Health

Asthma   Bronchectasis    COPD 

Robert Muston

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Originally written Feb 2006, minor updates since then.

Note: in 2013 they started a double blind trial titled "Novel Interventions for the Diverse Population of Australians with Bronchiectasis" being conducted using Saline and an antibiotic Azythromycin. I am against this study, click here for full details and why I oppose this kind of mindless promotion of drugs.

Beating Asthma and Bronchiectasis.

It’s hard to focus on life when you are conscious of the struggle for each breath you take.  It sounds dramatic to someone who has never spent a day putting all of their energy into the simple task that sustains life. I have spent the past few years overcoming this struggle, my brother Alan did not, and died of an Asthma Attack in 1980 at the age of 24 leaving a pregnant wife and 2 small daughters. Many people die unnecessarily of Asthma, hopefully this may help prevent someone else going through similar pain.

Right now I am virtually MEDICATION FREE and have very healthy lungs. This paper is an outline of how I beat the syptoms of Bronchiectasis and Asthma, and how that I think anyone who follows this routine can expect similar results.  This is my life’s experience, I am not a medical practitioner, but feel I have achieved things that western doctors could not, and so am sharing it with you.  The theories below are mine and not verified. You decide.  I am certain that doctors will disagree saying that this is all oversimplified and naive, and perhaps it is, but they cannot disagree with the fact that I am well and their patients are not. Work with your doctor before changing your medication.

When I set out on this journey to improve my health I had been in fear of my life, and all that I expected was to be able to find a way to live with my symptoms, I never anticipted that this journey could actually have a destination, one where I am virtually totally free of my symptoms, and have complete control of my health.

Cortisone, Oxis, Spiriva, Flixotide, Seravent, Sporanox and Vfend are some of the drugs I have ingested and inhaled along with a myriad of antibiotics on a path to trying to get well over the past 25 years. None of these drugs are a part of my life today and I consider them to be more of the problem than the solution as I will explain.  The only drug I use is Ventolin, but never from a puffer, and I will explain that too. Update 2014: I now use inhaled corticosteriods (Alvesco or similar, check these out, Flixotide has milk solids as part of the inhalation, not sensible to inhale these in my opinion) to help keep my lungs inflamation free,

My Good Health today relies on a very simple and inexpensive regime which anyone can follow once you get to that level, but don’t expect the journey to be easy.  Following this regime every morning can take up to two hours, but the rest of my day is free to do any of the things normal people can do. I have however made many changes to the way I live, and these are outlined below. 

There is a ‘Catch 22’ however, to be healthy you need to be fit, and to get fit you need to be healthy. Good luck !

The disease:

Both Asthma and Bronchectasis, and probably other lung disorders, have one common symptom. The insides of your lungs should be pink, but they are red because they are inflammed. You will always have Asthma symptoms whilst your lungs are red. The other problem is that because your lungs are inflammed your cells are trying to get rid of the inflamation, and therefore over-react and fight anything that arrives to irritate your lungs, including drugs like Ventolin, making them ineffective.  To get well you need pink lungs !! 

The other important consideration is that blocked or clogged with mucus can not only harbour infections, but also reduces your ability to breathe. (scroll down for more info on this subject) This mucus is produced by the body in the areas that are higly inflammed, the less inflamation, the less mucus produced.

My specialists told me that I would cough up yukky yellow/green mucas for the rest of my life, and to expect to rely on at least 5mg of Cortisone daily to stay healthy. Today I am free of both for the most part, staying that way means avoiding infections, viruses and fungal infections.

An interuption to this story- Jan 2016.

Below this is the rest of the article that I wrote in 2006 and it is still very relevant, in fact I often re-read it myself when my health gets off track. Sometimes I cannot get well no matter what I do.

Here I am describing a problem I had early in 2015 after I had moved away from the Ocean for 2 years. It seems the culprit was a fungal infection that was deep seated and one of the fungus grown was a very dangerouns one that can cause brain lesions and death if it gets into the blood stream and finds its way to the brain. I was lucky.

I had been really short of breath for more than a year and was having physio twice a week to cough out a lot of mucus. (click for some yucky images if you are brave enough). I had decided that sea air and lots of exercise was what I needed and learned that some of the cruise ship companies give free trips to dance hosts. I applied and was accepted and I was about to join the cruise ship Queen Elizebeth for a 5 week trip from Hong Kong to the UK. when I went to the 'specialist' at the Alfred for a final clearance. He had (at my request) ordered a CT scan of my chest and when I got there showed me that my middle lobe on the right lung was totally blocked and infected. (not a surprise, I had been asking for help for 6 months without a result). He said that it would be ok to travel but that he would prefer to perform a bronchoscopy. This resulted in them sticking a TV camera down my lung with a suction tube and another tube with saline solution to flush out the junk. At the end the technician advised me that they were not able to get into the lobe because the bronchial tube was too small due to inflamation but they did manage to get a small amount out to analyse. This was when they found the fungus mentioned above, but interestingly my 'specialist' skipped over it as he did not recognise the name. When I drew it to his attention he said that he would enquire about it. I sent a couple of emails to the Alfred addressed to him but got no reply so finally I went to the clinic on the Tuesday and waited in the corridor and confronted him. He promised to get an answer and actually phoned me back the same day. This is typical of the apathy and arrogance of these so called 'specialist'. Yes, they are useful but not to be relied upon.

