If upon arriving at work this morning, someone asked you how your day was going, and your response was, "Well, I'm breathing aren't I?" That may be a sign that things in your life are out of balance. Our breath is actually a great indicator of our current mood, as well as a key to discovering clues about our, overall, emotional and physical health. Below you will find out what specific types of breath have to say about you and what you can do about it.
RAPID OR SLOW BREATHING
When we catch ourselves taking short, shallow chestal breaths, there is probably a good chance that we are experiencing a good amount of stress in our professional or personal lives. While this will always be true to some degree, it is especially important to remedy this type of irregular breathing. The problem here, is that the primitive portion of our brain has not completely evolved to domestic life. It does not discriminate between the stress of actual, physical danger versus the type of stress we feel before going for a big job interview. Rapid, shallow breathing sends a message to our brain that we are in distress and calls in for back up; releasing the hormones and neurotransmitters epinephrine, adrenaline and cortisol. If we were in eminent danger, these might be life-saving. But, in daily life, where many of the stressors we deal with are permanent fixtures, having our bodies flooded with large amounts of these chemicals poses serious health risks and can lead to issues like Adrenal Burn-out and Chronic Fatigue.
What can you do about it?
There are a variety of breathing techniques available that easily fall under the category of Breath Therapy. Most are very easy to follow and come stamped with expert approval. By training our minds to become conscious and active toward the usually passive process of respiration, we now have the ability to slow everything down and breathe a little deeper. Here are a couple of links for some great exercises to get you started.
If you think you may need some extra support in helping to cope with your stress, there are many good companies offering a lot of great options. Here are some quality formulas that combine natural adaptogens and stress-relieving herbs and compounds to help your body better adapt to physical and psychological stressors:
Also try: Adaptra by Terry Naturally
If, at any point, rapid, shallow breathing persists or falls out of the range that could reasonably be considered as stress-related, this may be caused by serious medical conditions, not limited to Asthma, COPD, Emphysema, Pneumonia, Lung Infections or partial lung collapse. In this case, please consult your physician.
FOUL OR ODOROUS BREATH
Breath is one of the easiest ways to determine, not only what someone s diet is like, but it can be a red flag for how their bodies are doing internally. Having bad breath could merely be a result of having had a loaded hoagie for lunch, or having been invited over for a pasta dinner by a friend, who has a heavy hand with garlic. However, chronic bad breath is leading highly toward a chronic issue and may be cause for concern. Here are some qualities that you can look for that will help you determine if your breath is more than a social issue: Smells sweet, smells acidic, smells like vinegar, smells yeasty ranging anywhere from cereal to potatoes, smells sour or rancid
TYPES OF FOUL OR ODOROUS BREATH
Sweet, Acidic or Vinegary
Normal, healthy breath should be mild and actual scent will, of course, vary from individual to individual. While having sweet smelling breath might almost seem optimal, being highly sweet, acidic or vinegary can imply something more serious. Highly sweet breath has been used as a possible indicator for diabetes in children and pungent, acidic or vinegary breath is often a symptom associated with diabetic keto-acidosis. This occurs due to a diabetic person s inability to use sugar as a source of energy and fat is utilized by the body instead. Because of this, fat is broken down and causes the occurrence of ketones (Acetone, hydroxybutyrate, and acetoacetate). These ketones are acidic and when removed through the body s elimination system, the breath they produce has coined the term Acetone Breath. There can be many other root causes for breath that falls into this category:
Chronic, systemic diseases
What can you do about it?
There are many options available to aid your body in recovering from an acidic state. Some experts recommend certain strains of probiotics (L. plantarum is a strain of probiotic, or good bacteria, that has been studied for it s ability to help reverse acidosis) as well as chlorella, wheat grass and other highly nutritive, alkalyzing greens. If you are noticing that your breath has been consistently and highly sweet, acidic or vinegary, it would be best to consult with your medical physician. Here are a few of the possible supplements you can find, which may assist with sweet, acidic or vingary breath:
When consuming yeast-based food items, such as bread, the bacteria and enzymes in our mouths immediately begin to break them down. Most people will notice that if they were to not brush their teeth and tongue, following the meal, they will likely discover that in as short as a half hour, a light white to tannish-yellow coating will appear on their tongue. This is unbroken-down yeast residue and bacteria that have not completed in the digestion process. It will also, likely make your breath smell very yeasty. In persons afflicted with dry mouth, natural enzymes and good bacteria will be diminished and the breath may even start to take on a foul odor. A solid dose of antibiotics is sometimes all that is needed to throw the body s good bacteria and enzyme populations out of balance and lead to a candida infection. When this occurs, that same harmless, white to tannish-yellow coating that we observed on our tongue could bloom into a systemic infestation throughout our entire bodies. The most common visual examples come as thrush (tongue), acne, skin rashes, urinary tract and yeast infections. This imbalance can be caused by:
Compromised Immune Systems
Chronic medical conditions
Diets high in yeast, sugar, dairy
What can you do about it?
This type of bad breath is usually easily remedied by making some healthy dietary changes and supplementing with a good probiotic. Enzyme supplementation may be necessary if it is a long-standing issue. There are many enzyme blends available that specifically target candida and contain the enzymes cellulase and protease. Here are two quality products on the market that deliver beneficial probiotics and enzymes:
By the time that a person s breath has taken on a sour, rancid odor, they are probably aware of this and it is more than likely that there is a bacterial or fungal infection present. One of the easiest ways for bacteria and fungus to gain entry to the human body is through the mouth. We can pick them up through the food that we consume, by kissing, by putting our hands and fingers in, or around, our mouths or by practicing poor oral hygiene. Other possible causes include:
Sinusitus or Sinus Infection
Frequent/large consumption of Dairy and Dairy containing products
Cigarette or Tobacco smoking
A sluggish digestive system resulting in the accumulation of partially
digested foods and stomach acid
What can you do about it?
In the event of sour, rancid breath and a possible bacterial infection, to prevent your friends from dropping like the flies that are beginning to gather around you, it would be best to consult with your medical physician as soon as possible.
WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED?
There are many potential factors that can affect the quality and rhythm of our breath. The key is to be mindful of any changes and to seek help when there is cause for concern. When issues and disturbances are within normal parameters, we can employ these tools to help us get our breath and our sniffer, back up to snuff.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.