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Old 11-19-2003, 11:41 PM   #1
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Let It Bleed HB User
I can't get a deep, satisfying breath - air hunger?

It all started years ago, at a time period in my life spanning about one week. I suddenly found myself unable to achieve a deep, satisfying breath. I would inhale, and feel as if something restricted me, as if something was stopping me mid-way. At times I would yawn, or randomly achieve one satisfying breath; however, the relief was only temporary and the urge would soon return. This created a cycle. One morning sometime later that week, I woke, and it had vanished. Life went on. I observed an earlier thread on this board revolving around this topic, it had gathered a pint-sized following. What gives? Dozens of people, one paralyzing symptom, no answers. Inhalers don't phase it, however, anti-anxiety medication seem to medicate it. I must admit I'm a bit dicey and would possibly benefit for a dose of Xanax. It may not cure this condition, but if it helped keep me calm and sedated during these on-going attacks, then bring it on. I'm once again expercining these puzzling symptoms. No known trigger. Hyperventilation Syndrome does seem indicative of our problems, but offers little treatment. I've found something that helps - breathing through my nose only. Relax. Close your mouth. Inhale and Exhale slowly through your nose. It doesn't solve the problem, but seems to offer temporary relief. We need more than a quick fix. Many of you have discovered that you unknowingly have Hyperinflated Lungs during ER examination. Makes sense. This is all is becoming extremely mentally & physically exhausting. I'm getting desperate. I would like to keep this topic going. Anything new? Specific diagnosis? Treatment? Anyone? Have a good one guys! Take care. (Gasp)

Last edited by Let It Bleed; 11-20-2003 at 06:45 PM.

 
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Old 11-20-2003, 09:59 AM   #2
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don444 HB Userdon444 HB User
Re: I can't get a deep, satisfying breath - air hunger?

I also experience a shortness of breath, (SOB), or ‘air hunger’ that can happen at any time, but does not happen when I exercise. These symptoms can be caused from many different maladies. I have CAD, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, and anxiety, all of which can cause it. I have also found evidence that artificial sweeteners can cause it and some medications can cause it. The only medication that provides any relief for me is Klonopin.
Doctors believe it is anxiety.
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Old 11-20-2003, 11:06 AM   #3
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Let it bleed ,I too have this problem went to er 3 times in 2 years it too first started couple of years ago then just went away and life went on but then it came back,docs did not find much a little obstruction on pulmonary test but nothing really(by the way did you have any tests)anyway they said maybe asthma or mild emphysema(exsmoker age 29 quit when all this started yeah for me)none of the inhalers did anything and neither did anxiety meds except make me relaxed and sleepy.Then i switched docs who thought maybe acid reflex or gerd i started taking nexium and in about 2 weeks felt better breathing got better ,able to complete my deep breaths anyway i now take prilosic cause you can buy it over the counter and i had no rx coverage it works in the same way.I am now being tested for a bacteria that could cause this.I dont really know if this was my proplem or if it was one of those times like before where it went away and will come back.but i hope i found my cause i will just have to wait,however what i am saying to you is go buy some prilosic take it 2 weeks and see it it helps if it does go to your doc you may have gerd it is worth a try.

 
Old 11-25-2003, 08:56 PM   #4
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Re: I can't get a deep, satisfying breath - air hunger?

