Infections are an underlying cause of asthma. My own asthma symptoms have often flared when I became ill with an upper respiratory infection (a cold), most of which are caused by viruses.
However, a more common cause of long-term asthmatic symptoms is an underlying bacterial infection.
In A Cure for Asthma?, Dr. David Hahn writes that an underlying bacterial infection could explain all the aspects of asthma, as well as the allergy connection to asthma.
In fact, Dr. Hahn suggests that allergies themselves may be caused by a long-term bacterial infection.
What types of bacteria are associated with asthma? Mycoplasma pneumonia and chlamydia pneumonia are the two most common types that Dr. Hahn found.
Both chlamydia and mycoplasma pneuomia bacteria are non-cell wall bacteria. That means they must be inside a host’s cells in order to survive.
Because such bacteria live inside our own cells, they can be difficult for the immune system to kill. (On the other hand, the human immune system is good at killing bacteria that have their own cell walls.)
I wrote about non-cell wall bacteria in my book, Overcoming Arthritis, describing how a non-cell wall bacterium can infect our cells causing an autoimmune response from the body. Here’s how it works.
When the immune system realizes that one of the body’s own cells is infected with a non-cell wall bacterium, it responds by creating antibodies against that particular cell.
Doctors can diagnose this by ordering laboratory tests that measure the level of antibodies in the bloodstream.
In Overcoming Arthritis, I note that mycoplasma and chlamydia can cause disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, and Sjogren’s syndrome.
These cases can be treated with judicious use of antibiotics to eradicate the intracellular infections.
Unlike using a short course of antibiotics to treat a strep throat infection (which occurs because of the streptococcal bacteria, which do not live inside our cells; they have cell walls), a non-cell wall bacterial infection requires a much longer course of antibiotics.
In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, I sometimes prescribe low-dose antibiotics for several years, along with other supplements used to support the immune system.
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