also have trouble clearing their airways from heavy mucus or phlegm.

The bronchitis can be chronic or acute. Acute bronchitis appears to clear up but recurrent bronchitis is persistent and never goes away completely. Quitting smoking or avoidance can help prevent bronchitis.

This article looks at the causes, symptoms, treatments, and prevention of bronchitis.


A lady having sore throat
A person with bronchitis may experience a sore throat, a persistent cough, and a fever.

The bronchitis can be chronic or acute. It happens once when it’s acute and then a person recovers. If it is chronic, it never goes away, and a person is constantly living with it, though it may sometimes get better and worse.

Signs and symptoms of both chronic and acute bronchitis include:

  • a persistent cough, which may produce mucus
  • wheezing
  • a low fever and chills
  • a feeling of tightness in the chest
  • a sore throat
  • body aches
  • breathlessness
  • headaches
  • a blocked nose and sinuses

A person with bronchitis may have cough that lasts for several weeks or even a few months if it takes a long time for the bronchial tubes to fully heal.

The symptoms of chronic bronchitis can periodically flare up. This happens during the winter months for a lot of people.

Bronchitis, though, isn’t the only condition that can induce cough. A cough refusing to leave can be a sign of asthma, pneumonia or many other conditions. Anyone diagnosed with persistent cough should see a doctor.

Acute bronchitis

Acute bronchitis lasts a given length of time. It commonly follows a pattern similar to a viral infection, such as a cold or flu, and may originate from the same virus.

The person may have:

  • a cough with or without mucus
  • chest discomfort or soreness
  • fever
  • a mild headache and body aches
  • shortness of breath

Symptoms usually go away after a few days or weeks.

Chronic bronchitis

Chronic bronchitis has symptoms similar to acute bronchitis but it’s an ongoing disease.

One description states that a person has persistent bronchitis if he or she has a normal, successful cough for at least 3 months a year, 2 years in a row or more.

It is described by the National Library of Medicine as a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ( COPD), in which the bronchial tubes produce much mucus. It either doesn’t go away, or it goes away, and continues to return.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC) notes that the COPD diagnosis will be given to a person who develops emphysema alongside chronic bronchitis. This is a serious condition, and potentially life-threatening.


If bronchitis is caused by a viral or bacterial infection, the infection can be transmitted through droplets to another person when coughing.

A person should: To reduce the risk of transmitting an infection.

  • wash their hands often
  • cough into a tissue
  • take extra care around young children, older people, and those with a weakened immune system

Causes: How do you get bronchitis?

Bronchitis occurs when the bronchial tubes are inflamed by a virus , bacteria, or irritant particles. Smoking is a key risk factor but non-smokers can develop bronchitis as well.

Acute bronchitis

Acute bronchitis can result from:

  • a virus, for example, a cold or flu virus
  • a bacterial infection
  • exposure to substances that irritate the lungs, such as tobacco smoke, dust, fumes, vapors, and air pollution

People have a higher risk of developing acute bronchitis if they:

  • experience a virus or bacteria that causes inflammation
  • smoke or inhale secondhand smoke
  • have asthma or an allergy

Ways to avoid infection include regular hand washing and avoiding smoke and other particles.

Chronic bronchitis

Chronic bronchitis is the result of chronic irritation and tissue damage to the lungs and airways. Smoking is the most common cause but not everyone with bronchitis is a smoker.

Other possible causes include:

  • long term exposure to air pollution, dust, and fumes from the environment
  • genetic factors
  • repeated episodes of acute bronchitis
  • a history of respiratory disease or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Exposure to pesticides may increase the risk.

People with asthma or allergies are at a higher risk of both disease types. Avoiding the smoking is the best way to avoid chronic bronchitis.


A doctor may advise a person with bronchitis to:

  • rest
  • drink fluids
  • take over-the-counter (OTC) medications, such as ibuprofen

Taking OTC medication will help relieve a cough and ease any accompanying pain. Acute bronchitis, often without treatment, will go away in time.