Now here I am inserting 2 images from the CT Scan BEFORE I travelled overseas. You will see that the middle right lobe is flattened and full of white areas which are mould and infections.

 

Below is the same images taken a few days AFTER I returned from the trip. I had 5 weeks on the QE, 10 days in the UK and a week in Franc. My 'specialist' said that it was a 'remarkable recovery' and that he did not know how I did it !!! He thought I would need further surgery to clear the lungs.

You can see that the middle lobe above is clearly defined and free of white patches.

You can see above that the bronchial tubes are now clearly visible and free of blockages. The tubes have returned to full size allowing for free airflow. You can see the bronchiectasis clearly, the tubes should be uniform and slowly reduce in size, these are all lumpy and irregular.

What happened to clear this all up ? First we need to understand lungs a little better.

There are 5 lobes in the lungs, on the right there are 3 lobes, lower, middle and upper. On the left is upper and lower, the heart takes the place of the middle lobe. Each lobe is fed by one major bronchial tube which then divides.

The bronchial tubes divide about 24 times meaning that there are thousands of really tiny tubes towards the end. The first tubes, down to about junction 19 are just there to carry the air in and out. From junctions 19 to 24 the air meets the Alveolus that are attached to the sides of the tubes, and right at the ends are the Alveolar Sacs with millions of Alveoli. This is where the oxygen is transferred into the bloodstream, and the carbon dioxide returns to be exhaled. The area of all of your Alveoli would cover a tennis court if flattened out !.

The problem is that if these tubes are blocked as in the CT images before my trip, it is very difficult to clear them because the infection is causing the tubes to reduce in diameter and air cannot get past the blockage, therefore coughing does not clear the mucus, it stays there and everything gets worse.

One way to get air past the blockage is by using a 'bubble pep' device which is simply a jar of water and a plastic tube as shown here. You simply blow down the tube and as the bubbles burst shock waves enter the airways and hopefully force some air past any blockages. This is a 1 litre plastic bottle which gets filled to the blue line. A glass jar is better as the shock waves sent by the breaking bubbles are sharper. The tube is 6 or 8 mm, again, the stiffer the better. Refer to my saline section below for some extra info. Inhaling saline and ventolin make the process more successful.

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Back to my recovery. When I arrived at the ship in Bangkok just 3 days after the bronchoscopy I did not have any pathology results. On board the ship everyone was coughing and I immediately caught a sore throat which seems to be standard fare on big cruise ships. It was so bad I went to the Dr and he advised 40mg of cortisone daily for 4 days. As I had already started a course of anti-biotics, and given that I was still coughing up the stuff seen in the CT scans above, I decided to go all out and use as many drugs all at once that I could to see if I could get my health back.

I took the following for two weeks and at the same time I danced 30 hours a week and swam laps in the pool for an hour each morning, and also walked the length of the ship outdoors many times each day.

The Regime:

Cortisone: 40 mg each morning for 4 days, then reducing by 5 mg a day until 10 mg which I continued to the rest of the 2 weeks, then reduced to 5 then zero.

Ciprofloxacin 500 mg twice a day for 2 weeks

Amoxycillin and Clavulanic Acid 825/125mg twice a day for 2 weeks.

Sporanox (Itraconazole) 100 mg twice a day for 2 weeks

Ventolin nebules 5mg in 2.5 ml inhaled twice a day intermitantly with the bubble pep in between, combined with some serious huffing and coughing to help get rid of the blockages. (This was a daily routine and continued for the entire trip).

After a few days I was getting good results although I was still quite breathless and the dancing was difficult. Slowly I increased the number of laps in the pool and by the end of the first 2 weeks I was feeling much better, way better then I had felt for the past year.

The food on the ship allowed for a careful selection of my diet and I ate well and avoided all the sweet stuff.

In the 3rd week everyone on the ship was still coughing (they called it the Cunard Cough, 300 people were visiting the Dr and they had run out of medication) and my throat was sore again, and I was again coughing up stuff so I decided to repeat all of the regime above. This took me to the end of the cruise where I got off the QE and stayed with friends in London for a week, walking everywhere with them to all of the public spaces and attractions.

I then took a week to visit the WW1 battlefields in France which involved lots of walking, and a couple of days in Paris. Then I flew home and by this time I was feeling on top of the world, not running out of breath at all.

I spent the winter in Queensland and in Sept I had a sputum culture which for the first time in a decade showed that nothing was growing in my lungs. I was able to again ride with the cycle club and keep up with the best of them, something I had not been able to do for years.

Back to what I wrote in 2006:

My Theory:

The best analogy I can think of is to remember when as a kid you grazed a knee.  At first the sore was red and puffy and whenever you touched it, it stung. I recall the first thing my mother did was to wash it in salt water to get the dirt out. As the sore healed the red turned to pink and was less sore to touch.  Imagine if you had put irritants on that sore and it was always red. Over time you would develop scar tissue at that particular spot. I think this is what happens to our lungs when we treat them with modern inhaled “miracle cures”. They simply prolong the problem. This can also lead otherwise healthy lungs to develop scare tissue which results in Bronchiectasis. Bronchiectasis is increasing at an alarming rate and doctors cannot explain why, and continue to exacerbate the problem by failing to remove the cause.

