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NEW SURVEY:
What do you most want to know about breathing?

 

 

 

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Shortness of Breath (SOB) and Heart Attacks

From Mike: I have long been advocating the heightened awareness of shortness of breath as a sign of possible heart condition or an actual cause of heart condition.  Chicken or egg issue here but mostly chicken (SOB).  Shortness of breath causes or worsens heart troubles. Breathing gives oxygen. Hearts go into spasm (attack) due to lack of oxygen. These articles below point out an increasing awareness of this issue.

Testimonial below

Groups pushing awareness of heart attack signs
Heart Associations are launching a new campaign, “Act in Time to Heart Attack Signs.” It is aimed at wider public knowledge of symptoms and encouraging people to seek emergency medical attention if they think they might be suffering an attack. Shortness of breath is a significant indicator of possible heart trouble.

More than 1.1 million Americans suffer a heart attack each year, and 40 percent of them die. Half of those fatalities never make it to a hospital. Yet only 1 percent of heart-attack patients who reach the hospital within an hour will die from that heart attack.

Cardiologists say that clot-busting medications and other treatments are most effective if started within an hour following a heart attack. Most potential victims wait at least two hours before seeking help. 

Men are more likely to feel chest pain, women are more likely to experience other signs such as shortness of breath, breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea and light-headedness. About 10 percent of heart attacks occur with virtually no symptoms.

Embarrassment or false alarm inhibits many from calling 911 or visiting the hospital.

People should call 911 or otherwise get emergency medical help, because emergency medical technicians not only help get patients into the ER fast, but can also start medications — and restart a heart — en route.

Second Form Of Heart Failure Common Among Elderly

A study of almost 5,000 older adults living in four U.S. communities showed that more than half of those with heart failure had a little-understood form of the disorder that doctors know little about treating, report researchers in this week's American Journal of Cardiology.

"Our study suggests that a large proportion of older adults with heart failure have a recently recognized, little-understood form of the disorder, and that it's especially common among women," said Dalane W. Kitzman, M.D., associate professor of cardiology at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center (WFUBMC) and the study's main author. "The implications to public health are enormous." Doctors previously believed that most heart failure was a weakening of the heart muscle that kept it from pumping enough blood (systolic heart failure). In recent years, however, a second form has been recognized: the heart can empty normally, but the main pumping chamber doesn't fill with enough blood (diastolic heart failure). The result is the same - the body does not get enough oxygen-rich blood for its needs. The most common symptom is shortness of breath.

This was the first large, community-based study of heart failure among older adults. It was conducted by researchers from WFUBMC as well as the University of California at Irvine, St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn, New York, the University of Washington at Seattle, the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, the University of Vermont in Burlington and the University of Arizona at Tuscon.

"For years, we focused on systolic heart failure as though it was the only kind that existed," said Kitzman. "Now, through our study and others, we're realizing that diastolic failure may be the more common form among older adults, especially women." The researchers studied 4,842 participants who were 66 and older. Of those, 425 (8.8 percent) had a confirmed history of congestive heart failure. To determine each person's type of heart failure, ultrasound technology was used to measure the percentage of blood the heart emptied with each beat. A normal heart can pump 50 percent or more of its volume with each beat.

The study found that more than half (55 percent) of participants with congestive heart failure had normal emptying and could be diagnosed with diastolic dysfunction - the second type of heart failure. Among women with heart failure, 67 percent had diastolic failure, compared to 42 percent of men.

"The majority of older adults did not have the type of heart failure that has been well-researched for the past 30 years," said Kitzman. "Instead, they had a type that we don't fully understand its cause, how it progresses or how to best treat it. The implications are enormous considering that heart failure is the number one cause of hospitalization for people age 65 and older in the United States."

The research was part of the large multi-center Cardiovascular Health Study of cardiovascular disease risk in the elderly. Sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the study followed residents in four communities (Forsyth County, N.C., Sacramento County, Calif., Allegheny County, Penn., and Washington County, Md.) for 10 years. In the United States, about 5 million people have heart failure and an additional 550,000 are diagnosed with it annually. It is one of the largest health problems in the developed world. The standard treatments for systolic heart failure include water pills, blood thinners and medications that cause the blood vessels to widen or increase the force of the heart's contractions. Researchers are currently evaluating the best treatments for diastolic heart failure. WFUBMC is conducting five studies to evaluate several drugs (angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers) and exercise as treatments for the disorder.

Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center for journalists and other members of the public. If you wish to quote from any part of this story, please credit Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center as the original source. You may also wish to include the following link in any citation:  

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/02/010215075751.htm

From Mike: I strongly suspect that SOB is a leading cause of heart attack for ANY age group. Not just the elderly and even including many top athletes.

Recommended self help program to help reduce shortness of breath

Testimonial

CHEST PAINS
I have tried emailing this testimonial sometime in May but somehow it never got through. Since then my daughters have been urging me to send in my testimonial because of how much your breathing exercises have helped me "cure" my chest pains, shortness of breath and lower my blood pressure. So I am sending it in now hoping this does get through to you.

