What Causes Constipation? Low O2 Levels in the Gut
The clinical experience of Soviet and Russian medical doctors suggests that people with normal body oxygen levels (40 s for the body-oxygen test) do not experience constipation and spasms or cramps in muscles. The main cause of constipation is ineffective breathing, which reduces body-oxygen content. Superficially it seems that constipation is caused by low amounts of fiber in the diet, a lack of physical exercise, stress, and other lifestyle factors. However, all these factors make breathing heavier and deeper.
About 100 years ago, Yandell Henderson, MD, Yale University Professor, found that arterial hypocapnia (low aCO2) caused by hyperventilation resulted in loss of tone in the blood vessels located in the abdominal viscera of dogs and produced extreme intestinal congestion. Saturation of the blood with carbon dioxide quickly eliminated the congestion (Henderson, 1907). His study was published in the American Journal of Physiology (see the reference below).
Why has chronic constipation become a problem during the last 100 years? Do modern people breathe too much? This graph shows results of 24 medical studies that measured how much modern normal subjects breathe. The small bar on the left is the medical norm (6 liters of air per minute at rest). If you click on the graph, you will get references for this graph.
Sick people breathe even more, as you can see from studies on the Homepage of this site.
Chronic hyperventilation (i.e. breathing more than the norm) and correspondingly low CO2 values in the arterial blood cause problems with the perfusion and oxygenation of the digestive organs. All vital organs and tissues get less oxygen. We already proved this fact in the section devoted to the CO2 vasodilation effect. For example, Dr. Gilmour and his colleagues showed in his article "Colon blood flow in the dog: effects of changes in arterial carbon dioxide tension" published in Cardiovascular Research that low CO2 reduced blood supply to the colon promoting constipation (Gilmour et al, 1980).
These and other changes (e.g., of a biochemical nature) cause various problems with the GI system. Other studies found that blood flow, for example, to the liver and colon is proportional to arterial CO2 due to the same CO2-vasodilation effect. As a result, over-breathing leads to reduced blood and oxygen supply to all GI organs, rectum, and surrounding muscles and tissues included. A low oxygen level in cells triggers anaerobic cellular respiration, elevated lactic acid content, suppression of the immune system, pathological flora in the gut, and many other negative effects.
Furthermore, it is another known physiological fact that CO2 is crucial for the normal work of nerve cells since carbon dioxide possesses sedative and calming neurological effects. Indeed, a more recent investigation, entitled “Hyperventilation, central autonomic control, and colonic tone in humans” (Ford et al, 1995), researchers observed that hyperventilation worsened digestive problems due to changes in hemodynamic function through central and peripheral mechanisms. They also suggested that some of the pathological changes in colonic function were caused by altered autonomic control mechanisms in the brain.
Low levels of CO2 and O2 cause an overexcitement of nerve cells and involuntary contraction (spasm) of muscle fibers (Brown et al, 1953; Macefield et al, 1991; Schwartz et al, 1993; Seyal et al, 1998, Sparing et al, 2007). Therefore, chronic overbreathing causes those effects in muscle and nerve cells that are directly responsible for muscular spasm present in constipation.
Breathing exercises causes constipation relief in 1 minute
Normally, during elimination, the descending colon and all subsequent muscles function together and in harmony, as a well-trained team. According to Russian MDs, chronic constipation happens as a result of local spasms due to strained muscles, pooling of the venous blood and reduced cell oxygen content due to ineffective breathing (increased thoracic breathing and elevated minute ventilation leading to O2 and CO2 deficiencies). Hence, your goal is to normalize your respiration pattern.
Therefore, it is not a surprise that over 90% of people can get relief from constipation in 2-3 min using a simple breathing exercise developed by Russian medical doctors and tested on thousands of people with chronic constipation. It is Remedy No.4 from Home remedies for chronic constipation.
How automatic-breathing parameters relate to spasms and cramping
(muscle, stomach, leg cramps in bed; periods or menstrual cramps; and many other types)
|Respiratory Frequency*||Body Oxygen
Test (morning result)
|Chances of cramps|
|More than 20 breaths/min||Less than 20 s||Very possible|
|15-20 breaths/min||20-30 s||Possible|
|12-15 breaths/min||30-40 s||Very rare|
|12 or less breaths/min||> 40 s||Virtually impossible|
* You cannot measure your respiratory frequency just by counting it (more info: Breathing rates)
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.
Or go back to Hyperventilation symptoms
Your social engagement and comments are appreciated. Thanks.
|Disclaimer||Copyright 2013 Artour Rakhimov||Contact details||About Artour Rakhimov (Google profile)|