Dr. Dean

Are There Long-Term Effects of Pneumonia?

Posting Date: 02/25/1999

Lisa: I had streptococcal pneumonia three years ago. My doctors weren?t sure how I got it, because they said it usually only occurs in people who are 50 and over who have been smokers for most of their lives. All I know is a kid sneezed in my face and a week later, I couldn?t walk.

Do you know of any long-term effects of pneumonia? My body odor completely changed. My menstrual cycle also changed - it went from practically nothing to being so bad that I had to go on birth control pills.

Also, I used to be able to keep going for 12 to 15 hours a day with no problem, and now, after six hours, I?m ready for a nap.

Dr. Dean: The pneumonia you had would definitely slow you down for a while, though I believe you should have recovered by now. I?m going to consider the fatigue to be coincidental and a product of pushing yourself too hard.

As far as the change in your body odor - a lot of what we call body odor is the breakdown of bacteria on our skin. When you take massive amounts of antibiotics or go into the hospital, you walk away with a different set of germs - and with a different set of germs, your body will smell differently.

I?m going to assume that your body odor changed because of the antibiotics you received when you were in the hospital with pneumonia.