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  • Constant Shortness of Breath!!

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    Old 06-10-2008, 09:03 AM   #1
    ssharm04
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    Constant Shortness of Breath!!

    I am an 18 year old female. I have never had any stomach problems until now and i had asthma as a child but I assumed it went away. Its been 4 months now that i have been extremely short of breath. I mean as I sit here i am gasping for air and nothing feels like it relieves this. My chest xrays and pulmonary tests came back good, same with blood tests.

    My doctor offcourse assumed its anxiety and gave me meds which really just calmed me down but didn't do anything for the shortness of breath. Then i realized this all started after i had a throat infection for several weeks and ever since i have had post nasal drip into my throat. But it doesn't go down into my throat as i cough it up. Now i am starting to get severe heart burn and rumbling in my stomach constantly as well. I am also burping every 3 to 5minutues and can smell the acid. So my doctor finally said i have GERD, but he said that does not cause shortness of breath. There is clearly a connection because as soon as it started was the same time i had the post nasal drip. However, nobody in my family has ANY health issues and i think because i have a lot of stress that it maybe of contributed to all of this.

    My shortness of breath is too severe, I can't imagine doing this everyday for the rest of my life. Is GERD a chronic condition? And has ANYBODY had these symptoms that found relief. I am taking Gaviscon and Nexium now. But the thing is i never felt it got worse after eating something. Eating would actually help because i don't feel the breathing problem as i eat. Usually i have one good day (even though the breathlessness is always there) and the next day is horrible & this pattern has continued. My doctor says that nobody ever had any symtoms like this so that it cannot be GERD. I feel so alone and helpless . Everyday is literally a struggle and i don't think i can go back to University.

     
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    Old 06-10-2008, 02:25 PM   #2
    soupermom
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    Re: Constant Shortness of Breath!!

    If it helps, I understand what you are feeling and even though it feels like you have something really wrong, it is a symptom of anxiety as are the stomach problems. What helped me is to read and research anxiety, the more I read the more I realized everything I was feeling could be accounted for by anxiety symptoms. Once I came to accept this I found the shortness of breath and stomach problems (even the post nasal drip) lessened substantially. I am always playing psychological warfare with my body, it tells me something is wrong and I fight back; most of the time I win.

     
    Old 06-10-2008, 06:08 PM   #3
    ssharm04
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    Re: Constant Shortness of Breath!!

    Thanks for the post supermom.

    Honestly I was hoping and praying it was anxiety. Since i have never had any stomach problems before and all of a sudden i am developing everything. But i never knew post nasal drip could be anxiety related. The strange thing is, the GERD started when i read other posts of people who have GERD and breathing problems for years. I know there are people who have been living with the two things for years now so now i am starting to think there is something the doctors cannot figure out. As soon as i thought, oh i hope i dont have GERD, the next day i had heart burn and acid. But can you please tell me why the anxiety medication i took didnt help and also where does it say that Post nasal drip can be caused by anxiety?

    Please let me know.

     
    Old 06-10-2008, 06:16 PM   #4
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    Re: Constant Shortness of Breath!!

    How's your sleep at night?..Do u breath ok at night?

     
    Old 06-10-2008, 07:34 PM   #5
    ssharm04
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    Re: Constant Shortness of Breath!!

    Victor, i sleep well at night and my breathing must be fine because it doesn't wake me up. Actually i am sleeping really well right now better than ever because i feel like its my only time to escape what im going through

    Also, Soupermom, i really have a hard time accepting that this could be anxiety because i only feel anxious because of these symtoms. Not only that but i have already tried ativan and it did nothing for my breathing. How could i wake up with this problem and it be anxiety?

     
    Old 06-10-2008, 09:25 PM   #6
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    Re: Constant Shortness of Breath!!

    It so shocking to know that sham...I too view sleeping an escape and even forget my pain and then i awake up to my realities..

     
    Old 06-10-2008, 09:39 PM   #7
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    Re: Constant Shortness of Breath!!

    our symptoms are so alike...I also feel alright when eating...woow..And dont you also have no interest of doing things that you use to enjoy..And that your constantly aware of your breathing pattern..what other weird feelings have you had?....I am trying to see if we are having the same problems...plus ..how did it all start?..was it right after u ate..

     
    Old 06-11-2008, 07:29 AM   #8
    ssharm04
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    Re: Constant Shortness of Breath!!

