Carbon Dioxide, Thyroid And Metabolic Function


The carbon dioxide concentration in your arterial blood at rest is the key indicator of your overall health status. Everything depends on this. Think of it as the foundation of a building upon which everything else is built. You start here.

Having the ability to restore proper CO2 levels gives you an edge, it gives you a advantage that no amount of supplements or super foods can give you. It is not that either of these are not a critical component of a health program, but without a balanced PH, without adequate oxygen to vital organs and without maintaining blood viscosity to transport them, you will accomplish little of lasting value.

The focus within this program  is on the rebuilding of foundational metabolic functions. There is a direct relationship between carbon dioxide and thyroid hormone. Thyroid of course plays an important role in carbohydrate metabolism, but is mediated to a large degree by CO2 levels. Studies of populations living at high altitudes have shown increased levels of T3 thyroid hormone (Savourey, et al., 1998) and (Katmandu Univ Med J 2013). Increased carbon dioxide levels are typical of populations living at higher altitudes who live longer and have a much lower incidence of heart disease and cancer.

With adequate CO2 and thyroid T3, the oxidation of glucose is highly efficient and the stress response of adrenaline is minimized since oxidation of glucose produces more CO2 than the  oxidation of fats. Adrenaline can inhibit the uptake of thyroid hormone through an increase in the formation of reverse T3 that puts the brakes on the metabolism. It decreases the conversion of T4 to T3 and therefore inhibits the respiratory function of the mitochondria (Nauman, et al., 1980, 1984). When the mitochondria become stressed, they shift to a fermentation for ATP energy at the expense of the loss of CO2 in the mitochondria.

This is what kick starts a vicious cycle, the downward spiral characterized by a loss of CO2 both from a hyperventilation response and the loss of endogenous production of CO2 in the mitochondria. A compromised metabolism then must rely on the stimulation of adrenergenic hormones, adrenaline and noradrenaline as an emergency stress response to mobilize blood sugar from glycogen storage. Adrenaline stimulates the production of lactate that has the affect of displacing CO2 in the blood. Adrenaline also increases the ventilatory drive, the response to breathe more resulting in chronic hyperventilation. Increased blood lactate levels are characteristic of patients with chronic fatigue (Shungu DC, et al 2012) and (Murrough JW, et al 2010).

The systemic stress response that results from hypercapnia, a loss of CO2 will resemble a condition of hypothyroidism with all the attendant symptoms even though testing results may reflect normal levels of TSH, T4, and T3. This may help to explain in part the wide variance  of  effective dosages in the treatment of hypothyroidism. The term ’tissue resistance’ as it is used relative to T3 uptake by the cells can be better understood as reflecting a condition of overall carbon dioxide depletion. Higher dose T3 therapy may have the affect of ‘jump starting’ oxidative metabolism where the burning of glucose will produce CO2 as a byproduct, slowly allowing a dampening of the adrenergenic stress response as CO2 is increased and hyperventilation is normalized. Although this approach may work for some, it may be much easier and far less stressful to simply raise the carbon dioxide levels through breath balance training to reestablish optimal homeostasis.



Heart Rate Variability And The Autonomic System


Breath Balance training through mentoring is a highly individualized approach that focuses on rebuilding  foundational metabolic physiology starting at the cellular level. However, even though you may have restored all the necessary components for a healthy metabolism there may be problems with synchronization. A breakdown in communication between the two branches of the autonomic nervous system results in a prolonged stress response that cannot be reset by simply restoring the missing components of the system.

The sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system are the master communication center functioning largely below the conscious level. The sympathetic branch governs the catabolic side of metabolism where carbohydrates, fats and proteins are broken down to be used as fuel. The parasympathetic branch governs the anabolic component of metabolism. This is the rest, relax, rebuild and repair side of the autonomic system. The cumulative affects of aging, stress and illness impair the rhythm, the capacity of  the two branches to shift back and forth from one cycle to another.

