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Old 10-25-2004, 08:24 PM   #1
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Can't catch a deep breath

Hello,

About 18 months ago, I was diagnosed with asthma...had it as a kid, but it basically went away, came back when I was 40. Had a complete physical, chest and lung x-rays, ekg. It all came back perfectly healthy. Doc said it was asthma.

However, I just cannot seem to catch a deep breath, at least not often. Sometimes I'm pretty close to fine, but at some point, almost every day, I really struggle to breathe normally. My peak flow is pretty good, anywhere from 600 to about 640 (I'm 6-3, 190 lbs.), but even then, I can't seem to catch a deep breath. One doctor said she thinks I have anxiety, and that's more of a problem than the asthma.

Is this common? Does anyone have similar symptoms? I tried Advair for a while and it seemed to help, but created a lot of phlegm. Any help would be much appreciated. I guess, my question is, what is really wrong with me?

Thanks.

Last edited by smitte; 10-25-2004 at 08:26 PM.

 
Old 10-25-2004, 09:43 PM   #2
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Re: Can't catch a deep breath

My story is similar to yours. Had it as a child, thought I outgrew it, was dx a about 2 weeks ago as having it again at the age of 31. I think that the not being able to take deep breaths have to do with stress. I used to have that problem while I was in highschool and in college. I think stressing out over raising a 3 and 4 yr old may have brought it back. lol

 
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Old 10-25-2004, 10:54 PM   #3
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Re: Can't catch a deep breath

Maybe you're stressed because you can't take a deep breath...whatver the cause, good luck in finding a solution.

 
Old 10-28-2004, 04:30 PM   #4
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Re: Can't catch a deep breath

wow, well i'm having the same problem, i had shortness of breath as a kid off and on, nothing that really bothered me, well a few months ago i got hit with it bad i could not catch my breath, felt dizzy but not so much, ekg, lung x-rays everything showed normal, so my doc gave me singulair 10mg and told me to take 1 every day, i started to feel better, but now it's happening again, so i have to see him again

 
Old 10-29-2004, 09:08 AM   #5
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Re: Can't catch a deep breath

I started the same thing about a month ago. The doctor said it is mild asthma which in turn causes me to be anxious. I would like it to go away.

 
Old 11-02-2004, 12:01 PM   #6
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Re: Can't catch a deep breath

wow i'm having the EXACT same problem. back 2 months ago i was in the ER cuz i was havin cold sweats comin out of my palm, i felt nauseated and i felt like i couldn't breathe. we (including the emergency room doc) all thought it was asthma since i had it wen i was a kid but not a teenager, i'm 19 now. he gave me extensive asthma meds but they didn't seem to help much. i then saw a specialist, and she thought it may be caused by acid reflux, so we medicated my stomach, my stomach turns fine, but still can't take a deep breathe all the time. then i saw another doctor, he immediately said 'take my word, it's stress/anxiety' that's causin it. and i was surprised but now that i think of it, stress/anxiety has a lot to do with shortness of breathe, especially if my peak flow is 600-700 i'm 19 male 5'11. so my doc thinks my asthma is actulay perfectly fine. and i do yoga now n think it really helps, since it relaxes u and takes your mind off wuhever u're worrying, u'll be able to take really deep breathes, bsedies, it's beneficial for other body parts as well. good luck to all of us

 
Old 11-02-2004, 04:11 PM   #7
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Re: Can't catch a deep breath

People with asthma certainly have reasons to be stressed. But, whatever your reasons for stress, I highly recommend you read a book called "The Relaxation Response" by Dr. Benson. I seldom put much faith in most self-help books because they are usually trying to sell something. This book was published about 30 years ago and I have found it to be very useful in times of stress and anxiety. I am 71 years old and have experienced extreme stress in my life because of very traumatic life experiences. The things that are taught in this book have kept me sane.

 
Old 11-04-2004, 05:00 PM   #8
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Re: Can't catch a deep breath

I'm having the same problem. I was born with asthma, but have not had any serious problems with it as an adult. Every couple of years or so I get a bad chest cold which brings on my asthma -- but other than that, I've been fine.

Last week I started getting short of breath -- yesterday I finally went to the doctor because I couldn't stand it and I was getting worried. He said my lungs sound clear -- and I don't wheeze -- never have (I cough instead of wheeze). So he gave me some medicine for my nebulizer. After a treatment of that my heart just started pounding! I called my doctor and he said given that I had that reaction to the medication, and that my lungs sound clear to him, he said it's probably anxiety. I'm going in next week for some more tests.

My peak flow is never above 350. I can't walk 100 feet without getting short of breath....

Side note: I weaned off of all my anti-depressants over a period of 10 months, and I've been completely off them for 50 days. Anxiety was never my problem -- depression was.

I don't feel anxious -- I just can't breathe!

