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Constant shortness of Breath!!

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Old 01-12-2009, 08:33 PM   #1
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zambrotta19 HB User
Unhappy Constant shortness of Breath!!

Hi,im a 22 year old male and i've been dealing with this constant shortness of breath for over 5 years now , and doctors have no idea what's wrong with me. The only thing they say is that its anxiety, but i truly dont believe it. It just started spontaneously out of nowhere. I tried to take a deep breath one day and couldn't. After that for about 2 years i was constantly taking deep breaths and not able to get a satisfied breath. I was yawning and sighing all day. I had reached the point when i was staying home in my bed just hoping i would die so it would stop. After 2 years or so it went away. It then came back after i smoked a cigarette . Ever since then its been an ongoing struggle. I feel as if i have no control of my life, and im constantly thinking of my breathing. I feel hopeless and feel as if no one understands what im going through or that i have this disease hat doctors cant detect. My doctor has put me on xanax and it seemed to cut the edge off a lil but its still there. Its not *** bad and when i first got it but it still disrupts my life. I dont work i don't go to school and i don't have much of a social life .I've gone to cardiologist, ent's, gi's, pulmonary doctors. I've gone through xrays, PFT, EKG, stress tests, endoscopy . Only thing i have is Laryngopharyngeal Reflux LPR with sinsation of lump in throat and a very small irregular heart beat. i did have a deviated septum but got that fixed..My lung specialist says its just all in my head and that i have this because ive become aware of my breathing pattern. i've used advair, singular and breathing pumps with no results. when im sitting or laying down its seems to be fine but when i stand up or more it kicks in more. I'm losing hope on what's going on with me. Does anyone have this?If so can anyone recommend anything else i should look for? the only thing i really want to do is a MRI or CT scan but my insurrance wont cover it and the doctors ssy nothing will show. Has anyone heard of chronic hyperventilation syndrome? or phrenic nerve damage? if anyone can be of help please post a message?

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Old 01-13-2009, 07:52 PM   #2
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Allegra HB User
Re: Constant shortness of Breath!!

After all those problems YOU SMOKED a cigarette ??? Loosen up and stop thinking the worst! It actually could be your fast food diet not your maybe healthy lungs!

Old 01-14-2009, 10:35 PM   #3
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zambrotta19 HB User
Re: Constant shortness of Breath!!

I think it could possibly be related to my acid reflux and eating, but i am a very careful eater,and i hardly ever eat fast food. I do believe that some of it is mental and that ive just become aware of my breathing, but that cant just be all of it. there just has to be more to it. My next step would be to meet with a neurologist and check if my phrenic nerve is stable or not, and also to check if my C3 C4 C5 vertabrea are damaged cause they control breathing function.

Old 01-22-2009, 06:56 PM   #4
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GodHand HB User
Re: Constant shortness of Breath!!

This is the same problem I have. I have also had a plethora of tests, albeit not the extent you have, though.

Anyways, it's psychological because you're aware of your breathing. 99% of people breathe naturally, as it's a natural event that your body performs; however, for some of us, something triggers something within our minds to be self-aware of our breathing, so it's like we have to tell our bodies to breathe sufficiently.

Mine happened spontaneously, too, and put me in a full-fledged panic attack. I went to the ER where they determined my oxygen level at my fingertips was 98% (excellent). I then had an EKG done and blood work and lung function test - all came back fine. During exercise it rarely happens nor does it get worse, and my doctor said that makes it only one thing - anxiety.

It does not occur when sleeping or when I'm watching TV or a movie, or doing activities. It occurs when I'm just sitting around and then I think about it and voilà, I need to take a deep breathe.

As hard as it is to understand, you need to try to focus on other things. Like you, I've had this for YEARS (about 3), and it has gone away for MONTHS at a time, only to rear its ugly head again. It seems to happen more when I just have idle time (i.e. when it's very cold out and I'm inside doing a whole lot of nothing!).

Hang in there!

Old 01-22-2009, 11:55 PM   #5
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Exiyn HB User
Re: Constant shortnes of breath!!

I've been going through this for about 8-9 months now... it is hell... I can't stand it.

I've been told it's anxiety, too. Mine, unfortunately, isn't helped by sitting, laying down, or anything. It's constant; just always there.

If I'm not thinking about it, I'll randomly start... I probably think about it most of the day now, but didn't use to. When I run, it's especially bad!

I've been prescribed Effexor, which I haven't tried, because I don't believe myself to require antidepressants when I'm not even depressed!

I've got a girlfriend, a happy home, etc... so I don't know why I'd be anxious. >.< I wish I knew what I could do to get rid of it...

I'm sorry my post has nothing helpful in it, but I've gone through a lot of those tests with nothing showing up either... it's ridiculous. Leads me to believe it's 100% anxiety, but... it's still at the back of my mind that it's not. -.-;

You're not alone!

Old 01-23-2009, 03:27 AM   #6
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Re: Constant shortnes of breath!!

Many people are suffering from anxiety, and they don't know it. You can be as happy as ever and still suffer from anxiety. Everyone suffers from anxiety. You should talk to your family doctor about this. If it's acid reflux, you should talk to your doctor about acid reflux and the medication prevacid. I hope you feel better. Good Luck!

