Chronic Hyperventilation Syndrome
Hyperventilation syndrome (chronic hyperventilation) is a physiological state characterized by chronic overbreathing or breathing more air than the medical-norm amount.
Normal minute ventilation at rest is about 6-7 L/min for a 70-kg man, as it was found in numerous studies done on healthy subjects (see the links and Table below).
Hyperventilation syndrome leads to reduced CO2 content in the alveoli of the lungs or alveolar hypocapnia. For most people, it also causes arterial hypocapnia (or CO2 deficiency in the arterial blood).
Minute ventilation rates (chronic diseases)
| All references or
click below for abstracts
|Normal breathing||6 L/min||-||Medical textbooks|
|Healthy Subjects||6-7 L/min||>400||Results of 14 studies|
|Heart disease||15 (±4) L/min||22||Dimopoulou et al, 2001|
|Heart disease||16 (±2) L/min||11||Johnson et al, 2000|
|Heart disease||12 (±3) L/min||132||Fanfulla et al, 1998|
|Heart disease||15 (±4) L/min||55||Clark et al, 1997|
|Heart disease||13 (±4) L/min||15||Banning et al, 1995|
|Heart disease||15 (±4) L/min||88||Clark et al, 1995|
|Heart disease||14 (±2) L/min||30||Buller et al, 1990|
|Heart disease||16 (±6) L/min||20||Elborn et al, 1990|
|Pulm hypertension||12 (±2) L/min||11||D'Alonzo et al, 1987|
|Cancer||12 (±2) L/min||40||Travers et al, 2008|
|Diabetes||12-17 L/min||26||Bottini et al, 2003|
|Diabetes||15 (±2) L/min||45||Tantucci et al, 2001|
|Diabetes||12 (±2) L/min||8||Mancini et al, 1999|
|Diabetes||10-20 L/min||28||Tantucci et al, 1997|
|Diabetes||13 (±2) L/min||20||Tantucci et al, 1996|
|Asthma||13 (±2) L/min||16||Chalupa et al, 2004|
|Asthma||15 L/min||8||Johnson et al, 1995|
|Asthma||14 (±6) L/min||39||Bowler et al, 1998|
|Asthma||13 (±4) L/min||17||Kassabian et al, 1982|
|Asthma||12 L/min||101||McFadden, Lyons, 1968|
|COPD||14 (±2) L/min||12||Palange et al, 2001|
|COPD||12 (±2) L/min||10||Sinderby et al, 2001|
|COPD||14 L/min||3||Stulbarg et al, 2001|
|Sleep apnea||15 (±3) L/min||20||Radwan et al, 2001|
|Liver cirrhosis||11-18 L/min||24||Epstein et al, 1998|
|Hyperthyroidism||15 (±1) L/min||42||Kahaly, 1998|
|Cystic fibrosis||15 L/min||15||Fauroux et al, 2006|
|Cystic fibrosis||10 L/min||11||Browning et al, 1990|
|Cystic fibrosis*||10 L/min||10||Ward et al, 1999|
|CF and diabetes*||10 L/min||7||Ward et al, 1999|
|Cystic fibrosis||16 L/min||7||Dodd et al, 2006|
|Cystic fibrosis||18 L/min||9||McKone et al, 2005|
|Cystic fibrosis*||13 (±2) L/min||10||Bell et al, 1996|
|Cystic fibrosis||11-14 L/min||6||Tepper et al, 1983|
|Epilepsy||13 L/min||12||Esquivel et al, 1991|
|CHV||13 (±2) L/min||134||Han et al, 1997|
|Panic disorder||12 (±5) L/min||12||Pain et al, 1991|
|Bipolar disorder||11 (±2) L/min||16||MacKinnon et al, 2007|
|Dystrophia myotonica||16 (±4) L/min||12||Clague et al, 1994|
Note that advanced stages of asthma can lead to lung destruction, ventilation-perfusion mismatch,
and arterial hypercapnia causing further reduction in body oxygen levels.
Presence of hyperventilation syndrome in the sick is a common clinical finding owing to the fact that development of many chronic diseases is based on cell hypoxia. Many chronic diseases (including heart disease, diabetes, asthma, COPD, cancer, sleep apnea, obesity hyperventilation syndrome, liver cirrhosis, hyperthyroidism, cystic fibrosis, epilepsy, panic disorder, bipolar disorder, dystrophia myotonica) are possible only in people with hyperventilation syndrome and hyperventilation of the lungs or alveolar hyperventilation, as this Table proves. This is regardless silly ideas about overbreathing present in popular medical sources, such as Wikipedia: click here.
Chronic hyperventilation syndrome prevalence
Chronic hyperventilation is also common in the general population these days. Normal minute ventilation values for modern "normal subjects" suggest that hyperventilation (20 medical studies) is present in over 90% of normal subjects (see links below). Their average minute ventilation is about 12 liters of air min at rest, while published studies devoted to normal minute ventilation in the healthy subjects found only 6-7 L/min.
Hyperventilation syndrome reduces blood supply and oxygen level for all vital organs of the human body. Hence, it is logical that sick people have poor results for their body-oxygen test (see results of studies below). There are many other negative effects related to symptoms of hyperventilation.
This YouTube video clip "Hyperventilation Syndrome" reviews main general ideas related to chronic overbreathing
Causes, symptoms and treatment of chronic hyperventilation syndrome
|Main causes of hyperventilation are lifestyle risk factors such sedentary lifestyle (lack of physical exercise), mouth breathing, chest breathing, poor posture, overeating, stress, ... Learn more:||Common symptoms of hyperventilation include: bronchospasm, constipation, coughing, muscle cramps, anxiety, nasal congestion, sighing, shortness of breath, angina pain, ... Read more:||Successful treatment of hyperventilation is based on those breathing exercises that reduce minute ventilation at rest and increase alveolar CO2 levels. Correction of lifestyle risk factors is necessary too. More info:|
Reference pages: Breathing norms and the DIY body oxygen test:
- Breathing norms: Parameters, graph, and description of the normal breathing pattern
- Body-oxygen test (CP test) : How to measure your own breathing and body oxygenation (two in one) using a simple DIY test
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 body tissues
- Nerve stabilization: Carbon dioxide has powerful calmative and sedative effects on brain neurons and nerve cells
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