Any thoughts? Opinions? Suggestions?

 
Old 11-13-2004, 12:41 PM   #9
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Re: Can't catch a deep breath

I went through a complete round of tests to check my heart -- which is fine.

My doctor gave me a round of antibiotics to try... and some prednisone -- which I'm afraid to take because I can't afford to gain weight.

Anyone out there taking a low dose of prednisone? Did it get rid of the asthma? Have you gained any weight?

 
Old 11-14-2004, 06:14 PM   #10
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Re: Can't catch a deep breath

When you say you get "short of breath", do you mean you breathe faster? Because if you are out of shape at all you might get a little short of breath when you walk at a fast pace. Also, what is your age and height? I have a chart that gives me average peak flow. I also used to have colds that would always turn into a cough that would linger. I am now on a preventative medication and rarely use my albuterol (maybe twice a year)/. However I do not do very well on my spirometer tests even with medication. I wonder if all those years with coughs did permanent damage to my lungs even though I have never had pneumonia or been hospitalized.??
Cindy

 
Old 11-15-2004, 01:48 PM   #11
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Re: Can't catch a deep breath

Quote:
Originally Posted by proudmom47
When you say you get "short of breath", do you mean you breathe faster? Because if you are out of shape at all you might get a little short of breath when you walk at a fast pace. Also, what is your age and height? I have a chart that gives me average peak flow. I also used to have colds that would always turn into a cough that would linger. I am now on a preventative medication and rarely use my albuterol (maybe twice a year)/. However I do not do very well on my spirometer tests even with medication. I wonder if all those years with coughs did permanent damage to my lungs even though I have never had pneumonia or been hospitalized.??
Cindy
Hi Cindy,

It's not from being out of shape -- according to my pulmonologist, it's my asthma -- and it came on overnight. I'm short of breath just sitting -- let alone walking now. First time in 4 years my asthma has bothered me. I'm 40, 5'4" -- what does your chart say for me? Since this came on, I've been at 350 peak flow.

 
Old 11-17-2004, 01:01 AM   #12
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Re: Can't catch a deep breath

according to my chart. if you're a 40 yr old female, your peak flow shud be around 470-480.

i'm 19 yr old male 5'11 and according to the chart i'm suppposed to be 600, but i usuallly go 610 but am still having chest tightness and not being abel to catch a full breathe whenever i want to. what do you think my problem is? i can exercise a bit but i get tired a lot quicker than ne1 else

 
Old 11-17-2004, 10:13 AM   #13
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Re: Can't catch a deep breath

Quote:
Originally Posted by daxisgone
according to my chart. if you're a 40 yr old female, your peak flow shud be around 470-480.

i'm 19 yr old male 5'11 and according to the chart i'm suppposed to be 600, but i usuallly go 610 but am still having chest tightness and not being abel to catch a full breathe whenever i want to. what do you think my problem is? i can exercise a bit but i get tired a lot quicker than ne1 else
Thanks for the info. I actually got to 400 today, up from 350. Unfortunately I had to give in and take the prednisone, so I know that is what's helping me -- hopefully I'll only have to take it for a few more days.

I do have a very stressful job, so maybe there is some anxiety there. That does make sense -- could be you have a lot of anxiety? Strange, this is the first time in 4 years my asthma has bothered me, but at the same time, it doesn't feel like normal asthma, and it's not responding as well to the inhaler and nebulizer. I just bought the book "Reversing Asthma" so maybe there will be something in there that will enlighten us.

 
Old 11-17-2004, 07:40 PM   #14
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Re: Can't catch a deep breath

I also what is called "mild asthma." And I have found that Advair and all the other inhalants really don't help. In fact, they irritate my throat and bronchii by drying it out and makes my inhalation short. Because what I actually have is "reactive airways." Which means they're sensitive to things.

For me getting rid of the allergen is the key like mold, chemicals, strong scents. However, if I get a cold or iinfection, my lungs are affected and it's hard to breath normally.

 
Old 11-18-2004, 04:16 PM   #15
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Blue102 HB User
Re: Can't catch a deep breath

I've been having terrible shortness of breath for about 3 months now. I thought it was mold at first, so we had our apartment completely cleaned of all mold, including replacing the AC system. Didn't work. Then I thought it might be my cat... or the battery acid fumes from my leaking car battery...

Finally I went to have an allergy test done, and I'm not allergic to anything, nor do I have asthma. Turns out, it's something called "Vocal cord dysfunction." Basically something in my subconscience is making my vocal cords squeeze together, causing me to not be able to breathe! It's not anxiety exactly, but it's related somehow. I was skeptical at first, because I don't feel anxious. But it happens a lot in people who have anxiety (I have had anxiety issues in the past.) It's supposedly a pretty common thing, but hard to diagnose... I recommend you do a search online and read more about it. It's pretty interesting.

 
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