Buteyko Breathing Method – An Aid to Improving Gas Transfer in Cystic Fibrosis


Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a condition that mainly affects the respiratory and digestive systems in the human body. A consequence  of CF is the creation of a mucus layer in the respiratory tract and the digestive system which results in blocking the movement of ions and water in the cells that line the lungs and pancreas of the digestive system.

One of the main complications involved in CF is the difficulty in breathing and general lung function due to the layer of mucus lining the airways. It is well known that mucus acts as a defence mechanism to protect the lungs from irritants. However in people with CF a healthy gas exchange between the lungs and blood is difficult to achieve.

Buteyko breathing alleviates symptoms of different respiratory conditions.This paper presents a case for employing the Buteyko breathing method to improve and manage lung function in people with CF.

Although CO² is traditionally known as a waste product, it also plays a vital role in regulating how our body functions. Good health and blood pH regulation requires a certain level of CO². If a person over breathes then (s)he will be used to a lower level than normal of CO². The Buteyko breathing method corrects “over breathing” so that the respiratory centre will be accustomed to a higher (or normal) level of CO².

The achievement of normal levels of CO² is vitally important for oxygenation of organs and muscles in the body. For people with CF the blood will better derive energy from food if it is sufficiently oxygenated.

The author concludes that the Buteyko breathing method shows a promising non-invasive, natural method of improving gas transfer in the alveoli of lungs in people with CF.

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