Urge-To-Cough Reflex is Controlled by CO2 and Unconscious Breathing Pattern

Only when automatic breathing becomes deep and/or fast, we suffer from chronic cough



Our unconscious breathing, according to physiological research and clinical trials, is the key factor that controls the excitability of the nerve cells that are responsible for the urge-to-cough reflex. When we hyperventilate, these nerve cells are more irritated due to alveolar hypocapnia (CO2 deficiency) and can lead to bouts of coughing. When our breathing is normal or we try to breathe less (suppress coughing), chronic coughing disappears.

One’s unconscious breathing pattern produces profound biochemical effects on all body cells, vital organs and systems of the human body. Up to 97% of present people promote a fantasy that CO2 is a toxic substance. These people also think that heavy basal breathing pattern (or chronic hyperventilation that is breathing more and/or faster than the normal breathing) increases oxygen content in the body.

Meanwhile, hundreds of physiological and medical research articles have shown that hyperventilation DIMINISHES tissue O2 level. Furthermore, carbon dioxide, the gas we exhale, regulates countless important processes in the human organism, which include the following: control of respiration, weight monitoring, sleep regulation, regulation of blood pH, control of blood sugar, normal immunity, bronchodilation (dilation of airways), regulation of heart rate, synthesis of hormones, blood pressure maintenance, stability of the nerve cells and tens of other main biochemical functions.

In particular, chronic hyperventilation suppresses the immune system (due to cell hypoxia) and irritates nerve cells responsible for the urge-to-cough reflex since CO2 is a powerful sedative and calmative agent of the nervous cells regardless of the type of coughing (whooping cough, dry cough or chesty cough, coughing at night, and coughing in children and many others).

How cough undermines your health

During normal breathing while resting the air travels though the bronchi and bronchioles at a velocity of less than 10 km/h. When we cough, the air rushes out through the mouth at more than 100 km/h. Coughing through the mouth creates a large enough air pressure fluctuation to destroy alveoli since the lungs tissue is the most fragile tissue in the human body.

Coughing is particularly hazardous for people with cystic fibrosis, COPD, bronchitis and other pulmonary health problems with existing lungs damage. During bouts of continualcoughing, you respiratory frequency is over 30 breaths in 1 min instead of normal 12. Your tidal volume for one cough is close to 1 liter of air instead of 500-600 ml. Have some math to see that your minute ventilation is much more than the tiny  medical norm (6 L/min). Bouts of coughing cause cell hypoxia; irritable state of cough receptors in the tracheobronchial tree and larynx due to hypocapnia (low CO2 ); cell hypoxia in the whole body; possible production of too much mucus; chronic respiratory infections and inflammation due to suppression of the immune system; damage and rupture of tiny and fragile alveoli due to sudden change in air pressure; constriction of airways due to hypocapnia (since CO2 is a bronchodilator) and many other effects caused by hyperventilation.

How to assess the tissue O2 level using a DIY test

Immediately after your breath out, pinch both nostrils and count your distress-free breath holding time. Bear in mind that your breath pattern after the experiment needs to be exactly like your breathing pattern before the experiment: no stress what-so-ever immediately after the test. This tryout measures a couple of values simultaneously. To start with, the result indicates O2 concentration in the tissues. Besides, it signifies how intense the individual or personal respiratory pattern is.

Assuming that the automatic respiratory pattern is standard, that person should be capable to achieve a 40 s stress-free breath hold. If you have about twenty seconds (twice less oxygen in the body), you breathe nearly 2 times more than the medical norm (and this is 6 Liters of air in one minute). As for the sick people with coughing problems, their result is always less: most likely approximately 15 s or even less because of chronic over-breathing.

Most natural permanent solution to coughing problems

As soon as your involuntary respiration pattern is so light that your O2 content in the body cells is above 25 s, you will not have troubles with prolonged coughing. You should slow down your large breathing in order to achieve this goal. How? First, you need to address lifestyle factors. Breathing retraining technique requires 24/7 control of breath including:
– prevention of sleeping on the back (we breathe almost two times more air, when we sleep on our backs at night)
– constant nasal breathing (hence, if your mouth is usually dry in the morning, it is necessary then to seal your mouth with a surgical tape – find the free web manual “How to maintain nasal breathing 24/7”)
– physical exercise with strictly nose breathing, in and out, otherwise exercise is almost ineffective for most, especially sick patients
– and numerous other lifestyle-related details so that your unconscious breathing pattern is restored back to our physiological norm.

In addition 2 types of breathing techniques (Buteyko breathing exercises and the Frolov breathing device), as many medical research studies revealed, reduce coughing in minutes. Consider the practical outcomes of all 6 published western randomized controlled trials of the Buteyko method: 4 to 9 times less reliever medication, 50% less steroids, less asthma symptoms (coughing is the most prominent and often is the only symptom of asthma) and improved quality of life after 3 to 6 months of breathwork to learn how to eradicate their chronic hyperventilation syndrome. However, these Buteyko trials did not find the improvements in lung function test, while Russian clinical studies on the Frolov breathing device discovered that these breathing exercises are able to normalize (partially or sometimes completely) many lung function parameters in patients with asthma, bronchitis, and COPD.

More info about respiratory techniques to get rid of coughing:
Stop Coughing Naturally – A simple breathing technique to stop bouts of coughing and
reduce their damage to alveoli in the lungs, airways, and all other cells.
Stop Coughing At Night – A breathing exercise to reduce duration and severity of night coughing and fall asleep faster.
– YouTube Videos: Cough Medicine, Syrups, and Best Cough Suppressants, How to Stop Coughing Naturally and Most Natural Home Remedies for Cough.

Dr. Artour Rakhimov is the author and creator of NormalBreathing.com dedicated to spreading education and learning with regards to body oxygen content, ideal breathing patterns, CO2 effects, effects of hyperventilation, Buteyko breathing reconditioning therapy, Frolov respiration device, Oxygen Remedy, and other respiratory techniques with free manuals, Buteyko breathing exercises (how to instructions) and lifestyle modules.