A guide to carbon monoxide...

Carbon monoxide effects
Reduced stress tolerance

Long term carbon monoxide effects may include a reduced ability to respond and cope with a wide range of stressors.

It can take time for a survivor to come to the understanding that they are more easily affected by different stressors. A survivor may have a reduced ability to function as they once did.

The percentage that experience these carbon monoxide effects is not known as statistics are unreliable.

Different kinds of stress

There are different kinds of stress and stress can be viewed in a number of different ways.

Stress can be seen as internal or external. It can be seen as brain stress or body stress. It can be viewed as physical, mental, emotional, or even spiritual. It can be thought of as financial, relationship, toxic, chemical, or energetic.

Stress can come in the form of a large one-time stressor such as an major accident or death of a loved one. This is known as acute stress.

Stress can be ongoing such as working in a difficult environment, struggling with a health issue, or living in an abusive relationship. This is known as chronic stress.

While we have a degree of choice how we respond to certain types of stress, the body and brain automatically responds to others.

All forms of stress can be seen as a “forces attempting to push us off balance.” It takes energy to "cope, bend, or manage" stress.

Why long term carbon monoxide effects can reduce tolerance to stress

Carbon monoxide occurs naturally at low levels in our bodies and is essential to proper cellular functioning.

The human body produces even more of its own carbon monoxide when responding to stress of any kind. Women produce 3 to 5 times more carbon monoxide during their premenstrual phase.

Carbon monoxide levels above what normally occur in the body (which is carbon monoxide poisoning) places a heavy burden on cells throughout the body.

Chronic carbon monoxide exposure also impacts mechanisms in the body which regulate its own carbon monoxide production. The "tricks" the body into feeling [much] more stressed than it would otherwise be.

Carbon monoxide can also cause cellular injury and damage in other areas of the body.

When cells are impacted they have a reduced ability to function properly. When cells are unable to function properly they are less able to respond to stressors of all kinds.

Long term carbon monoxide effects can cause even more damage

The last thing a survivor needs is more strain on an already weakened system. However, ongoing health challenges can create stressors on individuals and families that [significantly] increase stress and further destabilize the situation.

Stress of any kind triggers processes that increase normal carbon monoxide production levels within the body. This causes the body to then be "exposed" to even more carbon monoxide.

Stress also causes the body to produce a substance called cortisol which helps restore balance to a variety of functions within the body and brain, particularly after the stress is gone.

However, extended periods of stress can cause destructive amounts of cortisol to be produced.

Ongoing stress is damaging to a healthy person. It is especially aggrevating when layered on top of long term carbon monoxide effects and can [seriously] intensify symptoms.

Ongoing stress can further impact the brain, nervous system, endocrine system, heart and more.

Your comments about carbon monoxide poisoning...

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Best info ever
Angie Noah from Cottage Grove Oregon
I am a 20 yr survivor of Co and my life has never been the same. I stumbled upon your site and am glad. The info here is impressive. Keeep up the good work.

ryan from mississippi
I've been battling epilepsy for 7 years. It is caused by stress. When i was a kid i was in the house with heaters producing carbon monoxide for 2 years. I just put the pieces together. Ive had horrible migraines as long as i can remember. Thanx,

I go to my dr. in 4 days.

6 years now and NOT sympton free.....
Geraldine Roble from Denver, CO
Still trying to recover, praise the Lord I survived the exposure. It was only by the grace of God that I lived, I should of died......absolutely should of died. I won't bore you with the story however, I will tell you that the doctors still to date tell me I am emotionally unstable. OK...I get it. HELP!

I haven't been able to find anyone who is willing to sit with me and help me with my issues for the exception of my psychologist who is mega expensive. I would love to find a recovery group here in the Denver area. Anyone willing to take on such a group???? email me at roblegeraldine@gmail.com Thanks.

Ed from Ohio
Very glad some source has given attention to residual effects of carbon monoxide poisoning.

bad headaches and naueas
sheila c. from chesapeake,va
on sunday i was very nausea,dizzy and it felt as if i needed to vomit. i went to the local hospital they immediately put me on high doses of oxygen ans given zofran through an IV and gave me a pill for my headache called floircet. the test results came back 3.6 i need to know if that level dangerous?

