A guide to carbon monoxide...

Carbon monoxide poisoning treatment
Why health care providers don't know enough

Survivors commonly find that after carbon monoxide poisoning their doctor or health care provider "just didn't seem to know enough."

Health professionals are aware of the extreme dangers of unsafe levels of carbon monoxide while in the body and bloodstream.

If an accurate diagnosis is made they are effective at lowering dangerous levels in the body/bloodstream and stabilizing critical situations. They are very aware that poisoning can cause serious injury resulting in brain damage and a range of health issues.

However, as a group they lack knowledge and understanding around the subtleties, additional symptoms and short term effects and long term health impact. This commonly translates into inadequate, ineffective, or non-existent short, mid and long term treatment options.

The most important question to ask your doctor

Survivors commonly express that their doctor "Just didn't seem to know much" or "Couldn't offer any explanation about my symptoms" or "Wasn't much help at all" or "Just had no clue what I was going through" or "Just made me worse with medications."

To lower the likelihood of frustration, ask your doctor this question: "How many cases of carbon monoxide poisoning have you dealt with?"

If the answer is less than a handful, it is unrealistic to expect him or her to be an expert.

There are several reasons for this:

There are comparatively few cases of carbon monoxide poisoning

Over the course of a career a doctor may see hundreds, if not thousands of cases of flu, colds, broken bones, cuts, food poisonings, arthritis, heart conditions, cancer, and all kinds of common health issues.

However, they may only see a tiny handful of carbon monoxide poisoning cases. Some will never see a single case. Most will never diagnose a case. This is true for almost all health professionals except emergency room physicians (who are typically not involved in long term treatment/care).

Most medical professionals are busy and overworked in their area of specialty. This leaves little time to learn about rare or unusual health conditions.

Most health professionals have little demand or reason to become more than superficially knowledgeable on the subject of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is under diagnosed, under recognized, and the statistics are wrong

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning mimic many common health issues. The link to carbon monoxide exposure as the underlying source of symptoms or health issues is almost always missed by health care professionals.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is very commonly misdiagnosed which hides the actual number of number of poisonings. Misdiagnosis severly distorts statistics.

As the real number of poisonings are under-diagnosed and under-recognized the subject of carbon monoxide poisoning does not get the level of attention and awareness it deserves.

There is little to no ongoing research on carbon monoxide poisoning

While there have been a number of studies and research on carbon monoxide poisoning, much of it is [very] old.

Medicine and pharmaceuticals are big business. Main stream medicine requires formal research, studies, and a level of proof before it takes a position or makes any kind of medical claim. The fact is, only health conditions with business potential are funded, researched, studied, and then treatments (mostly pharmaceuticals and surgical procedures) are developed.

The treatment of common health conditions is big business. The treatment of relatively obscure health conditions is not big business.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is not even a tiny dot on the medical radar screen. This means virtually no funding or research with little likelihood of things changing.

There are no large scale comprehensive long term studies on the ongoing effects and real life impact of carbon monoxide poisoning. If you are aware of such a study please let us know.

The not-so-good news

The medical establishment has long held the position that if a survivor continues to experience after effects from carbon monoxide related damage then the prospect of full recovery not good.

The position that not much can be done results in a large percentage of survivors (the ones that experience additional health problems) becoming [incredibly] frustrated with their health care.

Out of desperation survivors commonly switch to alternative treatment and therapies: naturopathy, homeopathy, accupunture, Chinese medicine, etc.

While we have heard from some survivors that they made progress with their health using alternative approachs, most survivors find that they bump into a different version of the same problem they encountered with conventional medicine - they encounter alternate health care practitioners that know little about the subject of carbon monoxide poisoning, what the real issues are, or how to manage and treat the ongoing effects.

For the survivors that experience additional health problems it can take years of going from doctor to doctor - and a significant amount of money - at a time when their capacity to work is reduced (in some cases eliminated) - to realize that there is "no special medication" and "health care providers don't know enough."

The good news

There are a good number of things that can be done to help manage the "after effects" from poisoning and support the body in its recovery.

These involve knowing what the issue really is, making diet and lifestyle changes, and supporting the body in its recovery. Unfortunately, few survivors are ever made aware of this.

More information is available on the carbon monoxide videos.

The online recovery support program is available for survivors and family members that wish to know more.

Your comments about carbon monoxide poisoning...

