According to an article in the Baker City Herald, a non-profit organization has launched a website designed to support and educate patients with bronchiectasis. NTM Info & Research advocates for patients with nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) lung disease. Because the two respiratory conditions are so similar, the organization wanted to provide patients with additional advocacy and research. Visit the new website, Bronchiectasis Info, here.
Bronchiectasis is a pulmonary condition in which a patient’s bronchial tubes are widened, thickened, or damaged. The lungs then develop cavities where bacteria and mucus collect. This can lead to difficulty breathing and other respiratory issues.
There are two types of bronchiectasis: caused by, or not caused by, cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition that causes damage to the respiratory and digestive systems. Instead of having thin, slippery mucus, patients with CF have a thick, sticky mucus that can clog their airways. CF bronchiectasis makes up about 33% of cases. Learn more about cystic fibrosis.
The other 66% of cases are not caused by cystic fibrosis. However, they can be caused by autoimmune disorders, HIV, allergic reactions, Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, or inflammatory bowel disease. Symptoms include weight loss, chest pain, a chronic cough, and frequent respiratory infections. Learn more about bronchiectasis.
Nontuberculous Mycobacterial Lung Disease
NTM lung disease is an infectious disease caused by mycobacteria, germs often found in water and soil. Patients with lowered immune systems are most at risk of developing NTM lung disease. Symptoms include coughing up blood, respiratory infections, fever, fatigue, and a severe cough. Learn more about nontuberculous mycobacterial lung disease.
Most patients with NTM lung disease also have bronchiectasis. However, even with a rising number of cases, doctors believe that many people are not being properly diagnosed. So, NTM Info & Research is seeking to highlight the condition, its symptoms, and its treatments. Additionally, a spokesperson notes that by understanding the risks of both conditions, patients and doctors can improve patient outcomes.
Through their own work and the new bronchiectasis website, NTM Info & Research hopes to inform policies, spur new research and treatment, and create a supportive patient community.