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    Old 03-08-2004, 01:32 PM   #1
    Hugger883
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    Need Answers Please!!!!! Please respond to this!

    I have posted here a while back and I still can find no help. I'm about ready to lose it. It all started 1.5 years ago, suddenly I developed this air hunger sensation. It felt like I had to take these "catch up" breaths. Sometimes they would only satisfy me after a few tries. It happens daily and constantly. Here is a run down of all my tests I have had none with still no answer

    Sept 2002 - ekg & blood work, ekg abnormal had nuclear stress test done, it was normal. PFT's and arterial blood gases - normal.

    Dec 2003 - Went to Pulmonary dr. Had echocardiogram done - normal and a CT chest scan - normal

    January 2004 - Methacholene challenge (for asthma test) it too was normal.

    February 2004 - Redid PFT's - normal, had another stress test (non nuclear) it was normal. Chest x-ray showed hyperinflated lungs which did not suprise me.

    Are hyperinflated lungs dangerous? My left middle of back hurts everytime I take one of my "gasps". My arms and neck are starting to ache. I used Advair about 6 months ago, wasn't sure if it was helping, don't think so, but then went back on it a few weeks ago because I am so desperate to stop this. No one seems to be able to help me. The first pulmonary office had a dr's PA seeing me and she thought my PFT's werent too impressive. I asked my dr for a new pulmonologist and he is the one that redid the PFT's. He said there is nothing wrong with my lungs (he didn't know they were hyperinflated, not sure if that matters or not). He basically told me I was anxious and C'ya! I have no energy anymore, I'm sad over this and do not know where to turn. Please respond and give me some insight. Thank you so much. Oh, I am female, 40, 5'9" 143 lbs and have smoked.

     
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    Old 03-08-2004, 04:19 PM   #2
    Howitt44
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    Re: Need Answers Please!!!!! Please respond to this!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hugger883
    I have posted here a while back and I still can find no help. I'm about ready to lose it. It all started 1.5 years ago, suddenly I developed this air hunger sensation. It felt like I had to take these "catch up" breaths. Sometimes they would only satisfy me after a few tries. It happens daily and constantly. Here is a run down of all my tests I have had none with still no answer

    Sept 2002 - ekg & blood work, ekg abnormal had nuclear stress test done, it was normal. PFT's and arterial blood gases - normal.

    Dec 2003 - Went to Pulmonary dr. Had echocardiogram done - normal and a CT chest scan - normal

    January 2004 - Methacholene challenge (for asthma test) it too was normal.

    February 2004 - Redid PFT's - normal, had another stress test (non nuclear) it was normal. Chest x-ray showed hyperinflated lungs which did not suprise me.

    Are hyperinflated lungs dangerous? My left middle of back hurts everytime I take one of my "gasps". My arms and neck are starting to ache. I used Advair about 6 months ago, wasn't sure if it was helping, don't think so, but then went back on it a few weeks ago because I am so desperate to stop this. No one seems to be able to help me. The first pulmonary office had a dr's PA seeing me and she thought my PFT's werent too impressive. I asked my dr for a new pulmonologist and he is the one that redid the PFT's. He said there is nothing wrong with my lungs (he didn't know they were hyperinflated, not sure if that matters or not). He basically told me I was anxious and C'ya! I have no energy anymore, I'm sad over this and do not know where to turn. Please respond and give me some insight. Thank you so much. Oh, I am female, 40, 5'9" 143 lbs and have smoked.
    I can sympathize with you. I have been through something similar, but my lung function tests were not normal the first time, then the second time they were and the third time they weren't. Basically that's it. I started feeling a little short of breath about 5 years ago when I was going through a stressful time in my life. I do have allergies and was tested and on shots for 4 years, but stopped because I really couldn't tell much difference. I have been and now am on Advair 100/50, Albuterol as needed, and nasal spray. Really the medicine hasn't altered my PFTs that much. I have decided to get in shape and exercise my lungs. Breathing correctly REALLY helps. Belly breaths. If you don't know what they are, let me know and I will go into more detail. Hope you get well soon and don't stress over it!

     
    Old 03-09-2004, 10:35 AM   #3
    Hugger883
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    Re: Need Answers Please!!!!! Please respond to this!

    Thank you for your response, I am glad you are doing better. I'm aware of the breathing exercises, have been reading a book on chronic hyperventilation, not sure if that's what I have or not. It is all so distressing. I am going to start an exercise program, I just never thought I was really that much out of shape, since I've never been a couch potato but do have a sedentary job. The advair really doesn't do much for me, have wondered if you should use it if it really doesn't make much difference. Do you or have you had hyperinflated lungs? Is that a bad thing? I know what the term means but can it have any long term effects on your health? It is strange how one pulm. dr can tell you one thing and a different one tell you something else....very nerve racking. I'm going to a new GP on Thursday.......praying that I will get help and relief from this nightmare. Thanks again!

