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Hyperventilation (rapid breathing)

Breathing is in excess of what is required for the metabolic demands of the body. Carbon dioxide levels drop and cause changes in the body's acid base status and calcium levels. Patients experience numbness around the mouth and in the hands and feet. Spasms of the hands and feet can occur. Causes include anxiety (as with panic attacks), pregnancy, and certain medications. Heart and lung disease and infections can also lead to hyperventilation.
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