Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

What Causes Chronic Bronchitis?

In order to hopefully treat and prevent recurrence of chronic bronchitis we need to understand and — if possible — remove the underlying causes and risk factors.  We need to ask: "What else is going on inside the body that might allow chronic bronchitis to develop?"

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Accurate diagnosis of the factors behind chronic bronchitis consists of three steps:

Step 1: List the Possible Causative Factors

Identify all disease conditions, lifestyle choices and environmental risk factors that can lead to chronic bronchitis.  Here are two possibilities:
  • Need For Dietary Improvement
  • Cigarette Smoke Damage

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

Identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
high coffee consumption
very pale fingernails
history of cysts in breasts
fast food consumption
soft drink consumption
high added salt consumption
smoking 2-5 cigarettes per day
processed meat consumption
low fruit/vegetable consumption
much reduced sense of smell
much secondhand smoke exposure
... and more than 10 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of chronic bronchitis:
Cause Probability Status
Need For Dietary Improvement 94% Confirm
Cigarette Smoke Damage 62% Possible
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate having breathing problems, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Do you have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), also known as Emphysema or Chronic Bronchitis?
Possible responses:
→ Don't know
→ No - definitely not
→ Mildly
→ Moderately
→ Severely
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate either not having COPD or COPD, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Consequences of Poor Diet

Out of 50 consecutive COPD patients presented with acute respiratory failure upon admittance to a hospital, malnutrition was observed in 60% of all patients but only 39% of those whose body weight was equal to or above 90% of ideal body weight.  These results suggest that assessment of nutritional status should be systemically performed for COPD patients with acute respiratory failure, especially those who are in need of mechanical ventilation.  Aggressive, early nutritional support in acute illness might have beneficial effects on the weaning of patients off mechanical intervention. [Nutritional Status of Patients With COPD and Acute Respiratory Failure, Chest, May 1993;103(5): pp.1362-68]

Cigarette Smoke Damage

Smoking is the single most important risk factor in the development of COPD, contributing to 81.5% of all COPD deaths.  People who smoke or have chronic bronchitis have an increased risk of emphysema.  Chronic coughing and shortness of breath are symptoms of these diseases.  Studies involving over one million men and women have shown that the death rate for chronic bronchitis and emphysema is six times as high for smokers as for non-smokers.

Concerned or curious about your health?  Try The Analyst™
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