Can't Stop Coughing? Over 90% Success Rate
If you can't stop coughing, here is the most natural remedy and proven medical treatment to stop coughing since it requires nothing. While some people may be skeptical about the possibility of a breathing technique being able to stop a cough in 1-2 minutes, more than 200,000 Russian asthmatics who learned the Buteyko breathing technique claim that it is possible. This secret has been taught to patients by more than 180 medical doctors who have been practicing the Buteyko method in the USSR and Russia during the last 5 decades. This very easy breathing exercise to stop coughing naturally while breathing less air has more than 90% success rate since it improves body- and brain-oxygen levels (see the brain image).
Cause: why coughing causes more coughing
During coughing you breathe about 3-4 times more air than the medical norm losing too much CO2. It is called hyperventilation or breathing more than the medical norm. Overbreathing leads to less oxygen in body cells and all vital
In addition, chronic coughing (through the mouth):
- irritates your airways due to mechanical friction of air flow
- irritates urge-to-cough receptors located in the larynx and tracheobronchial tree since low CO2 makes all nerve cells hyper-excited and oversensitive (see links with medical references below)
- destroys tiny air sacks (alveoli) of the lungs due to sudden changes in air pressure
- suppresses the immune system due to cell hypoxia
- generates free radicals (reactive oxygen species) and produces many other abnormalities in your body.
Steps to follow to get rid of coughing fast
When you cough, you irritate your airways, destroy alveoli of the lungs, reduce CO2 and NO content in your lungs, reduce the CO2 level in all body cells, reduce oxygen content in all vital organs, suppress the immune system, generate free radicals or reactive oxygen species, and cause many other problems for your body. Hence you live in a vicious circle: coughing --> CO2 loss --> irritation of airways + inflammation + infections --> more coughing --> more CO2 loss ....
Your first step in turning this negative cycle of CO2 loss around, is to learn how to cough only through the nose.
This is the most basic and most crucial requirement of the Buteyko Emergency Procedure and the Buteyko method in general. You simply cannot expect to improve your health with coughing through the mouth.
The second step is to do the breathing exercises "How to get rid of cough". Sit down in a comfortable position, preferably at an ordinary table on a straight chair. While having the bout of coughing, try your best to relax and at the end of your usual exhalation, pinch your nose and hold your breath (the mouth should be closed all the time) until you experience moderate discomfort.
If you cannot hold your breath due to severe coughing, pinch your nose and keep your mouth closed while coughing without any air exchange. Why? Your goal is to increase the CO2 content in your airways so that you calm down the cough-receptor cells that become irritated due to several mechanical and biochemical factors during acute coughing bouts, and also as a result of long term asthma. These nerve cells stimulate the breathing centre in the brain both to initiate and to continue coughing.
After the breath hold, when you get a moderate or distinctive desire to take a breath, take only a small (or short) inhalation (one small sniff) and do it only through your nose. After this small inhalation, focus on relaxing all body muscles again, especially in the upper chest and shoulders in order to exhale slowly. If coughing is present, your goal is to limit your air or gas exchange to very small amounts. Ideally, the exhalation must be natural and unforced. Then take another (smaller) inhalation and again completely relax to exhale.
With each breath, your goal is to take a small or reduced inhalation and then completely relax even though you still have a cough. You should gradually increase CO2 in airways by creating a more and more distinctive air hunger while relaxing your body muscles. You will soon experience a strong desire to breathe more. Maintain this desire until your coughing subsides.
Your breathing can be quite frequent during this reduced-breathing exercise (frequent short inhalations). If you do the exercise correctly (and you breathe up to 30-50% less air while being relaxed), you will notice 2 signs:
- Your arms and feet will get warm in about 1-2 minutes after starting this exercise
- The nasal passages will become more open and moist in about the same 1-2 minutes.
Can't stop coughing at night or during sleep?
If you have persistent cough at night, there is a different natural exercise (with other important details) "How to stop cough at night"
How you can stop coughing naturally and permanently
Hence, if you eliminate the cause (start to breathe slower and less and get more oxygen and carbon dioxide in the body), all your coughing symptoms will disappear. The proven medical way to stop coughing is to achieve more than 25 s for the body-oxygen test. The general outline of this therapy can be found here: Best natural cough treatment. This is the way how you can stop coughing for good.
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
J Assoc Physicians India. 2000 Mar; vol 48(no. 3): p. 343-345.
The role of cough and hyperventilation in perpetuating airway inflammation in asthma.
Singh V, Chowdhary R, Chowdhary N.
Department of Pulmonary Medicine, SMS Medical College, Jaipur-302 016, India.
