The relationship between diseases and shortness of breath. Does one create the other and can you change your breathing and effect diseases. You will be blown away by the studies and the research.
Dyspnea- shortness of breath.
What is the average breathing rate in dyspnea patients? The average breathing rate of 35 patients with cancer was 28.4 breaths per minute according to US medical doctors at the Massey Cancer Center (Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA). (Coyne and al., 2002). In 1993, Bruera et. al. conducted a study on terminal cancer patients suffering from dyspnea. They found that their respiratory rate was around 23 breaths per minute. In 1999, a Swiss study at the University Hospital Lausanne’s Division of Palliative Care found that elderly patients with advanced cancer took 26 breaths per hour.
Two recent German studies (Department of Anaesthesiology, Intensive Care Medicine, Bonn) showed that the average breathing rate in two groups of patients with cancer was astonishingly high at 42 and 39 breaths per minutes (Clemens et. al, 2007; Clemens et. al, 2008). These are quite shocking physiological numbers, as the average respiratory frequency is 12 breaths per minute. According to old medical textbooks, the normal respiratory frequency is 8-10 breaths per minutes.
We found that the average adult breathing rate is 12 breaths/min, while Dr. Buteyko’s norm for normal breathing is 8 breaths/minute (see Parameters of Normal Airflow or Buteyko Table of Healthy Zones). Here are the respiratory rates for people with cancer.
It is clear that patients with cancer breathe more than either the norms. Numerous studies have shown that the respiratory rate (or breathing frequency) of patients with cancer is an independent predictor for their mortality. (Chiang and colleagues, 2009; Groeger and colleagues, 1998; de Miguel Sanchez and colleagues, 2006). Cancer patients who are able to breathe faster or more often have a higher mortality rate and a poorer prognosis. This link between slow spontaneous breathing and greater survival chances applies to all cancer patients, with or without dyspnea.
Conclusion. Patients with cancer: The faster they breathe, they die sooner.
The Journal of Applied Physiology published a 2008 study by Travers et. al., Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada. It was found that patients who had been diagnosed with cancer emitted around 12 liters per minute at rest as opposed to the medical norm of 6 l/min. These cancer patients averaged 20 breaths per hour, whereas the norm is 12 at rest. These cancer patients had a higher tidal volume (600 ml per one-breath) than the norm (525 ml). These cancer patients were able to breathe both fast and deeply, as opposed to the medical norms.
Normal breathing, which is slow and subtle in frequency and small in volume, is also invisible and unaudible. What about the visual breathing parameters for cancer patients? What do doctors see? Heavy breathing, almost gasping for breath.
It is clear from the overwhelming evidence of medical professionals that terminal cancer patients have severe breathing problems. (We will learn more about the devastating effects of severe cell hypoxia on the immune system as a result of free radicals and other oxidative damage later.
Normal breathing is invisible, imperceptible and inaudible as we have discussed. According to physiological laws normal breathing provides superior tissue oxygenation. Healthy people don’t feel their breath. Cancer patients are unable to control their breathing and must breathe at least 3-4x the normal amount.
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