Importance of Blood Oxygen Levels

While most people are concerned over vital signs including their pulse, temperature, blood pressure and respiratory rate, a little less understood science when measuring fitness levels of an individual is the idea of measuring one’s blood oxygen level, SPo2. Oxygen saturation is presented in the form of a percentage that refers to the fraction of oxygen-saturated haemoglobin that is relative to the total haemoglobin, unsaturated and saturated, in the blood. In simpler terms, it is the level of oxygen available in the blood. If the individual is in good health, normal blood oxygen levels almost always fall within a very predictable range of between 95% to 100%. This means that the body is getting sufficient oxygen to be able to perform the necessary basic functions and that the internal organs are performing at their best. Not only that, blood oxygen levels in the body also has an effect on how effective workout sessions are.

 

The usual procedure of measuring oxygen saturation, to measure the blood that is still carrying or is saturated with oxygen, is with the use of a pulse oximeter. Pulse oximetry is considered to be a non-invasive and painless method of getting a general idea of oxygen delivery to peripheral tissues, like the finger, earlobe and nose, where a clip-like device called a probe, is placed on those body parts. However, it is necessary at times to analyze blood taken directly from the artery, more commonly known as arterial blood oxygen. A normal arterial blood oxygen level usually falls between 75 and 100 mmHg. Blood carbon dioxide level and pH, the measure of acidity or alkalinity, can also be measured with the arterial blood oxygen level.

 

In order to survive, the body needs oxygen, and it gets that from the air breathed in. As blood pumps through the body, it delivers oxygen to all vital organs and tissue in the body. Blood oxygen level is an important tool that can be used to determine how effectively the body is taking oxygen. If oxygen saturation is low, hypoxemia occurs, and the body will not able to get sufficient oxygen for it to survive, and this can cause sickness and tissue death. Common causes of hypoxemia include anemia and pneumonia. Low blood oxygen also serves as an indication for potential lung disease.

However, not all cases of low blood oxygen levels indicate potential health issues. For example, when an individual is in the mountains, his blood oxygen levels can be very low. And if he had been working out strenuously, his blood oxygen levels can be higher as the body required more oxygen to function properly. Therefore, it is important to understand blood oxygen level at rest, to be able to make the most of the oxygen entering the body.

Regularly checking of your SPo2 levels can help you keep track of how the body is performing over time, and can provide early warning signs to potential problems that your body may potentially be facing.

Source – LiveStrong

Natural Ways to Raise Oxygen Level in Blood

Since the cells cannot store sufficient levels of oxygen for more than a few minutes at a time, the body needs a steady supply of oxygen from the environment. Several natural methods of increasing oxygen levels in the blood help you avoid the effects of low oxygen levels and improve your health.

Exercise

Oxygen levels increase during exercise due to a physiological response controlled by the brain. The medulla controls respiration rate during many activities, including sleeping, exercise and eating. During exercise, the cells burn oxygen more quickly than they do while at rest. As carbon dioxide levels increase, the brain increases the respiration rate of the body to supply more oxygen to the cells.

Consume Antioxidants

Eating antioxidants allows the body to use oxygen more efficiently so that it enters the bloodstream in the proper amounts. Antioxidants include vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and coenzyme Q10. Examples of antioxidant-rich foods include blueberries, cranberries, red kidney beans, artichoke hearts, strawberries, plums and blackberries, according to Dr. Ben Kim, a chiropractor in Ontario, Canada.

Get Fresh Air

Carbon monoxide and fluoride interfere with the amount of oxygen the body takes in and sends to the bloodstream. Get fresh air whenever possible, especially in areas free of gas fumes, vehicle emissions and other chemicals.

Consume Essential Fatty Acids

Essential fatty acids like vitamin F increase the amount of oxygen the hemoglobin in the bloodstream can carry. The body cannot produce the essential fatty acids linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid, so you need to eat foods that contain these substances. The George Mateljan Foundation reports that sunflower oil, canola oil, sunflower oil and safflower oil contain linoleic acid. Good sources of alpha-linoleic acid include soybeans, walnuts and flaxseeds.

Breathe Properly

The University of Missouri-Kansas City reports that improper breathing may reduce blood oxygen levels by 20 percent. Shallow breathing also reduces the amount of oxygen carried in the bloodstream. Improve your blood oxygen levels by performing deep-breathing exercises. These exercises increase energy, cleanse the lungs and increase the amount of oxygen in the blood.

Avoid Drugs & Alcohol

Alcohol and drugs impact the oxygen level in the blood due to the oxidative process used to metabolize and remove these substances from the body. Avoid drinking alcohol or using drugs to avoid harmful effects on your tissues and organs.

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