How To Use A Paper Bag To Control Hyperventilation

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So have you ever wondered why there are some people you use brown paper bags whenever they hyperventilate? The answer is, because of the body’s pH balance. Note that there are two main mechanisms that control the pH balance of the human body. The first one has something to do with the kidneys while the second one is through breathing.

Remember, the body can take only as much oxygen as it needs so when it receives more oxygen than normal, there will be the so-called high pH or the respiratory alkalosis. Hyperventilating is one of the primary causes of this. When people breathe into paper bags, they somehow re-breathe the carbon dioxide that they had lost in order to bring the body back to its normal level of pH.

Now in the case that you experience hyperventilation, here is how you can use a brown paper bag to control it.

  • First you would need to take 6 to 12 easy, natural breaths while a small paper bag is pressed over your mouth and your nose. After that, you take the paper bag away and take another 6 to 12 breaths.
  • The next thing to do is to try belly breathing or what is also called as diaphragmatic breathing.
  • Repeat these steps over and over again until your hyperventilation stops.
  • However, if the hyperventilation does not stop after 30 minutes, it would be best if you call the doctor.
  • There are also instances when you cannot use a brown paper bag if you have any heart problems or lung problems. You shouldn’t also use paper bags to control hyperventilation if you have a history of deep vein thrombosis, stroke, or pulmonary embolism.
  • If hyperventilation occurs at a high altitude, it is possible that you won’t need a paper bag since breathing fast is a natural response to increased altitude.
  • Remember to never use a plastic bag as a substitute for paper bags.
  • Do not breathe continuously into the paper bag; you must only follow steps 1 and 2.
  • You must hold your own paper bag when breathing through it.