    Mine started one day when i woke up and i couldn't breathe well and i had a cough. The hospital gave me ventalin which did nothing because it wasn't asthma. Since that day i had post nasal drip and also episodes throughout the day where i would find it soo hard to breathe. Whether i was sitting in class or taking the bus home. But i thought that it would just pass. Now its just turned into a constant problem because i never feel like i am breathing right. Some days after i wake up it gets so bad that i go outside and walk around for hours stuggling to breathe and by the end of the night it feels better. But if the day starts out like that, its usually a whole day of bad breathing.

    Some days its not that bad and if it doesn't start off bad in the morning than usually the day isn't that bad. But i do not do ANYTHING i enjoy anymore. But it is because my friends are all healthy and fine and they think i am fine but i am not and even on good days i get so happy because i think i am better, but then the next day i am bad again so i just stopped being happy. All i keep thinking is will this last forever? I am only 18 and it seems like i have something nobody else has. Whenever i go to the hospital they send me home because my oxygen levels are fine. I am starting to look into Vocal Cord Dysfunction..have you heard about that?

    Do your symptoms still match mine?

     
    Old 06-11-2008, 07:41 AM   #9
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    Re: Constant Shortness of Breath!!

    Also i had been taking anti biotics for weeks before this started for a throat infection that wasnt going away. I stopped taking them when i thought it went away, BAD Mistake. The morning that i woke up not being able to breathe i didn't even panick, my throat all sore so i assumed the throat infection was back and it was probably the cough. But about 5 minutes later i started panicking because i realized i couldnt just sit through it. My sister called the ambulance they came, and i kind of felt better just knowing they were there, and they gave me ventalin over and over. The panic completely went away because i was at the hospital, but then they asked me before i was leaving 'do u feel better now'?...I said "umm i still feel short of breath" so they gave me steroids for asthma which i never took because it wasn't asthma!

     
    Old 06-11-2008, 10:31 AM   #10
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    Re: Constant Shortness of Breath!!

    How was the throat infection diagnosed?

    The pain and burning in your throat could have been caused by 'silent reflux' - you were refluxing but not feeling it.

    Being on the continued course of antibiotics (which really do a number on your digestive system system) - could have actual caused the reflux to start burning and making things worse.

    You may also have a hiatal hernia (please look up) - which is causing your stomach to push up into your diaphram (big breathing muscle) and causing your shortness of breath.

    Maybe you could modify your diet along with the Nexium (to help control the acid) - and get on a strong Probiotic to help rebalance the good bacteria in your digestive system.

    I hope you find some help and relief soon.

    Best of luck to you.

     
    Old 06-11-2008, 12:53 PM   #11
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    Re: Constant Shortness of Breath!!

    Thanks Venessa. Yes i am waiting for the test to see if i have a hitial hernia.

    I noticed in your posts that you have shortness of breath too..How are you coping with it and is it getting any better?

    I find this all so strange like one day i am perfectly fine, next day i wake up with shortness of breath, post nasal drip, GERD...yet doctors say none of them can create severe shortness of breath like i have.

    Am i just supposed to wait around and hope that the doctors figure out whats wrong one day? This is so hard, i think i would rather have any disease in the world than breathing problems, I can't do anything it is so bad. & Now its like someone is doing something to me, one day i feel good and the next day i can't breathe the whole day. I really think the few of us have something the doctors can't figure out. I'm only 18 i thought i had the rest of my life ahead of me...But now i really don't think this will ever go away

     
    Old 06-11-2008, 09:05 PM   #12
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    Re: Constant Shortness of Breath!!

    I haven't been here in a while but just wanted to pop in and commiserate. My suffering started soon after going on antibiotics too. You can click on my name to read my old posts which tell the whole sad saga.

    I'm operating right now on the belief that I have low stomach acid and that my stomach flora got out of balance because of the antibiotics. I went off all acid suppressors about two months ago and have gotten a little bit of relief taking probiotics. But I still have a lot of bad days where I feel very bloated and have to contort and push on my stomach to get a good deep breath. Wish I had some wise counsel to offer you, but at least know there are other people out there who can sympathize. So sorry you're going through this.

     
    Old 06-12-2008, 06:38 AM   #13
    ssharm04
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    Re: Constant Shortness of Breath!!

