Tag Archives: how lungs work

Keep Your Lungs Healthy!

Your lungs are complex organs, but what they do is take a gas that your body needs to get rid of (carbon dioxide) and exchange it for a gas that your body can use (oxygen).

In this edition of How Stuff Works, we will take a close look at how your lungs work and how they keep your body’s cells supplied with oxygen and get rid of the carbon dioxide waste.

We will explain some of the conditions and diseases that make breathing harder and cause the lungs to fail.

We will also explain why you can’t hold your breath for a long time and why you cough or hiccup.

To learn more, visit > How Stuff Works: Lungs

Smoker’s Lung Pathology

Picture of LungsCigarette smoking is associated with a wide variety of abnormalities throughout the body that cause not only illness, but also, all too often, death.

Indeed, if all deaths from diseases related to smoking (lung disease, heart disease, and cancers of many different organs) were considered, a case could be made for cigarette smoking as the leading cause of death in industrialized countries.

Ironically, it is also the most preventable cause of death in our society!

Updated Lung reports

They’ve been minimized and they’ve been marginalized, but the fact is holistic therapies–including acupuncture, homeopathy, massage therapy, aromatherapy, yoga, nutrition therapy, and dozens more–have been gaining greater mainstream acceptance.

According to a 1993 survey published in the New England Journal of Medicine, in 1991, about 21 million Americans made 425 million visits to practitioners of these types of alternative medicine; that’s more than the estimated 388 million visits we made to all primary care physicians that year.

Now a holistic approach where an individual’s situation and particular way of coping is addressed–and going cold turkey may not be necessary–is slowly beginning to influence the way people with addictions are treated. Holistic therapies are helping to bridge the gap between conventional, exclusively abstinence-oriented approaches and the newer, more controversial harm-reduction philosophy.

When addressing an addiction, all holistic techniques begin with the same basic philosophy: people develop addictions to correct an “imbalance” within them. Addicts become stuck, unaware, and unable to deal with their thoughts, feelings, and actions.

They may drink, take drugs, or eat to excess to disassociate from their deficiency. Holistic therapies work to restore balance by connecting mind and body. They take away some of the underlying causes of abuse by helping people become aware of and take responsibility for the way they think, feel, and act.

How Your Lungs Work

You breathe in and out anywhere from 15 to 25 times per minute,

Without even thinking about it.

When you exercise, your breathing rate goes up — again, without you thinking about it.

You breathe so regularly that it is easy to take your lungs for granted.

You can’t even stop yourself from breathing if you try!

Smoker’s Lung Pathology Photo Essay

This photo essay will focus on smoker’s lung. The term “smoker’s lung” refers to the structural and functional abnormalities (diseases) in the lung caused by cigarette smoking.

First, the normal structure and function of the lung will be described and illustrated. Then, the structural and functional abnormalities caused by smoking. will be described and illustrated.

http://www.medicinenet.com/smokers_lung_pathology_photo_essay/article…

All About Smoking (ALA)

http://www.lungusa.org/site/pp.asp?c=dvLUK9O0E&b=22938

Contains the following topics of interest:

  • Smoking Fact Sheet
  • Data and Statistics
  • Secondhand Smoke Fact Sheet
  • Secondhand Smoke and Children Fact Sheet
  • Secondhand Smoke and Your Family
  • Cigar Smoking Fact Sheet
  • International Tobacco Use Fact Sheet
  • Smoking Among Older Adults Fact Sheet
  • Image Comparison of Healthy Lung to Lung with Emphysema
  • Smoking Policies in the Workplace Fact Sheet
  • Tobacco-Free Schools Fact Sheet
  • Tobacco Product Advertising and Promotion Fact Sheet

How Smoking Hurts Your Lungs

Smoking damages your lungs natural cleaning and repair system and traps cancer-causing chemicals in your lungs.

Picture of LungsSmoking destroys the tiny hairs (cilia), which line the upper airways and protect against infection. Normally, there is a thin layer of mucous and thousands of these cilia lining the insides of your breathing tubes.

The mucous traps the little bits of dirt and pollution you breathe in, and the cilia move together like a wave to push the dirt-filled mucous out of your lungs. Then you cough, swallow, or spit up the mucous, and the dirt is out of your lungs.

When your lungs’ natural cleaning and repair system is damaged, germs, dirt and chemicals from cigarette smoke stay inside your lungs. This puts you at risk for chronic cough, chest infections, lung cancer and COPD.

View a Bronchoscopy in a Patient with Lung Cancer

The patient is a 57 year old, with a 75 pack year history of smoking, who was found to have a carcinoma in the upper portion of his right lung.

“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” ~ John Powell

Click to learn How the Lung’s Work at HowStuffWorks.com