Cold feet is a common symptom of poor circulation (insufficient blood and oxygen supply). This symptom is very common in contemporary population. It gets worse when blood glucose level drops, during nights, or after meals. Cold hands and feet is a typical sign of Raynaud's disease and it is also frequent in people with diabetes.

Constipation is another common complaint that is related to poor circulation or perfusion (blood supply) of the GI tract. Spasmodic state of the muscles in the descending colon, rectum and surrounding tissues is another factor that is implicated in chronic constipation. However, they have many more similarities that we are going to explore here.

What is the physiological mechanism or cause of cold feet? Professor Lum, in his article "Hyperventilation and anxiety state" published in the Journal of Royal Society of Medicine, stated that cold feet is a classical symptom of chronic overbreathing (hyperventilation) or breathing more air than the medical norm. Many other researchers indicated decades ago that cold extremities is a logical outcome of overbreathing. What is wrong with hyperventilation? How can it create cold feet?

Very small normal breathing (only 6 l/min at rest, with 10-12 breaths per min) supplies nearly greatest possible oxygenation of the arterial blood: about 99%. But when we breathe more air, we usually reduce oxygen quantity in the arterial blood. What is the mechanism? It is very easy to discover, just observe people around you, that big and deep breathing is carried out by means of the chest muscles. As a result, lower areas of our lungs do not obtain fresh air volume with large oxygen content. Therefore, oxygenation of the arterial blood, in spite of increased ventilation, becomes less.

The next effect is that overbreathing reduces amount of carbon dioxide in the arterial blood. But this chemical is a dilator of blood vessels (vasodilator) since it relaxes smooth muscles of arteries and arterioles.

This is the key effect that unites cold feet and constipation together: low arterial CO2 causes reduced blood and oxygen supply to the organs of the digestive tract and extremities.

Indeed. many hundreds of medical studies have shown that chronic hyperventilation DECREASES cells oxygen content. Consequently, our ineffective breathing pattern (chest breathing and hyperventilation) brings about body hypoxia or deficiency of oxygen in body cells.

In additional, hypocapnia (low CO2 in the arterial blood) leads to irritable state (spasm) in muscle cells due to overexcitement of the nerve cells. CO2, as medical research have proven, is also a powerful sedative and tranquilizer of nervous cells and low CO2 causes the opposite effects in muscle and brain cells as well. (This is the reason why 2-3 minutes of forceful overbreathing readily provoke seizures in people with epilepsy.)

Then the solution to both these symptoms (cold feet and chronic constipation) is the same: increase CO2 and get more blood and oxygen supply to suffering body parts. The description of these simple breathing exercises can be found on related web pages provided below.

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Home Remedies for Chronic Constipation - with a breathing exercise to relieve constipation in about 2 minutes.
Cold Feet-Hands Causes with the link to breathing exercise to warm feet in 2-3 minutes.
Mouth Breathing Is the Cause of Exercise Induced Asthma and how to prevent it. provides you with hundreds of medical quotes and references, graphs and charts, tables, analysis of numerous respiratory techniques, results of medical trials, free breathing exercises, lifestyle modules, manuals, techniques, and other resources to increase cell and body oxygen content and improve health.