Chapter 3: Biochemical Aspects of Breathing

This is a chapter 3 summary of “Multidisciplinary Approaches to Breathing Pattern Disorders” by Leon Chaitow. The second edition will be coming out this December, and you can preorder it by clicking on the link or the photo below. The Focus When talking about breathing biochemically, the focus will be shifted toward oxygen delivery to the tissues and carbon dioxide removal. Maintaining these gases is a complex body task due to their constant fluctuations. Looking at pH is a great way to get a glimpse of the the entire body.  We know the pH scale runs from 1 to 14, with the physiological normal being between 7.35 and 7.45. If we have a value at 7.5 or above, our body goes into alkalosis. An example of this would be in the case of hyperventilation. If our pH drops to 7.3, we go into acidosis. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) CO2 determines blood acidity, and comes primarily from the mitochondria. It is the biological equivalent of smoke and ash. CO2 levels can vary with exercise, as more is produced when we are training. However, pH stays balanced because oxygen demand increases.  The opposite occurs when we are not exerting ourselves because CO2 is not produced as much. Another example of changing CO2 levels is during breath holding. More is not necessarily produced, but CO2 levels rise because we are not exhaling it away. This rise is what we feel when we hold our breath. Metabolic Alkalosis and Acidosis Aberrant breathing can cause respiratory

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