One in five North Americans have late-onset asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), in which they cough and become short of breath, particularly when they get infections. Doctors usually prescribe cortisone-type inhalers and pills which help control lung symptoms, but never offer a cure and cause serious side effects such as osteoporosis, decreased immunity, obesity, high blood pressure and so forth. Chronic lung disease may be caused by mycoplasma, chlamydia and ureaplasma, bacteria that are unique because they live inside of cells and are extraordinarily difficult to grow in culture media in the laboratory and therefore are extremely difficult to find with routine culture techniques.
Mycoplasma is a common cause of pneumonia in young adults and children, a common cause of meningitis, nerve damage, heart muscle infection (myocarditis) and arthritis, and a common cause of asthma in young adults. 35% of people with asthma show evidence (antibodies) of recent infection with chlamydia (45). Many young adults who develop asthma caused by mycoplasma fail to develop antibodies to kill that bacteria, so they continue to be infected for the rest of their lives (56). Other papers show that an intracellular bacteria called ureaplasma is a common cause of asthma in young children (1a), some people with steroid-dependant asthma can get off oral prednisone after they take azithromycin for 6 to 16 weeks (1b).
Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD ) lead to permanent lung damage, so most doctors prescribe cortisone-type inhalers early in the disease for asthma (39) and COPD (43). Many papers show that continuous antibiotics effectively controls these chronic lung diseases (1c,55). People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease have very high titers of antibodies to chlamydia, showing infection with that germ (2). Asthma caused by mycoplasma can be cured (54). Two years of intermittent treatment with antibiotics fails to cure some cases of chlamydia infections in the lungs (3).
People with late-onset asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease usually have no allergies. These conditions are caused by infection with several different viruses and bacteria such as mycoplasma( 4-16,16A,16B). Infections trigger and perpetuate asthma (17-30,47-52,58). Rats that wheeze and cough with viral infections got better when they're given imiquimod, a drug that increases interferon production, a chemical that your cells produce to kill viruses (42). Children with asthma are often infected with chlamydia pneumoniae (43). Asthmatics have high blood antibodies against bacteria and allergens (57). Bacterial infections in the lung lead to permanent damage (40). 37% of hospitalizations for asthmatics are associated with a known infection (31). Doxycycline (100 mg BID) or azithromycin (1 gram once a week) has been shown to cure acute bouts of wheezing (32). Three recent papers show that erythromycin antibiotics (clarithromycin, azithromycin) help to treat asthma by decreasing and loosening mucous in the lungs (33,34,60). Your doctor may prescribe conventional asthma medications containing theophylline or albuteral, but they don't always work (35).
Until recently, the only effective treatment for severe late-onset asthma was cortisone-type medications such as prednisone or a cortisone-type inhaler (36), but azithromycin can prevent mycoplasma-caused asthma (38). Two recent papers show that chlamydia causes asthma (60) and ear infections (61) . People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and late-onset asthma may benefit from long-term treatment with doxycycline, 100 mg twice a day, but this is highly controversial. Most allergists disagree and refuse to prescribe long-term antibiotics. Check with your doctor.
More on Mycoplasma, Chlamydia and Ureaplasma. More on Late Onset Asthma
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