Finally people who know what i am going thru
Bridget from PA
My family was low level carbon monoxide poisoned. My fiancee and his family were with the poison probably twenty five years, says the heater repairman estimated time. My two girls and I were carbon poisoned for 4 years. my youngest daughter and I seem to have alot of the worst symptoms though I think its because his family just dont get it. His mom has brain aneurysms(5)of them, his dad has hip replacements and my fiancee has problems but they are normal because he litterly lived with it his whole life except the last 6, he just dont see it , but we are just getting worse effects now. I have known almost the whole time what was going on to me because i was very healthy before this noticed how bad i am now. Alot of people just think I am crazy and obsessed with a bunch of crap and do not listen to me, but i will fight all the way for someone to help me for my little girls sake. She believes because she feels pretty much like me. I would like to know she could get better not just worse, but am not sure if there is help. It truely takes a toll on your body during and after exposure. My mind is slowly but surely leaving me the worst part is that I know it is. I want help fast or would rather just lose my mind completely already. Have dealt with this pain and torture to long now am getting so tired of being like this. Makes me wonder why I even did all the exercising and taking care of my health 28 years before this happened. to go from good to nothing just like that literally sucks. Luckily I have my girls and fiancee still ten years later. But have no friends or work anymore thanks to it!!! Anyone who could give me help for help with my ten year old would be appreciated dont want her like this her whole life want her to know what its like not to be sick all the time and sore and everything that comes with this torture. Really appreciate any info anyone can give me please!!!

I am very happy to have found this site. I am looking forward to more information...

HELL after CO exposure.
Michelle from Oregon
my husband and beloved dogs and I went through 2 months of exposure that took the life of an elderly gentleman that We were caring for, and caused his wife to go crazy. ( we were 24/7 caregivers and lived in the couples home to provide the care).We are not the same people. our dogs are sick. we are still learning about the side effects.. this is hell! torture! I can't work.. Im having trouble putting my thoughts down in this post.
we are living a nightmare.. my husband forces himself to work and is under a lot of stress... He's working himself
sicker than he already is (for his family )according to this post. god help us.. we are getting no help from Drs. they do not know squat about chronic co exposure and the horrific aftermath that ( we are learning) awaits a large percentage of us who were lucky enough to survive.

40 + Years ago
Kathy from NC
When I was about 9 years old My mom, brother 6yrs and myself suffered from carbon monixide poisioning -- just like to know does anyone know effects from that long ago? all three of us have had similiar health problems -- I seem to have problems with memory (long term) dates especially -- my brother is no longer with us - he passeed in 6/11 - I guess would really like to know. At the time. when this happened our LP gas lines froze -- my brother and I was asleep - our eyes had "rolled back" and guess we were close to dying - but God's mercy saved us !

long term exposure
ventura from denver
dear cas, i had 8 years of exposure when I was between the ages of 3 and 9. I have had a life time of mental illness. therapy and depacote have help keep me alive the lase few months. venzar@hotmail.com
hang in there

co exposure
cas from ny
i was exposed to carbon monoxide for the last fifteen years at my job and didn\'t relize that i was sick from there. my employer bought carbon monoxide detectors 2 years ago and they started going off as soon as we put them on. and the would just remove them outside and not the employees. i finally found out thats what was making me sick after so long the doctors kept treating me for alot of different things and nothing changed. i now suffer with internal stress .memory loss,hearing problems and the list goes on. I think that its wrong that you can not do anything to your employer for there negliegence. now i have to suffer with long term effects. and can\'t do anything about it.

I feel like my Life is RUINED !
Kerri from Mass
I was poisoned in Oct. 2010... 3 days after my bday... poisoned at work... my boss knew we had a leak but never told me to get out of the building to get seen because I was experiencing a strong headache, I was on the verge of passing out. I was in the building a total of 8 hrs. I went to the hospital around 6pm that evening because my symptoms never got any better. My level was 2.3 and they had me on 100% oxygen for 3 hrs. Now, 6 months later, im moody, cant handle ANY kind of stress without breaking down... ive passed out for no reason. my speech is off and i stutter alot now. i forget alot of things especially what I want to say. Needless to say, I have a neuro appt on May 20th.. Im hopin I get answers because I dont think i can continue living this way anymore.... I feel like I pushed almost everyone away.... UGHHHHH !!!!!!!! i FEEL LIKE NO one understands.

