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Hillary Clinton

My good wishes for a speedy recovery for Mrs. Clinton as she recuperates from pneumonia. Pneumonia is a serious medical condition where the lungs can become inflamed and fill with fluid from an infection -viral or bacterial. Her campaign has not disclosed what type of pneumonia she has, but it was mentioned that it was believed she was experiencing allergies and this may have led to her pneumonia. Is this possible? Yes. In my clinical practice, I have seen cases where severe allergies have led to bronchitis or pneumonia. However, there are reasons why someone would develop these complications from allergies, and more importantly, they are preventable in the future.

Late Summer Allergies

Mrs. Clinton has been reported to have had a chronic cough for several weeks which she attributed to her seasonal allergies. This time of year, just after Labor Day the two predominant allergens are Ragweed, classically called Hay Fever, and mold spores. Of the two, I believe mold spores are far more of a problem. I have been following the mold spore counts in the New York area and they have been extremely high! Mold thrives in the hot, humid days we have been living with for the past several weeks. It is very possible with Mrs. Clinton’s heavy travel schedule and her susceptibility to allergens that this set in place her chronic cough, which leads to bronchitis and ultimately pneumonia.

Pneumonia and Respiratory Infections

Mrs. Clinton’s greatest risk of getting pneumonia, outside of her allergies is her frequent flying schedule. Air travel, with the pressurized air cabins and recirculated air, are usually sources of viral and even bacterial infections. I’m sure she is traveling in style, but even so with many of her staff traveling on her flights, she can breathe in the air of someone else who is sick and become ill.

We are being told that Mrs. Clinton is taking antibiotics – this would be appropriate if there is strong evidence she has bacterial pneumonia. Bacterial pneumonia responds quickly to appropriate antibiotics, but believe it or not, rest and relaxation help the body’s immune system do its job to recover as well. I’m glad her doctors recommend she take 5 days off the campaign trail to get stronger – no one is above the laws of medicine.

My Advice for Mrs. Clinton

Dr Mitchell allergy book

My advice for Madam Secretary and our potential next president is the same as I would give any patient that has allergies and developed pneumonia:

  • Don’t ignore or undertreat your allergies. See your doctor prevent the allergies from taking hold. My patients know that I recommend the sublingual allergy drops to prevent and reverse severe allergies. In my book, Dr. Dean Mitchell’s Allergy and Asthma Solution, there are many recommendations to defeat your allergies.
  • If you are over 65 as is Mrs. Clinton, be sure to get the Pneumonia vaccination. This has been shown to be protective for at least 10 years from pneumonia due to Streptococcus.
  • Finally, keep your immune system strong with a healthy diet filled with lots of colored vegetables and fruits – and don’t forget to take a nap once in a while – I think Mrs. Clinton needs a script for this last suggestion.

Dr. Dean Mitchell Portrait
– Dr. Dean Mitchell, M.D.
Mitchell Medical Group, NYC

About the Author – Dr. Dean Mitchell, M.D.

The Smartest Doctor in the Room podcast

Dr. Dean Mitchell, M.D. is a Board Certified Allergist and Immunologist based out of NYC. He graduated from the Sackler School of Medicine and completed training at the Robert Cooke Allergy Institute in New York City. He is also a Clinical Assistant Professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, a fellow of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, and the author of Dr. Dean Mitchell’s Allergy and Asthma Solution: The Ultimate Program for Reversing Your Symptoms One Drop at a Time. Dr. Dean Mitchell, M.D. has also been featured in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Fitness Magazine, Dr. Oz and News NY 1. Dr. Mitchell also hosts the podcast The Smartest Doctor in the Room – a combination of a lively, personal and in-depth interview with top healthcare specialists.

Photo:marcn, Flickr