(aka dyspnea or shortness of breath) is labored breathing accompanied by an
unpleasant awareness of one's own breathing. Difficulty in breathing is commonly
present in people with progressive heart disease, cystic fibrosis,
HIV-AIDS, cancer, COPD, asthma, emphysema, pregnancy and many other
conditions. Common triggers for difficulty breathing are:
anxiety, exertion, sleep, and eating or meals.
The Homepage of this site has an extended Table that provides many more health conditions (such as heart disease, diabetes, etc.) with the same general observation: too heavy breathing at rest.
The cause of difficulty breathing is hyperventilation or alveolar hypocapnia
(lack of CO2 in the lungs). The normal breathing pattern at rest is
imperceptible, inaudible and unnoticeable to others. It is small in tidal volume
(500 ml for a 70-kg man), slow (12 breaths/min), light (6 L/min for minute
ventilation), strictly nasal and diaphragmatic. Hyperventilation leads to
alveolar hypocapnia and disrupts normal oxygen delivery due to:
- 1) reduced arterial oxygenation caused by lung pathologies (COPD, emphysema,
cystic fibrosis, lung cancer, and so forth) or
- 2) arterial hypocapnia, leading to vasoconstriction and a suppressed Bohr
effect - both of which reduce oxygen delivery to the tissues.
The factors that dramatically increase the work of breathing are constriction of
airways due to alveolar hypocapnia, chest breathing (due to spasmodic
diaphragm), obstruction of airways due to mucus and chronic inflammation with
possible increase in blood viscosity. Mouth breathing worsens
breathing due to reduction in NO (nitric oxide) absorption and reduced alveolar
Note that these people suffer from low O2 in cells and low CO2 in airways. CO2
in arterial blood can be high in those groups of people who develop problems
with lungs. This will help to understand the title of this page.
Overeating (or eating meals), anxiety, stress, night sleep, deep breathing
exercises, poor posture and exertion all lead to more hyperventilation (and
alveolar hypocapnia). As a result, it is obvious that they are triggers of breathing
Treatment for breathing difficulties
Treatment of breathing difficulties should be based on
treatment of hyperventilation
Significant reduction in breathing difficulties has been achieved in tens of
clinical trials after the application of various respiratory therapies and breathing
devices. Patients need to achieve more than X seconds (see more below) for the body-oxygen test to
prevent shortness of breath at rest. When people have normal breathing (about 6
L/min with 10-12 breaths per minute and only 500-600 mL per breath), they
generally do not feel their breathing, because normal breathing is tiny.
Therefore, breathing normalization is the physiologically correct solution
for this health problem with breathing difficulties.
As about the number X, it is provided right below here, as well as the best starting options (most effective treatment options) to get quick results in higher body oxygenation and less problems with difficulty breathing.
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