Chronic bronchitis symptoms may resolve or improve for some time to come. Symptoms will however come back or get worse again, particularly if smoke or other causes are exposed.

Options that may help include:

Cough medicine: Coughing is useful for removing mucus from the bronchial tubes, but medication can help bring relief, for example, at night.

Taking honey: Taking 2 spoonfuls of honey may bring relief of cough symptoms.

Using a humidifier: This can loosen mucus, improve airflow, and relieve wheezing.

Bronchodilators: These open the bronchial tubes and may help clear out mucus.

Mucolytics: These loosen or thin mucus in the airways, making it easier to cough up sputum.

Anti-inflammatory and steroid drugs: These can help reduce inflammation that can cause tissue damage.

Oxygen therapy: In severe cases, a person may need supplemental oxygen to ease their breathing.

Behavioral remedies

Other strategies for treating bronchitis include the following:

  • removing a lung irritant, for example, by not smoking
  • exercising to strengthen the chest muscles to help breathing
  • improving breathing technique through pulmonary rehabilitation

Breathing exercises, such as pursed-lip breathing, can help slow down and make breathing more effective.


If a bacterial infection results in acute bronchitis a doctor can prescribe antibiotics. Taking antibiotics can also in some cases help prevent a secondary infection.

Nevertheless, such drugs are not ideal for a person with a virus.

Most physicians do not recommend antibiotics until bacteria have been reported as the cause of an illness. One of the reasons for this is concern about antibiotic resistance, since overuse of antibiotics makes long-term treatment of an infection more difficult.

Learn more about antibiotics, their uses and the antibiotic resistance problem.


A doctor will perform a physical examination to listen to unusual sounds in the lungs using a stethoscope.

They may also ask an individual about:

  • their symptoms, and especially the cough
  • their medical history
  • any recent bouts of cold or flu
  • whether they smoke
  • exposure to secondhand smoke, dust, fumes, or air pollution

The doctor may also:

  • take a sputum swab to test for bacteria or viruses in the lab
  • check the oxygen levels in the person’s blood
  • recommend a chest X-ray, pulmonary lung function test, or blood tests


Pneumonia is the most common complication of bronchitis. This may occur when the infection spreads further into the lungs. In a person with pneumonia, fluid fills the air sacs inside the lungs.

Older adults, smokers, people with other medical problems and those with a compromised immune system are more likely to develop pneumonia. It can be life threatening and requires medical care.

Learn more here about pneumonia.

When to see a doctor

Many bronchitis patients will recover with rest, anti-inflammatory drugs and plenty of fluids at home.

However, a person should see a doctor if they have the following:

  • a cough that lasts more than 3 weeks
  • a fever that lasts 3 days or longer
  • blood in their mucus
  • rapid breathing, chest pains, or both
  • drowsiness or confusion
  • recurring or worsening symptoms

Whoever has an existing lung or heart condition should see a doctor if they begin to have bronchitis symptoms.


Preventing acute or chronic bronchitis isn’t always possible, but several things can reduce the risk.

These include:

  • avoiding or quit smoking
  • avoiding lung irritants, such as smoke, dust, fumes, vapors, and air pollution
  • wearing a mask to cover the nose and mouth when pollution levels are high
  • washing the hands often to limit exposure to germs and bacteria
  • asking about vaccinations to protect from pneumonia and the flu

Find out more about the flu and how to prevent it.


Acute bronchitis is a common condition. It can be uncomfortable, but usually within a few days it will resolve on its own.

Chronic bronchitis is a permanent condition. If a person smokes, and continues to smoke, symptoms, emphysema, and COPD may worsen. All of these can be life threatening conditions.

Anyone who has concerns about potential bronchitis symptoms should see a physician.


Is it possible for me to enlist in the military if I have asthma?



Many people want to join the military, but the military has severe enrollment standards and qualifications. Good general health and adequate physical fitness are two of the most important conditions.

In the United States, most people with asthma are ineligible to join any branch of the military. However, a person may be granted a waiver to enlist based on their medical history, general outlook, and the severity of their condition.

Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that affects the airways and makes breathing difficult. Symptoms can be triggered by a variety of causes, including changes in the weather and severe physical exertion. About 20 million adults in the United States suffer from the condition.

Enlisting with asthma

usa army
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People with asthma who are over the age of 13 are banned from joining the military, according to the Department of Defense’s 2018 Medical Standards for Military Service: Appointment, Enlistment, or Induction. Those who have not had asthma or received treatment for it by this age, however, are eligible to enroll.

People who are currently suffering from asthma symptoms are automatically excluded. An asthma evaluation will search for indications of persistent cough, wheezing, chest tightness, or shortness of breath that has lasted longer than 12 months, according to the Army Medical Department.

People with asthma who are older than 13 years old may still be able to join the military, but a medical waiver will be necessary. A waiver is granted based on the length of time since a person last experienced symptoms or received treatment, the severity of their asthma, and their overall outlook.

Although the rules are the same for all branches of the military, how the medical waiver process is handled varies. The following are the processes to potentially receiving a medical waiver:

  • Send the recruiter a completed medical prescreen form, which will be forwarded to the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS).
  • The form is reviewed by a doctor at MEPS. They have the power to disqualify someone on the spot or schedule them for a medical check.
  • A person may only be requested to produce a signed declaration verifying that they have not had asthma or received treatment for it after their 13th birthday during their visit to MEPS. Those who have had asthma since they were 13 years old must submit all of their medical documents, including hospital and outpatient treatment records.
  • A person will be subjected to examinations, including a physical examination and a pulmonary function test (PFT), in addition to presenting their medical records . Following the examination, the doctor will determine if the person is medically qualified or will be temporarily or permanently disqualified.
  • Anyone who has received a permanent disqualification will have their records and medical recommendation sent to the recruiting commander or a representative of the service by MEPS. This person will decide whether or not to obtain a waiver.
  • If the recruiting commander requests a waiver, the waiver request will be reviewed by military medical officials from various levels of the organization. They will vote yes or no until the request reaches a high-ranking doctor, who will make the final decision.

Medical history and current requirements

Previously, anyone with a history of asthma, regardless of age, was automatically barred from joining the military. However, in 2014, the Department of Defense changed its policy to exclude just individuals who had had asthma since they were 13 years old.

People with a childhood history of asthma did not contribute significantly to military attrition or hospitalizations due to asthma, according to a 2008 study.

Branch-specific requirements

Although the requirements for applying for a waiver are the same for all branches, each branch has its own set of guidelines.


Only people who have not had asthma after their 13th birthday are eligible to enroll, as is the case with the general criteria. In addition, if any of the following apply, the army will not deploy present soldiers:

  • repetitive intake of oral corticosteroids
  • a recent visit to the emergency room
  • the inability to wear protective gear

Air Force

The Air Force said in 2017 that individuals with a questionable history of asthma would be considered for a waiver provided they passed the methacholine challenge, a sort of test that determines whether a person’s airway is susceptible to spasms.


Any history of asthma, even a mild form, can disqualify a candidate for aviation training and duties, according to the Navy’s Aeromedical Reference and Waiver Guide (ARWG). They can, however, get a waiver if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • normal methacholine challenge within 1 year of the waiver application
  • an accomplished ARWG worksheet
  • currently has no symptoms and has had no symptoms and no medication for at least 5 years
  • normal PFT within 1 year of the waiver application


For health waiver applications, the Marine Corps follows the same guidelines as the Army. Because the branch is known as the most elite arm of the US military, it must always maintain its high standards.

Coast Guard

People who have been approved by MEPS, according to the Coast Guard, do not need to be reviewed again. Recruiters who believe an applicant has been disqualified incorrectly can send any appropriate paperwork to the commander for examination.

Common myths

There are many fallacies about the military, not just in terms of health. Some of these are debunked below.

Those who get asthma while serving in the military will be discharged

The military’s Medical Standards for Retention state that a person will only be discharged if their condition persists despite treatment and prevents them from executing their duties satisfactorily. Some people, however, may receive an alternative assignment that is less likely to cause asthma.

