Winter’s Coming! What are the Symptoms for Pneumonia?

October 5, 2010

Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that causes the sacs in your lungs to fill up with pus causing (possibly violent) coughing and flem, making it difficult to breathe. Coughing up flem (and a general feeling of malaise) cause many people to have nausea, and sometimes vomiting.

Because your lung’s capacity for delivering oxygen to your body is diminished, pneumonia causes all-over aches and weakness. The infection that is attacking your lungs and bronchial tubes compounds this by adding a fever as your body tries to fight it off.

Symptoms for Pneumonia can be summarized as:

  • Sever Coughing accompanied by Flem
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • All-Over malaise, aches, and weakness
    • More severe aches in the chest/lungs
  • Fever
    • Chills

Pneumonia can develop out of other respiratory infections such as bronchitis, or can develop on its own if you have a weak immune system. About half the time pneumonia is caused by a virus, which makes treatment for pneumonia difficult since antibiotics target bacteria.

Pneumonia can sometimes occur from something other than a virus or bacteria, including fungi, and chemical toxins from smoking. You should not smoke if you have pneumonia or any other respiratory infection, as symptoms for pneumonia may worsen.

To avoid getting pneumonia (and take care of yourself while you have it) you should:

  • Fortify your immune system with nutrients and supplements,
  • Wash your hands often, especially before touching your face.
  • Make sure to get plenty of rest.
  • Avoid smoking and other things that may weaken your immune system, including stress and drinking (alcoholics are at an increased risk for Pneumonia).
  • Maintain a healthy weight (don’t exercise if you have a respiratory infection). People who are overweight/obese are more likely to have chronic illnesses, and pneumonia rates are higher among the obese. Further, the fat that builds up around the lungs may prevent them from reaching their full capacity.

People with strong immune systems who rest (resting also helps ease coughing) and take care of themselves by consuming fluids and nutrients will have their pneumonia clear up in a few weeks. People with weaker immune systems due to age, other illnesses, or stress and over-working themselves may suffer from pneumonia longer, and may develop more serious complications that may be life-threatening.

Always consult a doctor, especially if your condition worsens or lasts more than a week, you have a high fever, or cough up blood.

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