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Thread: Can you train yourself to not be a CO2 retainer?

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    Can you train yourself to not be a CO2 retainer?

    I split this off from the Testing for CO2 retention? Critical or Not? thread.

    I'm assuming that CO2 retention is not something you inherit, like a blood group or eye colour, but a life-style induced condition, like obesity or lung cancer. I asssume that it is caused by divers getting inured to exposure to high CO2 partial pressures. But when the control circuit no longer reacts to the stimulus is there any way you can teach it to care? Has any research group had any success conditioning divers to stop retaining? How did they do it?

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    Re: Can you train yourself to not be a CO2 retainer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Abbo  View Original Post
    I split this off from the Testing for CO2 retention? Critical or Not? thread.

    I'm assuming that CO2 retention is not something you inherit, like a blood group or eye colour, but a life-style induced condition, like obesity or lung cancer.
    Hmmm. So lung cancer is a "life style" condition in your professional opinion? What would you suggest I ought to have advised my mate, who died of this " life style condition" despite never smoking a fag in his life?

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    Re: Can you train yourself to not be a CO2 retainer?

    Quote Originally Posted by osiris  View Original Post
    Hmmm. So lung cancer is a "life style" condition in your professional opinion? What would you suggest I ought to have advised my mate, who died of this " life style condition" despite never smoking a fag in his life?

    Get up on the wrong side of the bed the last few days? Seems all your post are confrontational lately. Sorry if your going thru a bad time. I like many others have lost friends and loved one as a result of cancer. I am quite sure the OP was not directly referring to your friend but rather the general information regarding life style induced conditions. Regardless, its not the real question or subject the OP is asking about.
    John

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    Re: Can you train yourself to not be a CO2 retainer?

    A couple of years ago right when I was starting to dive alot, bought my first equipment etc I also trained alot of freediving and was quite good at it. But it also made me very prone to have CO2 attacks on OC at quite moderate depths, around 25-30 meters without any real working.

    First I thought it was just normal nitrogen narcosis but after I dropped freediving it suddenly just disapeared and I could dive alot deeper without getting the sympthoms. And since then I also had some real nitrogen narcosis and it was NOT the same.

    When I did a max run while freediving I often got the first "urge to breathe" after about 15%, first lung contration at about 30% so I felt the CO2 quite early(untrained individuals tend to get their first urge to breathe at about 50%)

    My theory is that due to all the freediving training I did(pool 5 times a week + lots of dry walking apnea) my body thought it was "OK" with high CO2 values and as I also trained myself alot to ignore the urge to breathe I sometimes found that I had this "urgue to breathe" but as I was so used to ignoring it I did that during the dive without thinking about it.

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    Re: Can you train yourself to not be a CO2 retainer?

    the israeli navy suggest that 1 year of shallow oxygen CCR diving decreases the trait of carbon dioxide retention without diminishing a diver's ability to detect effects of carbon dioxide.

    Response to CO2 in novice closed-circuit apparatus divers and after 1 year of active oxygen diving at shallow depths -- Eynan et al. 98 (5): 1653 -- Journal of Applied Physiology

    i haven't had a read so don't really know how valid such a proposal is.

    rachel

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    Re: Can you train yourself to not be a CO2 retainer?

    Sure, there is a way to train to not retain CO2 : go and spend 2 weeks at an altitude of 5000 meters.

    When you get back to sea level, you'll have 2-3 days where your CO2 tolerance will be very low.

    At altitude, your body learns to hyperventilate, acclimatizing to low CO2 levels. You kidneys adjust your bicarbonate level to compensate. This makes you CO2 intolerant.


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    Re: Can you train yourself to not be a CO2 retainer?

    Quote Originally Posted by bendomatic  View Original Post
    the israeli navy suggest that 1 year of shallow oxygen CCR diving decreases the trait of carbon dioxide retention without diminishing a diver's ability to detect effects of carbon dioxide.

    Response to CO2 in novice closed-circuit apparatus divers and after 1 year of active oxygen diving at shallow depths -- Eynan et al. 98 (5): 1653 -- Journal of Applied Physiology

    i haven't had a read so don't really know how valid such a proposal is.

    rachel
    Good article, I don't know how conclusive it is (more suggestive than definitive) but still a good read on the subject. So far the anecdotal data seems to point to a learned response. If so, it can be unlearned but we still haven't seen a simple test for whether or not an individual has the affliction or not.

    Thanks!

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    Re: Can you train yourself to not be a CO2 retainer?

    Quote Originally Posted by osiris  View Original Post
    Hmmm. So lung cancer is a "life style" condition in your professional opinion? What would you suggest I ought to have advised my mate, who died of this " life style condition" despite never smoking a fag in his life?
    I think "life style" was a poor choice of words. Probably "environmental factors" may have been less incendiary. I believe you will find that people living in cities have a higher incidence of LC than those out in the fresh air of the countryside, other examples abound, but even a farmer can get LC where my grandfather, who smoked like a chimney beginning in his 20's, died cancer-free and puffing away at 89 (let's not talk about his emphysema). Sometimes we just can't avoid things that are silently killing us.

    We know the sniper is out there, we just don't know when or where he'll strike next.

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    Re: Can you train yourself to not be a CO2 retainer?

    Quote Originally Posted by bendomatic  View Original Post
    the israeli navy suggest that 1 year of shallow oxygen CCR diving decreases the trait of carbon dioxide retention without diminishing a diver's ability to detect effects of carbon dioxide.

    Response to CO2 in novice closed-circuit apparatus divers and after 1 year of active oxygen diving at shallow depths -- Eynan et al. 98 (5): 1653 -- Journal of Applied Physiology

    i haven't had a read so don't really know how valid such a proposal is.

    rachel
    Hello Rachel,

    I think you need to be cautious in interpreting this study.

    To begin with, the study examined the response to inhaling CO2 (equivalent to rebreathing CO2 because of scrubber breakthrough), rather than the tendency to retain CO2 because of increased work of breathing when breathing dense gas at depth. The two scenarios are related in that both should invoke increased ventilation in reponse to rising CO2 levels, but the factors that might discourage such a response in each scenario are different. The deep diving / dense gas scenario is potentially the more important of the two and was not tested here.

    Second, the results are not particularly convincing. The difference in the tendency to tolerate higher CO2 levels might have been statistically signficant but I would argue it appeared to be of doubtful practical signficance. (8.1 kPa (SD 0.7), 62 Torr (SD 5) vs 7.8 kPa (SD 0.6), 59 Torr (SD 4), respectively; P 0.001). The practical difference between 7.8 and 8.1 kPa is debatable; both levels are creeping up dangerously high.

    Simon M

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