Chronic hyperventilation unbalances the blood gases; one of the important changes can be low body carbon dioxide (CO2) or hypocapnia. CO2 is not just a waste gas; you need a certain amount for healthy body function.
Part 1 focused on low CO2 and tightening of the airways and how hyperventilation, or over-breathing, can cause respiratory issues.
In part 2 we turn the spotlight on blood vessels and circulation: hyperventilation-induced hypocapnia can lead not only to the airways narrowing but also constricts certain blood vessels and affects the blood supply to many organs, leading to diverse symptoms from IBS to brain fog to cold hands and palpitations (fuller list of hyperventilation related symptoms). One example of reduced blood flow/low O2 supply is shown in the figure of a brain scanned before and after just one minute of voluntary hyperventilation. The reduction in cerebral blood flow can lead in turn to poor oxygen (O2) supply to the brain, and may contribute to brain fog, poor concentration and anxiety. Continue Reading