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Questions? Want to share your opinion? Do it here...
help in SW VA
michael gucciardo from VA USA
I believe CO is my problem...It was just figured out.I have been cooking over a range with the wrong orifices..I have most of the symptoms ( plus a red face from time to time). I am happy with my Dr.but not sure how much of this she has dealt with.The past few months I have been trying all sorts of medications to figure out what is going on..I would like to find an expert to at least consult with my family Dr. Any ideas in SW VA... Thanks..Wishing Peace to all..

Too late for my husband
Mary Kaye Jenrich
My wonderful husband suffered severe CO poisoning in 2000 while on the job. I know it touched every day of his life. Few people truly got it, including me at times. He was a firefighter, physically in amazing shape, intelligent as they came, but in spite of his physical shape, he died as he jogged at the age of 52 due to heart damage related to his CO poisoning. I'd love to see more regarding heart damage.due to CO poisoning. I know it attached itself at a cellular level and does what iit pleases in the heart. It can cause heart attacks or strokes as it hides its' presence waiting,quietly fooling & killing its' "host" body. I miss my beautiful husband & I love him today & always will. Please, more research is needed. Please continue to help us learn so the men & women who serve people heroically can receive the help they need to continue to serve the people and love their families

Carbon monoxide poisoning not narcolepsy!
Ron G from Phx, Ariz. USA
I went back to school in my mid 30\\\'s. I had a GPA of 3.73 and in the last half of my senior year began to have trouble staying awake in class so I was refered to a neurologest and given the overnite sleep study that records mental activity. I was then promptly diagnised as having narcolepsy and placed on amphetamine stimulant medications that promptly relieved the irresistible sleeps. However I was then unable to continue school and went in another employment direction, however the sleeps returned until I eventually wound up on medical disability and sleeping 14 to 18 hours of every day sleeping and taking the maximum dose of amphetamine recomended. This continued for over 23 years until the purchase of a CO meter that immediately sounded alarm. Well yes I am a smoker and I spent a lot of hours reading text books in the restroom and small studies with other smokers. Well yes the amphetamines did increase my desire for smoking. I tried every kind of doctor and medication without any results. Until I bought the CO meter and I corrected the chronic low level carbon monoxide poisoning I had been giving myself for years. I\\\'ve almost immediately cut thee sleeping in half to a normal 8 hrs per day but now have ongoing hormone problems, and a stimulant addiction plus other issues. It\\\'s my fault, I\\\'m stupid! I didn\\\'t know better and the doctors made things worse. I\\\'m still trying to reclaim some kind of life without much success, but at least I now know what happened.

Hydrogen Peroxide Treatments
Peter_M from Canada
Have you heard of this? I am looking for valid confirmation.

Apparently if one takes food grade hydrogen peroxide in a highly diluted solution, the oxygen ions seek the carbon monoxide molecules in the blood stream and eliminate them.

Not sure this is true? Anybody know or have experience in this?


Long term exposure and what to do.
Shirlyn Watson from Salt Lake City, UT
It is incredible to find this page, I have been searching forever to find others who have experienced what I have. Every doctor I have talked to knows nothing. My little girl who was effected by both of our poisonings, once in the womb and then when she was about to go to school, she has struggled memorizing and aches when she plays too hard. She just turned 12 in July. We figure both of our poisonings occurred over a 2 1/2 to 3 yr period. Both times we were told we should be dead. Believe me I wanted to be dead, 24 pain gets really old. When I took my little girl to the doctor, her response was, "Shirlyn, she is a child and children always recover faster than adults do, it's not the CO poisoning." I told her how I have felt through all of this, I haven't been without pain for 12 years. Since the last poisoning 3 years ago I have wanted to die the pain has been so intense. Finally I convinced her that Ariana wasn't faking it. She is getting better with a new program I put her on, but she definitely isn't healed. It's going to take some time for that. I am doing better but ended up in emergency this last July. I told the doctor I had scoliosis from a CO poisoning 12 years ago and he asked who had diagnosed me. I said no one, I just know I have it. He smirked and said RIGHT! My daughter talked him into x-raying my back. Sure enough I have severe scoliosis. Imagine that! I am blogging about my experiences and what I have found naturally that has helped me more than anything. If anyone is interested in following what I am about you can follow me at shirlynwatson.com. God bless each of you in your search for answers. I know two different product lines that have helped my family and myself. You can read about these on my web page.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment
from United States
I still find it amazing that anyone would say that there is no treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning. Hyperbaric Oxygen is a proven method of treatment, and I am a living example. I had some treatments immediately after the injury, but most of my 100 treatments were done well after the injury occurred, as in months and even over a year after the injury. I am lucky to be alive, and now recovered.

