You may or may not have heard about metabolic testing. It’s a scientifically-backed solution for weight loss and achieving fitness goals. Metabolic testing measures the number of calories your body burns. But, contrary to popular belief, its uses do not begin and end with weight loss. Metabolic testing can also be used to predict myoskeletal problems. It can even help evaluate your risk of developing certain health conditions, such as cardiovascular and metabolic disease.
While metabolic testing can help improve fitness levels and screen for health conditions, one of the most practical applications is for detecting hyperventilation.
Science has proven that experiencing high levels of stress can impact our decision-making abilities. This is particularly common in situations where the choice is important or the stakes are high. Hyperventilation often goes hand in hand with stress, and it can make an anxious episode a lot worse. A characteristic of hyperventilation is breathing out at a faster rate than you breathe in at. This can be extremely scary and alter the way that you think, feel, and experience a situation.
As mentioned, hyperventilation often occurs due to high levels of stress, anxiety, and nervousness. In some cases, it can even manifest itself in the form of a panic attack. Hyperventilation usually occurs during stressful situations, such as during a presentation or while skydiving. However, for some people, it doesn’t always go away after the situation. This type of hyperventilation is more common than you might think, and affects up to 10-12% of the population.
What Metabolic Testing Can Tell Us About Hyperventilation
During an episode of hyperventilation, high levels of carbon dioxide are extracted from the blood. Your small blood vessels start to contract, which are responsible for providing the brain with oxygen. So when there isn’t enough oxygen flowing into your body, it can impact your ability to think and make decisions. You might even experience slower reaction times and a lack of coordination.
With cardio-metabolic testing, it’s possible to analyze and examine an individual’s breathing patterns. In doing so, you can monitor a change in their physiology and detect episodes of hyperventilation. The device tracks fluctuations in an individual’s state over time, monitoring how their symptoms worsen or improve.
And for the 10-12% of individuals who experience hyperventilation, they may have forgotten how regular breathing feels like. They need to rebuild the mental connection off how normal breathing feels like, and really familiarize themselves with it.
To do this, you would need to look at specific measures that signal irregular breathing patterns. These include tracking the number of breaths taken per minute (breathing rate), measuring the amount of air that’s exhaled between the environment and the lungs (tidal volume), and examining the highest concentration of carbon dioxide during exhaustion (end-tidal CO2).
But how can you tell if an individual is experiencing improvements? Signs would include higher CO2 levels, lower breathing rates, and smaller tidal volumes.
When to Apply Metabolic Testing to Detect Hyperventilation
Now that you know a little bit about metabolic testing and how it works, you’re probably wondering when you might actually apply metabolic testing to detect hyperventilation. One of the best times would be during meditation or throughout a guided breathing exercise.
After practicing breathing control for a few minutes, you’re going to feel more calm and relaxed. This means that your resting heart rate will be at its regular pace. Practicing meditation or controlled breathing will lower your stress levels, improve relaxation, and help reduce symptoms during an episode of hyperventilation.
How Metabolic Testing Can Help Us Breathe a Little Easier
It’s been found that combining metabolic testing technology with controlled breathing serves as the perfect combination. Together, the two can lower stress levels and reduce symptoms of panic during an episode of hyperventilation. You can experiment with different breathing patterns while monitoring your carbon dioxide levels. Doing so, you’ll figure out what works best for your mind and body.
As a result, you’ll feel more relaxed and in control of your emotions. You’ll also benefit from better critical-thinking and decision-making skills in important situations.
Looking For Metabolic Testing?
At PNOĒ we understand the importance of effective breathing. We take any problems or concerns our customers experience seriously. If you experience difficulty breathing, you don’t have to continue putting up with it. You can take action and change your situation. If you’d like to improve hyperventilation symptoms, contact us directly to learn more about how metabolic testing can help you.