A guide to carbon monoxide...

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning
while in the body/bloodstream

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning while in the body/bloodstream can be so varied and mimic so many common health issues that "making the link" to carbon monoxide exposure as the source of the problem is almost always missed.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning have "tell tale signs" but identifying carbon monoxide exposure as the source of symptoms is not as obvious as it may seem.

When a healthy person is exposed to a low level of CO, they typically begin to have trouble concentrating. Other early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning typically show up as a person becomes somewhat uncoordinated, feels quite tired, and/or has a mild headache.

Then the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning get stronger as flu-like, food-poisoning-like, or alcohol-poisoning-like symptoms: headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, exhaustion, mild incoherence, blurred vision, and brain fog.

The problem is, the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can also have any number of more common causes.

Making the connection to carbon monoxide exposure as the source of "symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning" is much less likely with less obvious cases (the majority of all cases) such as:


Accurately identifying the link to carbon monoxide exposure as the source of "symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning" is more likely when:

In comparison to other health issues, the awareness and number of cases of carbon monoxide poisoning is low. This commonly results in the wrong diagnosis by health professionals in emergency rooms, clinics, and doctors offices. Health professionals just don't know enough about carbon monoxide poisoning.

Awareness in the public about the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning is also low. Unless the circumstances of poisoning are completely obvious, victims seldom identify the cause of their symptoms.

Tragically, it is quite common for [significant] additional damage to occur to a victim while they are in an emergency room or clinic with elevated levels of carbon monoxide still flowing in their blood stream - something that could quickly and easily be treated by giving them oxygen and/or placing them in a hyperbaric chamber.

Carbon monoxide reacts with hemoglobin (Hb) in red blood cells and forms carboxyhemoglobin (COHb). This is expressed as a percentage of red blood cells carrying carbon monoxide.

The relationship between symptoms, percent carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) in the bloodstream, and levels of CO in the air is not precise.

carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms

Your comments about carbon monoxide poisoning...

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Hot tub
Mark from Ohio
I have my hot tub in a sealed room off the garage (old greenhouse 10' X 12'). I use a ventless natural gas heater to keep it warm. The odor is pretty strong during the winter months when it runs pretty constantly. I did a test and it showed 40 PPM. I use the jets which of course use air from out of the room. Is it possible I am "injecting" CO into my body by sitting directly in front of the jets. TIA.

Burning skin
April from Montana
I lived in a house where there were 4 water heaters and 3 of them were leakin CO gas I didn't even find out till after 7 months of living there. I have been out of the place for almost 8 months now and my skin is starting to burn!!! anyone else have these issues????

Lots of trembling
Lafe from Florida
Yes I had very bad seizure-like trembling which was most apparent in the hands.

First hand experience
Lafe from Florida
Approximately 1 month ago I tried to kill myself using the "death by Hibachi" method. They tell you that this method is relatively painless and I suppose it was. However, what they don't tell you is what happens. Everyone's reaction is different. For me I "fell asleep" fully intending to never wake up (I was in my truck - a Chevy Avalanche - and had a grille with charcoal in the back fold down seat area) but at some point I DID wake up and instinct took over. I tried to find the keys to put my window down but couldn't. When I found them I discovered that my motor functions were out of control and my hands were trembling so bad I couldn't get the keys in the ignition. With supreme effort I managed to open the car door and stumble out. Even after being in fresh air I didn't completely recover but staggered around for 20 minutes or so. After getting enough of my "mind" back I dumped the charcoal and drove home (I had found a quiet isolated place) and fell asleep.

I do not regret trying to end my life - people do these type things for a reason and the reasons behind my own attempt haven't changed any - but I do regret not knowing just how awful this method could be if you fail.

Little Robots in the Blood
Mary DiPietro from Washington DC
Has anyone experienced a feeling of something like little robots running in their blood; or bubbles in their blood, or their blood "boiling"? I heard about this recently, and can't help wondering about it.

Several comments here refer to persistent humming in the head, a symptom of schizophrenia, years after a poisoning. Current research is showing that the heart has a brain of its own that sends more information to the brain than the brain sends to it.

Carbon monoxide poisoning has definite adverse affects on the heart, which, if the heart is telling the brain something has gone wrong, could be a clear message that the heart is damaged or struggling with a lingering result of poisoning.

Memory
Edward from Seattle Wa
I sufferd from automobile exhaust posioning in the winter of 83\' and I have had a life defining working/short term memory disorder since. Are the any others with this particular symptom, and has anyone discoved a practial rehabilitative technique? Thank you.

Body rash
Tom from Missouri
My grandson showed me a rash that had spread across his entire upper body. Said it was a burning and itching sensation, was very irritating and felt flu-like. Went to pharmacy, they had him try some bennadril and itch cream. Then he mentioned that the exhaust on his car started leaking on a trip over the weekend, could smell it in the car a lot. the duration was about an hour and half each way. Ofcourse the car is being repaired, however does this sound like possible CO poison?

Richard from UK
I am not sure as these symptoms are all too vague and that so many symptoms can be explained by so many other factors ... however, when i moved in with my partner we were in a very leaky house that had wood stove. We definitely had many of these symptoms and after all these years I still do not feel right.

I too had trembling and seizures
Bill from Canada
When I was poisoned, I had a major seizure and fell off the bed. I was banging around on the floor like a fish out of water. I have never had a seizure before that or since then but it definitely was caused by carbon monoxide levels.

Obviously I had a bunch of other symptoms as well - too many to list and they are covered on this site anyhow.


Trembling
Sara from TN
Did anyone have the symptom of involuntary trembling? It was almost like a seizure. I've had every symptom mentioned but i haven't seen anyone list trembling.

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