The Solution:

The final solution is easy, getting there is not, and staying there can be a balancing act. First I will explain the path to good health simply, then expand on it.

You need to remove everything that is causing your lungs to be red and inflammed, and these include ALL inhaled and ingested drugs of every description (except those listed in my supplements). Then you need to bath your lungs in an inhaled saline mist (salt water) every three to six hours during waking hours, and every day for as long as you want to stay healthy. You also need to do the same with all sinus and respiratory passages. If you do this then your lungs will slowly return to the proper pink colour and be less sensitive to inflamation, and more receptive to the one safe drug, Ventolin.

Refer to my Saline section way towards the end for details on how and what to use.

Anti-Biotics. (AB's). If you have an infection you will need to clear it with Anti-Biotics (usually). I cannot stress more that trying to achieve anything in way of improved lung function without getting rid of infection is impossible. Using AB's too often mill make them ineffctive in the long term so try to avoid that.

Staying clear of infections is the most important part and hopefully this article will help with that.

The Challenges:

First we must look at all the contributors to our lung problems, not in the past, but present day things that are stopping us breathing freely.  Remember, what we are trying to do is remove irritation and therefore inflammation from our lungs and respiratory tract including the nasal passages; this is the secret to beating the symptoms of Asthma and Bronchiectasis. We need to consider the whole body, not just the lungs so we need to treat and control all internal and external influences.

The issues break down into 4 groups, Environmental, Inhaled Allergens, Ingested Allergens, and Fitness.  Allergens break down into another two groups, Primary and Secondary. The Primary Allergens are the ones that cause the lungs to be red and inflamed in the first instance, the Secondary Allergens are the ones that irritate the already inflamed lungs. When you are well (pink lungs) you will be able to tolerate many of the Secondary Allergens, but will always have to avoid the Primary Allergens.  I hear you saying “but the doctor said I am have all these allergies” therfore this is different for me”.  Let me say that your allergies are symptoms of a body that is out of control, get the body back into control and your allergic reactions will diminish significantly.  Treat the cause, not the symptoms.

For me the worst allergens are cigarette smoke, diesel exhaust fumes and deep fat fried food.  All traffic fumes are to be avoided wherever possible, even to the extent of briefly holding your breath to avoid inhaling diesel fumes. You will need to identify which are your own Primary Allergens, but I suspect they will be much the same as mine.

I can assure you that if you only do a part of what I am suggesting then you may see no improvements at all, you must embrace all of these things if you want to get clean mucus-free lungs and improve your FEV1.0 by 50%, which I have.  My FEV1.0 was 1.6 litres in 2003, now 3 years later it is 2.4 litres. My peak flow has risen from 325 to 550 !! Better still my mind is clear without all of the side effects of those drugs.

Environmental:

Our home and workplace are the greatest obstacles to being healthy.  I worked in engineering for many years and inhaled the fine dust and fumes from welding and grinding. These were mostly invisible but the resins burnt when grinding steel were extremely harmful so we all need to consider our workspace and possible irritants like cigarette smoke, vapours from printers and copy machines, paint, resins, dust and other airborne “stuff”. Most of these are Primary Allergens.

Having dogs and cats and pet birds is great, but GET RID of them if you want healthy lungs, not only from the house but from your yard as well.  Carpets are dirty, never vacuum them yourself, and make sure the house cleaner opens all the windows when he/she does, and stay away yourself. Central vacuum systems that expel the dust externally are best. Hard floors are far healthier, but keep them clean. Stay away from shower cleaners and other chemicals. I always put on a facemask before putting the detergent in the washing machine or any other job where dust and chemicals are likely to be in the air. Mowing grass is really a bad thing to do if you have compromised lungs. ( Life is good hey, no vacuuming or mowing ever again !!)

I removed myself from all if this and went to live beside the ocean, and now run a little coffee van within sight of the waves.  The airborne salt spray is one the best antifungal and lungs “cleaners” known to man. If you say you cannot afford to do this then you should look at my bank account, I can’t either, but breathing easily is the greatest freedom we can have, and what price do you put on that ?.

Inhaled Irritants:

Diesel exhaust fumes cause many premature deaths each year so avoiding traffic should be high on your list of priorities, as well as the items listed above. Most new cars these days come with a cabin filter that they seldom tell you about that remove contaminants in the air such as pollen, fungus spores, dirt and dust. If you go into an auto parts store like Repco they can tell you if your car has one, and more importantly, if there is an upgraded version available with activated charcoal that removes, in addition to the above, exhaust gases, ozone and other airborne organic materials. It is still preferable in heavy traffic to leave the vent shut, opening it only when the air is fresh and clean.

Reading freshly printed newspapers, junk mail, magazines and other printed matter can take my breath away. If you really want to read, sit where the print vapours blow away from you, or leave the object in the sun for a few hours first.

The inhaled list of drugs mentioned previously was, in my opinion, the greatest single contributor to the irritation and inflammation of my lungs. (Primary Allergens). What we are fighting here is inflammation, so removing any causes of inflammation will remove the lungs response of producing mucus, which itself is hard to remove and harbours infections. Deliberately inhaling powders and gases is a bit scary to me. Smoking is even worse, if you smoke and have bad lungs then you should do us all a favour and go directly to the cemetery and jump into the first open grave you find !

