Constant Coughing Is Related to Diminished Oxygen Concentrations In Body Cells

Woman with constant cough
Woman with constant cough

Constant Coughing and Its Known Causes

Constant problems with coughing or chronic cough are very common these days. These problems often occur in people with asthma, lung cancer, and COPD. Modern medical research suggests that there are no successful medicines or drugs that can be effective to stop constant coughing. Opioids provide considerable relief to people with terminal stages of chronic diseases, but these drugs have serious side effects.

Russian doctors who teach the Buteyko self-oxygenation technique found that chronic problems with coughing take place only in those people who have low body oxygen levels. Let us investigate their revolutionary ideas in more detail.

Coughing is a protective mechanism or reflex for the airways. The purpose of the reflex is to eliminate foreign objects that are present in airways. Cough can also occur due to irritation of urge-to-cough receptors. These receptors are in the larynx and tracheobronchial tree. Long-term cough can trigger problems with sleep, shortness of breath, poor appetite and deteriorating of quality of life measures. Various different conditions induce constant cough. Chronic coughing can be caused by various health problems. Apart from above mentioned conditions, chronic bronchitis and gastro-esophageal reflux can cause constant coughing.

Discovered mechanism of constant cough

Russian Buteyko physicians observed that all chronic coughers have wrong breathing at rest. They often have chest breathing that reduces blood oxygenation, and mouth breathing that reduces CO2 and O2 levels in body cells. It is known from numerous studies that people with bronchial asthma, bronchitis, COPD, cancers, and other health problems have deep and fast breathing at rest even at those times when they not suffer from coughing. In average, such people breathe heavily (elevated tidal volume) and fast (increased respiratory rates) 24/7. As a result, they have greatly elevated ventilation rates, and this is called "hyperventilation" or breathing more than the medical norms.

Chronic hyperventilation leads to decreased alveolar CO2 concentrations. But CO2 is a highly effective dilator of airways. As a result of chronic hyperventilation, the airways become narrower, and it requires more efforts for the person to breathe. This means that the person spends much more energy on ventilation due to greatly increased resistance in airways. Therefore, it is logical that such breathing (with low CO2 in airways) drastically worsens already existing inflammation due to frictional stress that can lead to gradual physical destruction in surface tissues of bronchi.

There are many other negative effects of low CO2. Nerve cells of the human body are extremely responsive to reduced CO2 levels. They become overexcited or irritable and cause havoc in the work of the nerves. In case of constant coughing, decreased alveolar CO2 creates conditions when urge-to-cough receptors are irritated all the time causing more coughing. Therefore, it is sensible for such people to restrain their cough and accumulate more CO2 in the lungs.

But this is not the end of the CO2 story. Hyperventilation always induces diminished oxygen levels in body cells. How could this happen? There are 2 possible mechanisms or situations.

Most people have normal lungs. Therefore, they have low CO2 levels in the arterial blood since overbreathing causes CO2 deficiency that is called hypocapnia. What are the effects? There are 2 effects that relate to oxygen transport. CO2, according to numerous studies, is the powerful vasodilator. Subsequently, low CO2 in the arterial blood causes spasm or constriction of blood vessels. This reduces perfusion of all vital organs. In addition, low arterial CO2 causes the suppressed Bohr Effect. This means that less oxygen is released in tissues due to increased affinity of oxygen to red blood cells. Therefore, when we breathe more air, we get less oxygen in cells. And this effect suppresses the immune system due to free radicals and anaerobic respiration in cells. Therefore, hypocapnia leads to chronic problems with infections due to immunosuppression.

There are also those individuals who have problems with lungs and gas exchange in lungs. This happens in COPD, severe cystic fibrosis, lung cancer and some other conditions. Low CO2 in airways, as many studies claim, leads to inability of the body cells to heal alveoli and other parts of the respiratory system. Therefore, heavy breathing results in worsening of hypoxemia (reduced levels of oxygen in the arterial blood). The final effect is the same: less O2 is delivered to cells and the immune system becomes suppressed.

Mouth breathing causes losses in CO2 and reduction in inhaled nasal nitric oxide. NO is crucial for killing germs in the lungs and dilation of blood vessels (the same effect as for CO2). Both effects worsen health or mouth breathers.

Resources about constant cough

There are several options to deal with constant cough: the Buteyko respiration retraining technique, use of the Amazing DIY breathing device, Frolov breathing device and Oxygen Remedy. All these methods increase oxygen tension in body organs. Oxygen Remedy online webinars together with Amazing DIY breathing device are very effective techniques.

Here are YouTube videos about coughing and how to use simple breathing exercises to restrain constant cough: Most Natural Cough Relief and Treatment of Cough.

Relevant web pages from NormalBreathing.com are Coughing and Cause of cough.

Dr. Artour Rakhimov is a health educator and writer. He is the author of books and the educational website www.NormalBreathing.com that is devoted to natural self-oxygenation and healthcare education. The website has hundreds of medical quotes, tables, graphs, references, results of numerous clinical trials, analysis of respiratory techniques, free breathing exercises, manuals and techniques, lifestyle modules and other great resources for better cells oxygen content and excellent health.





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Comments 5 comments

Admiral_Joraxx profile image

Admiral_Joraxx 4 years ago from Philippines

Interesting Facts! So coughing can actually be related to the supply of oxygen in our cells which is really concerning. Then those which affects the normal flow of blood does also relates with coughing, no wonder why coughing is a very common symptom to many serious deceases. Great Post Artour!, voted up and useful!


kpcwriting profile image

kpcwriting 4 years ago from New York, New York

I had no idea that constant coughing is related to diminished oxygen concentration in body cells. Thanks for sharing.


artour profile image

artour 4 years ago from Canada Author

Hyperventilation with normal air always reduces body O2 content.


Charles Williams 4 years ago

His English is so awful he is almost impossibel to understand


LC 4 years ago

Very hard to understand. Heavy accent. Poor english.

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