Old 01-23-2009, 06:18 AM   #7
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Re: Constant shortness of Breath!!

I think the shortness of breath comes from two different things for sure. Anxiety and reflux. I have both. There have been times when I am very aware of every breath I take. It drives me insane. It makes me feel like I can't breathe, can't get a full breath and what if I suficate? Having anxiety is hell and most people walk around miserable and don't know what it is. I know all too well what this is all about. I think it is worse than most anything to deal with. It effects your mind and then the body symptoms come. No one understands unless they live with this or had panic and anxiety themselves. They just don't! My husband has never had this or had a panic attack. One night when I had one he asked me what was bothering me. And can't I just tell it to stop? Ha! Sometimes these things just happen. We don't order them up. Same with the shortness of breath. We don't choose to feel like we can't get a breath in. It is just happening. I wish I knew how to fix it all when it is happening. We just have to work our way through it.

Old 01-23-2009, 11:01 AM   #8
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Re: Constant shortness of Breath!!

I agree! No one who hasn't experienced anxiety knows how it feels. I think we are too hard on ourselves sometimes because just like the reflux crap, we sure don't "want" to have it. I'm fully aware that being anxious/nervous makes my LPR 10 times worse and yet sometimes it just comes out of no where. My breathing problems grow much worse also if I'm in a hurry, or late, or overwhelmed, which causes me to cough and get real SOB, which causes more anxiety! I haven't found antidepressants to help but taking a Xanax will help greatly. Then I worry about that as they are so addictive.......You would never think I was this crazy. Ha!


Old 01-23-2009, 11:21 AM   #9
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jmjoshua HB User
Re: Constant shortness of Breath!!

Not a doc but the deveated septum happened to a friend at work he somehow found the right doc who found out he had wegners not sure of spelling but it sounds similar to what you have been going thru. I think its a simple blood test>

Old 03-02-2009, 11:39 AM   #10
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stesurg HB User
Re: Constant shortness of Breath!!

Make sure to get a chest x ray - that's what showed my paralyzed diaphragm

Old 03-12-2009, 08:37 PM   #11
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Re: Constant shortness of Breath!!

I don't have acid reflux, but I've recently developed shortness of breath, and now I'm aware of my breathing all the time, and I think this constant awareness makes it worse. I've had a pounding heartbeat and insomnia off and on for years, and together I think these are symptoms of anxiety. Ambien and Lunesta work fairly well for the insomnia but not the other symptoms. Maybe it's time for some anti-anxiety meds.

Old 03-13-2009, 09:50 AM   #12
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Re: Constant shortness of Breath!!

Originally Posted by TEdds83 View Post
I think the shortness of breath comes from two different things for sure. Anxiety and reflux. I have both. ..... Sometimes these things just happen. We don't order them up. Same with the shortness of breath. We don't choose to feel like we can't get a breath in. It is just happening. I wish I knew how to fix it all when it is happening. We just have to work our way through it.
I second that. We just keep forgetting or can't believe that its true and still look for more reasons, usually more dire ones. My GI told me when i complained about my shortness of breath (paraphrasing), that the effects of acid on your vagus nerve can send signals causing your lungs to constrict, creating the shortness of breath. Logically following through, I would think that other areas could receive errant signals causing other problems too.

Last edited by Beeb; 03-15-2009 at 06:15 AM.

Old 03-13-2009, 10:39 PM   #13
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Re: Constant shortness of Breath!!

Anxiety doesn't have to have a reason, I know I have anxiety syndrom for 30yrs but I also get fixated on breathing, whether it is good or bad. I found that my acid reflux was causing the breathing problem while my head focused on it and then it became a vicious cycle! Once I started taking Nexium on a regular basis it was 90% better. I have LPR. Believe me our heads can play some pretty wicked games on us and if you have a form of reflux along with anxiety/panic, mitral valve prolapse like I do, well I can drive myself crazy!

Old 11-30-2009, 03:17 PM   #14
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Re: Constant shortness of Breath!!

I have been taking Lunesta almost daily for 3.5 years. i looked back on my records, and about 2 months after i started, i was into the doctor complaining about throat problems, clearing problems, etc. and was sent to look for possible refux problems (but not connected with lunesta, at least that was the thought then). My throat was always sore, I had hoarsnees, and the bravo test showed reflux (but what was causing the reflux). things got progressively worse. I finally heard on a Lunesta tv commercial, to the effect" in rare cases taking lunesta may cause swollen tongue or throat and may be fatal." I also went to a sleep clinic and was diagnosed with central sleep apnea (remember that Lunesta fiddles with the central nervous system). I was also depressed so i was taking prosac daily. I stopped Lunesta cold turkey 5 days ago. My throat is starting to feel better, i have not taken a nexium since and i am not coughing. I'm beginning to think that the lunesta taken daily for 3.5 years has contributed to my: reflux, depression, central sleep apnea. I will keep people informed if I continue to improve. I know it was stupid to take this daily for so long, but if i can help others it is something to consider. I know everyone is different but this may be a piece of someones medical puzzle if they are taking these drugs and have some similar problems. I am going to see a neurologist in a few weeks and will report back.
cheers dave

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