Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lung caused
by infection with bacteria, viruses, and other organisms. Pneumonia
is usually triggered when a patient's defense system is weakened,
most often by a simple viral upper respiratory tract infection or
a case of influenza. Such infections or other triggers do not cause
pneumonia directly but they alter the mucous blanket, thus encouraging
bacterial growth. Other factors can also make specific people susceptible
to bacterial growth and pneumonia.
PNEUMONIA - CAUSE
Bacteria are the most common causes of pneumonia, but these infections
can also be caused by other microbial organisms. It is often impossible
to identify the specific culprit. The most common cause of pneumonia
is the gram-positive bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae (also called
S. pneumoniae or pneumococcal pneumonia ). The most common gram-negative
species causing pneumonia is Haemophilus influenzae (generally occurring
in patients with chronic lung disease, older patients, and alcoholics).
Atypical pneumonias are generally caused by tiny nonbacterial organisms
called Mycoplasma or Chlamydia pneumoniae and produce mild symptoms
with a dry cough. Viruses that can cause or lead to pneumonia include
influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), herpes simplex virus,
varicella-zoster (the cause of chickenpox), and adenovirus.
PNEUMONIA - Symptoms of Common
The symptoms of bacterial pneumonia develop abruptly and may include
chest pain, fever, shaking, chills, shortness of breath, and rapid
breathing and heart beat.
Symptoms of pneumonia indicating a medical emergency include high
fever, a rapid heart rate, low blood pressure, bluish-skin, and
Coughing up sputum containing pus or blood is an indication of
Severe abdominal pain may accompany pneumonia occurring in the
lower lobes of the lung.
In advanced cases, the patient's skin may become bluish (cyanotic),
breathing may become labored and heavy, and the patient may become
Symptoms in the Elderly. It is important to note that older people
may have fewer or different symptoms than younger people have. An
elderly person who experiences even a minor cough and weakness for
more than a day should seek medical help. Some may exhibit confusion,
lethargy, and general deterioration.
Symptoms of Pneumonia Causes by Anaerobic Bacteria
People with pneumonia caused by anaerobic bacteria such as Bacteroides,
which can produce abscesses, often have prolonged fever and productive
cough, frequently showing blood in the sputum, which indicates necrosis
(tissue death) in the lung. About a third of these patients experience
Symptoms of Atypical Pneumonia
General Symptoms for Atypical Pneumonias. Atypical nonbacterial
pneumonia is most commonly caused by Mycoplasma and usually appears
in children and young adults.
Symptoms progress gradually, often beginning with general flu-like
symptoms, such as fatigue, fever, weakness, headache, nasal discharge,
sore throat, ear ache, and stomach and intestinal distress.
Vague pain under and around the breast bone may occur, but the
severe chest pain associated with typical bacterial pneumonia is
Patients may experience a severe hacking cough, but it usually
does not produce sputum.
Symptoms of Legionnaire's Disease. Symptoms of Legionnaire's disease
usually evolve more rapidly and include high fever, a dry cough,
and shortness of breath, often accompanied by headache, muscle pains,
fatigue, gastrointestinal problems, and mental confusion.
Homeopathy Treatment & Homeopathic Remedies for PNEUMONIA
Probably no fact is more fully established in medicine, in any school,
than the beneficial action of Aconite action of Aconite in pulmonary
congestions. It is the remedy of remedies in the first stage of
pneumonia,because it corresponds more closely to the symptoms usually
found in that stage. It should not, however, be used in this or
any disease in the first or any stage unless the symptoms call for
it. The symptoms are these: High fever preceded by a distinct chill;
the pulse is full, hard and tense; a history of exposure may also
be taken into consideration; dry, cold winds. The skin is hot and
dry, without moisture upon it; there is a hard, dry, teasing and
painful cough; there may be some expectoration present, if so it
is watery, serous and frothy, may be blood tinged, but not thick.
Thick expectoration indicates that exudation is commencing, and
then Aconite is no longer the remedy. There is pain also with Aconite,
which is poorly borne. With these symptoms there is great restlessness,
tossing about, anxiety and perhaps fear ;of death. It will strengthen
confidence in remedies to see Aconite act in these cases. Veratrum
viride in some is similar to Aconite in some particulars, but it
is easily distinguished; there is a full rapid pulse and a great
deal of arterial excitement; the eyes are glistening and there is
a red streak down through the centre of the tongue. It is, perhaps
more often indicated at the commencement of a pneumonia than is
Aconite. A great indication for Aconite in pulmonary congestions
is suddenness ;of onset, and especially so if it occurs in young
and plethoric persons who are full of life and vigor; for it is
per-eminently in such patients that congestions, when appearing
at all, appear suddenly. Gelsemium lacks the suddenness ;of Aconite.
Here apathy is marked, and the two drugs need never be confounded.
