How Does Pneumonia Affect The Digestive System?

You might be here because you or someone you know has had a lung disease called pneumonia. Now fortunately there is the treatment for pneumonia and most people will get over this disorder. However, there are 50000 deaths per year according to the CDC, due to pneumonia.

How Does Pneumonia Affect The Digestive System?


So let us find out why this illness is so serious, what are the potential causes, and what are some of the risk factors that make people more susceptible to complications.

How Does Pneumonia Affect The Digestive System?


Pneumonia is an infection that causes inflammation in the lung tissue and results in fluid buildup, fever, cough, and difficulty in breathing. This is caused by infections including viruses, bacteria, fungi, and even parasites in some cases.

Common viruses that cause pneumonia include:

  1. Influenza (flu)
  2. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
  3. Rhinoviruses (common cold) 

Common bacteria that cause pneumonia include:

  1. Streptococcus
  2. Mycoplasma
  3. Haemophilus 
  4. Legionella 

Common fungi that cause pneumonia are:

  1. Pneumocystis 
  2. Cryptococcus species
  3. Histoplasmosis species

What are the signs and symptoms of pneumonia?

The signs and symptoms of pneumonia can be different from one person to another. Here are some of the most common examples:

  • Cough with thick mucus
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Fever, sweating, or chills
  • Low body temperature in older adults
  • Muscle aches and fatigue
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Headache

Keep in mind that there are also other symptoms that cause pneumonia, these are some of the most common symptoms. 

Why pneumonia is dangerous?

Pneumonia is a serious condition that can affect any of us even if we are in a better condition. In the US over a million hospitalizations are caused by pneumonia and it is still a leading cause of death. A lot of people think you have to be elderly and in the hospital to get pneumonia. The most common kind of pneumonia can be called community-acquired. Risk factors of pneumonia are:

  1. Age
  2. Smoking
  3. COPD
  4. Asthma
  5. Heart disease
  6. Liver cirrhosis
  7. Diabetes 

The elderly are definitely more at risk due to the fact that the immune system tends to wax and wane as you age and that is the reason they do Pneumovax or a vaccine that protects against some at a certain age. 

These factors increase the risk for pneumonia may put you at greater risk for severe cases of pneumonia and may put you at risk for having a trigger of a worsening of your underlying condition. 

Does pneumonia affect the digestive system?

Pneumonia mainly affects the lungs, it may create some disorders in your digestive system.

 So in order to manage your digestive disorder during pneumonia, take plenty of fluids, keeping yourself sufficiently hydrated is important to keep you healthy but even more crucial when you are suffering from digestive disorders ( nausea and vomiting). 

Include hot drinks like water with lemon, tea, or even both just make sure you stay away from diuretics like alcohol and coffee because they can end up dehydrating you.

How to manage your recovery?

Preventing pneumonia is very important during your recovery.

You can help manage your pneumonia by following your healthcare team’s instructions including taking your medications as directed. Make some lifestyle changes that will protect you from infections and irritants.

Follow the directions of your doctor;

  • Don’t skip doses
  • Don’t stop taking your medicine in between even if you feel better
  • Don’t take over-the-counter medication without the doctor’s approval.

You can help with your recovery from pneumonia by doing some simple procedures at home such as exercising your lungs throughout your day. 

  • Take a couple of deep breaths 2 or 3 times an hour, deep breaths help you open up your lungs.
  • If you are in pain split with a pillow while you’re coughing repeat the sequence 3-4 every two hours while you are awake.
  • Coughing up mucus is normal, so only take cough medicine if your doctor says it is ok.
  • Protect those around you, and have a tissue ready to cover your mouth when you cough, and if you cough a mucus “don’t swallow it” spit into a tissue and dispose of it properly. 
  • Your doctor may recommend postural drainage; you can do this by lying with your head lower than your chest, this position drain fluid from your lungs. Precaution may be prescribed to help you cough up mucus, to do this lie with your head lower than your chest and tap your chest firmly with your hand cupped, your doctor will provide you with specific instructions.
  • A vaporizer may help you to breathe more easily. Moisture from a warm bath also helps.
  • Changes to your diet can help with your recovery, good nutrition helps your body fight infections and recover more quickly.
  • Drink 6-8 cups of water, juice, or weak tea a day unless your doctor has told you otherwise.
  • Follow a healthy diet including foods that have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Include food like nuts, whole grams, vegetables, fruits, and cold-water fish like Sardines in order to heap up immunity.
  • A healthy diet will fight against the infection and help you to recover faster.
  • Don’t drink alcohol while you are recovering.
  • Get enough sleep day and night it will make you feel better.
  • Protect your lungs from irritants. Don’t smoke, or let others smoke around you.
  • Stay indoor if air pollution is high.
  • Protect your lungs from other infections by washing your hands often with soap and hot water.
  • Avoid crowds and people with colds, or flu.
  • Avoid fireplace smoke

Call your doctor if:

  1. Vomiting occurs
  2. Feeling excessively sleepy or confused
  3. Thinking is impaired
  4. Lips or fingertips are blue
  5. Breathing becomes difficult
  6. Unable to take a deep breath
  7. Chest hurts when you breathe
  8. Fever returns
  9. Coughing up yellow, green, bloody, or smelly mucus

Always keep in mind that pneumonia is a very serious condition that should be treated by a medical professional. Get rid of pneumonia by simply supplement the medical treatments prescribed by your doctor. Nevertheless, the remedies described will help you manage your symptoms be more comfortable, recover your symptoms, and get over your pneumonia as quickly as possible.

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