When a Cough or Bronchitis or Asthma won’t go away, and Antibiotics are no help: eosinophilic conditions

Russell Irvin Johnston
2 min readFeb 24, 2019

February 24, 2019
by Russell Johnston

The last post was a list of “good” antibiotics for those with mast cell issues. I can’t leave the topic of antibiotics without mentioning one more thing. Antibiotics are often wasted on patients with MCAS or Ehlers-Danlos, fibromyalgia, etc. We present with an infection, but we don’t have an infection — just all the signs of an infection despite the fact that no infecting organism is present. Our over-active immume system is mounting a full white-cells-gone-wild response, but there’s no fire; just smoke. Either there never was a bug, or it’s already dead but our immune systems are still going all out, still panicking. There are labels for that:

Eosinophilic esophagitis and non-asthmatic eosinophilic bronchitis, asthmatic eosinophilic bronchitis and eosinophilic pneumonia can all mimic infections extremely well, and are of course, untroubled by one course of antibiotics. ’Cause there’s no bug to begin with.

But doctors are not looking for these somewhat uncommon conditions — unless something’s changed recently — they can keep on missing the right diagnosis for years or even decades. So don’t be afraid to raise the subject with your doctor, and if you have MCAS or EDS mention that eosinophilic conditions are common comorbidities, as the white coats say.

Asthmatic eosinophilic bronchitis gave me endless bronchitis for years. Life was really tough with that on top of EDS, MCAS, apnea, celiac and very likely seizures. It all took me right to the edge of suicide when I was maybe thirty years old. But all the endless antibiotics I’d slugged down during that time were wasted. Standard treatment for most eosinophilic conditions is an inhaled steroid such as albuterol (pulmicort.) Once I was diagnosed with asthma, that sorted it out for me. I had a whole new life. Not perfect by any means, but not sheer endless misery, either.

I should also mention that since I went out and got a bit of a tan, eosinophilic conditions haven’t bothered me, beyond a little phlem, and that rarely. So that’s another possible thought, but I’ll save further discussion of the benefits and pitfalls of the sun for another day.

Some references:

Eosinophilic esophagitis: New insights in pathogenesis and therapy (2016)

A slightly older (2014) summary:

EE progress and hope:

Next article in this series:
How Flickering Lights can Cause an Allergic (MCAS) Response

Previous health article in this series:
Quinolones are Scary. So what Antibiotics can you take that are highly effective?

And another link for the heck of it:
“True Allergy” (vs “Intolerance”)

Full list of my health articles:



Russell Irvin Johnston

I've read at least the abstracts of (far) more than 250,000 peer-reviewed medical articles, I studied the history and philosophy of science at University.