    Hey Texax, yes i thought for a while that i had a side effect of the antibiotics. But my doctor said that would have been out of my system.... Is your breathing problem intense and always constant? I realized that i woke up one day to have breathing problems, GERD, and post nasal drip all in one morning. Now i feel really sure that i most likely have Vocal Cord Dysfunction. I encourage people with GERD and breathing problems to get tested for it because gerd and post nasal drip are triggers for it. Basically its like asthma but it doesn't respond to asthma medicaton, thats why my attacks weren't being affected with medication. Unfortunetely there is no treatment and you have to wait for it to go away .

    Thanks for the support, but i honestly feel like my life is over. I was the top student in university and i just dropped out and quit everything i was doing because i simply cannot do it. I feel like we are 1 in a billion people who have this crap. If i do have VCD it says it starts of from stress. I sure can believe that, stress leads to everything. I am just wondering how i am going to do this for years, its been 4 months and i can't take it anymore.

    If someone has had this for years, please tell me how you are dealing with it! Or if anything has helped!

     
    Old 06-12-2008, 08:53 AM   #14
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    Re: Constant Shortness of Breath!!

    Your story reads like my own as I had a sudden onset almost three years ago. One morning when I woke, my ears felt full and I had a severe sore throat. Then the breathing problems struck out of nowhere with pain in my upper chest. I thought I was having a heart attack.

    Since then I have been scoped from end to end twice. I had ulcers and gastritis. I think I have had every test imaginable, scans, X rays, all sorts of expensive tests on my lungs, heart and expensive blood tests to rule out anything life threatening. I was in debt and still had no answers.

    Sometimes I think Nexium 40mg once a day is helping and other times I feel very down when the symptoms return with a vengeance. Stress makes it worse for me, but I don't know how anyone can live in this world and not encounter stress. Any time I lift something heavy or bend over to pick up something, I have an immediate sensation of acid or bile or whatever rising to my throat. I have learned to avoid that whenever possible.

    Here are some things I have done to help myself.

    I have raised the head of my bed 5". I avoid eating anything three hours before bedtime. This is very difficult for me as I am a night owl and always enjoyed a before bed snack. I take 4 gaviscon tablets before I go to bed every night.

    I avoid spicy food as if they are poison. If I cheat and eat fried foods for dinner, I pay the next day with a sore throat and shortness of breath.

    I only drink decaffeinated green tea and water and have to watch how much I drink or it sets off my symptoms. I can never overeat at any time and not regret it.

    I take Jarrow probiotics every day and drink organic fiber every morning as I have noticed that constipation makes my reflux worse.

    I know as young as you are that it seems like the end of all your fun . It is disheartening to miss out on things you once enjoyed, but this disorder has to be managed or it is intolerable. It can go away as quickly as it came. (That is what my gastroenterologist tells me.) I am not sure medical professionals are actively seekings solutions to this, but I hang on to that hope.

    Some people experience low stomach acid and approach it from that angle and treat it accordingly by different methods. For many here that has helped. I shudder at the thought of drinking vinegar with my throat already inflamed. If it works for them, I think that is great. I am not sure I am brave enough to give that a try.

    Although, I am several years your senior and not as active as you are, I get discouraged and I can only imagine the frustration you feel. Try different things and see what works best for you. And hang in there and hopefully one day this will be just a bad memory for you. You can do things right now to help and maybe in the meantime someone will find a solution to this nightmare.

    Watch what you eat and do some of the things you enjoy. Sometimes taking our mind off the way we feel helps. I stay as busy as I can, but pay attention to the limitations I mentioned.

    Keep reading and come here often for support as that helps, too.

    Ish

     
    Old 06-13-2008, 04:51 PM   #15
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    Re: Constant Shortness of Breath!!

    I know that you are very concerned. The other posters have given good advice.

    About two years ago, I faced a horrible few months of constantly feeling breathless. I even took tests for asthma, went to lung specialist, nothing wrong.

    I felt breathless, and would panic, especially at night, and it was all a vicious cycle. What helped me is taking Advair ( a steroid for asthma patients) on a short-term basis. Doctors will even prescribe this for bronchitis sufferers. As your breathing feels more under control,check out reflux. I will have an endoscopy on Monday, because of reflux. When reflux runs down your throat, and perhaps into your lungs, it can also irritate and contribute to that breathless feeling.

    But don't give up! I remember feeling so bad that I could not laugh, literally, because I didn't have enough breath. You will get better, be persistent in seeking out help.

     
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