Breathing is our life-line – if we don’t breathe, we die. (Rather obvious, isn’t it?) However, we inhale/exhale without thinking, as the act is as natural as thinking. (This is why many forms of meditation involve focusing on your breath and realizing how vital a part of us it is.)
Aside from keeping us alive, breathing keeps oxygen circulating throughout our blood; all the way to our vital organs, cells and tissues that we need to stay healthy. Sadly, it’s hard to discern the difference between low oxygen levels and other health problems. However, here are fivemajor signs you should watch out for to get an idea of whether you have low oxygen levels or not.
Do You Feel Weak?
If you get dizzy or feel weaker easier than you usually do, it could be a sign of low oxygen levels. Especially if you feel this way on a day-to-day basis. (Whether you’re lightly walking, jogging or running.) The reason you feel weak and dizzy is because extremely low oxygen levels weaken muscles, as well as a shortness of breath. When this happens, it means your blood isn’t transporting oxygen throughout your system.
Are You Constantly Fatigued?
“Feeling tired” and fatigue are two completely different things. Feeling tired can mean feeling weary, and fatigue can mean complete exhaustion. Chronic fatigue is a sign of hypoxemia – which never ends and is a super-alarmingly low level of oxygen. When our bodies don’t get the oxygen, it requires, and our lungs don’t properly work the way they’re supposed to. If you are completely exhausted midday, or feel tired after a full night’s of sleep, or seem to get tired rather quickly…this could be a sign that your blood’s oxygen levels are low.
Is Your Heart Racing?
When your heart beats fast,and you’re swimming in anxiety, your heart works overtime to distribute oxygen – because there isn’t enough. Because your heart is “sweating” to deliver oxygen that isn’t there, it starts to go into “panic mode” and shut down. This could potentially lead to heart failure if left untreated. Causes for a racing heart include (but are not limited to): ventricular tachycardia, arteries narrowing, extremely-low blood pressure, and/or blood clots.
Is It Hard To Breathe?
Apparently, low oxygen levels mean you have breathing problems. When you have trouble breathing, your lungs and body aren’t getting sufficient air. That’s why portable oxygen devices are true life-savers: they provide you with the oxygen you need that your body can’t distribute by itself. Along with all the other signs, this one is by far one of the most important signs to look out for: if you have a hard time breathing, whether or not you’re performing a strained activity (like lifting a heavy object or going for a run), this is a major sign of low oxygen.
Are You Easily Confused?
Headaches are a part of life – and, on their own, aren’t a sign that you’re lacking oxygen. If, however, you experience constant, unrelenting headaches on top of serious confusion (along with any other symptoms we’ve talked about so far)… these signs add up. Your oxygen levels are low. This is because our brains need a certain amount of blood in order to work properly. Without that blood, our blood vessels widen – which invites migraines.
If you experience any or all of these symptoms, at any point in time, please go to your family doctor or local emergency room immediately. Low oxygen level is often a symptom itself: that you may be infected with a disease or other illness. A trip to the doctor will not only get your oxygen levels back to normal, so you can feel healthy and “right” again, but also diagnose whether or not you need further medical attention.