Carbon dioxide is a waste product of the metabolism process in human beings. A healthy human being's lungs will absorb oxygen from the air breathed in and expel carbon dioxide into the air being breathed out. This is the normal process of breathing. Oxygen is required for the normal functioning of body tissues and a lack of oxygen can be fatal. A carbon dioxide blood test is ordered mostly as part of a normal set of routine tests. It could also be ordered due to the appearance of some symptoms that may be linked with carbon dioxide levels being elevated in the bloodstream of an individual. Symptoms of excessive carbon dioxide concentration in the blood include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, headaches, shortness of breath and fatigue. Blood gas measurements may also be studied in an individual who is suffering from problems with the respiratory system or problems with normal kidney function. The kidneys are responsible for maintaining the bicarbonate level in the blood whereas the lungs are responsible for the oxygenation and carbon dioxide elimination process in blood. During treatment of the condition, blood gas measurements may be taken to monitor the effectiveness of the treatment. Carbon dioxide in the blood of a human being is usually stored in bicarbonate form which is why the test to measure the bicarbonate level is essential to this process.
When the results of a carbon dioxide blood gas test are ready, they will be used by the attending doctor to understand the cause behind your symptom. As mentioned earlier, an elevated amount of carbon dioxide in the blood is likely to be caused either by kidney problems or by respiratory problems. There is a third way in which carbon dioxide can be elevated and that is physical injury to the neck. In this case, the cause is obvious because of the external injury. The test may be carried out in order to judge the effect that this injury has had on a patient's breathing process. A blood gas analysis that is positive for elevated carbon dioxide may be linked with other prevailing symptoms in order to understand the cause for the elevation. Kidney function problems are likely to present symptoms in the urine which may be dark or light, whereas lung related problems are likely to cause chest pains and excessively rapid breathing. During this time the patient would also not able to regain normal breathing. The test is conducted in the same way as a normal blood test. The sample from the test is sent to a laboratory for analysis.More articles from the Blood Tests Category