10 Steps To Improve Oxygen Levels

Take a look at these ideas as in conjunction with your home oxygen therapy a little change could greatly increase your oxygen levels and quality of life.

These 10 ideas will help to improve your oxygen levels:
1.    Open your windows.

Fresh air will bring additional oxygen into your home and even if you are constantly breathing in oxygen through a cannula, whenever you talk or open your mouth fresh air containing higher oxygen levels can be drawn into your body. If you live in a smoggy area then you could consider investing in an air-filtration system.

2.    Have Plants.

They are the opposite of us as they take-in carbon dioxide and expel oxygen. Thereby increasing the foliage and plants in your home will decrease the carbon dioxide and increase the oxygen levels in your home.


3.    Create Aromas.

Many of the chemical-filled candles and various other incense type products actually contain carcinogens. Instead it is better to burn all-natural beeswax candles as then you’ll have better luck breathing in oxygen.


4.    Exercise More.

Even a small amount of exercise will help to improve your respiration ability, as your breathing rate increases and deepens your lungs can absorb more oxygen.

5.    Increase your water intake.

Water is made up of oxygen so by increasing your water consumption you can increase the amount of oxygen in your body.


6.    Go Green.

Eating more fresh, raw green juices is beneficial as they are full of vitamins and minerals which your body utilises to aid in the uptake of oxygen.


7.    Daily Meditation. 

Daily meditation or just simply sitting quietly and focusing on your breathing and taking deep breaths for a few minutes can greatly help in reducing stress and improving your oxygen intake.


8.    Eat lron-rich foods.

Your diet can seriously impact your oxygen levels. Certain foods can help improve your oxygen levels in the blood naturally. Target iron-rich foods such as meats, poultry, fish, legumes and green leafy vegetables as they can improve iron deficiency, which in turn improves blood oxygen levels.


9.    Cut out Salt.

A diet low in sodium can lead to increased oxygenation via the kidney and the blood.


10.    Eat green raw foods.

Oxygen-rich foods can naturally increase your blood oxygen levels. Try eating more green vegetables like kale, broccoli and celery in order to boost your oxygen levels and hopefully breathe easier.

For more information head over to speak to our team at OxygenWorldwide for all your medical oxygen needs when travelling across the world.

Here you can request a non-binding quotation for oxygen services abroad.


References: http://lunginstitute.com

Asthma can reduce your productivity

A new survey has shown that 75% of people who suffer with asthma blame their illness for a significant reduction in productivity at work and asthma patients on average miss 3 hours of work a week due to their illness. The survey also showed how patients are also feeling that they have a lack of productivity when it comes to household chores and daily activities as well as at work.
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All 1,598 patients surveyed were taking their prescribed medications and were from various countries. 74% reported issues around productivity at work and also 3 hours of work missed a week. 9% reported a complete inability to work and 67% reported sleep disturbances.
The survey was conducted by the Think.Act.Breathe campaign who help asthma patients identify personal risk and improve immediate and long-term risk of asthma exacerbations.
Dr. Kevin Gruffydd-Jones, lead author of the report said the findings illustrate how asthma can impact a patient’s economic burden, even while on medication.
“People with asthma often accept their symptoms and the impact they have on their daily lives. It is important that people with asthma talk to their doctor about how their asthma is affecting them at work, their sleep and daily life, and to discuss what more could be done to help them feel better and live life to the full.”
Asthma may cause physical and mental affects as well as the obvious physical ones and can have an impact on your whole life. Only 13% reported no impact on their work but 23% reported feeling tired and weak at work as well as 18% feeling mentally strained. 51% also stated that their symptoms had a negative impact upon their ability to complete daily chores outside of work.
“Asthma affects millions of people worldwide and most people with asthma have low expectations of what can be achieved by asthma management and don’t realise that their condition can be improved,” said Boehringer Ingelheim’s Head of Respiratory Medicine.
Many people get an initial diagnosis and treatment but never go back to the doctors for a check-up. However symptoms change and science moves forward and it is important to go back to your doctor regularly especially if symptoms lessen or worsen. New drugs, new treatment methods, breathing techniques and supplemental oxygen among other things could be available to you to help to improve your quality of life, reduce the frequency of exacerbations and lessen symptoms. Sleep disturbances could be due to sleep apnoea which could be eased with supplemental oxygen and a slight change to your treatment could greatly improve your oxygen levels, sleep and breathing which would greatly improve your productivity at work and at home.
References: http://lungdiseasenews.com

Sensors that could internally monitor your body then dissolve and Vanish!

