Covid-19 is getting unstoppable. The second wave of covid-19 in India has raised the demand for oxygen supply. What happens in the body that affects the oxygen levels and increases the need for supplemental oxygen? What is it that is making the oxygen gas so vital for patients in Covid-19 management?
When does a Covid-19 patient exactly need oxygen support?
As we all know, COVID -19 channels in the body through the airways continue to be a respiratory virus that causes inflammation in the vital organs. Inflammation, as a result, may reduce oxygenated blood flow in the body, leading to difficulty in breath intake.
Most patients also face other symptoms along with breathing difficulties, such as Chest pain, weakness, fatigue, pale look, or discoloration of the face.
When the virus causes inflammation, the breathing progresses to an acute condition, that is, a drop in the SPo2 level below 93%, which is a sign the patient needs oxygen support.
If the health condition reaches a more severe stage, experts recommend oxygen therapy. The therapy is best suitable for patients suffering from:
- Pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)
How does Covid-19 affect and triggers shortness of breath?
Lungs, also known as the tiny air sacs, help the body to intake oxygen from the air and release carbon dioxide. Later, the trapped oxygen gets transported through the rest of the body through blood vessels.
Respiratory epithelial cells in the trachea and bronchi protect the body from letting pathogens and infections pass through the airway tract. Secondly, they also facilitate gas exchange. Research and studies have shown that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus can cause infection to these cells. Our immune systems release cells to fight back the infected area that might trigger inflammation leading to shortness of breath.
Natural Ways to Increase Oxygen Level
We all know that the condition is out of our control. But, there are few measures one can take to enhance the oxygen level naturally. The second wave is working as a wake-up call for most of us and pushing us to focus on oxygen levels along with immunity boost and mental health.
Change your Diet: Consult a diet therapist and add antioxidant food to our diet plan. Antioxidants help enhance oxygen intake in digestion. Maintain healthy oxygen levels in your body by focussing more on foods, such as Avocado, bananas, blueberries, cranberries, celery, garlic, artichoke hearts, strawberries, red kidney beans, carrots, plums, dates, and blackberries that have high antioxidant content. One can easily find these items in juices and smoothies.
Fiber-rich foods and fatty acids like Vitamin F also help increase blood oxygen levels and have other health benefits. Green peas, Flaxseeds, Orange, Sweet potato, Broccoli, Walnuts, and Spinach are a few fiber-rich foods.
Indulge more in Physical Exercises and get active: Due to Covid-19 Lockdown, many people have to stay indoors and work from home. Lack of physical activity and more food intake can lead to weight gain, further raise other health problems. Regular exercises help one stay fit and healthy. Few aerobic exercises help the body in pushing waste through the lymphatic system and use oxygen in a better way. Also, with regular physical movement, you can lower the risk of heart disease and maintain a better circulatory system. Simple walking and exercise also help reduce stress, improve mood, build confidence, manage weight and stay fit.
Keep a Check on your Breathing Pattern: Do you know the correct method to consume oxygen and release carbon dioxide? Sick people unaware often breathe through the upper chest. They inhale more oxygen in the upper chest, which leads to reduced oxygen levels. The correct method is to slowly breathe from the diaphragm and release air through the nose. Avoid releasing carbon dioxide through the mouth. Use steam therapy to clean your lungs and maintain a healthy respiratory system.
Avoid Congested Places and Cleanse the Air: One cannot control breathing as it is mandatory to survive. But, we can control the quality of air by avoiding polluting areas and congested places. Poor air quality inhalation is the root cause of COPD – a health condition. Even in your home or workplace, make sure to clean your air duct or air purifiers to maintain a healthy pollution-free environment. Make sure your rooms have open windows for a better ventilation process. Having indoor houseplants, use Oil Diffusers or Beeswax Candles to improve air quality.
Drink Water More Frequently: Stay hydrated to improve lung health. Dehydration causes inadequate responses in the cardiovascular, autonomic, and thermoregulation systems, which leads your body to inhale more and more oxygen. Irregular breathing is not a good sign. It is essential to keep your body hydrated to avoid such inadequate responses. As we all know, our body is made of 60 percent of water. For the smooth functioning of our organs, it is essential to drink water regularly.
Avoid caffeinated beverages, alcohol, and high sodium foods responsible for dehydration. Keep water by your side and make a habit to consume 8-ounce glasses of water a day.
Avoid Smoking: Many people have the habit of smoking. Smoking Cigarettes is injurious to health and causes lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It not only affects you but also the people around you. The smoke mixes with air molecules and the people near you consume it accidentally. It is never too late to change your bad habits. Quit smoking and save your lungs from getting infected or damage.
Follow the above listed natural ways to improve your oxygen level and prevent lung infection or any disease. Keep in mind the difficult times will not last long if we take small steps and keep health as priority. Also, consult your doctor immediately if you experience shortness of breath. For better diet plan or practicing naturopathy diet therapy connect with our experts. Book an online naturopathy counselling session and get expert advice.