I suspect that much of the problem comes from folks who use oils burners and fill their rooms with that kind of crap. Oil burners are like backing a diesel truck up to the window and filling the room with exhaust fumes, it is EXACTLY the same ingredient, just DONT use them!! Same thing with candles, why inhale burnt materials ?

Gas cooktops are deadly for me, I only have an electric stove indoors, I cook all my meats outside on the gas BBQ. Any type of gas appliance where the exhaust gases stay in the room should be banned in my opinion.

Ingested Irritants:

Many of my specialists fobbed off the idea that food allergies were a significant contributor to my lung problems, in fact most discarded the idea altogether. I know for a fact that if I eat chocolate, ice cream, or any foods deep-fat fried that I can feel the results by the ‘tightening’ of my chest within minutes. Doctors tell me this is not possible because it takes at least 20 minutes for the food to be processed.  So what is the cause, because we all know that this is real.

Here is one possible scenario, and it’s just an idea but makes sense to me.  If we can have an immediate reaction to inhaling diesel fumes, and given that the air and food share the same tract, why could it not be possible that we are in fact inhaling vapours and minute food particles? Think of it this way, if I put a cup of coffee in front of me I can smell the odour, therefore particles of the coffee flavour must be flying around in the air rather than it all staying in the cup. Therefore if food disintegrates in a similar way, many particles of the food will be inhaled and directly falling on the walls of the lungs, thus causing an immediate reaction. Therefore these ingested irritants are actually inhaled irritants. Another possible direct route into the blood stream is via the tongue and warrants investigation by the experts.

You can build your own list of foods that you react to, but start with wine, both red and white as they contain Sulphur dioxide (220), and I believe it’s the vapours from this that cause the immediate reaction that I get. This is definitely a Primary Allergen. Beer, spirits and soft drinks all contain chemicals so you may need to give them up until you are healthy again.

Of course the other ingested list is all of the drugs that we are given to shove down our throats and not cautioned about the possible negative effects. Antibiotics are known to remove all of the healthy bacteria in our digestive tracts.  A healthy bowel is imperative, in fact if you monitor your health you will find they are in unison, healthy bowels align when you have healthy lungs.. Refer to my section on supplements for more on this.

On my simple list of foods to avoid is anything deep fried, NEVER EVER. Avoid milk products although processed cheese and some yoghurts are ok for me. NEVER eat mouldy cheese. NO chocolate or ice cream. Stay out of the bakery cake section, mock cream and similar fillings are out of bounds. NO fizzy soft drinks, just fruit juice. All these are Primary Allergens for me at least. Reduce the amount of fat on meats that you eat, but I find red meat gives me the energy to exercise.  I NEVER eat chicken now and am healthier now that all of the rubbish they were fed has passed out of my body. Avoid any processed or stuffed meats like corned beef and ham. Often ham is not really ham and can contain chicken and lamb and usually preservatives like 220. 

Take Away food like Chinese or Thai can often contain MSG (additive 621) so be really careful and limit it to once a month when you are well.  Some breads contain moulds, as do nuts. I eat lots of nuts but often wash them first to get the mould off, it sounds bad but really it is ok.  Breads can contain some preservatives so limit the intake, and freeze it so it does not develop moulds. Avoid Canola products and only eat Margarine made from Olive Oil.

I cook with grapeseed oil, and occasionally take a teaspoonful as it is an excellent anti-Candida supplement. Candida (or Thrush) can reside right throughout your body from the mouth to the bowel, and even in the lungs. Read up on anti Candida diets and take some action regularly.

Of course you can eat any of the above occasionally if you are REALLY WELL, but if not, stick to the program.

Anti-Fungals.

ItraConazole (Sporonax) is an anti-fungal drug which I have used several times in the past and although it has some serious side effects I still think it is useful in short doses to clear out fungal infections, not only in the lungs, but elsewhere in the body. I had an Aspergillus fungus in my lungs which can kill so it got rid of that. Another time I had a fungus named Burkholderia. Both these reside in soils and Aspergillus is contained in the balck mould you see on roof tiles and in potting mix. NEVER use potting mix without a full face mask, the paper ones are not enough.

One of the serious side effects of Sporonax is making it hard to breathe, this does not usually happen in the first week or two, but be aware of it. The other is numbness to extremities like the heels and can take months to clear, so it must be a residual drug. It belongs to the Conazole family which include anti-fungals which get sprayed onto our foods and in forest plantations etc. I also found that it cleared my brain, I could think much more clearly after using it so I wonder if it would be useful in Dementia treatment!!

I have a little supply of Sporanax in my fridge and when I can't kick an infection I use it for a week on conjuntion with the Anti-Biotics, it seems to work.

Books

There is a book called Additive Code Breaker by Maurice Hanssen that should replace the bible in every home in my opinion. On pages 5 and 6 it lists all of the foods that a hyperactive child should avoid, and remarkably, it’s exactly the list that we ALL should avoid if we want healthy bodies, but particularly those of us with dysfunctional lungs. If you put these on your Primary Allergens list it will be a good start. Another good read is Paul Pitchfords book Healing with Whole Foods. 