People join the military to supplement their income.

The military “no longer primarily recruits those from the most disadvantaged socioeconomic situations,” according to a 2020 research.

People with less talent join the military.

According to the same 2020 survey, the majority of candidates had ordinary to slightly above-average cognitive abilities. Despite popular belief that increased technology necessitates lower skill levels, studies contend that people with greater skill levels are better equipped to work with complicated and sophisticated technology.

Women find it difficult to enter the military.

Except for the marines, where women make up only 8% of the officers, women make up about one-fifth of all officers in every branch. Furthermore, in most branches, the proportion of women officers was larger than that of enlisted personnel.

People who join the military after high school do not have the opportunity to further their education.

Members of the military are eligible for tuition help under the Military Tuition Assistance Program, which pays up to 100% of tuition and school expenses, according to the Department of Defense’s stated limits.

Other “top-up” programs, such as the Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty and the Post-9/11 GI Bill, reimburse the costs not covered by tuition assistance.

The ASVAB is not necessary.

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) establishes a person’s eligibility to join the military in the United States. Furthermore, to qualify for specific military roles, a high score on particular ASVAB areas is required.

Support services

Because asthma is a chronic condition, people who have had it before may experience symptoms again as they get older. Furthermore, people who already have asthma may notice that their symptoms increase over time.

According to a 2018 longitudinal study, combat-experienced individuals had a 24–30 percent higher risk of getting asthma than those who had not been deployed.

According to a 2015 study, it is critical that military members receive the proper diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up. To validate whether the diagnosis is correct, the authors propose performing both PFT and bronchoprovocation testing, such as the methacholine challenge test.

The Military Health System (MHS) guarantees that all active duty and reserve soldiers are healthy and prepared to perform their duties. Medical benefits and treatment are also provided by the MHS to its members and beneficiaries, such as family members and retirees.


People with active asthma are not allowed to join the military. Those who have a history of asthma but haven’t had any symptoms after the age of 13 might request a medical waiver to prove their eligibility.

A medical waiver is granted on a case-by-case basis. It depends on a number of circumstances, including the person’s age when they last experienced symptoms and the severity of the condition.

Furthermore, the United States military has stringent medical requirements for recruitment, with each branch having its own set of requirements. People who want to enroll should read the conditions carefully to verify that they are eligible.



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Low histamine diet: What to know



People who get symptoms like sneezing, itching, or hives in reaction to histamine-containing meals may benefit from a reduced histamine diet. Histamine is a substance found in the human body and some foods.

The low histamine diet can assist a person in determining which foods are responsible for their symptoms. They may notice a difference if they avoid such items. This procedure can be helped by the assistance of a nutritionist.

This page discusses how histamine affects the body, what histamine intolerance is, and which foods people should avoid. It also includes a sample meal plan as well as grocery shopping and preparation advice.


 low histamine diet

Histamine is a chemical that controls how the body reacts to external objects and injuries.

Histamine is released when the body reacts to something it considers to be toxic. This causes inflammation and dilation of the blood vessels in the body, resulting in symptoms such as:

Despite the discomfort that these sensations might produce, histamine plays an important and complicated part in the body’s defenses.

Histamine has a ‘paradoxical nature,’ according to a 2018 study, because it can both increase and reduce inflammatory levels.

Experiments in the lab Histamine, according to the scientists, may aid wound healing and limit tumor development. However, these findings have yet to be duplicated in people.

Intolerance to histamine

Foods that contain or release histamine might cause symptoms in certain people. Histamine intolerance is the medical term for this condition.

Histamine intolerance has symptoms that are similar to those of an allergic response and can impact several body systems.

Among the signs and symptoms are:

The enzyme diamine oxidase (DAO) is responsible for the breakdown of histamine in the body.

People with lower DAO levels have greater histamine levels and are thus more likely to develop allergies.

A short research found that DAO activity was reduced in 10 of 14 people who visited an allergy clinic. In addition, 13 people said DAO supplementation helped them with at least one symptom.