The medical world has used sensors for a long time now from pacemakers to insulin pumps to help monitor various bodily signals from blood pressure to heart rate but these sensors are cumbersome, involve wires, internal sensors require surgical implantation and removal and they can get in the way of clothing and mobility. The standard hardware also carries risks of causing infection, scarring and provoking immune reactions and rejection. With ever increasing numbers of people living longer and suffering from long-term chronic conditions, the need for being able to monitor your body more effectively and in more detail in order for medicine to be most effective in treatment has also increased.
sensor
Technology has advanced enough now that scientists have created tiny sensors that can be positioned internally or externally on your body and are made of materials that can just simply dissolve away once their duty has been performed.
They would constantly monitor the functioning of your organs and tissues, transmit this information to your computer, harmlessly dissolve in the body when their job is done and detect the earliest sign of malfunction when medical intervention is easiest. Some of these devices can even make medical interventions themselves. The new electronic devices are woven into the body, do not provoke an immune reaction and are almost imperceptible to the user. “Epidermal electronics” are very thin patches that stick on the skin and can accommodate the normal bending, stretching and swelling motions of the body. These devices are biodegradable and packed with sensors that can detect almost all the vital signs, including temperature, pulse, heart electrical activity, hydration, Parkinson’s disease tremors and can detect increased stiffness in arteries, which is a predictor of heart attacks.
The dissolving electronic implant is like a more sophisticated version of dissolving sutures, but can be injected into organs and cavities and come with WiFi. The chips are made from silicon, which is inert and wont provoke an immune reaction and magnesium of which we have a RDA of 8 of these chips a day so it wont cause an overdose. A polymer coat keeps the chip from dissolving straight away but slowly wears away over a few days; the thicker the coating the longer the sensor will last.
Sensors like this will revolutionize treatment as sensors can monitor exactly what is going on inside our bodies every second of the day. It will enable scientists and doctors to understand how disease progresses and why to enable new treatments and medications as well as allowing the patient to be monitored more closely from blood pressure and oxygen levels to temperature and internal brain pressure and concentration levels of various compounds within our bodies such as medications.
With those with chronic or long-term conditions such as COPD, heart disease, transplant or cancer patients on-going monitoring can indicate to doctors at the earliest possible moment when treatment needs to be altered to reduce further damage to your body and to improve your outcome. It can also indicate the earliest moment of rejection of tissue to allow an immediate response. Being able to adjust oxygen therapy flow or medications on a daily basis depending on your health status at that moment with allow for an improved quality of life as you can be more in control of your own treatment and it will always be the most optimal level of treatment as well as being more carefully understood and monitored to allow for a better outcome or increased life expectancy.
References: http://www.irishtimes.com and http://www.extremetech.com

