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The Impact Of Oxygen Deprivation On Health

Written by

Deborah Freudenmann BHSc

Oxygen fuels our cells and helps provides the basic building blocks that our bodies need to survive. Oxygen is so important that it leads to our death if we are deprived of it even for a short period of time. Most chronic ailments including diabetes, hypertension, Parkinson’s, and cancer are linked to inflammation that occurs in the vital organs of the body such as the liver, pancreas, brain, and heart. However, not many people know that before chronic inflammation sets in, the tissues could have been subjected to oxygen deprivation.

The lack of adequate supply of oxygen to the body at the cellular level could trigger the development of several acute and chronic diseases. Prevention, early identification, and correction of any oxygen deprivation is necessary to avoid chronic or acute conditions. To do this, you need a proper understanding of oxygen transport, delivery, and consumption.

Importance of oxygen

Oxygen is an essential element that our body needs to survive and function efficiently. It enters the body through the air we breathe and reaches all the cells through the blood where it is utilized for several cellular functions and metabolic processes.

The lack of oxygen can lead to the abnormal accumulation of metabolic waste in the body due to which you may develop symptoms of toxicity.

Moreover, the inadequate supply of oxygen may also reduce the body’s ability to generate energy due to which the vital organs may fail to perform their functions. The cells receive energy from the foods we eat through a process called cellular respiration. Cellular respiration ends with the generation of energy in the forms of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) molecules.

The lack of adequate supply of oxygen could result in the deficient production of energy as a result of which the cellular functions would be hampered while the environmental and metabolic toxins waste would no longer be eliminated from the body. This marks the importance of ensuring the body is not deprived of oxygen.

Causes of oxygen deprivation

There are many underlying causes or reasons, which contribute to lowered oxygen levels in the cells. Those with chronic diseases usually have one, two, or more causes which contribute to or sustain lower oxygen levels.

Nutritional deficiencies, particularly of minerals, can create hypoxic conditions, especially if those nutrients are required for neutralizing chemicals or other toxins. In addition to this, certain minerals are required by your red blood cells to do their jobs properly. Magnesium deficiency can lead to the decreased concentration of red blood cells, and haemoglobin and eventually, cause a decrease in whole blood Fe (iron) level. Iron is at the heart of haemoglobin. So, any deficiency in iron is a sure sign of oxygenation issues.

Radiation exposure also leads to oxygen-deprived conditions because of the excessive oxidative stress it creates. It has been shown that after radiation therapy, many patients experience metastasized cancers or reoccurrences of cancers. Among the many other reasons which contribute to the development of cancer, local tumour-specific microenvironment hypoxia has been implicated as a root cause.

Several conditions can contribute to the unavailability of adequate levels of oxygen in the body. For example; patients who suffer from conditions affecting the lungs and heart may develop chronic oxygen deprivation.

A severe asthma attack, or flaring up of the symptoms of breathlessness due to pulmonary conditions like COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), can cause hypoxia and oxygen deprivation in adults and kids.

Chronic levels of stress, which can be induced by pain, cold, loss, death of a loved one, accidents, sexual abuse, divorce etc. It disturbs physiological processes and induces a fight and flight response. Low oxygen is caused by a sympathetic response (fight or flight) as you are in overdrive which promotes shallow breathing.

Reduced water intake is another factor, which contributes to the stagnation and lack of oxygen. The adequate hydration of the body can improve blood circulation and thus, promote the efficient transport of oxygen, especially to the brain. Again, stagnation, which translates into a lack of oxygen, is the major cause of disease.

Some people may be oxygen-deprived due to other factors such as:

  • Lung diseases like emphysema, pneumonia, bronchitis, and pulmonary edema (accumulation of fluid in the lungs)
  • The use of some pain-relieving drugs that can affect the process of breathing
  • Strangulation causing blockage of the blood flow to the brain, preventing oxygen from reaching the brain tissues
  • Respiratory or cardiac arrest due to an accident, heart attack, or stroke
  • Heart diseases like arrhythmias and cardiomyopathy that lead to hypoventilation, right-to-left shunt, ventilation/perfusion mismatch, diffusion impairment, and low oxygen saturation
  • Anemia resulting in the lower number of red cells in the blood thereby reducing its oxygen-carrying capacity
  • Accidental electrocution, choking, and drowning
  • Brian tumors impeding the blood flow
  • Inhalation of smoke or carbon monoxide
  • Extremely low blood pressure
  • Poisoning or an overdose of illicit drugs and alcohol
  • Compressed or broken trachea
  • Birth-related injuries in a newborn baby
  • Cyanide poisoning
  • Lack of sunshine results in lower oxygen; UV is needed to utilise oxygen in the blood (releases nitric oxide and relaxes blood vessels)


The impact of oxygen deprivation can be immediate as well as long-lasting. It is possible to protect yourself against the risk of diseases linked to oxygen deprivation by undergoing ozone therapy and the use of hyperbaric oxygen.

Ozone therapy for the prevention and treatment of oxygen deprivation

Ozone therapy is an alternative medicine practice that activates the blood and several biochemical pathways in the body to fight off disease. Each oxygen molecule is comprised of 2 atoms of oxygen. This is what differentiates it from 100% Ozone which has 3 atoms of oxygen in each molecule.

To avoid confusion… in regards to different concentrations used for different therapies. A 30% concentration of ozone would still have 70% oxygen with 30% ozone molecules… So, when using ozone you not only get the benefits of ozone directly but also increased oxygenation. 

Ozone therapy involves exposure of the body to different concentrations of ozone in the form of gas. Ozone therapy can provide therapeutic benefits to patients who suffer from diseases that have oxygen deprivation as the underlying factor.

Ozone therapy may be beneficial for improving the body’s ability to fight chronic infections such as HIV. It is believed to work by strengthening the response of the immune system to the microorganisms and creating an oxygen-rich environment at the cellular level that makes survival difficult for some bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Creates an unfavorable environment for the survival of viruses, fungi, parasites, and bacteria. These microorganisms are strictly anaerobic and do not thrive in well-oxygenated environments.

Heart diseases, cancers, and skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis can also be managed more efficiently by including ozone therapy into the treatment plan. Some studies suggest that ozone therapy can enhance the body’s disease-fighting capacity by modulating the response of the immune system and reversing the state of oxygen deficit in the body.

Ozone therapy may play a vital role in the treatment of chronic ischemic or non-healing wounds by producing antibacterial and disinfectant effects. Ozone therapy is also effective for reversing the damage to the brain tissues thereby promoting the faster recovery of patients with stroke.

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Hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a form of treatment recommended for speeding up the recovery of patients suffering from the impact of oxygen deprivation such as carbon monoxide poisoning, non-healing wounds, gangrene, and stubborn infections.

This therapy involves entering a special chamber where the patient can breathe in pure oxygen under the air pressure that is 1.5 – 3 times higher than the usual atmospheric pressure. The goal of this treatment is to improve the oxygen saturation levels in the blood so that enough oxygen reaches all the tissues. This would accelerate the healing of the damaged tissues and restore the normal physiological functions.


Oxygen is considered the most important element needed for the survival of humans. Without an adequate supply of oxygen, we can survive only for a few minutes as nearly all functions of the body are regulated by this element.

Ozone and hyperbaric oxygen therapies offer safe and effective ways to avoid oxygen deprivation thereby reducing the risk of several acute and chronic diseases.

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