DAO activity was shown to be lower in 316 people with probable histamine intolerance than in those who did not have the condition. After 6–12 months on a reduced histamine diet, 20 of the participants’ symptoms improved or eliminated.

Histamine has different effects based on age, sex, and heredity. Histamine intolerance appears to be linked to the gut lining and gut flora.

People with histamine intolerance were compared to those with food intolerances and those with no intolerances at all in a 2018 study. Histamine intolerance was associated with a reduction in bacterial diversity in the gut as well as a compromised gut lining.

Histamine is produced by several bacterial species found naturally in various foods and probiotic supplements, which may exacerbate symptoms of histamine sensitivity.

Is a low-histamine diet beneficial?

The low histamine diet tries to alleviate histamine sensitivity and allergy symptoms. The diet may be beneficial for certain people, however there is insufficient evidence to support this claim.

A short 2018 research found that a low-histamine diet for four weeks helped individuals with hives feel better.

Low histamine diets have also been proved to assist people with atopic dermatitis and suspected histamine sensitivity minimize symptoms.

More high-quality research on histamine intolerance are needed currently in order to better understand the condition and the best therapies.

According to an article published in the Journal of the Academy of Diet and Dietetics, people with histamine intolerance should take a personalized approach to nutrition.

Medication, stress levels, and a person’s overall health all have an impact on what works best for them.

In 2017, research suggested that dieting should be done in stages. This comprises avoiding histamine-containing meals for 10–14 days before resuming them for up to 6 weeks. This can be used to determine a person’s histamine tolerance.

People should get expert nutritional guidance before attempting any form of restrictive diet to ensure they are getting appropriate nutrients and to avoid an unwarranted deterioration in their quality of life.

Foods to stay away from

Histamine levels are greater in the following foods:

  • spinach
  • eggplant
  • tomato
  • avocado
  • some types of fish
  • aged cheeses
  • processed meats
  • wine and beer
  • sauerkraut
  • fermented products

According to studies, even if a food does not contain histamine, it might “release” it in the body. Scientists aren’t sure how this happens, however certain people may have an allergic reaction to certain meals, such as:

  • milk
  • shellfish
  • eggs
  • kiwi
  • strawberry
  • pineapple
  • plum

Foods containing amines, which are chemically similar to histamine, can also compete for DAO. This implies that if a person consumes a lot of these foods, histamine will not be broken down as rapidly, which might result in symptoms.

Foods that contain other amines include:

According to some sources, the following foods are strong in histamine or histamine-releasing enzymes, or they inhibit the DAO enzyme:

  • yeast extract
  • black tea
  • Mate tea
  • energy drinks
  • pickled and canned foods
  • chocolate and cocoa products
  • vinegars
  • wheatgerm

Example diet plan

The following is an example of a reduced histamine diet that might be followed while monitoring symptoms.

Breakfast options

  • apple, melon, and pear fruit salad with chopped pistachios
  • smoothie made with mango, coconut milk, chia seeds, and kale
  • puffed rice with coconut milk
  • oatmeal made with water or coconut milk

Lunch options

  • cottage cheese and cucumber on toast
  • quinoa and herb salad
  • chicken, lettuce, and grated carrot sandwich
  • chicken and kale salad with chopped grapes

Dinner options

  • Pasta with olive oil, garlic, herbs, and chicken or borlotti beans.
  • Low histamine fish, such as trout or cod, freshly caught and served with zucchini and roasted carrots.
  • Homemade turkey burger with sweet potato wedges.
  • Chicken with new potatoes, broccoli, and green beans.


  • grapes
  • celery sticks
  • apple slices and natural peanut butter
  • blueberries
  • pistachios
  • carrot sticks
  • cottage cheese

Other suggestions

The amount of histamine in a dish is affected by its freshness. Learning how different methods of manufacturing and storage affect histamine levels in food is a good idea.

It’s also important to consider how a person buys for and prepares meals.