You soon could wear a blood oxygen sensor like a plaster

For many patients such as those with COPD it is important for your health to be able to constantly monitor your blood oxygen levels in order to avoid exacerbations and worsening health and breathing problems. There are many pulse oximeter devices already out there but many are cumbersome or difficult to use. These rely on LEDs that shoot infrared light and red light through a part of the body with a sensor waiting on the other side to receive the light that remains and detects how much has passed through. Oxygen-rich blood will absorb much more infrared light and low-oxygen blood will absorb more of the red light.
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Scientists at the University of California have a developed a much more simplified, easy to use and light weight device by developing a thin film-like sensor that can be worn around the finger much like a plaster. Instead of using infrared and red light this new device uses red and green light. These red and green LEDS are organically made and integrated onto a flexible piece of plastic.
Due to the organic components this electronic device is flexible and can easily conform to the body. It also means that the parts are cheaper to make, meaning that they can be thrown away after each use rather than having to disinfect the device each time. It is lightweight, more inconspicuous, cheap and disposable. The researchers tested the prototype alongside conventional pulse oximeters and found the readings to be equally as accurate.
Another device which is only the size of a post-it note is the Moxy-monitor, which has been designed to allow the user to monitor their body performance during workouts. It is a small black box worn against the skin that tracks blood oxygen levels in your muscles and it can display the data along with other fitness data in real time in third party devices and apps. It uses LEDS and light detectors to transmit near-infrared light though the skin and into the muscle tissue and back out again and extracts oxygen level readings from the results.
Although the device is geared more towards athletes, it is also beneficial for anyone with a medical condition such as COPD who want to exercise to help improve their condition but who need to monitor their oxygen levels closely to make sure they do not over do it and end up collapsing out of breath. The developers say that it is durable, even for rugby players and can even be used underwater. Its charge lasts for 3 hours and it transmits its data via a radio antenna or data can be retrieved via a USB port if the device has been out of signal or underwater.
There are other devices that have been developed such as a smart sock that monitors a baby’s vital signs and iPhone compatible oximeters. The future however is set to explode under the term ‘wearable.’ Much more than smart watches and fitness bands, the market is set to be filled with garments laden with sensors sewn into them which can track and monitor our every move.
These garments will at first be aimed at runners and sports professionals who want to track their performance, but will quickly spread to help anyone who wants to keep tabs on their health. Sensors sewn into clothing will scan for heart conditions, Smart socks will help those recovering from injury to restore their balance and alert family members when an elderly relative suffers a fall. The clothing manufacturers and fashion world are keen to weave these devices into their clothes so that users can be fashion conscious and advertise sponsors and brands as they move around .
Looking further ahead ‘wearables’ will become medical devices more than fitness trackers. When the data from them is accurate enough to be used to monitor someone’s heart over a period of time then their doctor could tell when the data is indicating a heart condition.
People in the industry believe that this will be a vast market and incredibly popular and that it will make such sensors cheap enough to sew into a whole range of clothes, and for them to be durable enough to be washed. They also forecast that these sensors could also be offered to users outside of retail such as with health insurance, gym membership and with diet plans.
 
 
References: http://www.gizmag.com and http://www.ibtimes.co.uk

Low oxygen levels affect your dna

dna and low oxygen
dna and low oxygen

When cells are functioning normally the DNA structure within them is open in order for molecules to be able to access parts of the genetic code that it contains. This is so that important proteins can be instructed to be made and allow the cell to function.
A new study has found that when a cell is starved of oxygen it results in the DNA strand coiling up and compacting itself into tight clusters. This means that molecules cannot access the DNA strand, the genes cannot be read as easily and the cell’s activity is reduced and the cell effectively shuts down resulting in cell death.
This starved state is seen in common diseases like heart attacks, stroke and cancer. However it is also important for those that suffer from any condition that results in low oxygen levels in the body such as COPD, sleep apnoea and asthma. Low levels of oxygen trying to circulate around the body tend to be prioritised to the more important organs and other areas see low/starved oxygen levels. It highlights the importance of monitoring your oxygen levels and ensuring that you use your supplemental oxygen to ensure that you have adequate levels of oxygen in your body.
If low oxygen results in DNA compaction and cell death then it could help to explain why COPD sufferers often experience a combination of various other health conditions and diseases.
When a person suffers a heart attack or stroke, it can cause long-term damage because the restricted blood supply to the heart and brain starves the affected cells of oxygen and nutrients (ischemia). Oxygen starvation (hypoxia) can also result from other disease conditions, such as in cancer tumours. When this happens to cells in the heart, it leads to a heart attack and when it happens in the brain, it leads to a stroke.
Senior author Dr. George Reid explains:
“When you have a stroke, when you have a heart attack, this is likely to be what’s happening to your DNA. Now we know that this is what’s going on, we can start to look at ways of preventing this compaction of DNA.”
If drugs for example can be developed to prevent this DNA contraction then it may prevent long-term damage from strokes and heart attacks as well as a host of other medical conditions that afflict suffers of respiratory diseases.
 