I had CO poison over ten years ago
Yy from London
I had the incident over ten years ago while living in Chiba. There was a leak in the gas pipe lead to the shower while I was taking a shower. I was knocked out completely. Luckily my brother found me. I was given oxygen therapy. Afterwards, the only noticeable after effect was my memory which was nowhere near as good. After reading the articles today, I have realised that I have also got several other ones, like headaches, irregular heartbeat, unable to keep my hands and feet warm, instability. Also since the incident, I have developed food and drug allergies that I didn\\\'t have before. Thank god I now know they are all caused by the poison, not because I\\\'m getting old. Not sure if it\\\'s too late to do anything about them now but I\\\'m going to speak to my gp about it. Good luck to me :)

My doctor is useless. I was suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning for a year before I figured out what was causing it. I now know, and shared with my doctor whom confirmed that it is very likely the cause of my symptoms. However, no tests are going to be run and no treatment offered. My last year of HELL doesn't matter to him because I am 5 minutes of his life and he doesn't have to live mine. I am expected to "wait and see."

I would love some confirmation and treatment. So that I can go to the others in my life and tell them that I KNOW for certain why I've been having troubles, and that I'm not going crazy. So I can know for my own comfort that I'm not going crazy (although, I'm pretty certain at this point I do know.) And treatment so that maybe I could get my sense of balance back and this horrible feeling out of my head...I just want to feel "normal" again.

Question from a doctor trying to help
Undisclosed from US
I have a patient with prolonged symptoms after CO poisoning. He had an excellent initial response to HBO, but now is having neuro issues. Is there any treatment??

Richard from UK
Do you know of a carbon monoxide specialist in the UK as so far I havent been able to locate one. Thanks!

awareness deficit even when sent out memos do they read
cassandra from uk
i gave up on gps so much and pychiatrists i am still temted to have all gps replace3d by diagnostic computers the really bad side of me would like them to go for years being led down blind alley s asking everyone they meet how to get out buut being given duff info over and over again til they are exhausted but have to carry on in this quest forever anyone eles thought what a perfect terrorist or cult religion tactic

ignorance is protection for big business and government
Gloria Aszmies from Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
So many of today's health problems are really environmental issues and I believe that doctors pretend to know nothing for various reasons--
1.they can make more money by sending you to every kind of specialist for tests which prove nothing but keep you on the hook because they pretend to do something for you.
2.in Canada almost all the occupational illness specialists work for the manufacturing companies or the government and they don't want to solve your problem because it would cost them too much in compensation if they related the endless chronic illness that is being caused in workplace settings to their improper safety air management.
3.the powers that be like to keep the public in the dark about how toxic our environment really is--last visit to the laudramat I became ill with my symptoms from someone's laundry detergent! So-oo many products are being produced without testing for effects of toxic chemicals!
I could go on and on because this topic is very far-reaching in the day to day existance of our entire society.

You are being too nice
You are being far too nice on this page compared to how I feel about my doctors and how we were treated by them. They do not know much at all is an understatement. Bloody useless is more like it!

Yeah, I sat in the emergency room for a couple of hours before they got round to even diagnosing me. It's always nice when they show how much they care. Most of them have such big egos.

Jm West
I would go further, and say any "cold" and "flu" is probably air pollution of some kind, barring other complications like pharmaceuticals and unfiltered water, etc. Google the study by Dolan et al, and you will find that 'flu' is usually misdiagnosed carbon monoxide poisoning. There is more to this than 'busy doctors'. http://harpub.co.cc

Michael from TN, USA
My doctor was no help at all. He told me that I was just getting older and that was why I was feeling so bloody tired all the time. I couldnt concentrate and had a ton of symptoms.

He insisted that I was just depressed and I should take an anti depressant because it "couldn't do any harm." I took it and the medication successfully stopped me from sleeping for months before I made the decision to stop taking it.

I went to him for several years with all the symptoms from chronic co poisoning and he didnt have a clue.

Thanks for nothing doc.

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