Know thyself; The breathing system.
Azimawellness foundational Talk 16/2019.
Know thyself; The breathing system.
Air is vital. Without oxygen for 3 minutes only, the brain cells begin to die. Each minute, a person at rest takes in roughly seven to eight liters of air, which adds up to about 11,000 liters of air a day. Air is the fuel that keeps the trillions of cells in our body alive. Come with me we unpack how this happens.
The breathing/ respiratory system is a series of organs responsible for facilitating the movement of air in and out the body cells. We breath in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide. It is in the lungs that the exchange of gases take place.
Red blood cells collect the oxygen from the lungs and carry it to the parts of the body where it is converted to energy. During the same process, the red blood cells collect carbon dioxide and transport it back to the lungs, where it leaves the body when we exhale.
Parts of the respiratory system.
As we breathe, oxygen enters the nose or mouth and passes the sinuses, which are hollow spaces in the skull. Sinuses help regulate the temperature and humidity of the air we breathe.
The trachea, also called the windpipe, filters the air that we inhale. It branches into the bronchi, which are two tubes that carry air to each lung. The bronchial tubes are lined with tiny hairs called cilia. Cilia move back and forth, carrying mucus up and out. Mucus is a sticky fluid that collects dust, germs and other matter that has invaded the lungs. We expel mucus when we sneeze, cough, spit or swallow.
The bronchial tubes lead to the lobes of the lungs. The left lung is smaller to allow room for the heart. Lobes are filled with small, spongy sacs called alveoli, and this is where the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide occurs.
The alveolar walls are extremely thin (about 0.2 micrometers). These walls are composed of a layer of tissues called epithelial cells and the pulmonary capillaries.
Blood passes through capillaries. The pulmonary artery carries blood containing carbon dioxide to the air sacs where the gas moves from the blood to the air. Oxygenated blood goes to the heart through the pulmonary vein and the heart pumps it throughout the body.
Diseases of the respiratory system.
Diseases of the respiratory system fall into two categories: viruses and chronic diseases.
Viral diseases may include influenza, bacterial pneumonia, enterovirus respiratory virus while chronic diseases include asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Chronic diseases can be diagnosed and treated while most viral infections are untreatable.
COPD is the intersection of three related conditions — chronic bronchitis, chronic asthma and emphysema. It is a progressive disease that makes it increasingly difficult for sufferers to breath well.
Asthma is a chronic inflammation of the lung airways that causes coughing, wheezing, chest tightness or shortness of breath. Common Asthma triggers can include air pollution, tobacco smoke, factory fumes, cleaning solvents, infections, pollens, foods, cold air, chemicals and medications.
Lung cancer is often associated with smoking, but the disease can affect non-smokers as well. For example every year, about 16,000 to 24,000 Americans die of lung cancer, even though they have never smoked.
Diagnosing and treating respiratory ailments.
Pulmonologists treat the respiratory system, including the lungs. Common diagnostic tools for diagnosing respiratory disease include chest X-rays and a pulmonary function test (PFT). A PFT measures how well the lungs take in and release air and how well they circulate oxygen.
A doctor may also perform a bronchoscopy by inserting a tube with a light and camera into the airways — the trachea and the bronchial tubes — to examine for bleeding, tumors, inflammation or other abnormalities. A similar procedure is a thoracoscopy, in which a doctor uses an optical device to examine the surfaces of the lungs.
Prevention of respiratory diseases.
Preventing obstructive lung disease is similar to preventing other lung infections. There are some precautionary steps that a person can take, including: Quit smoking/avoiding secondhand smoking. smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer world wide. Exercising regularly. physical activity generally improves quality of life. Taking precautions around chemicals and fumes- exhaust fumes from heaters for example, contain carbon monoxide, which is regarded as the commonest single cause of poisoning in both industry and the home.
With Profound Respect,
Coach Maina Azimio.
ICF- Accredited Certified Professional Coach,
Conference Speaker and Corporate Trainer in Wellness.
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