Alveolitis and Pulmonary Fibrosis
Pulmonary fibrosis is an end state of a number of chronic inflammatory lung
diseases. This is a serious disease process and patients are given little hope
when the diagnosis is made. Chronic inflammation is always an immune mediated
process. The key questions are what antigens initiate the inflammation? What
factors perpetuate the inflammatory process over many years?
We will consider some obvious causes of pulmonary inflammation and fibrosis
in occupational and farm exposures to chemicals and molds. A growing number of
cases of PF are diagnosed in people with no obvious exposure to known causes.
Airborne pathogens are ubiquitous, but are seldom identified in homes, retail
stores, and urban offices.
Food proteins are a source of perpetual antigens, but are almost never
considered as potential pathogens. Three treatment options are:
Remove the causes of lung inflammation
Suppress the inflammation with
immune modulating drugs
Alter the host to be more tolerate of the causes
As soon as early symptoms of inflammatory lung disease are recognized or the
diagnosis is made, the home environment should be thoroughly cleaned, inspected
for mold growth and ventilation improved. Smoking, of course, is prohibited at
home and at work.
Food and Lung Disease
There is a well known connection between food allergy and asthma. The
connection to pulmonary fibrosis is less obvious. Hendrick and Bird considered
the possibility that food allergy could cause inflammatory alveolitis in adults.
In infants, the Heiner syndrome serves as a model of milk-protein induced
pneumonitis associated with hemosiderosis. Infants with this form of food
allergy are seriously ill and recover dramatically when feedings of cow’s milk
proteins is stopped. They suggested a type 3 mechanism that initiates
inflammation and reviewed the occurrence of alveolitis in celiac disease. We
suggest that diet revision using the Alpha Nutrition Program should be part of
the therapeutic strategy for chronic lung disease at all ages. Cow’s milk, wheat
and eggs are eliminated from the diet long term. A new diet is created that is
rich in plant foods, natural antioxidants, omega three fatty acids and supply
optimal levels of vitamins and minerals. (See the
Alpha Nutrition Program).
Hendrick DJ, Bird AG Alveolitis in Food Allergy and Intolerance. Brostoff and
Challicombe ed. 1987; 498-510
Heiner DC, Sears JW, Kniker WT. Multiple precipitins to cow’s milk in chronic
respiratory disease. Am J Dis Child 1962;103:634