I need to thank God for leading me to your website back in march when I began experiencing mild to severe chest pains every nite. I had gone through a full bottle of 30 nitroglycerine tablets within two weeks. My chest pains always occurred at nite when I am going to bed, so much so, that I was afraid to go to bed. I need to explain something, Mike. Because of my past two open heart surgeries and heart problems, I am quite knowledgeble about the symptoms of a possible heart attack when you experience chest pains. In my case, I had just gone thorugh an ultra sonic and a treadmill test in February. During the treadmill test, at the final stage, I complained to the attending nurse that she had to stop the treadmill because I was experiencing severe chest pains and was out of breath. She insisted I continue because the test is almost over and I needed to go on just for another minute or so. Somehow I got through the run and nearly fainted, heaving and breathing rapidly.

Two weeks later when I returned to my cardiologist for the results of my test, the cardiologist stated that I had over 75% blockage on my right carotid artery and 50% blockage on my left carotid artery. He immediately recommended an angiogram to determine the actual extent of the blockage. After consulting with my wife, I decided to forego the angiogram and in fact vowed that I would not go through that invasive examination again. Right after that was when I started to experience my chest pains. However, as I mentioned to my wife, the chest pains that I was experiencing could not be heart related but instead, I suspected it may be initiating from my lungs. After my treadmill test, I also started to cough out some mucous. Its color was pure white and not yellow or black so I felt that I may have a latent lung problem. After all, I am over 73 tears old. Besides during my chest pains, I did not experience any of the usual symptoms of a pending heart attack. I felt like I couldn't breathe and the center of my chest hurt badly. The pain vanished after I slipped a nitro tablet under my tongue. My blood pressure was not low at the time but it wasn't high either. Of course I was frightened. I would get chest pains for two or three nites, then none on the next nite, and then it started again. About that time, I read an article in our local newspaper about breathing. I went on the internet and I can't tell you how or why I selected your web site. I spent all day reading the information on your site especially the testimonials. I ordered your Optimal Breathing package and received the tapes in early April.

Now, let me tell you what happened.

I started out on the middle of my living room floor, arranging some couch pillows on a towel on the floor. Didn't take me long to adjust myself on the floor and started with the Tibetan Caffiene tape. As God is my witness, by the time I was into the second half of the tape and into the exhale and inhale on a single bong strike, my right leg from my thigh to my feet felt like ice. I continued my breathing exercises and had my wife cover my legs with a blanket. I went through the entire exercise which took me nearly an hour that very first time. Mike, that nite I did not have any chest pain. I did the same exercise twice the next day, once in the morning and then again before going to bed.

The second night, my chest pain returned, but this time instead of taking a nitro tablet, I went into the living room and sat on the edge of my couch and in the dark, started to breath slowly. The chest pain slowly subsided and after a few minutes it was gone and I was able to go to bed. From that day on I have had no chest pains and have not taken a nitro tablet. This all happened in April after I started with your breathing exercises.

Today, I do breathing almost the entire day, mostly subconsciously be causing the breathing exercises is part of my daily routine. There is a lot more I can tell you about my health as a result of the breathing exercises I learned from you. My daughter who lives in Hawaii has just visited you in North Carolina and I am grateful for the teaching and help you have given her. I have told my youngest daughter about the Tibetan Caffiene (Better Breathing Exercise 2) and she too will be doing the healing breathing exercises herself. In closing here is my email address, bobby7778@hotmail.com for anyone who is fortunate enough to find your website, they can contact me and i would be happy to tell them how wonderful breathing the right way can do for them

Aloha , Bruno Yim, Hawaii

Differentiating between breathing based of heart attack based shortness of breath.

Cardiac Hormone Level Indicates Increased Risk Of Death, Progression Of Heart Failure, Researchers Report

DALLAS - Oct. 4, 2001 - Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have found that elevated levels of a cardiac hormone is predictive of an increased risk of death or heart failure in patients with complications of coronary artery disease.

Researchers also found that the level of the hormone, termed brain natriuretic peptide, or BNP, was better at predicting adverse outcomes compared to traditional ways of prognosticating after a heart attack, de Lemos said.

After a 30-day analysis, the researchers found that levels of BNP were higher among patients who died, and patients with a higher BNP were more likely to have a new or recurrent heart attack or develop heart failure or progression of heart failure. Similar findings were reported after a 10-month analysis.

BNP is a neurohormone synthesized in the muscular wall of the left ventricle of the heart. It is released into the circulation in response to ventricular dilation and pressure overload.

"Even in the patients who had no detectable heart damage from their episode of chest pain, elevated BNP levels identified them as being at high risk of dying or developing heart failure, " de Lemos said.

In contrast, patients with lower levels of BNP were less likely to die or develop heart failure.

Further research is needed to determine medical therapies that might benefit individuals with high BNP levels, de Lemos said.

"The first use of the assay is likely to be in the emergency department, where BNP also appears to help doctors determine which patients with shortness of breath have congestive heart failure as opposed to other causes of shortness of breath, such as lung disease."

From Mike:

The elevated BNP levels stemmed in part from excess pressure.  The way we breathe can and does increase or relieve pressure in the heart area. 

Recommended self help program to help reduce shortness of breath

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The breathing improvement techniques, practices and products outlined in this publication are extremely gentle, and should, if carried out as described, be beneficial
to your overall physical and psychological health. If you have any serious medical or psychological problem, however, such as heart disease, high blood pressure,
cancer, mental illness, or recent abdominal or chest surgery, you should consult your health professional before undertaking these practices.

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