     
    Old 03-09-2004, 11:46 AM   #4
    Howitt44
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    Re: Need Answers Please!!!!! Please respond to this!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hugger883
    Thank you for your response, I am glad you are doing better. I'm aware of the breathing exercises, have been reading a book on chronic hyperventilation, not sure if that's what I have or not. It is all so distressing. I am going to start an exercise program, I just never thought I was really that much out of shape, since I've never been a couch potato but do have a sedentary job. The advair really doesn't do much for me, have wondered if you should use it if it really doesn't make much difference. Do you or have you had hyperinflated lungs? Is that a bad thing? I know what the term means but can it have any long term effects on your health? It is strange how one pulm. dr can tell you one thing and a different one tell you something else....very nerve racking. I'm going to a new GP on Thursday.......praying that I will get help and relief from this nightmare. Thanks again!
    I don't think hyperinflated lungs are that uncommon with breathing problems. If you look at the thread AIR HUNGER under this category you will find several pages of other people with problems just exactly like yours. It seems pretty common for people to have this "air hunger", shortness of breath, and go to the doctor and have all the tests come out perfectly fine. Hope this helps.What are your daily symptoms; are you able to exercise without getting too winded? Do your lungs feel tight or do you wheeze? I have decided to get myself in the health club as often as I can and really "work" my lungs on a treadmill. It really makes you feel great overall. Let me know about how your doctor's visit comes out. I'll be praying for you.

     
    Old 03-09-2004, 09:39 PM   #5
    trotk03
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    Re: Need Answers Please!!!!! Please respond to this!

    Hi.

    I have the exact same symptoms as you and have been checked thoroughly like you although am yet to do a PFTest.
    I just came back from another doc that I tried and she said that the only thing it could be is hyperventilation.
    Are you able to sleep well coz I am til now and I've had this problem for the past 2 months now and it is causing me grief.
    Could this doctor be right? I hope so. She gave me a brown paper bag and told me to breath into it but I haven't tried yet.
    I also mentioned to her that this is the only (only) symptom I have ie...no racing pulse, headaches etc.
    I'm at a loss.
    U are not alone. For the first time I am extremely depressed.
    I stopped smoking for a couple weeks and it didn't make a diff so now I am smoking....from the stress this is causing me. I know, bad excuse.
    If anyone out there can help, please get back to us. We really need to know how to get rid of this.
    Thanks.

     
    Old 03-10-2004, 08:38 AM   #6
    Hugger883
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    Re: Need Answers Please!!!!! Please respond to this!

    Thanks Howitt44 and Trotk03 - I get a little winded sometimes, but I probably am somewhat out of shape. I do not ever wheeze. I'm amazed at the number of people who have the same problem! I'm trying to train myself to breath in only thru my nose, but catch myself taking these big mouth gulps...I don't know if it's habit or if my body is just begging for extra air....my pulse oximetry readings have always been 98 or 99, so I must be getting enough oxygen. I don't really have any trouble sleeping, don't wake up gasping or anything like that. I can be sitting at my desk, driving or doing nothing and it happens, that is what is so weird, so it's not actually "activity induced".

    Trotk03 - I do recall reading somewhere that the paper bag thing shouldn't be done if you have asthma or something like that.......but I get all kinds of conflicting info.....especially from doctors, very frustrating. I am seeing a new doc tomorrow and really going to try and have this one nail down what exactly is going on.......I believe it is all starting to take a toll on my back muscles and starting to get upper arm muscle twitching occasionally. Thank you!

     
    Old 03-10-2004, 05:36 PM   #7
    trotk03
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    Re: Need Answers Please!!!!! Please respond to this!

    Hi Hugger.

    I don't have asthma or anything like that. I don't have any prob's sleeping. I've always breathed through my nose. I don't know what's going on. I get it from the moment I wake til I sleep.

    It just feels like a tiny bit of tightness that is always there like just under my heart.

    I can't explain it properly....just like some weight.

    Do you also get this sensation?.

    I have no other symptoms at all that I can associate with this "air hunger".

    I'm going nuts, like seriously.

    Am on no medication at all.

    Have nothing to put this down to.

    Let us know how you go pleaaaaaaase.

