Human Physiology: Discussion Forum: Protein Synthesis

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A depressed person attempts to commit suicide by taking a whole bottle of sleeping pills. The pills cause a drastic decrease in the pH. The patient starts having breathing difficulties because the thick and thin filaments within the respiratory muscles are breaking down. 

Explain in depth the correlation between the person’s pH and why their respiratory muscles are breaking down. 

comment 1

Aerobic cellular respiration is necessary for human life, going through stages of glycolysis, the citric acid cycle, then the electron transport chain, where ATP is then produced. The carbon dioxide formed during cellular respiration combines with water to create carbonic acid. Carbonic acid divides into bicarbonate and a hydrogen ion. It resists dramatic changes in pH to allow a person to remain within the narrow physiological pH range.

During exhalation, CO2 is expelled from the body. In the human body, carbon dioxide combines with water via carbonic anhydrase and forms carbonic acid which separates into a hydrogen ion and bicarbonate. This is why a reduced respiratory rate will lead to a decreased pH, because the more CO2 that is exhaled, the less carbon dioxide present for this reaction.


Hopkins, E. (2019, June 16). Physiology, Acid Base Balance. Retrieved from

Comment 2

The loss of muscle contraction comes from decreased pH (Jarvis, 2018). This is because pH plays a role in muscle fiber contraction. The decrease in pH leads to a reduction of myosin’s detachment from actin (Jarvis, 2018). A decrease in pH leads to acidosis which plays a role in the fatigue of muscle(Jarvis, 2018). Therefore, a decrease in pH would have an impact on the respiratory muscles because a decrease in pH leads hinders the relationship of actin and myosin in the muscle fibers. Additionally, the person who took the whole bottle of sleeping pills would not only have an impact on the respiratory system but the muscular system as a whole.

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