Fitness

Cardio-Vascular fitness is essential.  To have healthy lungs we must exercise them just like any other part of the body. Lungs filled with mucus cannot be filled with air and therefore cannot be exercised, so the first thing to do is get rid of the mucus. This is where we should maximise the use of western medicines as tools to getting healthy, and ultimately getting free of these medicines and drugs.

Fitness can be measured by your heart rate and how it responds. There are a few things we need to know and the first is our maximum heart rate. To find this simply deduct your age from 220, which for me at age 55 gives 165 beats per minute (bpm).  In order to improve your Cardio-Vascular fitness you need to exercise for no less than 30 minutes a day with your heart rate staying above 70% of this figure. (Check with your doctor first to ensure you will not have a heart attack or stroke).  70% of 165 is 115 bpm.  Walking simply is not enough to get the heart rate very high, so the resulting exercise is unlikely to do anything but maintain your current level of fitness. I go ballroom dancing a few times a week, about 10 hours or more and my heart-rate while dancing seldom gets above 90 so this is not increasing my Cardio-Vascular fitness , just my stamina.  To get my heart rate above 115 bpm I have to ride my bike fairly briskly, usually I sit around 120 -130 bpm (75%) when cycling at 25 kph (Hybrid bike).

This may not be the case if you are relatively unfit, in fact I recall when I first started cycling my heart-rate often hit 140 bpm at 20 kph. The fitter I became the lower my heart rate was for the same cycling speed.

Another indicator of fitness is your resting heart rate, and also how quickly your heart rate drops after you stop exercising. My resting heart-rate is around 55 bpm but it sits around 65 bpm if I have any Salbutamol (Ventolin) in my system. It takes less than 10 minutes for my heart rate to return to normal after exercising above 115 bpm for an hour.

I try to raise my heart-rate as close to maximum as I can at least once during exercise, but find I cannot get above 153 bpm as I run out of oxygen due to my lungs.  This is about 93% so is pretty good.

When I moved to Qld in 2003 I had lost 40% of my leg muscles as a result of high doses of Cortisone. I could not get up from a squat without hanging onto something.  I could not do the 20 klm bike ride nor push up the local hills in any gear, now I do it in mid range easily.  I used to cough up half a cup of thick yellow-green mucus every day, now after 3 or 4 days I struggle to find anything to cough up, and when I do it is mostly clear and free of infection. A remarkable result I think.

Getting Fit:

So, how do you get fit ??  It depends on your preference. I like the outdoors and when I lived in Victoria I often cycled on very frosty mornings, but the icy air wasn’t enjoyable which I why I now live in Qld.  Gymnasiums are not really friendly or healthy places, it is important that the air you inhale during exercise is clean and fresh. The other problem was that because I use exercise to cause my lungs to expel mucus, spitting on the floor of the Gym was frowned upon.

When I first started to cycle I took about 15 mg of (prescribed) cortisone the night before and in the morning before my ride I used my nebuliser pump and inhaled a full nebule of Salbutamol (Ventolin) with Saline.  One of the other things I found helpful was to take an Expectorant to help free the mucus so I could cough it up whilst riding (see below).  I rode at least 6 days a week as I found that when only doing it only 2 or 3 times a week I did not get any fitter and my lungs clogged up fairly quickly. At first I could not even get to the end of my street without getting off and leaning on the bike whilst coughing up mucus, but after about 6 weeks of bloody hard work I made a 10klm round trip. 

Not exactly a huge distance, but it was a milestone because after that I went ahead in leaps and bounds. It took about 3 months before my heart-rate stopped climbing too high and was returning to normal fairly quickly, but it was a full year before I really found the benefits of a much stronger body.  The problem was that I was still doing all the wrong things as described above regarding eating and my environment.

Forget trying to get off western drugs until your fitness can carry you through. Then the road will be far easier.

Saline:

Bugs are inhaled often when you breathe. If there is no-where for them to reside they will hopefully be exhaled or coughed out.  In addition your blood cells usually attack them. Keeping a clean PINK set of lungs and inhaling saline several times a day reduces the chance of the bugs getting a hold by up to 85%. 

My current method is a bit ad-hoc but it seems to work fine (Jan 2014). My specialist uses 7% saline and gets it made up for his patients. You can buy 0.9% at a pharmacist but that is too weak I find.

All I do is add about 20 mm (3/4 inch) of warm water out of the kettle into a glass tumbler (after I boil it, but not hot). To that I add about 1/2 teaspoon of coursely ground sea salt. Avoid processed salts, make sure you trust the origin of the salt. Stir it a little, you should still have some undisolved salt in the bottom of the tumbler. I have a syringe I use repeatedly and I draw up 2 ml (or cc) and add that to my home nebuliser (not the NEU-22 mentioned later in this article, it can cause rust).. To that I add one nebule of Salbutamol (Asmol or Ventolin) and inhale. I use the 5mg in 2.5 ml version, but you may only have access to the 2.5 version, both work ok..

