Never ending chest chest infections - British Lung Foun...

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Never ending chest chest infections

GMcC2 profile image

Since having double pneumonia 2 years ago I’ve never been the same. After numerous chest infections & enough Doxycycline to sink a ship I’m now at a loss. I’ve had 3 infections since October, so GP referred me back to respiratory consultant at hospital. They wrote back saying they can’t find anything wrong with me after tests & they hoped it would just improve!!!

I’ve had xrays and a CT scan to look for underlying issues (they can’t find anything causing problem), pulmonary breathing tests (just show I have asthma - always have since childhood).

Woke up this morning with the feeling that something is brewing in my lungs & coughing. What am I supposed to do? What do I ask the GP to do now? Any advice really welcome.

29 Replies

That sounds like me, I had pneumonia in December 2014 and prior to that never had a chest infection in my life then a year after that episode I became plagued with them, lots of bronchitis.

Firstly, I have had the pneumonia vaccine which you need to insist that dr give you, it does help protect you against many strains of it. I also have a flu jab every year.

I've had Ct Scan and lung function test which all came back very well, no signs of COPD or Bronchiectasis apparently.

We have deduced that my frequent infections are due to sinusitis and acid reflux. I have had a sinus operation to clear out all the grunge and on medication for the reflux, waiting to see a specilait about having a procedure to help put an end to that too. But it has taken a lot of investigation and we are all different.

One thing is for sure pneumonia definitely does something to your lungs and they never seem to be the same once you've had it.

Best advice I can give is to have the vaccines and tak plenty of vitamins especially C and D3 in the winter and stay away from anyone who has a cold, never touch door handles, hand rails when your put etc and wash your hands like crazy, always take antibacterial gel with you when your out.

Your better not taking the same antibiotics all the time but to try and chop and change a bit, ask your GP for others. Amoxicillin is pretty useless but Clarithromycin is very good, and Augmentin can be successful too.

GMcC2 profile image
GMcC2 in reply to Shancock

Thanks very much for your advice. I had a pneumonia booster jab a couple of months ago as the hospital suggested it - my last jab was 12 years ago. I’m hoping it makes a difference. I’ll also up my vitamin D intake as it’s not high enough.

Despite using loads of hand gel when out & about, I’ve a 5 year old daughter so germs are hard to avoid at home unfortunately. That really doesn’t help.

Doxy thankfully usually manages to do the trick as I’m allergic to many antibiotics. Can’t have penicillins & a few others but never had Augmentin.

Thanks again & I hope you stay well over the cold spell.

Shancock profile image
Shancock in reply to GMcC2

Oh I have children although they're older now 14&16 but I will always get cold if they have one, I work in primary schools have done for years it's not the best place when you need to avoid germs.

I take 1000mg of vitamin C in the winter and 1000units of vitamin D3 (that's 25ug) it's a good dose for autumn/winter months it's easily available in Boots or Holland and Barrett.

Some people find that using the Vicks first defence as soon as they feel a sniffle coming on can help them.

Certain food like garlic, onions and spices can help your immune system and herbal teas.

And keep warm, wrap up well.

GMcC2 profile image
GMcC2 in reply to Shancock

Totally agree. First Defence can be a life saver. Only tried it recently. It’s good as a preventer as well when I’m getting public transport etc. Let’s hope it works for the imminent cold spell 🤞

Excellent advice.

"What do I ask the GP to do now?" You could ask for a blood test to determine whether you are low in vitamin D3.

Other than that, as Shancock has said, it is down to avoiding other peoples bugs, if you are out in public then wash your hands after touching hand rails/door handles etc. until then keep your hands away from.your face. Using an antibacterial hand gel is always a good option when out and about.

GMcC2 profile image
GMcC2 in reply to 2greys

The GP said that my blood test did show vitamin D was low! What does that mean? I take vitamins daily but it still appeared low...

2greys profile image
2greys in reply to GMcC2

Having a low vit D3 can mean having a weakened immune system, which may cause you to contract more infections. Low vit D3 can also lower you energy too. You might need to ask your GP if taking the highest safe dose of 4,000 International Units per day would be of benefit.


Sorry to hear your story. It’s very similar to mine. I got pneumonia in August 18 and haven’t totally recovered .

One person I found very helpful was the respiratory physio. She explained that it is hard to get the gunk up from the lowest lobes. She showed me breathing techniques and I bought a green plastic thing called an acapella which vibrates the lungs and encourages them to clear from the bottom. It has really helped. I feel less congested, and when I got flu and resulting chest probs over the new year ( despite jab) I didn’t need antibiotics again. Also I have been taking a few drops of oregano oil - it helps to kill viruses. And vitamin D3 with K2.

The ct scan shows I have scarring on the lungs which maybe I got from the pneumonia or lungs probs as a child.

Good luck!

GMcC2 profile image
GMcC2 in reply to Hellodolly

Thanks very much for your advice. I’ll look into an acapella device as that sounds helpful. I’m also going to get vitamin D3 in a higher dose as the one I’ve been taking is only 5 per day & I should be taking around 25.

Hellodolly profile image
Hellodolly in reply to GMcC2

I have been taking 2500 iu of the D3. You could get a blood test to see how low you are, but in the UK we are all short of it. Magnesium is also helpful.