#Ferrum phosphoricum. [Ferr-p]
This, like Aconite, is a remedy for the first stage before exudation
takes place, and, ,like Aconite, if there be any expectoration it
is thin, watery and blood streaked. It is a useful remedy for violent
congestions of the lungs, whether appearing at the onset of the
diseases or during its course, which would show that the inflammatory
action was extending; it thus corresponds to what are termed secondary
pneumonias, especially in the aged and debilitated. There is high
fever, oppressed and hurried breathing, and bloody expectoration,
very little thirst; there are extensive rales, and perhaps less
of that extreme restlessness and anxiety that characterizes Aconite.
This remedy, with kali muriaticum, forms the Schuesslerian treatment
of this disease.
this remedy is one both for the first and second stage of pneumonia,
especially for the croupous form. It has high fever and restlessness
like aconite, and there is ad tendency to rapid extension of the
hepatization. There is a decided cough and great difficulty in breathing,
as if the chest would not expand; the sputum is blood streaked.
Iodine may also be a remedy in the later stages when resolution
does not progress, the lung breaking down with hectic and suppurative
symptoms. Dr. Kafka, our celebrated German confrere, prescribed
drop doses of Iodine in the 1st,2d or 3d dilution every hour or
so as soon as physical signs of pneumonia showed themselves, and
claimed that it would arrest the process of hepatization within
twenty-four hours. He considered that Aconite was entirely unnecessary
in the treatment of pneumonia. It is also favorably spoken of by
Prof. T. F. Allen.
#Veratrum viride. [Verat]
In violent congestions about the chest preceding pneumonia Veratrum
viride may be the remedy, and thus it is seem that its use is more
in the beginning of the disease, and especially where there is great
arterial excitement, dyspnoea,chest oppdression and stomach symptoms
of nausea and vomiting; the engorgement is profound, and here it
greatly resembles Sanguinaria; but it differs from that drug, in
that it is of ;little use after hepatization has taken place. There
is high fever, violent action of the heart, the pulse is full, hard
and rapid, and the tongue has a red streak down the center; this
latter symptom is a characteristic keynote of the drug. The air
cells at the bottom of the lobes are filling up with frothy mucus.
the pulse will indicate, it being full and hard. Hard, quick and
small indicates Aconite. Strike out anxiety and alarm and insert
an ugly delirium with a deeply flushed, bloated face and headache
and you have veratrum viride. One must beware not to encourage cardiac
depression with this remedy.
is the remedy for pneumonia; it furnishes a better pathological
picture of the disease than any other, and it comes in after Aconite,
Ferrum phosphoricum and Veratrum viride. The fever continues, but
the skin is not as hot and the patient not as restless as in Aconite.
the cough of Bryonia is looser and more moist than that of Aconite,
and there are usually sharp stitching pleuritic pains,the cough
of Bryonia is also hard and dry at times and the sputum is scanty
and rust colored, so typical of pneumonia. There may be circumscribed
redness of the cheeks, slight delirium and apathy; the tongue will
most likely be dry, and the patient will most likely be dry,l and
the patient will want to keep perfectly quiet. It is a right-sided
remedy and attacks the parenchyma of the lung, and is perhaps more
strongly indicated in the croupous form of pneumonia. The patient
dreads to cough and holds his breath to prevent it on account of
the pain it causes; it seems as though the chest walls would fly
to pieces. The pains in the chest, besides being worse by motion
and breathing, are relieved by lying on the right o;r painful side,
be cause this lessens the motions ;of that side. Coughs which hurt
distant parts of the body call for Bryonia. Phosphorus most commonly
follows Bryonia in pneumonia, and is complementary. In pneumonias
complicated by pleurisy Bryonia is the remedy, par excellence. Halbert
believes that Cantharis relieves the painful features of the early
development of the exudate better than any other remedy, a hint
which comes from Dr.Jousset, who used the remedy extensively.
#Kali muriaticum. [Kali-m]
Since the advent of Schuesslerism this has been a favorite remedy
with some physicians, and not without a good ground for its favoritism.
Clinical experience has proved that this drug in alternation with
Ferrum phosphoricum constitutes a treatment of pneumonia which has
been very successful in many hands. The symptoms calling for Kali
muriaticum as laid down by Schuessler are very meager, it is given
simply because there is a fibrinous exudation in the lung substance.
There is a white, viscid expectoration and the tongue is coated
white. It is better suited to the second stage, for when the third
stage appears with its thick, yellowish expectoration it is replaced
by Kali sulphuricum in the biochemic nomoenclature.
is "the great mogul of lobar pneumonia." It should be
remembered that Phosphorus is not, like Bryonia, the remedy when
the lungs are completely hepatized, although it is one of the few
drugs which have been known to produce hepatization. When bronchial
symptoms are present it is the remedy, and cerebral symptoms during
pneumonia often yield better to Phosphorus than to Belladonna. There
is cough ;with pain under sternum, as if something were torn loose;
there is pressure across the upper part of the chest and constriction
of the larynx; there is pressure across the upper part of the chest
and constriction of the larynx; there are mucous rales, labored
breathing, sputa yellowish mucus, with blood streaks therein, or
rustcolored, as under Bryonia. After Phosphorus, Hepar sulphur.
naturally follows as the exudate begins to often; it is the remedy
of the third stage, the fever is ;of a low character. Tuberculinum.
