Loss of CO2 Sensitivity and Dysregulated Breathing
Learning the Buteyko method by modules
Module 8-A. Restrictions, side effects, limits, and temporary
contraindications for breathing exercises
Some breathing students can experience very high or increased heart rate (pulse) and feeling worse after breathing sessions, including the Buteyko reduced breathing exercise. These students may also notice that they feel worse and their breathing becomes more irregular (dysregulated breathing). Note that we are not talking here about irregular breathing patterns that can be caused by sleep apnea when people have apneic episodes (breath holds) during sleep. We discuss here the effect of breathing dysregulation that can be caused by breathing exercises.
Generally, correctly done reduced breathing sessions should not lead to increased heart rate. In fact, the final pulse (after the session) should be lower than the initial pulse for Buteyko exercises unless this student drank coffee or ate foods with caffeine within hours before the session. What are the causes of higher pulse and dysregulated breathing?
Dysregulation of respiration due to a loss of CO2 sensitivity is
a specific topic that can be very important for some students and is surely important for practitioners or teachers of the method.
Among all available DVD breathing courses, this topic is discussed in
detail only in the Advanced Buteyko Breathing Exercises book.
What is the cause? Breathing becomes dysregulated when the capnostat (the breathing center that is controlled by changes in CO2) has a too large alveolar CO2 increase. The effect takes
place only in small number of people who are genetically predisposed to
heart disease, suffer from allergies, inflammation, low body weight,
overheating, a lack of Ca and arginine in diet, and/or a lack of deep
stages of sleep or sleep deprivation. It is a combination of factors
that leads to dysregulation of respiration. problems with normal control of breathing, and a loss of
Loss of CO2 sensitivity and dysregulation of respiration cause vasoconstriction and reduced blood
flow to vital organs. This effect can cause headaches and drastically
reduce well-being of a person.
Loss of CO2 sensitivity is practically manifested
in dysregulation of breathing
and sudden increase in resting pulse, generally up to 90 beats per
minute or more, after a single breath hold (it can be a CP or a longer
pause) or after 1-3 minutes of reduced breathing. The effect can last
for hours, weeks, or months depending on personal lifestyle
and techniques used to treat this condition.
Treatment of dysregulation of breathing and lost CO2 sensitivity
Among crucial factors for recovery from lost CO2 sensitivity
and restoration of regular respiration are: no
air hunger, no breath holds (no CP tests as well),
arginine in diet (to increase nitric oxide
production), no overheating or overcooling, humming (after meals and/or
nearly all the time), correct posture, avoidance of low and high blood
glucose levels, and some other factors.
There is one central idea that is very useful in order to monitor which activities and breathing exercises are beneficial in order to treat and cure dysregulated breath. You can find out this idea below here as your bonus content.
But you can find many more details and tips about how to
treat lost CO sensitivity and dysregulated breathing
in the book:
Advanced Buteyko Breathing Exercises" (Kindle and paperback) on Amazon.com or
Breathing Exercises" (in PDF format) on this site.
- This page in Spanish: La pérdida de la sensibilidad de CO2 y ejercicios de respiración.
Breathing exercises for dysfunctional breathing/hyperventilation syndrome (From Cochrane.org)
Dysfunctional breathing: a review of the literature and proposal for classification (From ERSJournals.com)
Breathing Dysregulation (From SeattleChildrens.org)
New breathing students with terminal conditions (end-stage disease) are accepted on CureEndStageDisease.com with Dr. Artour's Triple Guarantee.
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