More than 3 MILLION PEOPLE IN THE U.S. get Pneumonia every year.
Why? How? And how serious is it?
Pneumonia may seem like an odd thing for a Personal Trainer address but several of my clients and many acquaintances have suffered from pneumonia in the past few years, so, I decided to research it further. I wanted to know exactly what it was, how to spot the signs and how to help my clients post recovery. And I think it’s important for me to share.
Top causes of Pneumonia:
WEAKENED IMMUNE SYSTEMS
LEGIONNAIRE’S DISEASE (dirty water)
The leading cause of pneumonia is bacteria. The most common pneumonias are Streptococcus pneumonia Bacterial Pneumonia followed by Atypical pneumonia (most prevalent during the winter months).
Several types of bacteria can lead to various pneumonia, but most have the same basic symptoms and side effects.
And you can get pneumonia at any age.
Most Nosocomial caused pneumonia is found in nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, even hospitals. This is because Nosocomial organisms are organisms that have been exposed to strong antibiotics so frequently or an extended period that they develop a resistance to the antibiotics.
Bronchitis is caused by the inflammation of the lung’s bronchial tubes. Many of us dismiss it as a hacking cough, but if it goes undiagnosed and untreated it can develop into a type of bacterial pneumonia.
If you’re malnourished from eating crap or undernourished from not eating enough, you can impair your immune system. And speaking of…
WEAKENED IMMUNE SYSTEMS
Our immune systems are fighting off a multitude of infections and illnesses at once and it can only take so much. If it’s weak, it can be overcome by Pneumonia. One particularly dangerous one is Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia which attacks one lung when the body’s immune system is low, making it easy to spread from one lung to the other.
Travelers have been known to get Fungal pneumonia visiting places where there are endemic fungi. This type of pneumonia is often accompanied by Valley Fever whose symptoms include a high fever, rash, raspy cough, headaches and muscle aches.
LEGIONNAIRE’S DISEASE (dirty H2O & AC)
Drinking Water contaminated with the bacteria Legionella pneumonia-philia can cause an infection which can become pneumonia. This bacterial infection is called Legionnaire’s Disease. It can come from bacteria in dirty water or that grow in air-conditioners that are not properly cleaned and maintained.
Yes, people still smoke and now even toke more and vape. People with any lung ailments such as COPD who smoke can easily contract pneumonia because smoking weakens the lungs.
We can all be affected by the rare widespread outbreaks such as Bird Flu (H5N1), SARA (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) or Spanish Flu. Don’t treat such outbreaks as just news, it can hit you and at the very least weaken you.
ANTIBIOTICS YES or NO? BACTERIAL yes, VIRAL no
Antibiotics usually work on Bacterial Pneumonia but NOT on Viral Pneumonia does not. Viral infections can quickly grow into pneumonia. Viruses include influenza (aka "the flu"), Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), Parainfluenza, Rhinovirus and Adenoviruses.
Flu season peaks between December and February which can lead to a viral or bacterial pneumonia in anyone, including you. So, take the necessary precautions of getting enough sleep, exercising, eating clean nutritious immune strengthening food, constantly wash your hands, and checking out any tell-tale sign of a cold or flu from the get-go. Don’t ignore the symptoms and don’t give it to others! Also, keep an eye on young children and especially seniors over the age of 60. They are not frail but are more susceptible and sometimes stubborn!
Seniors in particular tend to have other health issues which compromise their immune system. Fluid collects in the lungs which makes it hard to breathe. Rapid labored breathing, coughs and dehydration are most prevalent.
It can take weeks for anyone to fully recover, and longer for seniors. If you have pneumonia, wait at least a couple of weeks after you recover to resume exercising, then ease into it to make sure your lungs and heart work up to the increased intensity.
Stretching, easy but long walks and light weights are a good start.
Monitor your or a senior's resting heart rate and breaths-per-minute while at rest. A higher than normal heart rate and/or excessive breathing may signify a relapse.
All this said… TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF, AND EACH OTHER.