Arnulphy says that in lobular pneumonia this remedy surpasses Phosphorus
or Antimonium tartaricum, and competent observers are convinced
that it has an important place in the treatment of pneumonia; some
using it in very case intercurrently; doses varying from 6x to 30x.
When typhoid symptoms occur in the course of pneumonia then Phosphorus
will come in beautifully. Phosphorus follows Bryonia well, being
complementary to it. There is also a sensation as if the chest were
full of blood, which causes an oppression ;of breathing, a symptom
met with commonly enough in pneumonia. Hughes maintains that Phosphorus
should be given in preference to almost any medicine in acute chest
affections in young children. Lilienthal says Phosphorus is our
great tonic to the heart and lungs. Hyoscyamus. Dr. Nash considers
this remedy one ;of the best in typhoid pneumonia, meaning that
it is more frequently indicated than any other.
When Sanguinaria is indicated in pneumonia there will be fever,
burning and fullness in the upper chest, a dry cough, sharp, sticking
pains more on the right side, dyspnoea, and the expectoration is
rust-colored, here resembling Phosphorus. It has circumscribed redness
and burning heat of the cheeks, especially in the afternoon. The
hands and feet are either very hot or very cold, the heart is weak
and irregular, there is great engorgement of the lungs and the congestion
is very intense, here resembling Veratrum viride. Sanguinaria has
imperfect resolution and purulent expectoration, as in Sulphur but
it is more offensive,even becoming so to the patient himself.
Bilious pneumonia is, perhaps more often indicative of Chelidonium
than of any other remedy. there are stitching pains under the right
scapula, loose rattling cough and difficult expectoration, oppression
;of chest, as under Antimonium tartaricum, and fan-like motions
of the alae nasi, as under Lycopodium. Mercurius is quite similar
in bilious pneumonia; the stools will decide, those of Mercurius
being slimy and accompanied by tenesmus; the expectoration is also
apt to be blood-streaked. With chelidonium there is an excess of
secretion in the tubes, which ;is similar to Antimonium tartaricum,
and an inability to raise the same. It has been greatly praised
in catarrhal pneumonia of young children where there is plentiful
secretion and inability to raise it. The right lung is more often
affected in cases calling for chelidonium.
#Antimonium tartaricum. [Ant-t]
This drug is especially indicated in pneumonia and pleuro-pneumonia
at the stage of resolution. There are fine moist rales heard all
over the hepatized portion of the lungs; these are different from
the Ipecac rales; they are fine, while those of Ipecac are coarse.
With Antimonium tartaricum there is great oppression of breathing,
worse towards morning, compelling the patient to sit up to breath.
There are also sharp, stitching pains and high fever, as under Bryonia,
and it, perhaps, more closely corresponds to the catarrhal form
than it does to the croupous. Bilious symptoms, if present, do not
contra-indicate, as there are many of these in its pathogenesis.
There is one peculiar symptom, the patient feels sure that the next
cough will raise the mucus, but it does not. When there is deficient
reaction, as in the aged or ;in very young children, this remedy
is particularly indicated .
#Kali carbonicum [Kali-c]
is, perhaps, more similar to Bryonia than any drug in the symptom
of sharp, stitching pains in the chest. These are worse by motion,
but, unlike Bryonia they come whether the patient moves or not,
and are more in the lower part of the right lung. In pneumonia with
intense dyspnoea and a great deal of mucus on the chest, which,
like in all of the Kalis, is raised with difficulty, wheezing and
whistling breathing, Kali carbonicum is the remedy, especially if
the cough be tormenting. It comes in with benefit ofttimes where
Antimonium tartaricum and Ipecac have failed to raise the expectoration.
Kali bichromicum may be indicated by its well-known tough, stringy
is a remedy to be used in any stage of pneumonia. It will prevent,
if given in the beginning, if the symptoms indicate it. It will
prevent hepatization and cause imperfect and slow resolution to
react. When the case has a typhoid tendency and the lung and the
lung tends to break down, where there are rales, muco-purulent expectoration
slow speech, dry tongue and symptoms of hectic, Sulphur is the remedy.
Weakness and faintness are characteristic symptoms. Dr. G. J. Jones
says a dyspnoea occurring at night between 12 and 2 causing the
patient to sit up in bed is a valuable symptom. Its field is especially
in neglected pneumonias in psoric constitutions, with tendency to
develop into tuberculosis. In purulent expectoration Sanguinaria
is the better remedy, especially where it is offensive even to the
patient himself. If the lung be hepatized, the patient at night
restless and feverish, ulceration threatened, and there is no tendency
to recuperation then one may depend upon Sulphur. Lycopodium is
also; a most useful remedy in delayed or partial resolution. There
is a tightness across the chest, aching over lungs, general weakness.
Hughes says it is the best remedy where the case threatens to run
into acute phthisis.