An inflammation of the pleura is called pleurisy. It is caused by microorganisms, which gets into the pleura by blood and lymph. Usually it occurs while being ill with tuberculosis or pneumonia. Other, non-infectious origin of the pleuritis can begin because of tumours, blood diseases, rheumatism, injuries of chest or ribbing.
Pleura is the membrane which covers the lungs. Outer one covers inner wall of the chest and the other one covers the substance of the lungs. Between those two membranes, there is a little space, filled with fluid and because of that lungs can move freely. When pleurisy occurs, blood, air or lymph can get between membranes, and it causes the pressure for the lungs and aggravates the breathing.
There are three types of pleurisy – dry, wet and sometimes purulent. As pleurisy usually is a viral infection, it can occur sometime even in epidemics. Little children can get ill easily, but generally it can happen to anyone, if pneumonia or other similar diseases are left untreated.
Symptoms: Inflammation begins suddenly, patient feels severe pain that can be on any part of the chest. While breathing deeply or coughing the pain gets worse. Other symptoms are choking, shallow breathing, tremor, general weakness, little appetite, fever and so on.
Home Remedies: If you feel that you could be sick with pleurisy, you should visit your doctor as soon as possible. First of all, pneumonia or other disease which has caused pleurisy needs to be cured. Another very important step is to egest excess of the liquids from the pleura, so that lungs could expand. Pleurisy is mostly cured with antibiotics, yet there are a few home remedies and methods, which can help you to feel better –
Hogweed: This herb is very beneficial while being ill with pleurisy. Dry the roots of this herb and mash up till the powder. Consume it at least three times per day.
Celery: You can try to use this herb too as it has antispasmodic properties.
Milk: Drink more milk while you are sick as it cures pleurisy effectively.
Cotton: Warmth relieves the pain. Use cotton as heating pads on the chest four times per day for about half an hour.
Water: It will really make you feel better. Drink at least five to six glasses of water every day.
Proper diet: Be sure your diet is well-balanced, for you need to strengthen your immune system. Food which has more proteins and vitamins, will help you to get well soon. You should avoid cold, and fried food.
Massage: Soothing, warm massage helps a lot. Just do not forget that it can be done only 3-4 days after pain relieves, fever drops and when the cough is not so bad.
In order not to get sick further, all the diseases, which can cause the pleurisy need to be cured very carefully. Furthermore, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Try not to smoke, do not forget to rest after work, eat healthy food and spend enough time outside in the open air.
Dr Andrew Napier