Whenever I suspect I may have an infection I add ONE DROP of Tea-Tree Oil to my nebuliser and inhale it with the Ventolin and Saline solution, again, not in the NEU-22. Tea-Tree Oil is a natural anti-biotic and is the only thing I need now to keep my chest clear of infections. Another way to use this is to put it on a cotton tip and dab it into each nostril and onto your tongue, it seems the body temp causes it to evaporate and penetrate all of the respiratory system.Update 2009. . I have recently read about inhaled oils causing lipoid pneumonia (from a lady who regularly uses TTO after reading this website and says it helps control chest infections). I did a web search on this and came to the conclusion that it is an unlikely occurance given the small quantities involved. I have never had a problem over the past 6 years nor have I had anyone advise me that they have contracted this lipoid pneumonia. You may need to test TTO on your body to ensure you do not have a reaction. Another specialist told me that TTO would damage the lungs so be careful, do some other research. I seldom use the tea-tree oil these days, I find it a bit rough on my lungs but if you are really finding it hard to get well give it a shot.

Mucus

The close-up on the right shows that it is made of a lot of smaller pieces that have collected at a point in the lungs where there is a bulge or enlarged part caused by previous infections. The other smaller pieces were trapped behind, great places for bugs to build a home !!

Expectorants

Expectorants are very useful and can be either inhaled or ingested.   The other is of course inhaled Saline which is usually mixed with Ventolin.  Trying to expel mucus when you have lungs that are not exercised is a bit pointless really. You will never get rid of the deep down stuff where the infections start. Flutter valves are ok, but really not a patch on exercising to a point where you are “puffed out’ because that is when your lungs get to work and expel the mucus by themselves. If you have highly productive lungs you may need to clear them several times a day.

Asthma Drugs

Preventing Asthma Deaths:

If you have read the above and taken all the right steps, what else can you do for yourself or your children?  If you have a child with Asthma and they are prone to sudden attacks when you are not around you can do as I did with my sons. I made them carry 10 x 5 mg tablets of cortisone (Prednisone or similar) to ingest if they had a scarry attack.  My 3rd son Christopher went and camped at a rock concert at a very dirty and dusty venue and I know that those tablets saved his life.  They start working in less than 10 minutes (in spite of what the doctors will tell you I know this is true) and can save a life.  Read my other comments on cortisone. Don’t be scared to give them 50mg in one hit, the side effects are minimal, a lot less than death I assure you.

Cortisone. (Quarter-Zone)

Prednisolone, Prednisone, Solone, and other names are brand names for Cortisone. I NEVER was told when these were prescribed to me that they were Cortisone; in fact I bet if you did a survey most Australians would not know this fact.  Doctors need to inform us of what we are taking, and more importantly the side effects.

Cortisone has some serious side effects, but it also has the ability to not only save a life in a crisis, but to lift us out of a hole when we get into crisis. Used sensibly it can be a great aid to getting well, but unfortunately often it is used to sustain us instead.

Side Effects:  By far the worst is the psychological effect. It can cause depression, rage, and even suicide. Personally it makes me very judgemental of others and generally a pain in the butt.  A good reason not to take it. The other side effects are Glaucoma, Osteoporosis and Diabetes.  This is not an exhaustive list, do a few internet searches and you will find out more.

Doses: Doctors often prescribe long doses with ramping up and ramping down stages. Personally this is not always the best way for me to use it.  If I feel like I am getting down to a point where the other things aren’t working (this has not happened in 3 months since I got onto the saline regime) I take a 10 or 15 mg one time hit and find it is usually lifts me back onto track. Prolonging the dose only suppresses my own body’s immune system so the shorter the dose the less damage is done.

Alternatives:  Recently I had a rash from riding the bike so I used a cortisone cream locally. A surprising side effect was that I felt a lift in my ability to breathe, so maybe it was entering my body and going directly into the blood. I am not sure about this but it would be interesting to know if the other side effects still exist or not, and how effective it is.

Other drugs.

I recently downloaded this voice file from ABC radio National in Australia.

It is worth listening to Click this link Oooops, I cant seem to get this MP3 file to play, can you help ?

The drug they refer to is listed here, please also note the side effects. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montelukast

Supplements:

I take a few supplements every day. Most are basics, but one is critical.  The basics are B Complex, Glucosamine, Omega 3 (Fish Oil), Calcium (with Vit D) and Inner Health Plus (refrigerated) which is a bacteria supplement.

The critical supplement is called Quercitone (containing Quercetin), which contains T-Cell blockers. In response to an irritant entering the lungs, T-Cells produce histamines which cause the lungs to produce mucus as a response. In normal lungs this irritant would be ignored but my lungs have “over-active’ T-Cells according to one of my specialists 2. This was because these T-Cells were sitting in very red lungs as I said earlier.   The Western way to treat this is with cortisone, or to give anti-histamines which treat the result, not the cause. Going back one level and blocking the T-Cells proves (for me at least) to be far more effective. I found immediate improvement with this supplement and if I stop taking it can feel the negative effects within a few days. Be aware that this is a blood thinning agent and can cause dizziness if taken with certain other medications. Ask your doctor for advice, but in the end make up your own mind, it’s your body.  One pharmacist recommended a dose of up to 6 tablets a day, I only take one.

2 The same specialist who said that the only way we will know if my treatment works depends on whether I die or not ! A good reason not to go back to her.. 

Dental:

I had long suspected that some of my chest infections may have been a downstream product of not having healthy teeth and also I had read about people having amalgam fillings removed because they contain mercury. At first the dentist filled one tooth and talked about root canals for a couple of others, but he was reluctant to even talk about removing the amalgams. I had a chat to him and told him that I was not there to get a pretty mouth, I wanted all possible sources of infection and inflamation removed from my body, and if that meant ripping out a few teeth then lets do it. My focus was on my lungs, and to get them healthy I had to remove all imflamation from my body.

