Q. I have asthma and have found the drugs my doctors prescribe don’t do very much for me. I was intrigued by something you wrote about asthma being caused by infection. Both my family physician and my specialist say this is totally bogus. What is the evidence? I’m fed up with the coughing and wheezing.
A. There is increasing evidence that some cases of hard-to-treat asthma are triggered by a chronic lung infection. Some bacteria that can cause this are Mycoplasma pneumoniae and C. pneumoniae. They hide in the cells and are quite difficult to treat, but do respond to extended antibiotic treatment with azithromycin.
To learn about the research behind this approach and the antibiotic treatment that has been used successfully, you may be interested in the book, A Cure for Asthma? What Your Doctor Isn’t Telling You and Why, by David Hahn, MD, MS (from People’s Pharmacy Press).
Dr. Hahn has documented evidence that you can share with your physicians, so they can review the science for themselves. The book is available online. Your doctors may also want to read a recent review of this approach in Current Allergy and Asthma Reports (Dec., 2013).
For more information, you may be interested in our hour-long interviewon the topic with Dr. Hahn and Monica Kraft, MD, Chief of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine at Duke University Medical Center.