Air flowing through a pipe exerts frictional stress on the walls of the pipe. Frictional stress of more than 40 N/m2 (velocity equivalent of air 113 m/s) is known to cause acute endothelial damage in blood vessels. The frictional stress in airways during coughing may be much greater, however, since the velocity of air may be as high as speed of sound in air. We suggest that high levels of frictional stress perpetuate airway inflammation in airways which are already inflamed and vulnerable to frictional stress-induced trauma in patients with asthma. Activities associated with rapid ventilation and higher frictional stress (e.g. exercise, hyperventilation, coughing, sneezing and laughing) cause asthma to worsen whilst activities that reduce frictional stress (Yoga 'Pranayama', breathing a helium-oxygen mixture and nasal continuous positive airway pressure) are beneficial. Therefore control of cough may have anti-inflammatory benefits in patients with asthma.
Respir Physiol Neurobiol. 2007 Jun 15; 156(3): p. 331-339.
Cough and ventilatory adjustments evoked by aerosolised capsaicin and distilled water (fog) in man.
Lavorini F, Pantaleo T, Geri P, Mutolo D, Pistolesi M, Fontana GA.
Dipartimento di Area Critica Medico Chirurgica, Unità Funzionale di Medicina Respiratoria, Università di Firenze, Viale G.B. Morgagni 85, 50134 Firenze, Italy.
Airway receptors mediate cough and ventilatory adjustments. Simultaneous assessment of cough sensory-motor components and changes in breathing pattern may provide insights into the receptors prevailingly stimulated by inhaled irritants. Nineteen subjects inhaled capsaicin and fog up to threshold concentrations for cough. Cough intensity, respiratory sensations and changes in breathing pattern induced by the two irritants were compared. Capsaicin and fog cough threshold values did not correlate. Coughing induced by both agents was preceded by qualitatively similar sensations and by significant increases in minute ventilation and respiratory drive due to selective increases in tidal volume (P<0.01). Cough intensity was similar with both agents. Cough frequency and the intensity of the urge to cough were higher with capsaicin (P<0.01). The lack of correlation between fog and capsaicin cough threshold values suggests differences in the neural mechanisms activated. The selective increase in tidal volume suggests prevailing involvement of rapidly adapting receptors. The stronger sensations evoked by capsaicin may contribute to the higher cough frequency observed with this agent.
Monaldi Arch Chest Dis. 1999 Jun;54(3):275-9.
Advances in understanding and treatment of cough.
Sherrington School of Physiology, St. Thomas' Hospital Campus (UMDS), London, UK.
Many different conditions and diseases cause cough. The commonest acute causes are pollution, including cigarette smoke, and upper respiratory tract infection. The commonest chronic causes are postnasal drip, asthma, chronic bronchitis and gastro-oesophageal reflux. Epidemiological studies give widely different patterns of incidence. The different conditions that cause cough have in common the fact that the cough is mediated via the vagus nerves, with sensory receptors in and under the epithelium from the larynx down to the smaller bronchi. These receptors are polymodal, responding to a large variety of stimuli, including mechanical and chemical irritants, inflammatory mediators, intraluminal material and large volume changes of the lungs. With irritation and inflammation, C fibre receptors release neurokinins such as substance P, which in turn stimulate cough receptors. The central nervous pathways for the cough reflex are poorly understood. They can be activated or inhibited voluntarily. Studies on the pharmacology of the central nervous pathways of coughing are opening up new therapeutic possibilities. Other new therapies include drugs acting on the sensory receptors for cough, thereby avoiding adverse central nervous effects.
Pulm Pharmacol Ther. 2007;20(4):416-22.
The problem of cough and development of novel antitussives.
Department of Thoracic Medicine, National Heart and Lung Institute, Dovehouse Street, London SW3 6LY, UK. firstname.lastname@example.org
Cough is a very common clinical symptom and current therapies are largely ineffective, indicating a major unmet medial need. There is a pressing need to develop novel and safe antitussive therapies. This is likely to arise from better understanding of the sensory nerves involved in cough and the signalling pathways that are activated. A major therapeutic target should be sensitization of the cough reflex which is a feature of patients with both acute (virally induced) cough and chronic cough, including chronic idiopathic cough. Studies on human cough mechanisms are limited. There are several novel therapeutic approaches that are currently being explored. Perhaps the most promising drugs are transient receptor potential vanilloid-1 (TRPV(1)) antagonists, selective cannabinoid agonists (CB2 agonists), maxi-K channel openers and P2X3 antagonists. New cough therapies may target airway nerve sensitization and may best be delivered as inhalers to minimize any systemic effects. Understanding the intercellular signalling pathways involved in nociception may lead to novel drugs, such as p38 mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase inhibitors, being used in the treatment of cough in the future. It is also likely that several novel treatments that are developed as analgesics will also prove to be beneficial in the treatment of cough.
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