Typically this results in being stuck in a sympathetic dominant mode characterized by a higher ratio of catabolic hormones cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline as well as higher excitatory brain nuerotransmitters. You are in a continual ‘breakdown’ cycle unable to properly rest and rebuild and feeling wired and tired at the same time.

The important point  to understand here is that when the autonomic system becomes impaired, it is not a question of taking the right supplements, changing your diet or working out at the gym more often. You are dealing with a psycho-physiological  phenomena that when it becomes dysfunctional, losing its innate rhythm it will no longer respond to the above mentioned factors. You have lost your physical/emotional foundation and are dealing with a exaggerated response to stress.

Beginning in 1965 with heart rate variability studies (Hon EH, Lee ST 1965) that measured the coherence of the autonomic nervous system , the findings demonstrated a direct relationship with conditions of fatigue, stress and exhaustion both mental and physical and lowered measures of heart rate variability. Heart Rate Variability HRV has become one of the most dynamic and most under utilized tools that can be used by everyone in their program of self healing. Like the capnometer used with breath balance, HRV provides a simple way of measuring the coherence of the autonomic nervous system. When your system is in sync with its various components and metabolism is optimized, the net affect of this is to create a web of positive feedback loops that allow for the possibility of a deep harmonic coherent state.

In essence, what HRV is measuring is the body’s capacity to withstand stress. Our capacity for resilience, the ability to adapt to the adverse conditions both physical and emotional.  HRV provides a window into the psychophysical components, the interface between quantum biology and the mind that demonstrates that the whole is much greater then the sum of its parts. Here, we are beginning to approach a functional model of holistic health that recognizes the critical importance that an integrated autonomic nervous system plays in restoring homeostasis.

Heart rate variability is a fairly reliable indicator of biological aging. When we are young, HRV measurements are higher, reflecting a greater coherence and stability in the system enabling a better stress response. With aging, the variation between beats in our resting heart rate becomes smaller. A lowered HRV for ones age is associated with a increased risk for health problems and premature mortality.

The bottom line is this. You need to restore coherence to the foundational physiological components that maintain homeostasis and this involves working with the breath and autonomic system. Everything else that you do with complementary programs of diet, supplementation and exercise will become much more effective when you have a foundation in place. You must get the stress off your system, not only in terms of the more obvious stress from daily living, but the more subtle and detrimental types of stress from dysfunctional autonomic and CO2 related issues. A simple HRV monitor allows you to keep track of your progress as the autonomic system becomes balanced through autogenic practice.



                                                                 Sundurance Program



Breath Balance Training

  •  Develop a routine of 30 to 60 minutes/day depending on your health status.
  • Determine baseline level of CO2 with capnometer and continue to monitor.
  • Optional pranayam techniques to facilitate diaphragm strength and left/rightbrain hemisphere integration and nuerotransmitter balance.


  •  Raise CO2 levels upward to 5.5%- 6.5% over a period of 6 to 10 months with daily training.


Heart Rate Variability

  •  Note…for some this program will become vital, and for others it won’t be necessary at all
  • You will need to purchase a monitor to get started and they are relatively affordable and one of the best health tools you can own.
  • The core practice of this program is Autogenic training originally developed in Germany. There are similar practices developed more recently such as Annie Hopper’s limbic balancing, but probably not as effective.
  • The use of the HRV monitor provides ongoing feedback as you progress


  •  Become familiar with using the HRV monitor.
  • Develop a understanding the role of the autonomic system.
  • Develop Autogenic training through stage 2 after 6 months.


Nutritional Factors

  •  Learn to make food choices to optimize blood sugar balance and mood improvement.
  • Key supplements that will improve your ‘coping’ ability until you get well.


  •  Keep a food journal to track your responses to dietary changes.
  • Become familiar with general principals of metabolic typing.
  • Develop an understanding of the relationship between food metabolism and CO2.


Detoxification Protocols

  •  The liver is the foundation. Learn how to keep it healthy.
  • Introduction to the work of Dr. Patricia Kane.
  • Implementation of simple but effective detox programs.


  •  Implement once a week liver/bile choleretic with Gerson protocol.