Walking Pneumonia

What Is Walking Pneumonia

Walking Pneumonia is the non-medical term for a mild case of pneumonia.  Technically referred to as Atypical Pneumonia, this condition is the result of a bacterial infection that affects both the upper and lower respiratory tract.  More often than not, Walking Pneumonia does not require bed rest or hospitalization; rather, the patient may experience symptoms that are similar to the common cold.  Roughly two million people in the United States develop Walking Pneumonia each year as a result of Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection.  This condition can last from a week to a month.   

Signs Of Walking Pneumonia

The symptoms of Walking Pneumonia will be similar to those of the common cold.  The symptoms are typically mild and will go away on their own.  Depending on the severity and length of the infection, they may worsen or just last a long time.  Common symptoms include: 

  • Sore throat
  • Persistent dry cough
  • Inflammation of windpipe and main branches
  • Headache

If symptoms last longer, it is possible to develop more serious symptoms like: 

  • Chest pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Rapid breathing
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Vomiting
  • Wheezing
What Causes Walking Pneumonia

Walking Pneumonia is most often caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae bacteria, although it is possible to develop the condition from other viruses or bacteria that are in the air we breathe.  The bacteria can be passed from person to person via infected respiratory droplets (from sneezes or coughs), but it can also enter the body through face touching or environment.  More often than not, though, it is through direct infection.  Other causes can include:

  • Chlamydia pneumoniae bacterium (responsible for about 300,000 cases in the U.S. each year)
  • Legionnaires' disease (a more serious cause of Walking Pneumonia)

Dherbs Approach...adjusting your diet is always key!

Natural Remedies
  • Persistent cough is an extremely common symptom of Walking Pneumonia.  It can be beneficial to soothe a scratchy or sore throat by drinking herbal teas, including fenugreek, eucalyptus, and peppermint.  A 2011 study found that both peppermint and eucalyptus teas helped soothe sore throats and clear upper respiratory infections.  These teas also help to break up mucus and decrease inflammation in the respiratory system.  Fenugreek tea can help break up mucus in airways and decrease coughing as a result. 
  • It is beneficial to improve immune function any time there is an infection in the body, especially one that affects the respiratory system.  A few steps you can take to boost the immune system include improving gut healthy by eating probiotic-rich foods, which include fermented vegetables, miso, kombucha, kefir, and kimchi.  Increasing the amount of healthy bacteria in the gut can positively affect immune function and response.  It is also beneficial to take immune-boosting supplements, which include licorice root, garlic, turmeric, ginger, astragalus root, and vitamin C. 
  • All the coughing that is associated with Walking Pneumonia can make the throat feel scratchy.  Reduce the pain by regularly gargling with salt water.  This practice helps to get rid of mucus and reduce irritation in the throat.  Dissolve about 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a one cup of warm water.  Don't try to gargle all of this at once; rather, you should do it by little.  Aim to gargle for 30 seconds each time.  Do this three times daily.
  • Walking Pneumonia doesn't typically interfere with daily life, but you should aim to rest as much as possible to promote a swifter recovery.  Rest is essential in order for cellular repair to happen.  If you experience shortness of breath, aim to keep physical exertion to a minimum and rest as much as possible, sleeping eight hours per night if you can. 
  • It can be beneficial to inhale steam because moisture in the air helps to loosen mucus in the lungs.  You can take warm baths or showers, but you can also use a humidifier in the rooms that you most inhabit to create moisture in the air.  It may also be beneficial to pour hot water into a heat-safe bowl and add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil to the water.  Lean over the bowl with your face a foot above the water.  Drape a towel over your head and the bowl to create a steam tent.  Breathe in and out for about five minutes. 
  • Breathing exercises can help improve lung strength and thus improve recovery time for people with Walking Pneumonia.  For starters, take five to 10 deep breaths and make yourself cough two to three times once you are finished.  This process helps to clear mucus from the lungs.  You can also try alternate nostril breathing, and there are many videos online that detail how to do this properly. 
  • It can be beneficial to consume both ginger and turmeric tea if you are experiencing chest pain.  Both of these herbs have potent anti-inflammatory properties that can help decrease inflammation in the respiratory tract.  Chop up a one-inch piece of either root and pour 1.5 cups of boiling water over it.  You can sweeten the tea with raw organic honey. 
Things you should eat
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Kimchi
  • Peppermint Tea
  • Citrus Fruits (oranges, grapefruit, lemons, & limes)
  • Raw Honey
  • Fermented Vegetables
  • Barley
  • Steel Cut Oats
  • Quinoa
  • Green Leafy Vegetables (lettuce, kale, spinach, collards, & chard)
  • Kiwis
  • Fenugreek Tea
  • Carrots
  • Papaya
  • Sweet Potatoes
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