Respiratory Disorders Expert Forum
Chronic Bronchitis
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Chronic Bronchitis

I have had chronic bronchitis for almost an entire year, nothing will make it go away.... I am a smoker and realize I need to quit... I went to my doctor for help on quitting smoking, but he refuses.  He said that since my pain levels are not under control (I'm in pain management for a bad back) and that my anxiety is also not under control that I cannot stop smoking because my body won't be able to tolerate the stress from that added with the other two things..... Now I fell like the bronchitis is getting worse, very short of breath and the sputum coming up has a very very strong metallic taste to it..... my significant other says the metallic taste could actually be blood.... is this true? what else can it be?  I've done a little research and a lot of posts say it's from antibiotics, but I am not on any.... Please help!
242587_tn?1355427710
I can understand your doctor’s reluctance to have you engage in smoking cessation at a time when you are under much stress from another illness, the bronchitis.  Stopping now probably would add to your overall stress as smoking, however bad for a person in so many ways, can help to relieve anxiety.  I assume that your doctor knows you well and his/her opinion as to how you would or would not be able to handle the added stress must be respected.

However, there are effective (anxiolytic)  drugs specifically for the treatment of anxiety that would be preferable to your continuing to subject your inflamed lungs to the irritant effect of smoke.  In addition, a number of drugs used to facilitate smoking cessation could also could also make the additional stress of quitting smoking tolerable.  You and he might want to request a second opinion from a lung specialist (pulmonologist) as you continue to weigh the risk of progressively worsening bronchitis against the risk of added stress.

Whatever is decided must take into account that you have a serious lung disease that seems to be getting worse and that has to be the top priority for you and your doctor.

Having a metallic taste is a common experience, often as you suggest secondary to drugs (including but  not limited to antibiotics and infection itself) but in many instances no cause is ever found.  The good news is that this strange taste is seldom a sign of serious disease, so don’t worry about it now.  If it persists after you recover from your respiratory illness, you might want to consider more investigation of it.  If it were secondary to blood, your sputum would in most instances show pink-brown discoloration or at least streaking.

Good luck
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