Hyperventilation

Hyperventilation or overbreathing is the state of breathing faster or deeper than normal,(hyperpnoea) causing excessive expulsion of circulating carbon dioxide, this means that the arterial concentration of CO2 tension is falling (Paco2) below normal (30mmHg). It can result from a psychological state such as a panic attack, from a physiological condition such as metabolic acidosis, can be brought about by lifestyle risk factors or voluntarily as in the yogic practice of Bhastrika. It often occurs together with labored breathing, which, in contrast, can also be a response to increased carbon dioxide levels. COPD, Asthma and multiple panic disorders have also been identified.

Hyperventilation can sometimes cause symptoms such as numbness or tingling in the hands, feet and lips, lightheadedness, dizziness, headache, chest pain, flexor spasm of hands and feet (carpopedal spasm), slurred speech, nervous laughter, and sometimes fainting, particularly when accompanied by the Valsalva maneuver.

Counterintuitively, such effects are not precipitated by the sufferer's lack of oxygen or air. Rather, the hyperventilation itself reduces the carbon dioxide concentration of the blood to below its normal level because one is expiring more carbon dioxide than what is being produced in the body, thereby raising the blood's pH value (making it more alkaline), initiating constriction of the blood vessels which supply the brain, and preventing the transport of oxygen and other molecules necessary for the function of the nervous system. At the same time, hypocapnia causes a higher affinity of oxygen to haemoglobin, known as the Bohr effect, further reducing the amount of oxygen that is made available to the brain.

Read more about HyperventilationCauses, Mechanism, Treatment

Other articles related to "hyperventilation":

Hyperventilation - Treatment
... If it is due to anxiety as the cause of hyperventilation syndrome, a few days of benzodiazepines and psychological referral for cognitive behavioral therapy may be useful ...
Holotropic Breathwork - Criticism - Responses To Criticism
... skillful support and guidance, the emergence of symptoms during hyperventilation can result in healing of emotional and psychosomatic problems..." ... Grof 2003) Rhinewine and Williams (2007), reviewing the medical literature on hyperventilation in the context of a theoretical article on Holotropic ...
Central Neurogenic Hyperventilation - Background/Overview - Diagnosis
... The presence of hyperventilation during sleep excludes any possible emotional or psychogenic causes for the sustained hyperventilation ... eliminated, CNH should be suspected in any alert child presenting with unexplained hyperventilation and hypocarbia leading to respiratory alkalosis ... Once CNH is determined to be a possible cause of hyperventilation, lesions and their location in the brain are verified using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) ...
Central Neurogenic Hyperventilation
... Central neurogenic hyperventilation (CNH) is an abnormal pattern of breathing characterized by deep and rapid breaths at a rate of at least 25 breaths per minute ... CNH is unrelated to other forms of hyperventilation, like Kussmaul's respirations ...
Shallow Water Blackout - Hyperventilation
... underwater have been associated with the practice of hyperventilation ... Survivors of shallow water blackouts often report using hyperventilation as a technique to increase the time they can spend underwater ... Hyperventilation, or over-breathing, involves breathing faster and/or deeper than the body naturally demands and is often used by divers in the mistaken belief that this ...