Important Nutrients Help Reverse Mysterious (And Common) Health Problem
Today I want to tell you about a common health problem that most people don’t even know about. It is highly undiagnosed. Yet it can have serious, negative consequences.
The problem is known by the medical term, hypocapnia. It means that the amount of carbon dioxide in the blood is abnormally low. And when that happens, a wide range of mysterious symptoms can occur.
Unfortunately, many men suffer from this condition and don’t even know it. Most doctors don’t test for it.
In this article I share with you what you need to know about the causes of this condition. I’ll also share with you some simple nutritional things you can do to prevent or reverse it.
The Symptoms Of Hypocapnia
Hypocapnia can mimic many other conditions. It can also produce mysterious symptoms. That’s because carbon dioxide is extremely important for oxygen utilization. Cells cannot use oxygen unless there is enough carbon dioxide in the blood. So even if you were breathing pure oxygen, you could suffer the effects of too little oxygen if you don’t have enough carbon dioxide in your blood.
As you probably know, all of your cells need oxygen all the time. So a shortage of oxygen spells trouble for your health. And that’s why hypocapnia can have such wide-ranging effects.
Some of the most common symptoms include:
- muscle cramps
- “pins and needles”
- visual disturbances
- chest pain
- cold hands and feet
According to conservative estimates 25 percent of all reports of dizziness are caused by hypocapnia. However, because so few doctors test for hypocapnia, it is likely that the numbers are even higher.
It’s also important to understand that carbon dioxide is an important vasodilator. That means that it relaxes the blood vessels. So when carbon dioxide levels are low, hypertension is likely. If carbon dioxide levels are chronically low, that can even lead to more severe forms of cardiovascular disease.
Causes of Hypocapnia
By far, the most common cause of hypocapnia is hyperventilation. I have written about this subject in a previous newsletter. Few people who hyperventilate habitually know that they are doing it. Hyperventilation can be caused by breathing that is either too fast or too deep.
When dizziness is found to be caused by hypocapnia, it is almost always found to be produced by hyperventilation.
So, as I have written previously, the best way to reverse hypocapnia is to stop the habit of hyperventilating. The standard treatment is to watch a clock with a second hand while breathing. Breathe in for 7 seconds and breathe out for 11 seconds. However, when you do that, be sure not to hyperinflate the lungs. And be sure not to force all the air out either. Each breath should involve minimal movement.
However, there are other causes of hypocapnia, and they often go together with hyperventilation. Today we’re going to look at nutritional causes.
In particular, there are two nutrient deficiencies that can produce hypocapnia. They are thiamine and biotin.
Thiamine is one of the B vitamins. It plays important roles in energy production. It is so important that despite the fact that it is a nutrient and not a drug, it is one of the World Health Organization’s Essential Medicines.
Severe deficiencies in thiamine are rare. However, minor deficiencies often go undetected.
In order to obtain enough thiamine, it is important to eat foods rich in thiamine daily. The richest natural sources of thiamine are nutritional yeast and pork. However, there are many other good sources, including oats, beans, asparagus, broccoli (and all brassicas), potatoes, oranges, eggs, and liver.
Thiamine is also required in order to digest carbohydrates. In fact, that is one of the ways in which it improves carbon dioxide levels. But refined carbohydrates have had thiamine removed. That means that they require more thiamine than they provide. So over time, eating a diet heavy in refined carbohydrates can deplete thiamine levels. In fact, thiamine was discovered because it was the antidote to the disease beriberi, which happens most frequently among those who eat diets mostly of white rice.
Some refined carbohydrates are fine. However, if you eat a lot of refined carbohydrates (white bread, white rice, white pasta, etc.), you should ensure that they are enriched with vitamins, including thiamine. Otherwise, you should consider taking a thiamine supplement.
Biotin is the other nutrient that can influence carbon dioxide levels. Biotin isn’t found in many foods, so it’s important to eat some of the foods in which it is found on a daily basis.
One of the very best sources of biotin is the egg yolk. However, be aware that if you decide to follow the advice of bodybuilders of old and eat whole, raw eggs, you won’t be able to absorb the biotin. That’s because the raw egg whites contain a substance that interferes with biotin absorption. Cooking solves the problem.
Other decent sources of biotin include leafy green vegetables and liver. And to a lesser extent, milk also contains some biotin.
Hypocapnia is a common condition that usually goes undiagnosed. It often leads to mysterious symptoms. And it can produce serious harm, including cardiovascular disease.
In addition to avoiding hyperventilation, paying attention to nutrition can help to reverse the condition. Thiamine and biotin are two of the important nutrients to make sure you are eating enough of. Follow the guidelines in this article, and you’ll be in good shape.