Long term effects
Roberta from Georgia
Our car was left running in our garage, underneath the bedroom, for 16 hours. I awoke to feelings of nausea, disorientation, & lightheadedness. My husband had tried to get out of the bed, but fell and hit his head. I called our alarm company, who told me to GET OUT OF THE BED AND OPEN THE FRONT DOOR. After doing this, I stumbled back to the bed and passed out. The EMTs, fire, and police came, plus two ambulances, one for each of us.
We were taken to an Atlanta hospital where I spent the day in oxygen therapy; he, because of his age, went into the hypobaric chamber for several hours, then was life-flighted down to the Augusta Medical Center for more hypobaric therapy, staying overnight.
All this is to say that we got immediate treatment; doctors knew what they were doing. BUT - 5 months later I am still having extreme physical and emotional symptoms, particularly those relating to stress. The doctors recognize that my misfunctioning adrenal glands date from the CO incident, so there are many knowledgeable medical support people out there.

This happened a long time ago
Ellie from New York City
I grew up in a very dysfunctional household. When I was about 3, my entire family passed out from carbon monoxide poisoning and our family dog died.Luckily, we were discovered and rushed to the hospital, and saved. I always wondered if some eye problems I have could be associated with being poisoned. I also felt I had some mild learning problems when I was young. I'm not sure which came first, because I was anxious due to craziness in the family. However, I wonder if my family was neurologically affected by the event

Dr's R no help !!!
LaVerne Taylor from Baltomore,Maryland
Love this . I was poisoned 2
Yrs ago I went thru 2 internal medicine Drs since I ve been co poisoned. When I say look of u don't no what to do tell me up front and you won't waste my time n I won't waste yours. This very stressful saw my 3 rd internest Monday blood pressure up high because we were discussing my symtoms n she said 2 yrs later u still having symptoms I said yes when there stress or something that throws my balance off symptoms are like they never left. So yes stress can do that to us. I wish there was something these crazy doctors can do SEE I'M STRESSING NOW.!!!!!!!!

Carbon monoxide related symptoms
I seem to get frustrated and angry way more easily - more easily destabilized in general. Is this connected to stress tolerance?

Much more easily stressed
This page really hits home for me. I'm way way way less able to deal with stress and am much much much more easily affected by things that I would not have been affected by before I suffered from carbon monoxide intoxication.

Feeling like shyt
This explains a lot and helps me understand why I sometimes feel so crappy.

We need acknowledgment and changes in treatments
Diana from AZ
There is at least some progessive changes in treatment of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. We need education of the medical field and more specialists. I can see where you can lose your mind dealing with the daily disability of Carbon Monoxide~then add the stress of no treatments available and a medical field that doesnt exists basically. Misdiagnosis is the killing of any health you have left to recover. Welcome to "your on your OWN!"

Robert from Edmonton
This page explains a lot for me too. I just can\'t deal with things like I used to. This site has answered more questions for me than anywhere else. Thank you!!!!!

Jackson from Planet earth
So true. I saw my brother fall apart after he was poisoned. He didn't seem to be able to handle anything.

We thought he had gone off the deep end and it took a long time for us to understand he had a brain injury from co poisoning.

Pamela from AK
Well done webiste. Lots of good information. Thanks

I got CO poisoning four years ago but it took a lot longer for me to see that I was being affected on a day to day basis. I got angry all the time and went into rages, something I never did before I was poisoned. I found myself buying things and not knowing why.

It took the loss of my marriage, my business, and most my friends before I started to understand what poisoning had done to influence my behavior and personality.

Carolyn from Canada
Finally a good explanation for what I've been up against since my co poisioning. I have learned more on this site that I have in the last 5 years since I was poisioned.

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