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General Discussion on any topic relating to CPAP and/or Sleep Apnea.
TiredMommy
 
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Build up of CO2--what does that mean?

Postby TiredMommy on Thu Apr 12, 2007 1:31 pm

I was wondering what a build up of CO2 means. The DME therapist told me that people with OSA can get a build up of CO2 and it takes a while to get rid of it once you are on treatment.

Has anyone else heard of this? If so, I would like to know your experience.

Thanks


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Nitro Dan
 
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Postby Nitro Dan on Thu Apr 12, 2007 2:01 pm

I have heard of this. I was told you can get a build up because you are not exhaling properly and also from short breaths due to OSA. Once under treatment, I don't think it's an issue, at least it's never been one with me.
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DreamStalker
 
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Postby DreamStalker on Thu Apr 12, 2007 2:03 pm

Means your gonna explode like a hot beer in the middle of summer :D

Actually, I think your DME is talking nonsense ... but what do I know? ... I don't sell that kind of equipment. Your DME probably meant to say that you had oxygen desaturations. Getting the correct amount of O2 should however be almost immediate after starting your PAP treatment ... that is if they titrated you correctly and provided your with a good machine and fitted you with a good mask interface.

Come on back and give us a holler ... lots of great, friendly, helpful, supportive, smart, experienced, funny, old, young, fat, thin, apnea patients around here ... :shock:

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Postby Snoredog on Thu Apr 12, 2007 2:34 pm

The condition is called Hypercapnia:
it is a condition where there is too much carbon dioxide (CO2) in the blood. Carbon dioxide is a gaseous product of the body's metabolism and is normally expelled through the lungs.

Sometimes when you have untreated OSA it can be compared to holding your breath under water in a swimming pool. Since you are not breathing normally, you can build up too much CO2, same can happen during sleep during apnea events.

Symptoms of early hypercapnia, where arterial carbon dioxide pressure, PaCO2, is elevated but not extremely so, include flushed skin, full pulse, extra-systoles, muscle twitches, hand flaps, and possibly a raised blood pressure. In severe hypercapnia (generally PaCO2 greater than 10kPa or 75mmHg), symptomatology progresses to disorientation, panic, hyperventilation, convulsions, unconsciousness, and eventually death.

The opposite condition is called hypocapnia.
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Postby sleepyjane on Thu Apr 12, 2007 3:21 pm

I was told by my doctor that I was retaining carbon dioxide in my lungs while on treatment because I was on a cpap machine (that he put me on)..noone mentioned this for 15 years of treatment.

He switched me to a bipap saying that when one is at high pressures, they are often unable to get a complete exhale and thus retain the CO2. Apparently, studies confirm this.

When I asked what this does to you, the only answer I got was it can cause lung problems like asthma and shortness of breathe.

I do have lung problems (wheezing/coughing/shortness of breath/ etc) but thought I had chronic bronchitis for many years and then felt it was due tto an allergy to mold I discovered I had..now I wonder if it wasn't cause of this CO2.

Although I do not know about a buildup prior to getting treatment, it seems[possible that if one is having severe apneas (like my son at 80 per hour), they would constantly be trying to breathe in when airway gets blocked and may not fully exhale due to this..leading to retained CO2

I do recommend if your pressure is higher than 14 or 15 or so, insisting on a bipap so you can avoid having 15 years with too much CO2 like me.

Good question.

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Last edited by sleepyjane on Fri Apr 13, 2007 4:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Nitro Dan
 
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Postby Nitro Dan on Thu Apr 12, 2007 4:06 pm

I've been on CPAP at 18 to 20 for over 20 years and have not noticed any side effects from CO2. I was born with asthma, and it actually improved after CPAP to the point where I no longer needed any meds to control it. If I were to use a machine that lowers pressure on the exhale, I would have problems as I need the back pressure to be able to exhale, as well as inhale. Just goes to show you how different we all are. :shock:

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Postby sleepyjane on Fri Apr 13, 2007 4:53 pm

[quote="Nitro Dan"]I've been on CPAP at 18 to 20 for over 20 years and have not noticed any side effects from CO2. I was born with asthma, and it actually improved after CPAP to the point where I no longer needed any meds to control it. If I were to use a machine that lowers pressure on the exhale, I would have problems as I need the back pressure to be able to exhale, as well as inhale. Just goes to show you how different we all are. :shock:


hmm..that's interesting..the whole sleep disorder thing is so complex...all the exceptions, new things learned and so forth. Well, I am not sure if my luing problems are due to allergies...for many years, I assumed I had chronic broncitis due to these symptoms till a doctor finally figured out I had allergies and when moved out of home, I discovered mold under carpet and in new apartment all symptoms left but then started returning more after recent remodeling when they ripped out all sinks and tub and maybe stirred up mold under them or something. So it may be from that..not sure.

I do sometimes wonder if breathing highly pressurized air ever leads to consequences not realized yet or if body just accepts with no problem.

I would be interested in knowing all the things that might result if one is retaining too much carbon dioxide..does it stay in the lungs or move to the bloodstream? Does anyone know effects and if it moves throughout body or stays localized?
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Postby Guest on Fri Apr 13, 2007 7:10 pm

Well I'm only a truck driver so not quite as qualified as a doctor :lol: but I have heard of truckers being affected by a build up of CO2 in the bloodstream due to sleeping in trucks with engines running and an exhaust leak present. I don't know if it's true or not but I have refused to drive trucks with exhaust leaks.

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Postby lvwildcat on Fri Apr 13, 2007 7:23 pm

Thats how my sleep apnea was diagnosed. Hubby woke me up one day to ask what time my MD appointment was and I blew him off by saying"later". Actually had no idea what he was talking about. Grabbed my PDA;stared at it and couldn't figure out how to turn it on. I FREAKED!!Went to ER-MD who knows me(I'm an ICU RN) said when hubby woke me up;I'd been having apnea and when he woke me up my CO2 was so high and caused my confusion. Made sense once I was able to think rationally. Thank God since CPAP the brain fog has disappeared. No more periods of lapses.


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Postby BrianRT on Fri Apr 13, 2007 9:19 pm

Technically, car exhaust is Carbon Monoxide (CO), but just as bad. A few years ago in my area, two teens were parked in a running car talking for a long time (love problems?) They evenyually fell asleep. The girl eventually came to but the boy was dead. All from an exhaust leak.

CO2 goes through the body in the blood via hemoglobin. CO2 is 200 times more binding to hemoglobin than O2. So if there was a choice, so to speak, the hemoglobin binds to the CO2 first. This is why people with COPD have chronically low O2 levels and high CO2 levels. Of course there's more CO2 because of the nature of the disease. The O stands for obstructive, which means you have a hard time getting air out (vs. restricitve disease---can't get air in) Since you don't blow out all of the CO2 your supposed to, it builds up over time.
To know even one life has breathed easier because you lived. This is to have succeeded. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson


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