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Why is my carbon dioxide elevated in my blood?

By Anonymous April 13, 2017 - 1:38am
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In the last month I've experienced odd chest pains accompanied by panic attacks, rapid heartbeat, right arm numbness, stiff neck, nausea and extreme fatigue. The symptoms feel as if I'm having a heart attack and lasts. The emergency room doctor and my doctor have ran blood test, done an ekg ect. They prescribed me antacids that make it worse. The blood test came back absolutely normal accept elevated carbon dioxide in my blood and my ekg was also normal. I don't drink or do drugs but I do smoke about 7 cigarettes a day. I eat rather healthy no carbonated sodas, no caffeine, no fast food. What could be causing the elevations? And should I be concerned?

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Hello Anonymous,

Welcome to EmpowHER. Thank you for reaching out to our community with your question.

I will gladly provide you with general information, but urge you to speak with your primary care physician. Your doctor can explain how the lab results reflect your health.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a gaseous waste product from metabolism. The blood carries carbon dioxide to your lungs, where it is exhaled. More than 90% of it in your blood exists in the form of bicarbonate (HCO3). The rest of it is either dissolved carbon dioxide gas (CO2) or carbonic acid (H2CO3). Your kidneys and lungs balance the levels of carbon dioxide, bicarbonate, and carbonic acid in the blood.

Bicarbonate is a chemical that acts as a buffer. It keeps the pH of blood from becoming too acidic or too basic.

High carbon dioxide (bicarbonate) levels may be caused by:

Vomiting, dehydration, blood transfusions, or overuse of medicines that contain bicarbonate, especially antacids.

Conditions such as anorexia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema), heart disease, Cushing's disease, or Conn's syndrome.


April 13, 2017 - 8:18am
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