A person with histamine intolerance can keep track of their symptoms and perhaps minimize them by:

  • eating foods as soon as possible after purchase
  • keeping a food journal to record symptoms and triggers
  • planning meals in advance
  • asking restaurants about their ingredients when eating out
  • buying fresh food, shopping more often if necessary

Histamine levels are also influenced by several drugs and supplements. If a person thinks anything they’re taking is making their symptoms worse, they should talk to their doctor.


Someone suffering from histamine intolerance may benefit from a low-histamine diet. Planning a variety of meals, avoiding foods high in histamine, and setting aside time to make fresh foods can all help a person manage their symptoms.

If someone feels they may have histamine intolerance, they should seek medical care immediately.

When adopting a restricted diet, people must ensure that they do not miss out on critical nutrients. People should seek the counsel of a certified dietitian or nutritionist before embarking on a long-term exclusion diet.



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Lung supplements: What to know



Coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing up mucus or blood, and chest pain are all people of lung problems. Some companies claim that their vitamins and supplements can help boost lung health. However, medical evidence is still needed to back up these claims. Coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing up mucus or blood, and chest pain are all people of lung problems. Some companies claim that their vitamins and supplements can help boost lung health. However, medical evidence is still needed to back up these claims.

a lady taking pills

This page discusses how supplements may aid the lungs, when this may be beneficial, how to choose, and when to consult a doctor.

About lungs and supplements

Lung health is an important component of the respiratory system. They enable fresh oxygen into the body while also removing waste gases such as carbon dioxide.

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), a person can keep their lungs healthy by:

  • not smoking
  • maintaining a moderate weight
  • being physically active
  • being mindful of air pollution
  • taking cold and flu precautions

There has been minimal research into how supplements can improve lung health. However, according to one 2017 study, vitamin D aids in the promotion of respiratory health and the prevention of infections.


According to a 2017 review, clinicians may recommend N-acetylcysteine (NAC) to treat several illnesses caused by unstable atoms.

NAC is a safe and potent antioxidant that can aid with illnesses like asthma and chronic bronchitis when taken as a dietary supplement.

However, more research is needed to determine the entire effects of NAC on the respiratory system.

When should you take lung supplements?

A person suffering from any of the following medical issues may want to consider taking supplementary supplements to improve their lung health:

One study published in 2019 looked at the impact of supplements on the airways of people with asthma who smoked or did not smoke. The author concludes that there were no overall good impacts, and that disease rates increased in several cases.

Supplement security

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acknowledges that supplements are not subject to the same level of scrutiny as prescription pharmaceuticals.

The FDA’s participation in supplement safety and efficacy prior to marketing is minimal. It does, however, state that supplement makers must not sell their goods by making health claims. This implies that supplement makers are not allowed to make claims about their product’s ability to cure, treat, prevent, or diagnose sickness.

If a supplement maker creates a product with a new ingredient, they must notify the FDA, who will only assess it for safety. The EPA is still refusing to authorize the supplement or test its efficacy.

How to Make a Decision

Some supplements may help a person by replenishing important vitamins and minerals in the body. However, before using lung supplements, a person should contact with a doctor, especially if they have a verified condition. This is due to the fact that some supplements may interfere with prescription drugs.

The FDA warns that just because a supplement producer claims to have used natural components does not mean the product is safe. As a result, speaking with a doctor about vitamins and supplements may enhance a person’s general health.

When to See a Doctor

If a person has any worries about their breathing or lung health, they should consult a doctor.

Symptoms of a lung condition, according to the American Lung Association, may include:

  • breathing difficulties
  • shortness of breath
  • wheezing
  • difficulty breathing during exercise
  • a continuous cough
  • coughing up blood or mucus
  • chest pain or discomfort


Supplements that replace the body’s natural stores of vitamins, minerals, or other nutrients may aid people with lung issues. Furthermore, they may provide brief relief from cold or flu symptoms.

However, before using supplements, a person should consult with a doctor, especially if they are also taking prescribed medications. Because of the risk of drug interactions, this is the case.



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