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“Oxygen is one of the most abundant elements in the universe. It’s a bit ironic, then, that people with breathing problems can’t seem to get enough of it.” – Deborah Leader RN, BSN, PHN
Breathing is an involuntary action that our bodies do whether or not we’re conscious of doing it.
That means that we have to actively force ourselves not to breath, rather than the other way around.
Our bodies need oxygen to survive, not only to keep us breathing, but to circulate oxygen through our blood, which then circulates oxygen to all of our vital organs, our cells, and the tissue in our bodies.
When our blood doesn’t have enough oxygen, it’s called hypoxemia.
“Hypoxemia can be acute, occurring suddenly because of an emergency situation, or chronic, taking place over time because of a long-term health condition like COPD,” adds Deborah Leader RN, BSN, PHN.
Whether or not a low level of oxygen in the blood is causing extreme problems, there are still ways to tell when your blood isn’t getting the level of oxygen that it needs.
HERE ARE FIVE SIGNS YOUR BLOOD DOES NOT HAVE ENOUGH OXYGEN
1. WEAKNESS OR DIZZINESS
A common sign of having low oxygen levels in your blood is getting weak or dizzy more quickly than normal. Most people have experienced standing up too quickly and getting dizzy or their vision blacking for a short moment.
However, people who don’t have enough oxygen in their blood often find that this happens on a daily basis, during any level of light or strenuous activity.
Family physician Dr. D. Love states, “The muscle can burn fuel without oxygen for a limited period of time, but it cannot be maintained indefinitely. Therefore, chronically low oxygen levels will cause muscle weakness. It would be unusual that a low oxygen level will cause muscle weakness as a sole symptom; it would be expected that there would also be shortness of breath.”
Since your blood carries oxygen all throughout your body, getting weak or dizzy quickly is a sign that your blood isn’t carrying enough oxygen to all the places that it needs to go.
Chronic fatigue is a major sign that your body isn’t getting the oxygen that it needs in its blood.
There are different types of feeling tired, but fatigue that is associated with hypoxemia is chronic and never-ending.
According to an article on Healthline, medically reviewed by Dr. Graham Rogers, “Without the proper exchange of gases, your body can’t get the oxygen it needs. Over time, you will develop low blood oxygen levels, a condition called hypoxemia. When your body is low on oxygen, you feel tired. Fatigue comes more quickly when your lungs can’t properly inhale and exhale air.”
People often report feeling exhausted halfway through the day, and no amount of sleep seems to be helping. Getting tired more quickly than others, or more quickly than you used to, is also a sign that your blood isn’t getting enough oxygen.