British Lung Foundation

Bronchiectasis and Wheat

My 54 year old husband just got diagnosed with bronchiectasis in both lungs. He was very occasional smoker in his youth and otherwise very healthy.

In the Spring, he developed what they thought was whooping cough and from there it got progressively worse. We have the diagnosis but we are having a difficult time finding out how to proceed.

He is exhausted from the coughing and his energy levels are low. He brings up a lot of phlegm and lung castings. He is on Symbacort and another inhaler.

We are looking for any suggestions, help etc. I spoke with someone today who told me about eliminating wheat out of the diet, and what a difference that made.

Any suggestions? (Our Canadian healthcare system does not seem to give much direction on this condition.)

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Hello and welcome to the forum. :) Whilst you are awaiting other replies try reading some previous posts:

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Hello there. It sounds from your description that your husband has an exacerbation of his bronchiectasis ( infection) and needs antibiotics. Was he diagnosed by a consultant and a ct scan? If so, the consultant should have written to your GP to tell them which antibiotics to give your husband and in what dose. With bronch it is usually for 14 days. The consultant is now obliged to give the patient a treatment plan which tells them what to do, depending on how they feel. Unfortunately not many of them are complying with this unless prompted.

It would be a good idea to take a sample of the mucus to the GP to be tested to find out which bacteria is in there and which ab it reacts to. Word of caution there though because for several reasons the bacteria don’t always show up in the lab although they are obviously there in the body.

Your husband will also need help from a physio to learn how to empty his lungs of mucus every day to keep the chances of infection down. He will also need to come to recognise when an exacerbation is starting up so that he can start antibiotics before it gets a hold. He should have a 14 day supply of the most suitable ab for him at home for this purpose, which his GP should supply him.

The important thing with bronchiectasis is to get control of it and not to let it control you. There are quite a few of us on here who have lived with it for a lifetime and know just what a rotter it can be. Your husband is probably confused as to how to proceed right now. If he does not have a specialist bronchiectasis consultant then it is time to get one. You can come back on that if you want to.

Good luck. It can be better than it is now.

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Thank you.

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By the way- well meaning people have been telling me for years that eliminating wheat, milk etc from my diet would reduce the mucus. Not for me it doesn’t. Having said that, we are all different and trying something like that can’t hurt. Don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t work though. We aren’t talking allergy here but lung damage which is causing the mucus production.

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Good advice from mrsmummy and littlepom.

Hope he is feeling better soon.

love cx

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