References: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com and http://www.sciencedaily.com

Oxygen could help in the battle against depression

depression
In March this year researchers showed that rats exposed to high-altitude conditions exhibited increased depression-like behaviour. This study proved that hypoxia (low oxygen levels) is a distinct risk factor for depression in those that either live at high altitudes or suffer from COPD, asthma or who smoke.
The link between altitude and high depression rates and suicide is very obvious in the intermountain region of the United States where the rates are considerably higher than any other part of America. The region has earned itself the nick-name of the ‘suicide belt’.
Rats are not however subject to the same psychological and social pressures as people are and more research on humans would need to be undertaken in order to substantiate this link. Other risk factors are also important such as poverty, low population and psychiatric disorders. This study shows that this risk factor would be present with everybody who either live in high altitudes or suffer with a condition that results in a lowering of oxygen levels in your blood.
Hypoxia is thought to impair an enzyme involved in the synthesis of serotonin (a compound that contributes to happiness and feelings of well-being), resulting in lower Serotonin levels and leading to depression. Depression is normally treated with anti-depressants however ‘The Utah Paradox’ illustrates how drugs do not necessarily work in high-altitude regions, as Utah has the highest depression index and the highest use of antidepressants in the country.
The fact that both depression and suicide rates increase with altitude, where there are low oxygen levels, implies that antidepressant treatment is not adequate for those suffering from depression and as low oxygen is the main common factor in most cases, maybe this needs to be looked into as a possible new treatment for depression in those that experience low oxygen levels.
Significant improvements were demonstrated when schizophrenic patients underwent oxygen therapy and now they will try it out on sufferers of depression. Oxygen therapy is easy, non-invasive and safe so new research will trial it on sufferers of low and medium-level depression.
Researchers found that exposing psychiatric patients to 40% concentration of oxygen rather than 21% oxygen levels from the air, via a plastic tube is safe and effective and the patients functioned significantly better than those who inhaled normal air. Increasing the supply of oxygen to the brain will increase the function of mitochondria which produce energy in the cells. Poorly functioning mitochondria can disrupt the functioning of neurones and the electrical activity of the brain. Theoretically therefore raising oxygen levels inhaled by patients can improve psychiatric functioning, it now just needs to be proven. If it is proven to be the case then oxygen therapy could relieve depression symptoms in hours/days and weeks compared to antidepressants which can take months and years to take full effect. You wouldn’t be using medications but a natural substance, which is easy to use, cheaper and brings about results a lot quicker, reducing the likelihood of a potential attempt on life.
 

 
References: http://www.jpost.com and http://www.sciencedaily.com

Could oxygen therapy help to alleviate symptoms for M.E patients?

