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Breathing exercising

Will the carbon dioxide decrease if I am doing breathing exercising?
When my O2 levels start to decrease I sit down and start several breathing techniques and my level goes back up.

  1. Hi @roscoe, and thanks for posting your concern here. Although everyone is affected differently by COPD, you have asked an excellent question. This is important to bear in mind because different patients (with COPD), can exhibit different levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) which may be considered normal for their particular level of disease.
    In the most general of terms, CO2 levels typically do come down somewhat during (breathing) exercise. This is because during (breathing) exercise, one usually increases both the depth and rate of breathing. This increases one's alveolar ventilation which causes CO2 to drop somewhat, and the oxygen level to be restored. As said, this really can vary (rather widely), from patient-to-patient for those with COPD.
    In your case - you've mentioned your oxygen level decreases during the exercises. Since that is the case for you, you are wise to take a break, perform the breathing techniques, and wait for your oxygen levels to be restored to what is acceptable for your condition - especially, if you are then more comfortable.
    You may also want to discuss this with your personal physician, to make certain the doctor agrees with your breathing exercises.

    Wishing you well,
    Leon (site moderator COPD.net)

    1. I recently purchased an oximeter and have used it occasionally noting that when I begin the deep breathing technique (sitting quietly) my 02 does increase. When I asked my pulmonologist about oxygen therapy he barked, "There's no such thing as oxygen therapy--there's oxygen and there's therapy!". Needless to say I've requested another doctor within this group. I also use the nebulizer which is helpful following the breathing. The information from kerrywest was extremely insightful, as well.

      1. Hi again, @bethb, and thanks for joining in the conversation here. A pulse oximeter, for the home, can be an extremely practical and useful device to have for monitoring one's oxygen saturation level.

        The deep breathing technique you mentioned 'should' increase one's oxygen (saturation) level since deeper breathing, even at the same rate of breathing, increases one's alveolar ventilation, which in turn, improves the saturation.

        I am sorry to hear the physician's comment to you about supplemental oxygen therapy - he was clearly misinformed. I thought you might appreciate this little informational text from the National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/oxygen-therapy. You absolutely took the right step by self advocating and requesting another physician from the practice group of doctors.

        We appreciate you chiming in here with your own personal experience. We're glad to have you as a member of our online community.

        Warm regards,
        Leon (site moderator COPD.net)

    2. I like the explanation here:
      The body’s blood supply is a bit like a freight train: as blood moves through the vascular system, it delivers oxygen molecules to cells and picks up the carbon dioxide waste. When the blood returns to the heart, it’s filled with carbon dioxide and low in oxygen. So the heart pumps the blood into the lungs for reoxygenation. When the blood arrives in the lungs, it pushes carbon dioxide molecules into the airway and absorbs oxygen molecules from the airway. As you exhale, you expel the carbon dioxide from the airway. The oxygen-rich blood flows back into the heart, where it’s then pumped back into the rest of the body.
      -------- why pulmonary rehabilitation is good at any stage--------
      https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/mean-lungs-cant-rid-enough-carbon-dioxide-8879.html

      1. Hi @roscoe, and thanks for your post and your question - it's a good one. Speaking in the most general of terms - for many people who are exercising or doing breathing exercises (as you mentioned), the breathing rate and depth of breathing increases. This may cause one's carbon dioxide level to decrease.
        Please remember, this can vary from person to person. The carbon dioxide levels can then still fluctuate. This can be based on one's health condition, age, level of exercise, etc. I
        It's always a good idea to discuss your concerns about both oxygen and carbon dioxide levels with one's physician.
        What do you think?
        Wishing you well,
        Leon (site moderator COPD.net)

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