What Causes Pneumonia?

To successfully treat and prevent recurrence of pneumonia 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 pneumonia to develop?"

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Accurate diagnosis of the factors behind pneumonia 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 pneumonia.  Here are seven possibilities:
  • Cigarette Smoke Damage
  • Vitamin A Need
  • Alcohol Consequences
  • Diabetes II
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Chronic Bronchitis
  • Weakened Immune System

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

Identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
regular night terrors
cysts in breasts
an enlarged nose
low HDL cholesterol level
recent productive cough
processed meat consumption
being a recovering alcoholic
constant thirst
severe fatigue after slight exertion
waking up with choking sensation
regular postprandial somnolence
sleeping more than necessary
... and more than 70 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of pneumonia:
Cause Probability Status
Cigarette Smoke Damage 95% Confirm
Alcohol Consequences 25% Unlikely
Congestive Heart Failure 15% Unlikely
Vitamin A Need 3% Ruled out
Chronic Bronchitis 0% Ruled out
Diabetes II 0% Ruled out
Weakened Immune System 0% Ruled out
* 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.

In the Respiratory Symptoms section of the questionnaire, The Analyst™ will ask the following question about pneumonia:
Have you had Pneumonia?
Possible responses:
→ Never had it / don't know
→ Probably/minor episode(s) now resolved
→ Major episode(s) now resolved
→ Current minor problem
→ Current major problem
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate either history of pneumonia or pneumonia, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Vitamin A Requirement

Vitamin A deficiency reduces the ability of the cells lining the lungs to remove disease-causing microorganisms, increasing risk of pneumonia.

Alcohol-related Problems

Alcoholism is a risk factor for the development of pneumonia.

Cigarette Smoke Damage

Smoking is a risk factor for the development of pneumonia.

Congestive Heart Failure

Heart failure is a risk factor for the development of pneumonia.

COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

Lung diseases – such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema – are risk factors for the development of pneumonia.

Diabetes Type II

Diabetes is a risk factor for the development of pneumonia.

Weakened Immune System

People whose immune systems are suppressed, such as those with AIDS or those undergoing chemotherapy, are more susceptible to pneumonia.

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