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Asthma Exacerbation | How to Stop Asthma Attack (Breathing Exercise)

Woman with asthma: acute exacerbation Over 250,000 asthmatics could not be wrong. Acute asthma exacerbation can be stopped with this simple breathing exercise developed by leading Soviet physiologist Dr KP Buteyko and over 200 Soviet and Russian doctors who have been teaching the Buteyko breathing self-oxygenation technique. The exercise helps even in cases of sports induced asthma, in most cases, to stop asthma attacks without using bronchodilators.

How to Stop Asthma Attack in 1-2 Min

CO2 bronchodilation With the first symptoms of asthma (wheezing, chest tightness, dyspnea, labored breathing) sit down in any comfortable chair, couch, sofa or divan. If there are no objects to sit on, sit on the ground or floor, on your knees or with crossed legs. Relax all your body muscles.

Next, hold your breath for about 3-4 s. You will get air slight hunger or desire to breathe more. After this, instead of taking your usual big or deep inhalation, take a slightly smaller inhalation (only about 10-20% less than your usual inhalation). Then immediately relax all muscles, especially upper chest and all other breathing muscles. Take another (smaller or reduced) inhalation and again completely relax.

How to stop asthma attack (acute exacerbation) - chart

With each breath, take a small or reduced inhalation and then completely relax. Maintain air hunger. The goal is to preserve this comfortable level of air hunger for 2-3 minutes. The breathing can be frequent during this reduced breathing but this is OK.

If you do the exercise correctly, you will notice that your chest tightness, wheezing, dyspnea, and other symptoms will subside or disappear.

Here is the video that explains this breathing exercise: How to Stop an Asthma Attack.

About Your Medication

Doctors and patients with acute asthma and coughing If you cannot alleviate your acute asthma exacerbation in 5 minutes, use about 1/3 of your standard medication. After taking medication, repeat this breathing exercise monitoring the severity of your symptoms. If it is still not possible to stop the acute asthma exacerbation, again take 1/3 of your usual dose. Do the breathing exercise once more. Russian MDs and other health practitioners found that most patients could eliminate their symptoms in 2-3 minutes without using medication.

Asthma treatment

All known medical studies found that asthmatics chronically hyperventilate (over-breathe). Hence, they have low CO2 content in their lungs and airways. But CO2 or carbon dioxide, the gas we exhale, is a powerful bronchodilator. This is the reason why breathing less works and can be used to cure asthma completely.

Table. Minute ventilation (asthma)

Condition Minute
ventilation
Number of
people
All references or
click below for abstracts
Normal breathing 6 L/min - Medical textbooks
Healthy Subjects 6-7 L/min >400 Results of 14 studies
Asthma 13 (~+mn~2) L/min 16 Chalupa et al, 2004
Asthma 15 L/min 8 Johnson et al, 1995
Asthma 14 (~+mn~6) L/min 39 Bowler et al, 1998
Asthma 13 (~+mn~4) L/min 17 Kassabian et al, 1982
Asthma 12 L/min 101 McFadden & Lyons, 1968

Note that advanced stages of asthma can lead to lung destruction, ventilation-perfusion mismatch,
and arterial hypercapnia causing further reduction in body oxygen levels.

If you retrain or normalize your unconscious breathing pattern, your body oxygenation and health state will be dramatically improved. If your body oxygen level is more than 20 seconds, your asthma symptoms will disappear and no medication will be necessary. This clinical observation is based on the experience of thousands of Soviet and Russian asthmatics who learned the Buteyko breath technique. The Buteyko method was approved by the Russian Ministry of Health for treatment of asthma.

The Buteyko breathing method is an ultimate remedy to stop an asthma attack.

Related web pages:
Cause of Asthma: Hyperventilation. The Table on this page is based on several medical studies that measured breathing in stable asthmatics and found that they breathed about 2-3 times more than the medical norm
Asthma and Allergies - Their Natural Treatment with breathing normalization
Acute Asthma Exacerbations Clinical Trial - Application of the Frolov device in hospital setting with astonishing improvements in lung function results.

Reference pages: Breathing norms and the DIY body oxygen test:
- Breathing norms: Parameters, graph, and description of the normal breathing pattern
- Body-oxygen test (CP test) : How to measure your own breathing and body oxygenation (two in one) using a simple DIY test
.....

