A new study published in the Journal of Breath Research reveals that doctors can diagnose the amount of stress a person feels by analyzing his breath.
Researchers at Loughborough University in Leicestershire said that whenever a person feels stressed out, there are changes in six of the biomarkers in his breath which can be measured to calculate the stress levels.
The researchers conducted the study on a group of 22 students who were exposed to high pressure situations, such as solving complex arithmetic problems that induced stress and were also made to listen to relaxing music. On conducting breath analysis, the researchers found that the participants had higher levels of two compounds, indole and 2-methyl-pentadecane, while four other compounds were also found to be present in higher quantities after the stressful test.
"If we can measure stress objectively in a non-invasive way, then it may benefit patients and vulnerable people in long-term care who find it difficult to disclose stress responses to their [caretakers], such as those suffering from Alzheimer's", lead author Paul Thomas said.