Physiological Causes and Effects of Stress: Low Body/Brain O2
Among causes and effects of stress are miscarriage, and many other serious long-term health problems, such as grey hair and acne. Stress can also cause nausea and cancer, but only if stress decreases body O2 content. What is the mechanism? It is literally under the nose. In order for the negative effects of stress on the body to take place, you need to have heavy (deep) breathing. Overbreathing is present in over 90% of modern people (see the chart below).
Dr. Magarian wrote one of the large hyperventilation reviews, published in the journal Medicine (Magarian, 1982), choosing the following title for his paper Hyperventilation syndromes: infrequently recognized common expression of anxiety and stress that indicates one of the central physiological causes of stress and hyperventilation in modern people.
Medical evidence suggests that over 90% of modern people are hyperventilators and have reduced brain and body oxygenation. But during stress, people breathe even more!
A more recent study Fear-relevant images as conditioned stimuli for somatic complaints, respiratory behavior, and reduced end-tidal pCO2 (Stegen et al., 1999) discusses physical effects providing numerous references in this area.
An early paper Some physical phenomena associated with the anxiety states and their relation to hyperventilation (Kerr et al, 1937) included a chart showing physiological changes and physical effects caused by these stress states. Hyperventilation is the central factor causing many physical effects of stress on the body and its health.
Professor Lum in his review The syndrome of habitual chronic hyperventilation, in: Modern trends in psychosomatic medicine wrote, "Most authors, with the exception of Rice (1950), have described the clinical presentation of hyperventilation as a manifestation of, and secondary to, an underlying anxiety state" (p.197, Lum 1976).
Authors of the article "Emotions and respiratory patterns: review and critical analysis" (Boiten et al, 1994) suggested, that "...normo-ventilatory responses (which are identified by stable end-tidal CO2 levels that remain within the normal range) seem to be characteristic for behavioral conditions that may either involve withdrawal from the environment, relaxation or active coping... Thus, hyperventilation appears to signify an unsuccessful outcome of the coping process" (p.121). In fact, the main physiological effects of stress on health are based on CO2 deficiency.
Dozens, if not hundreds, of professional physiological and medical studies suggest that hyperventilation is the central physical effect of stress and anxiety, while the presence of hyperventilation is the key cause of stress.
Hence, in order to get rid of the effects and causes of stress (including a miscarriage, acne, grey hair, and cancer), breathing normalization is a logical solution.
Biotin FA, Brigade NH, Witnesses CJE, Emotions and respiratory patterns: review and critical analysis, Intern J of Psychophysiol 1994, 17: 107-128.
Lum LC, The syndrome of habitual chronic hyperventilation, in: Modern trends in psychosomatic medicine, ed. by O. W. Hill, 1976, London, Butterworths: p.196-230.
Kerr WJ, Dalton JW, Gliebe P, Some physical phenomena associated with the anxiety states and their relation to hyperventilation, Annals of Intern Med 1937, 11: 961-992.
Magarian GJ, Hyperventilation syndrome: infrequently recognized common
expressions of anxiety and stress, Medicine 1982; 61: 219-236.
Stegen K, De Bruyne K, Rasschaert W, Van de Woestijine KP, Van den Bergh O, Fear-relevant images as conditioned stimuli for somatic complaints, respiratory behavior, and reduced end-tidal pCO2, J of Abnorm Psychol 1999, 108 (1): 143-152.
Reference pages: Breathing norms and medical facts:
- Breathing norms: Parameters, graph, and description of the normal breathing pattern
- 6 breathing myths: Myths and superstitions about breathing and body oxygenation (prevalence: over 90%)
- Hyperventilation: Definitions of hyperventilation: their advantages and weak points
- Hyperventilation syndrome: Western scientific evidence about prevalence of chronic hyperventilation in patients with chronic conditions (37 medical studies)
- Normal minute ventilation: Small and slow breathing at rest is enjoyed by healthy subjects (14 studies)
- Hyperventilation prevalence: Present in over 90% of normal people (24 medical studies)
- HV and hypoxia: How and why deep breathing reduces oxygenation of cells and tissues of all vital organs
- Body-oxygen test (CP test) : How to measure your own breathing and body oxygenation (two in one) using a simple DIY test
- Body oxygen in healthy: Results for the body-oxygen test for healthy people (27 medical studies)
- Body oxygen in sick : Results for the body-oxygen test for sick people (14 medical studies)
- Buteyko Table of Health Zones: Clinical description and ranges for breathing zones: from the critically ill (severely sick) up to super healthy people with maximum possible body oxygenation
- Morning hyperventilation: Why people feel worse and critically ill people are most likely to die during early morning hours
References: pages about CO2 effect:
- Vasodilation: CO2 expands arteries and arterioles facilitating perfusion (or blood supply) to all vital organs
- The Bohr effect: How and why oxygen is released by red blood cells in tissues
- Cell oxygen levels: How alveolar CO2 influences oxygen transport
- Oxygen transport: O2 transport is controlled by vasoconstriction-vasodilation and the Bohr effects, both of which rely on CO2
- Free radical generation: Reactive oxygen species are produced within cells due to anaerobic cell respiration caused by cell hypoxia
- Inflammatory response: Chronic inflammation in fueled by the hypoxia-inducible factor 1, while normal breathing reduces and eliminates inflammation
- Nerve stabilization: People remain calm due to calmative or sedative effects of carbon dioxide in neurons or nerve cells
- Muscle relaxation: Relaxation of muscle cells is normal at high CO2, while hypocapnia causes muscular tension, poor posture and, sometimes, aggression and violence
- Bronchodilation: Dilation of airways (bronchi and bronchioles) is caused by carbon dioxide, and their constriction by hypocapnia (low CO2)
- Blood pH: Regulation of blood pH due to breathing and regulation of other bodily fluids
- CO2: lung damage: Elevated carbon dioxide prevents lung injury and promotes healing of lung tissues
- CO2: Topical carbon dioxide can heal skin and tissues
- Synthesis of glutamine in the brain, CO2 fixation, and other chemical reactions
- Deep breathing myth: Ignorant and naive people promote the idea that deep breathing and breathing more air at rest is beneficial for health
- Breathing control: How is our breathing regulated? Why hypocapnia makes breathing uneven, irregular and erratic.
Your social engagement and comments are appreciated. Thanks.
Or go back to Hyperventilation Causes
* Illustration by Victor Lunn-Rockliffe
|Disclaimer||Copyright 2013 Artour Rakhimov||Contact details||About Artour Rakhimov (Google profile)|