References: pages about CO2 effect:
- Vasodilation: CO2 expands arteries and arterioles facilitating perfusion (or blood supply) to all vital organs
- The Bohr effect: How and why oxygen is released by red blood cells in body tissues
- Nerve stabilization: Carbon dioxide has powerful calmative and sedative effects on brain neurons and nerve cells
.....

References related to hyperventilation-asthma-acute asthma

Int J Psychophysiol. 2010 Oct;78(1):68-79. Epub 2010 May 25.
Hyperventilation in panic disorder and asthma: Empirical evidence and clinical strategies.
Meuret AE, Ritz T.
Department of Psychology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX 75206, USA.
... Similarly, hypocapnia and associated hyperpnia are linked to bronchoconstriction, symptom exacerbation, and lower quality of life in patients with asthma. Raising CO2 levels by means of therapeutic capnometry has proven beneficial effects in both disorders, and the reversing of hyperventilation has emerged as a potent mediator for reductions in panic symptom severity and treatment success.


J Asthma. 2010 Mar;47(2):224-5.
Acute exacerbation of asthma complicated by hyperventilation in emergency department.
Wiwanitkit V.
Wiwanitkit House, Bangkhae, Bangkok, Thailand 10160.
Acute asthmatic attack is an important emergency medical condition. The author hereby reports a case in the emergency department of an acute exacerbation of asthma, complicated by hyperventilation. In this case, the patient had underlying needle phobia, which suddenly occurred during the salbutamol injection. Nevertheless, both physical and psychological approaches led to the successful control of the condition. This report addresses a situation, which, although rare, should not be overlooked.


Thorax. 2000 Dec;55(12):1016-22.
Hyperventilation and asymptomatic chronic asthma.
Osborne CA, O'Connor BJ, Lewis A, Kanabar V, Gardner WN.
Department of Respiratory Medicine and Allergy, Guy's, King's and St Thomas'
School of Medicine, King's Denmark Hill Campus, London SE5 9PJ, UK.
...We have consistently argued that mild asthma is an important underlying aetiological factor in patients with severe symptomatic hyperventilation. While hyperventilation has been demonstrated in acute asthma, there have been few studies in mild chronic asthma, and mechanisms are uncertain...


Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2008 May;100(5):426-32.
Psychological triggers and hyperventilation symptoms in asthma.
Ritz T, Kullowatz A, Bobb C, Dahme B, Magnussen H, Kanniess F, Steptoe A.
Department of Psychology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas 75205, USA.
...CONCLUSION: Differences in perceived asthma triggers are substantially associated with hyperventilation symptoms, and patients with more frequent psychological triggers also tend to report that they experience more hyperventilation symptoms during their asthma symptom episodes.


Ann Behav Med. 2008 Feb;35(1):97-104. Epub 2008 Feb 16.
Hyperventilation symptoms are linked to a lower perceived health in asthma patients.
Ritz T, Rosenfield D, Meuret AE, Bobb C, Steptoe A.
Department of Psychology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX 75205, USA.
BACKGROUND: Hyperventilation symptoms are among the sensations asthma patients tend to report during exacerbations of their disease. However, little is known about their importance for the patients' perceived well-being... CONCLUSION: It is possible that hypocapnia creates symptoms that asthma patients cannot control by using their antiasthmatic medication, thus compromising their perceived control over the management of their asthma, and consequently their perceived health. Behavioral interventions should address the problem of hyperventilation in asthma.


Br J Psychiatry. 1988 Nov;153:687-9.
Demonstration and treatment of hyperventilation causing asthma.
Hibbert G, Pilsbury D.
University of Oxford, Department of Psychiatry, Warneford Hospital.
Ambulant, transcutaneous PCO2 monitoring has been used to show that hyperventilation precedes exacerbation of asthma in a patient. Brief treatment was shown to give him greater control of his breathing and enable him to avoid attacks of asthma.


Clin Chest Med. 1984 Dec;5(4):607-17.
Ventilatory control in asthma.
Lavietes MH.
Ventilation (liters of air per minute) increases during an acute attack of asthma. Hypocapnia is the rule, although eucapnia may occur. This suggests both that respiratory center output is increased and that acidemia is not the major stimulus to augmented respiration...

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