Bronchiectasis


Overview

Bronchiectasis is a long-term condition where the airways of the lungs become abnormally widened, leading to a build-up of excess mucus that can make the lungs more vulnerable to infection. The damage caused to the lungs by bronchiectasis is permanent, but treatment can help relieve your symptoms and stop the damage getting worse.

Symptoms

  • Coughing that results in a lot of mucus
  • Coughing up mucus that has blood in it (known as hemoptysis)
  • Chest pain or tightness because it is harder to breathe
  • Wheezing or making whistling noises when breathing
  • Clubbing of nails
  • Loss of weight
  • Flare-ups that usually include:
    • Fatigue
    • Fevers and/or chills
    • Increased shortness of breath.

In Ayurveda, signs and symptoms of Urakshata are very similar to Bronchiectasis. The cardinal features of Urakshata are coughing with yellowish-black, foul smelling sputum and haemoptysis.

Causes

  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Chronic and inflammatory lung disease
  • Chronic or severe lung infections, like tuberculosis, non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) or pneumonia
  • Deficits in the immune system
  • Repeated aspiration (breathing in) of things other than air, such as food particles, that cause damage to the lungs.

Treatment

Treatment protocol aims at:

  1. Treating the inflammation and clear the excess mucus from the lungs. 
  2. Support the tissues of the lung for its proper functioning.
  3.  Preventing further damage by rejuvenating the whole body.

The first line of treatment should always be avoiding the causative factors. If the problem persists then consider the following treatment protocol.

The lungs are full of tiny branching airways known as bronchi. The inside walls of the bronchi are coated with sticky mucus, which protects against damage from particles/microbes moving down into the lungs.In bronchiectasis, one or more of the bronchi are abnormally widened which makes the bronchi more vulnerable to infection. If an infection does develop, the bronchi may further get damaged, resulting in more mucus production. 

  • Narrow airway due to inflammation causes wheezing, breathlessness and chest tightness. Body raises its temperature to combat infection i.e Fever making you feel weak and tired (fatigue) with head and body aches.

Shwasakuthar Rasa is effective in conditions like wheezing and breathlessness. Vasa helps to support the bronchial function acting as broncho- dilatory, expectorant and helps to clear the mucus from the respiratory tract. Similarly, other drugs like Pippali, Talisha, Maricha and Shunthi acted as mucolytics, effective in reducing productive cough and  sputum formation. 

  • Excess Mucus irritated airway causes the characteristic cough of bronchiectasis with phlegm/mucus sometimes blood vessels in certain areas get bleed and produce cough with a streak of blood. The combination of Yasthimadhu and Godanti controlled excessive bleeding due to coughing .
  • Weight loss often occurs in patients with severe bronchiectasis. This is believed to be secondary to increased caloric requirements associated with the increased work of coughing and clearing secretions. Vasa and Pippali are effective in reducing cough, suppressing haemoptysis and sputum formation, but also useful in controlling recurrent chest infections by improving the immunity of the patient. Laksha helps to improve overall health .

           (The above mentioned Ayurvedic drugs are Herbs and Herbomineral preparations)

Herbs

Shwasakuthar Rasa , Pippali, Talisha, Maricha ,  Shunthi, Vasa, Yasthimadhu ,laha


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