British Lung Foundation
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Chronic Respiratory Acidosis – What Stage is too much?

Hello,

I was diagnosed yesterday with respiratory acidosis. I suspect I have had this for a very long time, having attempted repeatedly to find answers about why I was feeling unwell for the past year. For the past year, I've suffered numerous bouts of staring into space, freezing mentally with a burning sensation in the top of my head, heart palpitations, a sensation of a rush going through my body for hours at a time – among other things.

This were my blood test results from yesterday.

PCO2: 60.1

PO2: 24.9

HCO3 35.8

O2 Sat%: 53.2

Base Excess 9.0

TCO2 37.7

I'll be performing some pulmonary function tests next week. But considering how I've felt, I'm surprised I wasn't given anything to treat the acidosis. In other words, how much is too much?

Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks,

Elliot

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Hi Elliot, are you on oxygen? I have just had a recent spell in hospital because my carbon dioxide was too high and making me feel quite I'll, my oxygen levels were lowered and so my co2 came down, but they did say my blood wasn't acidy, i don't understsnd all the figures you've put on but hope you get sorted soon, Ronnie

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Hello Ronnie. To be honest, I'm not sure I understand all the figures either. 50% oxygen seems quite low to me, but I'm not on oxygen.

In what way did you feel ill?

That's why I'm a bit confused. I haven't been given anything to treat the symptoms, and considering I still often stare into space, I'm not sure why. I've got some lung functions tests tomorrow. But I still feel as though I should have been given something to treat the symptoms – like slow thinking, staring into space. But bizarrely I can still exercise and not feel out of breath or anything like that.

Thanks Ronnie,

Elliot

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Hi Elliot,,my symptoms were thumping headaches on waking, feeling very sluggish, I can honestly say I'm not sure what you're experiencing, but I hope you get some answers soon, best of luck, Ronnie

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Hi Ronnie,

So were you given anything to alleviate your symptoms at the time?

Cheers,

Elliot

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Hi Elliot, no I was on 2l of oxygen and they lowered it to 1l and took my blood gases at 5.30 am to see what my oxygen was against the carbon doixide levels after waking.,to make sure the 1l of oxygen was safe for me . The headaches did stop and my carbon dioxide level came down too, Ronnie

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Hi

May help you understand more.

healthline.com/health/respi...

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Hello Stone,

Thanks for the link. I've had a look at that one. The problem is that it doesn't say much about when those figures exceed normal findings, when they then become dangerous and intervention is needed.

I was diagnosed yesterday, but I wasn't given anything to relieve my symptoms like staring into space.

Thanks Stone,

Elliot

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Stone has provided a very useful link to the subject.

I suggest you also call the BLF helpline (03000 030 555). Their expert nurses will be able to explain those figures and answer your questions.

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Hello Annienell,

That's great. I'll try the helpline.

Thanks Annienell,

Elliot

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You're welcome. :-)

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My brother-in-law had those symptoms and it turned out to be caused by his depression medicine (abilify).

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So your brother-in-law was diagnosed with acidosis causes by his depression pills?

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No I'm just saying that he had same symptoms as you. He was told that his depression pill causes parkingson symptoms and had stopped once he stopped the abilify..

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