Cure To Hyperventilation

Written by James Lyons
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Hyperventilation is characterized by excessively rapid breathing caused by blood/gas imbalances. There are various underlying conditions that can trigger hyperventilation, including stress, panic, anxiety, severe distress and hysteria. Hyperventilation can also be a symptom of other disorders like acute panic disorder, mountain sickness, lactic acidosis, and postpartum depression.

If you see a person taking quick, deep, panic-like breaths from the top of his chest, they might be experiencing hyperventilation. Physiologically, these quick breaths decrease the level of carbon dioxide in the blood. Low levels of carbon dioxide in the blood prompt the arteries to constrict, diminishing the flow of blood throughout the affected person's body. The brain and the rest of the body then experience a shortage of oxygen.

Curing Hyperventilation

In most cases, hyperventilation is triggered by anxiety and/or panic. It is a psychosomatic reaction to some type of emotional or psychological distress. Panic and hyperventilation can create a frightening cycle--a feeling of panic can lead to rapid breathing and rapid breathing can create a feeling of panic. I have experienced two major panic attacks in my life and that's exactly what happened. The panic and hyperventilation fed upon one another.

If you start hyperventilating, your body is telling you that it needs more carbon dioxide in the blood. There are several things you can do to stop hyperventilation and prevent it. If you're hyperventilating, try breathing through pursed lips. You can also cover your mouth and one nostril and just breathe through one nostril. This will reduce the amount of oxygen and raise the amount of carbon dioxide in your blood. For long term preventative care, learn some breathing exercises that will help you relax and teach you to breathe from your diaphragm and abdomen instead of your chest.


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