Normal Carbon Dioxide Levels in the Blood

Normal Carbon Dioxide Levels in the Blood

The normal CO2 level in blood is in the range of 30 - 40mm of Hg. High or low levels of carbon dioxide leads to hypercapnia or hypocapnia respectively. This article provides you with detailed information on this subject.
CO2 is the chemical formula of carbon dioxide, one of the gaseous variants of the element 'carbon', which is an essential constituent of our body. It is more synonymous with the harmful greenhouse gases, which are responsible for ozone depletion. If the normal levels of this gas in blood drops, we may suffer from cerebral vasoconstriction, along with many other issues.

The permissible levels of CO2 in blood is only 5% in case of drugs. The basic reason behind raising the body levels is because of the functions of carbon dioxide. It helps to balance the oxygen levels in certain medical conditions like apnea (decrease in the oxygen levels in the body). It also acts as a stimulant for more O2 intake.

High carbon dioxide levels are usually noticed in smokers, as they inhale harmful carbon monoxide. Readings of increased percentage of CO2 in blood is above 45 mm of Hg, and this condition is called hypercapnia. It is caused by various reasons, the main one being hypoventilation. As the name suggests, it is related to the exchange of gases in our body with the atmosphere.

An interesting fact is that the percentage of carbon dioxide allowed in the administration of drugs for humans is 5%, as mentioned earlier, but if compared with the normal atmospheric content of this gas, it is 130 times higher.

Symptoms of Hypercapnia
  • Headache
  • High blood pressure
  • Flushed skin
  • Lethargy
  • Slack neural activity
  • Muscle twitching
  • Extra systoles
Low carbon dioxide percentage in blood can cause symptoms that might go unnoticed, as they are similar to those when one is fatigued or sleep deprived. The following list provides you with the symptoms. These are also signs of carbon dioxide poisoning.

Symptoms of Hypocapnia
  • Optical malfunction
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle cramps
  • Visual blackouts
  • Panic attacks
  • Dizziness
Hypocapnia is observed in cases of hyperventilation. This term is the opposite of hypoventillation, as explained above. This condition triggers a gain in the alkaline levels of the body. This occurs as the pH levels increase, because CO2 balances the acid levels in the body.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.