- Updated on September 24, 2019
By Dr. Artour Rakhimov, Alternative Health Educator and Author
Proofread by Thijs Oosting Proofreader on Aug 31, 2019
The definition of lifestyle disease is; a disease associated with the way a person or group of people lives.
Lifestyle risk factors have one common property: they make breathing heavier and decrease body O2. Cell hypoxia is the driving force for lifestyle diseases.
For example, when we are stressed, lack exercise, have poor posture, have nutritional deficiencies, or eat too much, our breathing at rest becomes more intensive.
The diagram below shows medical facts related to the final outcomes of abnormal lifestyle changes.
Hence, since more than 90% of modern people have abnormal breathing parameters and reduced body-O2 levels (see references below), the rise in global lifestyle disorders during the last several decades is only logical.
The negative effects of ineffective automatic breathing and the resultant low body-oxygen levels are found in all people that hyperventilate. However, the degree of these problems and the accompanying symptoms vary among individuals. In some people, hyperventilation affects mostly the nervous system, while in others, the cardiovascular system gets the heaviest burden. Other areas that can be affected are the respiratory system, the digestive system, the hormonal system, or a combination of those. Some people experience a wide range of negative physiological effects, while others are affected much less. The way hyperventilation affects the body depends on genetic makeup (or hereditary predisposition), lifestyle factors, and environmental influences. It is imperative that the development of lifestyle diseases requires abnormalities in O2 transport and breathing.
There is a way to test if what we say is right. Numeral medical studies have been done on a so-called hyperventilation provocation test. This method provokes chronic lifestyle diseases. How does it exactly work? It’s right under your nose.
Lifestyle disease: voluntary hyperventilation often triggers symptoms
Yugoslavian doctors from Zagreb asked 90 asthmatics to do voluntary overbreathing (Mojsoski & Pavicic, 1990). All patients (100%) experienced symptoms of asthma attacks (chest tightness, wheezing, feeling of suffocation, and lack of air).
In 1997, the American Journal of Cardiology published results of a similar study with the title, Hyperventilation as a specific test for diagnosis of coronary artery spasm (Nakao et al., 1997). Over 200 heart disease patients were asked to hyperventilate, and as you probably guessed, all of them had coronary artery spasms (or symptoms of impending heart attacks).
Here is a short summary of medical studies regarding different health conditions, number of patients investigated, and the percentage of patients who reproduced their specific lifestyle health problem:
– coronary artery spasms (Nakao et al., 1997) 206 patients, 100% specific;
– bronchial asthma (Mojsoski N & Pavicic F, 1990) 90 patients, 100% specific;
– panic attacks (Bonn et al., 1984; Holt PE & Andrews, 1989; Nardi et al., 2000), 95% specific;
– epileptic absence seizures (Esquivel et al., 1991; Wirrel et al., 1996).
This test has also proven accurate for people with a history of migraine headaches. After a certain amount of hyperventilation, their migraines would come back, even if they haven’t had them in years. If breathing more can provoke these problems, is it possible that breathing less can prevent them?
Hence, the hyperventilation provocation test does reveal “bad” genes in the sick. Lifestyle risk factors produce the same physiological effect: our breathing becomes heavier, either temporarily or chronically, depending on particular parameters.
Furthermore, lifestyle diseases are prominent when a person has less than 20 seconds for the body oxygen test. The medical norm is about 40-60 seconds, as this level of oxygenation inhibits lifestyle diseases.
Hence, lifestyle disorders are controlled by – and develop or disappear due to – changes in breathing.
Related web page: Human genetics and lifestyle diseases.
Bonn JA, Readhead CP, Timmons BH, Enhanced adaptive behavioral response in agoraphobic patients pretreated with breathing retraining, Lancet 1984 Sep 22; 2(8404): 665-669.
Esquivel E, Chaussain M, Plouin P, Ponsot G, Arthuis M, Physical exercise and voluntary hyperventilation in childhood absence epilepsy, Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol 1991 Aug; 79(2): p. 127-132.
Holt PE, Andrews G, Provocation of panic: three elements of the panic reaction in four anxiety disorders, Behav Res Ther 1989; 27(3): p. 253-261.
Mojsoski N, Pavicic F, [Study of bronchial reactivity using dry, cold air and eucapnic hyperventilation], Plucne Bolesti 1990 Jan-Jun; 42(1-2): p. 38-42.
Nakao K, Ohgushi M, Yoshimura M, Morooka K, Okumura K, Ogawa H, Kugiyama K, Oike Y, Fujimoto K, Yasue H, Hyperventilation as a specific test for diagnosis of coronary artery spasm. Am J Cardiol 1997 Sep 1; 80(5): p. 545-549.
Nardi AE, Valenca AM, Nascimento I, Mezzasalma MA, Lopes FL, Zin WA, Hyperventilation in panic disorder patients and healthy first-degree relatives, Braz J Med Biol Res 2000 Nov; 33(11): p. 1317-1323.
Wirrel CW, Camfield PR, Gordon KE, Camfield CS, Dooley JM, and Hanna BD, Will a critical level of hypocapnia always induce an absence seizure? Epilepsia 1996; 37(5): p. 459-462.