Certain clinical findings are seen in patients with the hyperventilation syndrome. Hyperventilation may occur as part of an organic disease or else be behavioral response to stress.


Criteria for the diagnosis of hyperventilation:

(1) one or more signs and symptoms associated with hyperventilation

(2) reversal of findings when alkalosis and hypocapnia are corrected


Clinical findings - head and neck:

(1) aerophagia

(2) dry mouth

(3) diplopia or altered vision


Clinical findings - chest:

(1) chest pain

(2) dyspnea

(3) palpitations

(4) tachycardia ("heart racing")

(5) epigastric pain


Clinical findings - musculoskeletal:

(1) cramping

(2) paresthesias

(3) stiffness

(4) tetany

(5) fatigue or weakness

(6) tension

(7) tremors

(8) coolness in the distal extremities


Clinical findings - mental and behavioral:

(1) dizziness

(2) lightheadedness

(3) altered state of consciousness

(4) anxiety

(5) inability to concentrate

(6) disturbed sleep (insomnia or somnolence)

(7) giddiness


Some patients develop patterns of 2 or more of these symptoms that can recur.


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