- Updated on December 9, 2021
By Dr. Artour Rakhimov, Alternative Health Educator and Author
The previous section demonstrated that many sick people chronically over-breathe. It is possible to assume that, maybe these people got sick in the first place, and then started to breathe heavier. Alternatively, it is also possible that they got sick because of over-breathing. To find out what causes what let us look at the main physiological effects of such over-breathing for healthy people. What would happen with a healthy person, who starts to breathe too much?
Respiration is the process of regulated exchange of two gases, CO2 (carbon dioxide) and O2 (oxygen). The human body, as a form of life, produces energy by oxidizing different substances, mainly fats, and carbohydrates. Both these substances are mainly composed of carbon with some hydrogen and oxygen. Hence, the main end products of this energy production are CO2 and water. Normally, one of the functions of breathing, apart from bringing new O2 for cells to use, is to remove excessive (but not all) CO2.
When healthy people breathe near the norm, their CO2 level in the organism is also near the physiological norm. However, breathing too much delivers more O2 to the lungs and removes more CO2 from the body. Let us look at the basic course of events in a case of acute over-breathing. When the person starts to breathe deeply and frequently, the total concentration of CO2 in the lungs gets smaller since the person intensively blows off carbon dioxide from the lungs. It takes about one to two minutes to reduce the concentration of CO2 in blood. About 1- 10 minutes later, CO2 concentrations in the nervous tissues, muscles, and most other organs and cells are also reduced due to CO2 diffusion from these parts to the blood.
Thus, the first effect of hyperventilation is lowered CO2 concentrations in all body cells. If hyperventilation is chronic, CO2 deficiency is also chronic.