Let us start off this article by elucidating what pleurisy is, what are its root causes and how to self diagnose yourself at home to determine if you are suffering from the aforementioned affliction or not? Although, we highly discourage the trend of self-diagnosis and would recommend to seek expert advice from your physician, but in cases where it is difficult to schedule an appointment or have access to a qualified physician, we have jotted down a handy guide for you to diagnose yourself as well as treat this disease with home remedies.
Pleurisy is an ailment which results in inflammation of pleural region of the body. Pleura is a double layered membrane surrounding the lungs. As a consequence of this inflammation, the double layered membrane rubs against itself resulting in severe pain while inhaling and exhaling. The pain becomes more pronounced and acute upon coughing, movement of the person afflicted with the said disease and deep breaths.
The most apparent symptoms of pleurisy are experiencing of severe pain in the chest region while coughing, breathing or simply moving about. Since, pleurisy causes accumulation of sputum in the chest region, the disease is often accompanied with other symptoms as well, such as;
- Difficulty in breathing
- Heavy breathing
- Cyanosis ( A disease characterized by discoloration of the skin owing to lack of oxygen in the body)
- Shivering and fever
- Rapid loss of weight with no apparent reason
Prevention is better than remedial. So, let us elucidate on the causes of this disease to avoid contracting it in the first place. There are a plethora of causes that contribute towards the development of pleurisy. We have enumerated most of them in the list below;
- Outbreak of a viral infection, for instance, flu
- Outbreak of bacterial infections
- Lung cancer (Although it is quite rare to contract pleurisy from lung cancer)
- Heart surgery
- Fracturing of ribs
- A chest trauma
Although it is highly recommended to contact your physician upon experiencing the aforementioned symptoms, but there are also a plethora of home remedies that you can resort to incase you are facing difficulties in scheduling an appointment or are located in a region where there is a dearth of qualified physicians. ( On a holiday to a far off location). We have accumulated several home remedies to relieve you from this ailment.
1: Profuse intake of fluids (Especially water)
As is the case with almost every ailment of human body, profuse intake of fluids, especially water is the go to panacea for curing this ailment. Other fluids which are known to aid in the recovery from this disease include milk and goat milk. Limit your intake of these fluids to a maximum of four liters every day.
Oranges are renowned for their immune boosting traits and are therefore recommended in this affliction to help you ward off the unsolicited weight loss.
It is also recommended to eat gourd, cauliflower, fenugreek and eggplant. Take special precautions to avoid fried edibles, spicy or cold food. Keep your diet focused around edibles that are rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin C.
3: Morning walks, sunbaths and avoidance of physical activity
As counter intuitive as it may sound, lying on the aching side of your body actually helps a lot in subsiding the pain resulting from pleurisy.
Bathing in air, seashore air, sunbaths and salt lakes have been known to aid in reducing the symptoms of pleurisy.
Bathing in hot water mixed with olbas oil. Applying heat on the aching area with the help of a hot towel has been known to relieve some pain. In case of pleurisy coupled with fever, it is recommended to apply cold packs. However, do NOT use cold packs if you do not have fever as it will only contribute to aggravate the already severe and acute pain.
You should take extra care to avoid task and activities requiring heavy physical exertion as it will contribute to further exacerbate the pain and affliction.
4: Natural teas
Pleurisy root tea is renowned for its effectiveness during the said ailment owing to its cleansing properties that assist in expulsion of mucus and thereby clearing your chest and lungs in order to reduce the inflammation and resulting chronic pain.
5: Chest strapping
In case of dry pleurisy, fastening your chest can help ease the pain and help you carry on with the daily chores and office work with the minimal pain. Take extra care not to strap your chest with hot packs as they are known to worsen the pain.