ME or Myalgic Encephalopathy is one of a few different names that are given to what is an illness of uncertain cause that affects thousands of people. It is also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Post-viral Fatigue Syndrome (PVFS) and Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS). All types of people of all ages are affected and for many years much controversy surrounded ME as the whether it was in fact an illness at all. Patients suffer from severe and debilitating fatigue, painful muscles and joints, disturbed sleep, gastric disturbances, poor memory and concentration and the onset is usually linked to a viral infection, operation or an accident, although some suffer a slow steady onset.
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In some patients the effects are minimal but for others lives are changed drastically. In the young school-life can be severely disrupted and for older patients employment can become impossible. Social/family life can become restricted and many are housebound or even bed-bound for months or years.
Any vigorous exercise such as running or biking can result in the patient being bed-bound and most patients focus on more mild exercising like walking, swimming, tai chi etc.
A study discovered that patients were getting the blood they needed to the muscles but for some reason they weren’t taking up the oxygen very quickly and it took longer for the oxygen levels to get back to normal after exercise.
It could be that the mitochondria in the cells which use oxygen to produce energy could be damaged. These mitochondria also would normally pump damaging free-radicals out of the cell which could interfere with muscle metabolism and cause pain.
Oxygen uptake into the cells would also normally neutralise lactate build-up created during exercise and in the patients in the study it took longer for the oxygen to neutralise the toxic build-up in the cells after exercise.
Another study found that in ME patients specifically that there was significantly lower blood volumes which could account for lower oxygen levels, on average a 20% reduction, which could be cause by the nervous system. In fact some doctors believe that ME may be caused by low oxygen levels. An additional theory is that the nervous system shuts down blood vessels when an ME patient is at rest and then fails to open them up sufficiently when you become active, which is a bad combination when the patient cannot sleep at night and then cannot fulfil any activities during the day.
If low oxygen levels are a root cause of ME then it is being researched at the moment as to whether increasing oxygen levels ie via home oxygen therapy would help to alleviate the symptoms of this disease. Many patients with other conditions such as COPD and Sleep Apnoea have discovered that by using oxygen for these other conditions it has also alleviated their ME symptoms as well. Some find that a 15minute session twice a day can help to nip the symptoms in the bud, others did not or found that longer or more frequent sessions were needed. Others find it helpful to have oxygen on board the air plane when travelling on holiday as before they had experienced increased symptoms whilst away on previous holidays. Patient’s with Sleep Apnoea have found that oxygen not only helped with their sleep but made them feel more energised and decreased the severity of their fatigue in the mornings and made the syndrome much easier to live with. It seems to vary from patient to patient as to if and how it helps, as for example some COPD patients find that their oxygen tanks and concentrators helped, whereas others found that only by switching machines to a CPAP machine did it help with their ME symptoms.
It seems from the evidence and patient feedback that there is a link and that increasing oxygen intake to increase blood oxygen levels does, in most cases help to alleviate or extinguish ME symptoms. However with the syndrome itself still unexplained and only a few studies having been carried out so far on this topic, much more research is needed to conclusively prove the link. Also as patients sometimes have a mixture of different inter-linking conditions and causes of their ME symptoms, different patients may respond differently so it may be a case of trial and error as to how you can increase your oxygen levels in a way that will work to alleviate your ME symptoms.
Reference: www.meassociation.org.uk and www.cortjohnson.org and www.actionforme.org.uk

Your phone can now measure oxygen levels

Wrist-oximeter
Professor Schatz and colleagues at the college of medicine at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois have developed a smartphone app called ‘MoveSense’ which can monitor a patient’s oxygen saturation level by analysing the way they walk.
Patients suffering from cardiopulmonary disease could use this app to help them accurately monitor their condition and warn doctors early at first signs of trouble simply by carrying their phone around with them.
Unlike other methods of measuring oxygen saturation levels, which detect sharp drops causing desaturation, this app continuously monitors saturation, making the resulting patterns and trends possible to model accurately and visually.
“The ability to accurately measure oxygen saturation without the use of a pulse oximeter is something that has never been achieved, until now. The oximeter, a non-invasive medical device usually placed on the patient’s finger, measures the proportion of oxygen in the blood, combining status of the two major circulatory systems, the heart and the lung. The saturation level is an overall measure of the patient’s cardiopulmonary fitness,” said Schatz.
In a previous discovery Schatz realised that phone sensors can accurately measure people’s walking patterns or gait. Doctor’s often use a 6 Min walk test for patients with heart failure or COPD to provide information regarding a patient’s functional capacity and response to therapy.
It was tested out on patients who used both a pulse oximeter and the phone app at the same time so that results could be compared and that a gait model could be computed to predict transitions in oxygen saturation.
The researcher’s discovered that oxygen saturation readings clustered patients into three pulmonary function categories: one with high saturation, with low saturation and one with variable unstable saturation. In addition they discovered that analysis of the saturation combined with gait data could predict saturation category with 100% accuracy.
The ability to predict the saturation category of the patient internally from the motion of the patient externally is remarkable. This new capability will allow medical professionals to monitor patients’ vital signs, predict their clinical stability, and act quickly should their condition decline. Patients just need to carry their personal phones during daily living, as testing has shown that periodic samples are sufficient and that even inexpensive smartphones are powerful enough to record these.
“A discovery like this will impact general medicine, many medical specialities, and the lives of millions of people suffering from chronic cardiopulmonary diseases.”
 
