What are the signs and symptoms of hypoventilation?

What are the signs and symptoms of hypoventilation?


  • Bluish coloration of the skin caused by lack of oxygen.
  • Daytime drowsiness.
  • Fatigue.
  • Morning headaches.
  • Swelling of the ankles.
  • Waking up from sleep unrested.
  • Waking up many times at night.

Why does obesity cause hypercapnia?

Pathophysiology of obesity hypoventilation syndrome (OHS). The implicated mechanisms leading to daytime hypercapnia are, potentially, the obesity-related changes in the respiratory system, central hypoventilation, obstructive sleep apnoeas and hypoventilation during sleep, mainly during rapid eye movement (REM).

What is the treatment for hypoventilation syndrome?

The mainstay of treatment in OHS is to provide breathing support, often through the use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or bilevel. These devices generate a pressurized flow of air that can keep the upper airway from collapsing during sleep.

What is obesity with alveolar hypoventilation?

Obesity hypoventilation syndrome (OHS; “pickwickian syndrome”) exists when an obese individual (body mass index [BMI] >30kg/m2) has awake alveolar hypoventilation (arterial carbon dioxide tension [PaCO2] >45 mmHg) which cannot be attributed to other conditions (eg, neuromuscular disease).

What does hypoventilation look like?

Labored breathing during activity and inactivity. Bluish lips, fingers, and toes. Increased daytime sleepiness and fatigue. Difficulty staying awake and prolonged sleep at night.

What does hypoventilation feel like?

Hypoventilation is breathing that is too shallow or too slow to meet the needs of the body. If a person hypoventilates, the body’s carbon dioxide level rises. This causes a buildup of acid and too little oxygen in the blood. A person with hypoventilation might feel sleepy.

Why is it called Pickwickian syndrome?

Pickwickian syndrome, also called obesity hypoventilation syndrome, happens when you’re obese and have low oxygen levels in your blood combined with high levels of carbon dioxide. The name for this condition comes from a character in Charles Dickens’ The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club who had similar symptoms.

Can you cure obesity hypoventilation syndrome?

How is OHS treated? Treatment for OHS will include weight loss and treating your sleep-related breathing disorder. Sometimes, weight loss alone corrects many of the symptoms and problems such as obstructive sleep apnea. Therefore, the first approach to treating your OHS is weight loss.

Is Pickwickian syndrome fatal?

Because Pickwickian syndrome can lead to numerous serious health disorders and even death, weight loss is essential.

Can obesity hypoventilation be cured?

The most effective treatment is weight loss, but this may require bariatric surgery to achieve. Weight loss of 25 to 30% is usually required to resolve the disorder. The other first-line treatment is non-invasive positive airway pressure (PAP), usually in the form of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) at night.

How do you overcome obesity hypoventilation syndrome?


  1. Noninvasive mechanical ventilation such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) through a mask that fits tightly over the nose or nose and mouth (mainly for sleep)
  2. Oxygen therapy.
  3. Breathing help through an opening in the neck (tracheostomy) for severe cases.

What is bariatric surgery?

Bariatric surgery is a term that refers to surgical procedures that assist in weight loss by making changes to the digestive system. The term “bariatric surgery” can be used to describe a variety of procedures, such as gastric bypass and other weight loss surgeries. Considering Weight Loss Surgery?

How long does it take to recover from bariatric surgery?

After bariatric surgery After weight-loss surgery, you generally won’t be allowed to eat for one to two days so that your stomach and digestive system can heal. Then, you’ll follow a specific diet for a few weeks. The diet begins with liquids only, then progresses to pureed, very soft foods, and eventually to regular foods.

What are the risks of bariatric surgery?

As with any major procedure, bariatric surgery poses potential health risks, both in the short term and long term. Risks associated with the surgical procedure can include: Longer term risks and complications of weight-loss surgery vary depending on the type of surgery. They can include:

What is weight loss surgery?

Weight loss surgery is also known as bariatric and metabolic surgery. These terms are used in order to reflect the impact of these operations on patients’ weight and the health of their metabolism (breakdown of food into energy).


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