advertisement

Q & A Library


Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Q
Fighting a Fungal Infection?
What is the long-term prognosis for allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis? Does it shorten your life? Is there anything holistic I can do to kill the fungus in my lungs and avoid taking steroids? Are there foods I should avoid? Who can help me?
A
Answer (Published 7/12/2004)

Aspergillosis is a fungal infection that usually affects the lungs, but can also settle in the ear canal or the sinuses. Sometimes the infection causes no symptoms and is discovered only with a chest x-ray. But the disease can cause alarming symptoms such as coughing up blood, fever, chest pain and difficulty breathing. The fungus that causes the disease is very common and is associated with decaying organic matter - it is found in compost heaps, air vents and airborne dust; it has even been isolated in swimming pools and saunas - but it doesn't usually affect healthy people. You are more vulnerable to aspergillosis if you have a weakened immune system. Infections can be quite serious and hard to treat, even fatal. However, if the infection is localized to a single spot in the lung, it usually progresses slowly. Because pulmonary aspergillosis can be a very serious infection, you should be treated by a pulmonologist, a doctor who specializes in lung diseases.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging for a Healthy Body, Mind and Spirit - Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging for a Healthy Body, Mind and Spirit - A healthy body, mind and spirit are the fundamental components of a successful life. The Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging online guide combines therapies, an exclusive version of Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid, spiritual assessments and more to help promote better overall health. Sign up today and get 14 days free!

Treatment requires powerful antifungal drugs, such as amphotericin B, itraconazole, or voriconazole. Some forms of aspergillosis are resistant to these drugs. In these cases, a new antifungal drug called caspofungin is available. Occasionally, aspergillosis results in a "fungus ball," typically growing in a cavity in an upper lobe of a lung. If fungus balls in the lungs grow near large blood vessels, you may need surgery to remove them.

Because aspergillosis is a potentially fatal disease, I recommend allopathic medicine for primary treatment. Make sure your doctor tests you for any underlying disease of the immune system. As adjunctive treatments you might try garlic, astragalus and a probiotic. Fresh, raw garlic has powerful antifungal properties. Eat 2-3 cloves (not heads) a day. Mash or chop it finely and mix it with food or cut it into chunks and swallow the chunks like pills.

Astragalus is a good general immune-system booster. Get a standardized product and follow dosage on label or take two capsules twice a day. You can stay on it indefinitely.

Taking an acidophilus culture (it contains the lactobacillus bacteria that make milk sour) may help change the chemistry of your tissues, making them more resistant to the fungi. You can get acidophilus in health food stores, usually prepared in a milk or carrot juice base. I recommend products containing lactobacillus GG, such as Culturelle.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle on DrWeil.com (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Related Topics

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Follow Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet and save 30%. Start your 14-day free trial now!

Stay Connected with Dr. Weil
Promote the health of your body, mind and spirit - sign up for Dr. Weil's FREE newsletters today!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe Wellness Guide
Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid
Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

 
Copyright © 2016 Weil Lifestyle
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here

  

Q & A Library



Q
Fighting a Fungal Infection?
What is the long-term prognosis for allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis? Does it shorten your life? Is there anything holistic I can do to kill the fungus in my lungs and avoid taking steroids? Are there foods I should avoid? Who can help me?
A
Answer (Published 7/12/2004)

Aspergillosis is a fungal infection that usually affects the lungs, but can also settle in the ear canal or the sinuses. Sometimes the infection causes no symptoms and is discovered only with a chest x-ray. But the disease can cause alarming symptoms such as coughing up blood, fever, chest pain and difficulty breathing. The fungus that causes the disease is very common and is associated with decaying organic matter - it is found in compost heaps, air vents and airborne dust; it has even been isolated in swimming pools and saunas - but it doesn't usually affect healthy people. You are more vulnerable to aspergillosis if you have a weakened immune system. Infections can be quite serious and hard to treat, even fatal. However, if the infection is localized to a single spot in the lung, it usually progresses slowly. Because pulmonary aspergillosis can be a very serious infection, you should be treated by a pulmonologist, a doctor who specializes in lung diseases.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging for a Healthy Body, Mind and Spirit - Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging for a Healthy Body, Mind and Spirit - A healthy body, mind and spirit are the fundamental components of a successful life. The Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging online guide combines therapies, an exclusive version of Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid, spiritual assessments and more to help promote better overall health. Sign up today and get 14 days free!

Treatment requires powerful antifungal drugs, such as amphotericin B, itraconazole, or voriconazole. Some forms of aspergillosis are resistant to these drugs. In these cases, a new antifungal drug called caspofungin is available. Occasionally, aspergillosis results in a "fungus ball," typically growing in a cavity in an upper lobe of a lung. If fungus balls in the lungs grow near large blood vessels, you may need surgery to remove them.

Because aspergillosis is a potentially fatal disease, I recommend allopathic medicine for primary treatment. Make sure your doctor tests you for any underlying disease of the immune system. As adjunctive treatments you might try garlic, astragalus and a probiotic. Fresh, raw garlic has powerful antifungal properties. Eat 2-3 cloves (not heads) a day. Mash or chop it finely and mix it with food or cut it into chunks and swallow the chunks like pills.

Astragalus is a good general immune-system booster. Get a standardized product and follow dosage on label or take two capsules twice a day. You can stay on it indefinitely.

Taking an acidophilus culture (it contains the lactobacillus bacteria that make milk sour) may help change the chemistry of your tissues, making them more resistant to the fungi. You can get acidophilus in health food stores, usually prepared in a milk or carrot juice base. I recommend products containing lactobacillus GG, such as Culturelle.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle on DrWeil.com (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Related Topics