Tracking and improving my lung function
After his visit to the doctor, Christian Kleinedam discovered that his lung function was around 30% to what it should be. In this keynote, he shares his journey how he tracks his lung function and how to improve it.
Peak Flow/FEV1 Meter
A few years ago I went to the doctor and there I discovered that my lung function is around 30% than what it should be, so there is an expensive device you have to use in this case. It’s isolated and you can’t really buy it at a reasonable price and do it at home, but it gives the result.
So the doctor gave me the classic therapy for asthma which is an asthma inhaler which improves lungs by around 5%. It’s not really clear whether this is measurement error or really improved it, because you measure two times in a row
In this case the spray is at the top and measuring one time and breathing very deeply while measuring could have an effect on the second time, short time effect, so was really curious to see if this worked. So I thought about measuring for myself with this device, so here you can see a photo also of me using the device. It cost in total a little less than €100 so €50 to buy it and €50 to get the data to your computer. To use it just press a button inhale and exhale and you get a number.
So it’s really nice but it doesn’t really give you the same number of the expensive things. this thing give you the number of how much air you exhale in one second after you inhale as much as possible, and measures your total amount of air that you have in your lungs as the primary value they use to make diagnoses, but it works.
So the doctor said I should try this spray at home and see if it works for me and whether I feel better. At that moment I didn’t really know and this might be why I really didn’t know. This is a result of a study which tested people can actually know whether the improve their lung function when they take the Buterol which is a kind of asthma spray.
So you see on the top, subject improvement with different interventions and on the bottom you see the change and the amount you can exhale in one second. So you see at the top the placebo does a lot for your subjective feeling of how much you can inhale and (acupressure? 03:57) a needle that doesn’t go through your skin alters a lot of your improvement.
But if you actually go to measure the device like this you see that all the placeboes don’t really change anything from the non-intervention control group.
So we see here that measuring this way gives you data which is objective and not placebo. So it’s a good way if you want to have some objective health measure. And we also see that the traditional approach of medicine, try it at home and see if it works for you it might not be the best thing.
So the actually tracking of my own data I started four month ago and the spray I use dyears ago before I was doing the Quantified Self thing. So this is the first data I track and a the beginning nothing much happened but then I got a spike.
It was really surprising to me at first because I wasn’t expecting sharp spikes. I was expecting something that was more or less normally distributed and maybe it goes up and a bit down, but suddenly I had a spike. And I even knew the story behind the spike, so why I didn’t have the data for the spike I knew what I did the evening before and that’s what kind of therapy session and that resulted in relaxing this part of my body. And when I relax this part I suddenly breathe deeper and use more of my lungs, and suddenly had lung volume of 1.8. Then the next time it was like before and I tried to think of a way to relax more of my body. Then by doing Quantified Self I got an interview with a journalist and TV interview and my body was full of adrenalin and I got another spike.
So what happens in your mind has an effect on your data but at the same time it’s not the placebo that has the effect, so it does help people that they will improve it’s not enough. Then I got an even higher spike when I was really stressed out. My laptop didn’t work and I missed the train and I had to get another train ticket to get to the location I wanted to in another country and that brought a lot of stress, and my body really worked hard at that time.
Over the next month I did a lot or relaxation work and improved my lung function to 1.45 from 1.1 average at the beginning. So in a relatively short time frame I improved my lung function.
So I think it is a very easy thing to do. It doesn’t cost that much time. It doesn’t cost that much money. So especially if you have anything wrong with your lungs maybe allergies or something get one to track it for yourself
Thank you for your attention.