Oxygen is fundamental to our health but many of us do not realise just how crucial it is. Oxygen deficiency can affect every aspect of our health and be a root cause of almost every medical ailment.
Oxygen deficiency can generically cause:
• overall body weakness
• circulation problems
• poor digestion
• muscle aches and pains
• memory loss
• irrational behaviour
• lung problems
• increased unhealthy bacteria, germs, viruses and parasites
• Any chronic/long term disease
A shortage of oxygen has been linked to every illness from heart conditions, cancer, digestion and respiratory conditions to inflamed, swollen and aching joints, sinus problems, yeast infections and sexual dysfunction. When our cells lack oxygen they weaken and die, therefore without oxygen, nothing works very well or at all.
It is the main energy source for our brains to function properly and it calms the mind and stabilizes the nervous system. Without oxygen we cannot absorb important vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients our body needs. Oxygen depletion also weakens our immune system, which leads to viral infections, damaged cells, growths, inflamed joints, serious heart and circulatory problems, toxic build-up in the blood and premature aging. Low oxygen levels allow damaged cells to multiply incorrectly or unnecessarily and form growths in our bodies. Oxygen aids in converting nutrients into energy, which also helps eliminate toxins and waste.
Your lungs will deteriorate 9-25% per decade (Framingham study) unless you do something to maintain them, which is why exercise is so important. However excessive stress in exercising can actually cause breathing blocks that results in inadequate levels of oxygen due to a build-up of waste products in the alveoli.
As our cells grow older they lose their ability to carry oxygen. As the liver ages it robs increasing amounts of oxygen reserves for detoxification which often leaves the other body systems with an oxygen shortage. Our brains need oxygen the most so when the body is in short supply our brains suffer the consequences.
The greatest contributor to oxygen deficiency is the deterioration of our breathing system. The next threat is a lack of exercise and nutrition, and then the environment.
Oxygen is involved in almost every bodily process so without it these processes fail and lead to problems with our health. Keeping our lungs healthy, eating the right food, exercising to keep our bodily systems functioning optimally and not breathing in pollution all helps to maintain the maximum oxygen levels.
It has also been discovered that “insufficient oxygen in our cells causes pain to be experienced more acutely than when oxygen supplies are ample” Dr. Samuel C. West.
There are multiple benefits of home oxygen therapy. Not only will it ease respiratory problems but it will help to ease the pain suffered by many and also help to keep your body working more efficiently and healthily, which can aid in improving your medical condition.
The summer and holiday season is only round the corner, looking forward to swimming in the villa pool or in the sea. For those suffering with lung disorders requiring oxygen therapy this may seem like a fantasy, but it doesn’t have to be.
If you have lung problems swimming could be the perfect exercise for you. As your body is floating it’s less strenuous on your breathing and can help to improve your fitness and breathing. It’s so beneficial that it even helps people who suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). People with COPD have a decreased lung capacity and get less oxygen with every breath than healthy people; therefore they tire out more quickly with just regular activities like walking or vacuuming. But those who exercise in a pool or swim lightly often end up with less breathlessness and can walk longer on land because of their lungs becoming stronger. It is a form of exercise that you can control, you can stop and start when you wish and go at a speed that suits you.
If you swim regularly at a private pool to improve your confidence and fitness then swimming on holiday won’t be an issue and you can enjoy your holiday more.
You may think that it is impossible to combine oxygen therapy and swimming but there are those that have managed it with some handy hints to share:
• Go to the swimming pool at a quiet time or when there is a slow lane available. Sometimes the swimming pool offers lessons or times for disabled or poor swimmers.
• You can have your POC at the side of the pool ready to use if you feel short of breath.
• Start off slow and don’t push yourself too hard or fast. It will take time to build up your lung strength and fitness.
• You can get extra tubing to use with your cylinder and ask someone to walk alongside you in the pool to carry your cylinder as you do laps. You can ask your provider for spare tubing and cannula that you can use as a spare ‘swimming set’. Check with the pool staff first to ensure they don’t mind you doing this.
• You can walk to and from the pool to increase your exercise and use your oxygen on the way there and on the way home and have it by the pool, so if necessary you can use it after each lap. As your fitness improves you will hopefully use it less and less.
• You can get an inflatable cushion and have your oxygen machine floating alongside you as you swim if you need oxygen constantly. Many find they can still use it in shallow and calm sea water too so you can swim in the sea on your holiday.
• If you’re worried about the warmth and humidity of an indoor pool severely affecting your breathing you can go and visit and sit by the poolside with your oxygen to ‘test the waters’ first.
• There may be an option for you to use your rehab pool at the hospital for a while so that you can get used to swimming in a more controlled environment which will help with your confidence before venturing to a public pool, ask your doctor about options.
• There are water-proof cases that you can buy for your oxygen cylinder so that you can have it in the water with you.
• Start off slowly with just floating, walking around and exercises before moving onto short bursts of swimming and then onto laps. Do what you’re comfortable with doing and progress at your own speed.
• Please note: Some indoor pools with water that contain a high level of chlorine and have bad ventilation might do you lungs more harm than good.
Obviously it depends upon the stage and severity of your lung condition and your reliability upon your oxygen and which equipment you use but there are options and ways around it. For most people they are able to take up swimming using these handy hints and find that after a period of time their fitness improves both in the water and on land and they become less reliant upon their oxygen. Also it means that you can then swim on holiday and enjoy the sun, sea and sand more!
If you require oxygen still on holiday whilst swimming or just want to have a back-up POC nearby on the shore or by the pool side then there are global oxygen supply companies that can supply these for you whilst you are on holiday in whichever country you’d like to visit.
References: www.healthunlocked.com and http://copdathlete.com