When he finally dug into the amalgams he found that the tooth underneath was badly decayed, but it did not show on the X-rays. (crappy analogue x-rays, insist on the new digital machines, better results with only a fraction of the radiation). He wanted to do root canals but I said "rip 'em out' and so I ended up with 4 teeth removed, and 3 fillings. Years ago I had two upper teeth removed as they always ached when I got sinus, and in removing one of these uppers it opened a hole right through to the sinus so I knew then that I would get a good result.

The result was worthwhile with my chest infection occurances being halved at least.

It is worth doing a web search on "dental amalgam mercury syndrome"!

The rest of your body:

From my observations above I am reminded here to talk about the importance of making sure that you are not ignoring another problem in your body that could be causing lung problems. One thing that comes to mind is seeing people with those horrible ugly toe nails that are full of fungus. Having this part of your body as a haven for bugs is simply not tolerable if you want to eradicate infections and inflamation in your body. There are treatments for this. One is tea-tree oil, the other is the anti-fungal Sporanox. It's is a pretty harsh drug but will do the trick. Read the "side affects" brochure as they include breathing difficulties. Take a total look at your body and if there are rashes, skin or other problems, they may be related.

The program:

  • First you will need to have a complete physical check-up and some breathing tests to ensure you can undertake this without risk. Breathing tests will give you a starting point so you can monitor your progress.  You should know your ideal blood pressure and your resting and maximum heart rate.  Start a health diary and record all of your medication, exercise, peak-flow, and your state of health at least twice a day for the next 6 months. Observe all of the suggestions mentioned earlier under Environmental, Inhaled Allergens, Ingested Allergens, Fitness and Getting Fit, otherwise you are wasting your time.
  • The first 2 to 4 months should be spent getting your fitness up to a decent level and getting your lungs totally clear of mucus several times a day.  In addition to Cortisone and western drugs (if prescribed by your doctor) you should also be using a saline nasal flush, I recommend FESS SINU cleanse which is a spray can (ask for the one titled Nasal Irrigation Spray 100ml), not fun to use but it works. I now use one of those squirt bottles available in pharmacies. refer to my section on Saline.
  • Use at least one nebule of Ventolin (Salbutamol) in your nebuliser immediately before you exercise, start with the 5.0 mg size and reduce to the 2.5 when you are well (remember the Tea-Tree Oil once a week). All of this will take a couple of hours at the start of the day so you may have to make some lifestyle changes.  If needed take the maximum Cortisone intake during this time, not the minimum, so that you are ‘bullet proof’.  Don’t take ANY other drug that you could have a reaction to like anti-fungals etc (ask your doctor).
  • If you have been able to remove all of the environmental and other allergens mentioned earlier and you are now relatively fit and healthy, there is no reason that you cannot go cold turkey off Cortisone and all of your inhaled drugs and medication at this point.  If you feel the need, extend the above until you feel healthy and fit in yourself most days.  When you go cold turkey it would be a good idea to take time off work and ensure you stay out of traffic etc.  Keep a supply of Cortisone at hand (if prescribed by your doctor) and use it if you feel distressed, but you may need to resist the temptation to reach for the puffer when you don’t really need it.  If you feel a little ‘tight’ in the chest after a meal, just sit quietly and wait.  Also remove that food from your diet for a while.  It will take a week at least for the inflamation to go out of your lungs so be a fanatic at this stage, once you are through it you can be a little more relaxed about things.  Your immune system may be suppressd by the Costisone so you will need to be vigilant until your body takes over again.  Be careful not to get a cold or flu. Use Listerine or a warm salt water gargle to wash your mouth regularly. **.
  • ** See notes at end.
  • My Health: (Written Feb 2006)

    Today I start out with a Saline nasal flush, which I repeat 3 times a day, and then inhale one nebule of Salbutamol (2.5mg) in Saline through my Omron pocket nebuliser (see below).  Then I go for a 20 klm bike ride (4 or 5 times a week) as briskly as I can, but never near any traffic so I avoid all of the fumes, in fact my route is mostly along a path overlooking the ocean. That’s it, and a handful of supplements (see list),, it’s that easy !!

    Just to test myself, last week I consumed some greasy battered potato cakes cooked in a deep fryer. Within 10 minutes I could feel a ‘tightening’ in my chest, and within 2 hours had begun to cough up large quantities of yukky yellow mucus. The next day I rode my bike and cleaned out my lungs and everything went immediately back to normal.  It feels good for me to be in control of my health, instead of the other way around.

    Equipment:

    Omron make some great stuff and the two things I think are essential are the Omron NE-U22 pocket nebuliser, and a good heart rate monitor.  Take a look at the Omron website as they have some that also contain blood pressure monitoring.

    I purchased the Omron NE-U22 pocket nebuliser from the England over the internet at less that half the cost.  In Aust it costs about $550, I landed it for A$165.  Be sure to get a spare screen as these can break if you drop them.  I consider this an essential tool as it produces an extremely fine mist which penetrates deep into the lungs. Normal ‘Asthma pumps’ do not produce a mist fine enough to get deep down into the smaller Bronchii, especially those of smaller children. The nice part about owning the NEU-22 is that you can just use a samll part of the dose, not all of it. This way you can wait for the leger tubes to open giving access to the smaller ones, and so on. Eventually it will get right down into the deep parts. One nebule in teh Omron NEU-22 last me most of the day.

