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Regulation of Breathing

Regulation of Breathing  By Col Wajid Hussain

By Col Wajid Hussain

A healthy person normally takes 10-12 breaths per mins drawing in a volume of 500 millilitres of air per breath, for a total volume of 5 to 6 liters. 

The rate and volume of breathing is determined by receptors in the brain that function like a thermostat.

These receptors monitor the concentration of carbon dioxide, oxygen and in pH level in theblood.

When levels of carbon dioxide increase above a certain amount, these sensitive receptors stimulate breathing in order to get rid of the excess CO2 gas. So, the primary stimulus to breathe is to eliminate excess carbon dioxide from the body.

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Carbon dioxide in the body is released during the process of breaking down the fats and carbohydrates we eat. CO2 is returned from the tissues and cells to the lungs via blood vessels, and any excess is exhaled.

Chronic hyperventilation or overbreathing simply means the habit of breathing a volume of air greater than that which the body requires.

When hyperventilation is too much carbon dioxide is exhaled from the lungs and, hence, is removed from the blood. Breathing too much for short periods of time is not a significant problem, however, when we breathe too much over an extended period of days to weeks, breathing receptors in the brain develop a lower tolerance to carbon dioxide.

With this lower set point, breathing volume remains above normal as the receptors in the brain continuously stimulate breathing in order to get rid of carbon dioxide that is in excess of the receptor’s programmed limits, which is harmful to us. To counteract these bad habits, you must retrain yourself to breathe better. PAK DESTINY

col wajid hussain

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