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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Why do deep breathing exercises make me feel dizzy?

Answered by
Dr. Ilir Sharka


Practicing since :2001

Answered : 6024 Questions

Posted on Thu, 19 Jul 2018 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Question: I get very lightheaded doing deep breathing during an exercise class. Why?
Answered by Dr. Ilir Sharka 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
A transient decrease in cerebral blood flow may be the cause.

Detailed Answer:

Welcome on HCM!

Regarding your concern, I would explain that deep breathing (triggered by muscle receptor during physical exercising) may lead to respiratory alkalosis, which is a condition where increased amount of carbon dioxide are expelled from the body.

Coming to this point, the subsequent PaCO2 (partial pressure of CO2 in the circulating blood) may lead to cerebral vasoconstriction, a reduced cerebral blood flow and neurologic symptoms like dizziness, confusion, lightheadedness, and sometimes even transient loss of conscience.

If such circumstances are frequent, then it is advisable to engage yourself in less strenuous exertion; health benefits are the same even when performing a simple aerobics, dancing, walking, etc.

From the other side, I would recommend checking your blood pressure values during exertion to clarify whether large fluctuations occur.

An exercise cardiopulmonary stress test would help to definitely respond the above alternatives before performing further strenuous exercise.

Hope to have been helpful to you!

In case of any further questions, feel free to ask me again.

Kind regards,

Dr. Iliri
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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