I have posted a couple of times on the air hunger thread, so if you get a chance you may want to look through those posts. But, I'll try to tell you what has helped me. I've had occasional hyperventilation and episodes of severe air hunger on and off since I was a young teenager (I'm now in my forties). The periods of air hunger have lasted from days to months, and disappeared for weeks or months at a time too. Sometimes it was only noticeable to others, sometimes it would be a minor inconvenience for me, sometimes it would be bothersome for me, and sometimes it would interfere with my daily life. I was an elite athlete from childhood into my twenties and though I no longer participate in a sport, I walk a mile or two five times a week and am not overweight. As most others with this condition, its never a problem during sleep, nor has it ever awakened me at night. Also, when I'm not thinking about it or am very involved in something else it's not noticeable. I've had most of the tests to check for lung problems, allergies (which I do have), asthma, etc. Nothing was significant. Several doctors said it's probably anxiety induced. I tried Zoloft which didn't help my breathing and currently take Lexapro. I have no depression and no ******d signs or feelings of anxiety. I do get severe mood-affected PMS that's directly related to my cycle--that's why I take the Lexapro. About 3 months ago my air hunger was about the worst it had ever been. At that time, I came across a thread on this board that talked about reconditioning yourself to breathe. I decided to first see what would happen if I FORCED myself to breathe normally through my nose. I did it for five minutes, and though I consciously felt as though I was holding my breath I didn't pass out or anything so I was obviously getting sufficient oxygen and didn't NEED the deep breaths or yawning. So, I spent the next week working VERY hard at breathing only through my nose; if I felt the tremendous need to take a deep breath I did it with my mouth closed. If I felt the need to yawn for breath I did that with my mouth closed too. Understand, it was extremely difficult to breathe "normally" and it took constant thinking and effort, but I did it. After several weeks, the cycle of air hunger was broken. About a month later, I felt the feeling return. Instead of giving into it, I consciously breathed through my nose. I do this whenever I feel the need for the deep breaths. It has been 3-4 months, and though I sometimes feel the air hunger, I use nose breathing right away; I don't give into it and seem to be able to keep the cycle from really starting and becoming problematic. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

 
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Old 11-26-2003, 11:42 PM   #5
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khromman HB User
Re: I can't get a deep, satisfying breath - air hunger?

jboon,

your message was very helpful! i have had this problem for 4 years, and it is so elusive! i have the exact symptoms you do. lately it has gotten much better, but i am so worried it will come back. it seems as if i have no control over how bad it gets, very strange. i have been doing breathing exercises and i am getting much better, i am not sure if it is the exercises that are helping or if i just think they are helping so i am more relaxed as a result. anyway, so your advice is when you feel it coming on just to breathe through your nose and not yawn or take that deep breath? how is this technique working for you now, are you more in contorl of it?

thank you so much, your post was so helpful!!
khromman





Quote:
Originally Posted by jboon
I have posted a couple of times on the air hunger thread, so if you get a chance you may want to look through those posts. But, I'll try to tell you what has helped me. I've had occasional hyperventilation and episodes of severe air hunger on and off since I was a young teenager (I'm now in my forties). The periods of air hunger have lasted from days to months, and disappeared for weeks or months at a time too. Sometimes it was only noticeable to others, sometimes it would be a minor inconvenience for me, sometimes it would be bothersome for me, and sometimes it would interfere with my daily life. I was an elite athlete from childhood into my twenties and though I no longer participate in a sport, I walk a mile or two five times a week and am not overweight. As most others with this condition, its never a problem during sleep, nor has it ever awakened me at night. Also, when I'm not thinking about it or am very involved in something else it's not noticeable. I've had most of the tests to check for lung problems, allergies (which I do have), asthma, etc. Nothing was significant. Several doctors said it's probably anxiety induced. I tried Zoloft which didn't help my breathing and currently take Lexapro. I have no depression and no ******d signs or feelings of anxiety. I do get severe mood-affected PMS that's directly related to my cycle--that's why I take the Lexapro. About 3 months ago my air hunger was about the worst it had ever been. At that time, I came across a thread on this board that talked about reconditioning yourself to breathe. I decided to first see what would happen if I FORCED myself to breathe normally through my nose. I did it for five minutes, and though I consciously felt as though I was holding my breath I didn't pass out or anything so I was obviously getting sufficient oxygen and didn't NEED the deep breaths or yawning. So, I spent the next week working VERY hard at breathing only through my nose; if I felt the tremendous need to take a deep breath I did it with my mouth closed. If I felt the need to yawn for breath I did that with my mouth closed too. Understand, it was extremely difficult to breathe "normally" and it took constant thinking and effort, but I did it. After several weeks, the cycle of air hunger was broken. About a month later, I felt the feeling return. Instead of giving into it, I consciously breathed through my nose. I do this whenever I feel the need for the deep breaths. It has been 3-4 months, and though I sometimes feel the air hunger, I use nose breathing right away; I don't give into it and seem to be able to keep the cycle from really starting and becoming problematic. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

 
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