 
References: www.med.illinois.edu

Oxygen and brain damage

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Most of us are aware that a lack of oxygen to the brain results in brain damage. However many do not realise that even low levels or a small period of time of oxygen starvation can cause brain damage.
•    Even though the brain makes up only 2 percent of the average person’s body weight, it consumes 20 percent of its oxygen.
•    For every minute that the body goes without breathing, the risk of permanent brain damage increases greatly.
•    After 5 minutes without oxygen, brain cells begin to die off.
Some lung conditions greatly affect the amount of oxygen that the lungs can absorb from the air we breathe and with low oxygen levels it can lead to the brain being slowly deprived of oxygen and possibly result in minor or major brain damage.  Early symptoms of this can be chronic headaches, hypertension or even a heart attack or stroke. Over time there may only be small changes such as memory loss, confusion, difficulty in walking etc. or more major changes such as blindness, personality changes, speech/communication problems or a reduced ability to think flexibly, work through problems or be able to learn new things.
Sleep Apnea is also a worrying condition, which many people with lung conditions suffer from as during the night you can stop breathing for periods of time, even though maybe only for a short while. However each time it happens the chance of oxygen deprivation to the brain greatly increases and also the risk of brain damage. If you feel that you may be suffering from this condition then visit your doctor and you may be prescribed oxygen to have at night to increase your oxygen levels while you sleep.
For those patients using home oxygen therapy it is very important to ensure that the equipment is working correctly and that the flow rate of the oxygen being supplied by the machine is also correct. It may be only slightly out and not make a noticeable difference to your breathing, however even a slight lowering of oxygen levels over time, if left unchecked, may result in poor health implications on your organs, general health and your brain function, especially if there are other health problems you suffer with that may impact upon your oxygen levels.  This is why it is important to visit your doctor regularly and be monitored as well as to check your equipment at home on a regular basis. Discuss with your doctor or equipment provider about alternative equipment or other accessories or indeed other easy natural ways that you can ensure your oxygen levels remain as high as possible during day and night.
References: http://lunginstitute.com and http://www.braininjury-explanation.com

10 WAYS TO HELP INCREASE OXYGEN LEVELS

Using supplemental oxygen will increase your oxygen levels but there are other tips that can help increase your oxygen levels, its circulation and your body’s ability to take up the additional oxygen and utilise it more efficiently.  Take a look at these ideas as in conjunction with your home oxygen therapy a little change could greatly increase your oxygen levels and quality of life.
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These 10 ideas will help to improve your oxygen levels:
1.    Open your windows. Fresh air will bring additional oxygen into your home and even if you are constantly breathing in oxygen through a cannula, whenever you talk or open your mouth fresh air containing higher oxygen levels can be drawn into your body. If you live in a smoggy area then you could consider investing in an air-filtration system.
2.    Plants. They are the opposite of us as they take-in carbon dioxide and expel oxygen. Thereby increasing the foliage and plants in your home will decrease the carbon dioxide and increase the oxygen levels in your home.
3.    Aroma. Many of the chemical-filled candles and various other incense type products actually contain carcinogens. Instead it is better to burn all-natural beeswax candles as then you’ll have better luck breathing in oxygen.
4.    Exercise. Even a small amount of exercise will help to improve your respiration ability, as your breathing rate increases and deepens your lungs can absorb more oxygen.
5.    Increase your water intake. Water is made up of oxygen so by increasing your water consumption you can increase the amount of oxygen in your body.
6.    Go Green. Eating more fresh, raw green juices is beneficial as they are full of vitamins and minerals which your body utilises to aid in the uptake of oxygen.
7.    Meditation.  Daily meditation or just simply sitting quietly and focusing on your breathing and taking deep breaths for a few minutes can greatly help in reducing stress and improving your oxygen intake.
8.    Eat lron-rich foods. Your diet can seriously impact your oxygen levels. Certain foods can help improve your oxygen levels in the blood naturally. Target iron-rich foods such as meats, poultry, fish, legumes and green leafy vegetables as they can improve iron deficiency, which in turn improves blood oxygen levels.
9.    Cut out Salt. A diet low in sodium can lead to increased oxygenation via the kidney and the blood.
10.    Eat green raw foods. Oxygen-rich foods can naturally increase your blood oxygen levels. Try eating more green vegetables like kale, broccoli and celery in order to boost your oxygen levels and hopefully breathe easier.
References: http://lunginstitute.com