Breath test can measure stress
Much can be learned by testing someone's breath. And not just what they had for lunch. New research from Loughborough University (UK) indicates that a simple breath test may be able to evaluate how much stress someone is under. The study found six biomarkers in a person's breath that can indicate when someone is experiencing a high level of stress.
The study exposed 22 young adults to high-pressure situations – including an arithmetic test – that were designed to induce stress in the individual. Blood-pressure and heart rates were studied, as were chemical compounds in the person's breath. The breath analysis indicated that two compounds - indole and 2-methyl-pentadecane – were present in significantly higher levels when someone was stressed out. Four other compounds were also found to be present in higher levels when stressed, though not as significantly as the other two.
This non-invasive procedure could open new doorways for relieving stress in some patients, such as those who may be caretakers for Alzheimer's patients, for example, or others who may be vulnerable to stress.