One thing I love about this forum is that I learn something new just about every day. So thanks for the tip about oregano oil, that’s new to me and I will try anything that will keep me clear of infection. I too have scarring from illness as a child.

I use oil from a firm called Doterra. You have to be careful with the grade of oil you use if you ingest it. It’s amazing stuff.

Thank you so much. Am going to check that out straight away.

Good wishes.

Izb1 profile image
Izb1 in reply to Whitechinchilla

I use an organic essentail oregano oil from aetheleon it is fantastic for killing off those pesky germs but is is not for the faint hearted and drink plenty of water after.

Whitechinchilla profile image
Whitechinchilla in reply to Izb1

Thank you very much. Now to choose!

Good wishes

Shancock profile image
Shancock in reply to Hellodolly

Hi, can I ask what to do you do with the oregano oil just out a couple of drops on your tongue or do you dilute it with water and drink? Could you get oregano capsules and would they give the sameness benefit do you think? I would like to try it I'm very interested in herbal remedies. I drink aloe juice each day for my stomach and that really helps with acid.

Hellodolly profile image
Hellodolly in reply to Shancock

As Izb says above, oregano oil is strong and not for the feint hearted! I put a few drops in water , but you can also buy veggie capsules and put some drops in there and swallow them, thus bypassing the taste.

Shancock profile image
Shancock in reply to Hellodolly

Ok that sounds good, ive been looking an in Holland & B they do oregano oil in capsule form, i suppose a bit how u get cod liver oil, think i will try that its bit more expensive but it wont make me gag!

Ps - you can get an acapella on amazon. Make sure it’s the green one, then watch a you tube video to see how to do it (if you can’t get a respiratory physio).

There can be nothing more frustrating to be told there is nothing wrong with you when quite clearly there is. I am sorry I can’t offer any more advice than you have already been given. I hope you feel better soon and don’t pick up any more infections over the winter months. Take care.

Thanks Whitechinchilla. You too - keep well.

You said you have asthma but didn’t say if you take anything. If your taking Seratide a VERY FEW users CAN be affected with chest infections. Check the leaflet in the box it says this. I had many infections until I changed to another preventative. That’s the only thing I can offer. I got this info from a person with this problem on this site.

GMcC2 profile image
GMcC2 in reply to Normc

Thanks Normc. I take Clenil Modulite for asthma daily - 2 puffs morning / 2 puffs night.

Do you take any medication for your asthma? The better I take care of my asthma, the healthier I am.

Tree20862 profile image
Tree20862 in reply to Tree20862

Nevermind... I didn't read far enough.

Hi GMcC2, I can very much relate to what you’ve shared. I’ve had a history of asthma which only flared with chest infections and I didn’t really need to manage. Over 15 years my chest infections became more frequent and then I was hospitalised twice with pneumonia within 2 months, having also had about 6 infections that year. That was 3 years ago, and my life has changed dramatically. Like you, they have not been able to diagnose why I get recurrent chest infections (since being in hospital, every virus turns to a chest infection) but they have put me on antibiotics all the time (Co-Trimoxazole) and then I have rescue packs for when I get ill of different antibiotics. I’ve seen a number of very experienced consultants and had CT’s, lung function tests and everything you can think of but everything comes back fine - except that I can’t breathe properly and particularly struggle outside. I have also developed a neuro-muscular problem. However I have spent the last 3 years concentrating on keeping my asthma stable as it had such an impact on my infections - so I’m on symbicort and teotropium inhalers both of which have really helped. I have also started taking vit D (prescribed) and iron and have been diagnosed with mild hypothyroidism so on a low dose for this. These things have helped me cope better with every day life but also I believe have helped control my infections better. I do see my respiratory consultant regularly and have access to an emergency consultant led respiratory clinic which has been amazing. Drs don’t like it when they can’t find answers but I’ve found the more experienced consultants understand they don’t have all the answers and are happy to treat the symptoms. Unfortunately my GP practice isn’t great so I try and only use them as a stepping stone to my consultant. My youngest is 5 and I know how tough it can be being so I’ll with young childre. but I have found that the bugs slow down in school once they are used to them. And I just have to be very careful when I go out and who I see. Stay warm and well if possible. Sorry for such a long post but hope it’s helpful xx

GMcC2 profile image
GMcC2 in reply to 3girlsmama

Thank you very much for your reply 3girlsmama. That all sounds exactly like me! Ironically since posting I caught a whopper of a cold / virus but taking increased asthma meds & vitamin D seem to have really helped so far. Fingers crossed they keep infection away. I’ve ended up in hospital at exactly this time for the last 2 years with pneumonia. Weirdly I’ve also been having trouble with increasing muscle problems.

I’m completely disillusioned by the local respiratory consultants as they say they can’t find any cause so won’t even see me. My GP is great but also very frustrated that they are so useless / unhelpful.

I’m just going to keep trying to improve my health / manage my asthma & take vitamins to see how I manage. I’ve found First Defence is great as well.

Thanks again & keep well.

3girlsmama profile image
3girlsmama in reply to GMcC2

Sorry your local respiratory team aren’t helping you, but it is good you have a good GP. My consultant says I’m just one of those people with a ‘weak chest’. It’s very frustrating but I’m lucky as I have a clear plan in place. Sounds like you’re doing everything you can but do take it easy. I have an incredible amount of support but I know ta not the same for everyone, but be as kind to yourself as you can xx

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