Buteyko breathing method – an aid to improving gas transfer in Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic Fibrosis is a condition that mainly affects the respiratory and digestive systems in the human body. The CFTR (cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator) is a protein found in the human body that regulates the movement of salt ions and water across membranes in the body. The CFTR gene is responsible for the expression of the CFTR protein. A mutated gene sequence of the CFTR gene results in the expression of a mutated CFTR protein – resulting the creation of a mucus layer in the respiratory tract and the digestive system which in turn results in a blockage in the movement of ions and water mainly in epithelial cells that line the lungs and pancreas of the digestive system – the condition known as Cystic Fibrosis.

One of the main complications involved in Cystic Fibrosis is the difficulty in breathing and general lung function due to the layer of mucus that lines the airways. Up to the present day, many studies have been conducted into various mechanisms of improving the gas transfer capabilities in people with cystic fibrosis. These mechanisms are physical, chemical and enzymatic. To date there have been minimal studies of using natural methods to improve lung function in people with Cystic fibrosis. In recent times however, a new breathing technique – Buteyko breathing, has come to the fore in the alleviation of symptoms of different respiratory conditions. This paper will discuss and present a case for the employment of the Buteyko breathing method as an aid in the improvement and management of lung function in people with Cystic Fibrosis.

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