    One thing I find useful is to use the nebuliser every couple of hours if I feel like I need to reach for the ‘puffer’ (which I NEVER use now). Even a few inhalations can settle down a feeling of tightness so I can make one nebule last most of the day, in fact I am sure this is part of the cure as the saline attacks the bugs and cleanses the lungs throughout the day. Sometimes when I cycle I take the nebuliser and use it along the way to help soften deep mucus, although these days that seldom happens.

    Be sure to clean the nebuliser parts regularly by soaking in water with 25% white vinegar at least a couple of times a week. ( I sometimes have to clean the screen with a domestic cleaner and rinse it out. Also pay attention to the two little contacts as it will not work properly if they are dirty. Sometimes the red light will come on when this happens).

    Tests and Measurements:

    FEV 1 is the measurement of the Forced Expiratory Volume taken in the first second during a normal breathing test.  It is expressed in both litres, and as a percentage of that predicted (for your age etc).

    FVC is Forced Vital Capacity; the total amount of air expelled during a normal breathing test but can be less than the amount normally expelled if expelled slowly.

    FEF 25-75 % is the Forced Expiratory Flow Rate and is the average flow rate measured over the middle half of the expiration.

    In obstructive disease such as Bronchiectasis the total lung capacity is typically abnormally large, but expiration ends prematurely. Flow Volume Curves from breathing tests give a lot of information about lung problems.

    Pulmonary Blood Flow can be measured to ensure there is not damage in that area. This is usually considered a Cardiology test however Respiratory Specialists can carry it out.

    Measuring your uptake of oxygen gives an indication of the amount of lung that is functioning properly and transferring oxygen into the blood.

    Peak Flow is usually done with a simple hand-held device and gives a limited amount of information, but can be useful in tracking your own well-being.

    A few facts:

    Fact:

    Mucus in the lungs, respiratory tract and nasal passages is a breeding ground for infection and fungal growth.

    Fact:

    Doctors cannot hear mucus in the lungs if it has completely plugged a bronchial tube so they may tell you your lungs sound clear when in fact they are very blocked up.

    Fact:

    Inhaled saline has TWO benefits

      • it softens the mucus making it easier to cough up
      • it reduces lung infections by up to 85% when inhaled daily

    Fact:

    People with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or Bronchiectasis do not usually respond well to Ventolin and are often wrongly diagnosed with Asthma.  I do notice however that Ventolin has a greater effect now that my lungs are no longer inflamed.

    Fact:

    T Cells respond to allergens by producing Histamines, the usual treatment being to give ANTI–Histamines. Histamines cause the affected area to become inflamed and red, therefore making them more susceptible to allergens, a vicious circle !

    Fact: 

    T Cells can be “turned down” to be less responsive by “T Cell blockers” therefore producing less Histamines, therefore less inflammation, therefore less allergic reactions, and therefore less mucus.  Quercetin is a T-Cell blocker

    Fact: 

    If parts of your lungs are plugged (obstructed) with Mucus, then any medication you inhale will not have an afffect on the blocked area of lung.

    Summary (2006)

    I am really proud of the result of 5 years of research and testing to have eventually been successful but could not have made it without the help and support of some wonderful friends and Doctors, and those who supported me and lived through the times when I was in fear of my life. I didn’t know that I was on a journey that actually had a destination, I thought I would be fighting this forever.  Now I can get on with my life.

    To get rid of all of the medication that Western Doctors and Respiratory Specialists could throw at me and be far healthier without them is remarkable, but even more remarkable is that fact that these Doctors and Respiratory Specialists may in fact have known of the cure, but somehow failed to pass it on to me, or perhaps even recognise it themselves. Not all Doctors failed, but most missed the mark by a mile.  Jo Douglass at the Alfred was the exception and her sincerity and curiosity was an inspiration for me to keep going.

    I won’t focus on what I think went wrong, or is wrong with our modern hospitals, but suffice to say that considering that much of the research funding comes from drug companies it is unlikely that they would want the outcome of research to show that a simple and cheap saline treatment is the best cure. I am certain that the drug companies would be aware that their drugs contribute to the inflamation of lung tissue. Pehaps when they are tested on normal lungs there is little reaction, but inhaling them into inflamed lungs is very different.

     

    I had major back surgery in April 2013, click here for details

    Update April 2013. I had major back surgery on the 9th and my major worry was getting a chest infection so I made up my own saline and took it with me. I was put under the care of respiratory physician Dr Simon Bowler and he was surprised that I was using such a strong saline mix. He said that he recommends to all of his Bronch patients to use 7% saline every day.

     

    Here is a photo of my new screws installed in my spine:

     

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    Notes:

    Oral sex can be a source of bugs that can turn into sinus and chest infections, so be vigilant and wash your mouth out thoroughly.. It doesn’t sound romantic, but who needs a chest infection ?

    Other problems can be sore throats, colds and flu passed on from your partner. Also perfumes, ‘after-shave’ lotions, and fresh nail polish are Primary Allergens, stay out of the way of these at all costs.