     
    Old 03-11-2004, 09:50 AM   #8
    Hugger883
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    Re: Need Answers Please!!!!! Please respond to this!

    Went to my doctor today and he said that he was just so suprised at the number of people that have been complaining about the feeling of not being able to get enough air. I had written down every test that I have received within the last year and a half. He said that I had received the gold standard of testing and then he asked me if I had heard of hyperventilation syndrome. I told him yes and that I actually bought a book regarding it since I've been searching for answers myself. He basically gave me the "brown paper bag" idea........well, it's not like I really want to carry a bag to work and everywhere else I go. He didn't offer any other solutions or even talk in terms of medication......I'm starting to think that this is just how it is and that it is totally up to me to control my breathing (the correct way) and to get more exercise. I guess that is what I should commit to since obviously no GP or pulmonary specialist can give me anymore advice. I don't actually feel tightness under my heart, but I do feel more of a tightness in my stomach area, maybe I'm just tensed up, really don't know. This is so baffling, I know exactly how you feel! I think you said that you haven't had PFT's done, I think you should. Have you done the methacholene challenge? I guess that is the basic test of diagnosing asthma. Good luck and I think I will search for more info on the hyperventilation syndrome, although I think I pretty knowledgeable about that. The doctor I saw today is the first person that has ever mentioned that to me.

     
    Old 03-11-2004, 10:19 PM   #9
    trotk03
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    Re: Need Answers Please!!!!! Please respond to this!

    Hi Hugger,

    Good news. 2 Doc's now saying it's hyperventilation. You're right, the tightness is in tummy area....

     
    Old 03-19-2004, 07:23 PM   #10
    byrdwoman
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    Re: Need Answers Please!!!!! Please respond to this!

    I am in the same boat. I think? I had bad virus that attack my upper respiratory. I have been absolutely baffled. Been a asthmatic for 30+yrs and have managed it for years. All my test show that im getting enough air. Been to ER room 2 times and the clinic. Today i seen a dr. that is at least sending me to a Pulmonary specialist. I think my problem is i have the junk still in my upper part of my lungs and have tried to use every kind of medication to thin the mucus. I get extremely short of breath and tightness in my chest. Nothing really calms it. Just has to run its course. The doc ruled out anxiety because i am on anxiety meds. So i am puzzled to what to do.
    Any advice would be more then apprieciated.
    Jane

     
    Old 03-20-2004, 09:30 AM   #11
    CThomp1803
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    Wink Re: Need Answers Please!!!!! Please respond to this!

    The best explanation I've found of what Hyperinflated lung is comes from the Mayo Clinic:

    You have about 300 million air sacs (alveoli) in each lung. The walls of these air sacs contain elastic fibers that allow them to expand and contract like small balloons when you breathe. When these walls are damaged, such as from emphysema, they lose their elasticity. Because they are unable to contract properly, more air remains in the air sacs when you exhale and overstretches (hyperinflates) them.

    Overstretching may cause several air sacs to rupture, forming one larger air space instead of many smaller ones. The large air sacs can't force air out of your lungs as well as the small air sacs when you exhale. For this reason, you have to breathe harder just to get enough oxygen in your blood.

    Although emphysema is the most common cause, hyperinflation may also occur due to:

    Severe asthma attacks
    Tumor of the major airway, such as the trachea or a bronchial tube

    In older males, a condition called barrel chest can give the appearance of hyperinflated lungs. Barrel chest is often due to osteoarthritis in the joints between the ribs and spine, which fixes the chest wall in the inhale position. But it has little effect on breathing.

    A doctor may diagnose hyperinflation of the lungs by a chest X-ray. In some cases, such as when due to severe asthma, this condition is reversible with treatment. However, hyperinflation due to emphysema typically isn't reversible although treatment may improve its signs and symptoms. Treatment may include lung volume reduction surgery, also called lung shaving. In this procedure, a surgeon removes wedges of damaged tissue from your lungs. Removing some of the damaged air sacs decreases the size of your lungs yet makes breathing easier.


    I hope this helps answer your questions
    CThomp1803

     
    Old 03-21-2004, 12:52 PM   #12
    T. Boyer
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    Re: Need Answers Please!!!!! Please respond to this!

    I know of the hunger you describe, but I only have it on occasion. Stress, anxiety, or lack of peace of mind, worry etc. are major contributors to this and MOST people are far more quick to turn to medicine before adressing the "Mind-Body & Soul" aspects.
    To get to the point, PLEASE consider getting yourself involved in some type or types of meditation. Some examples are Yoga,(their are different types, choose accordingly)
    Tai Chi (Not sure if I spelled that right), Meditation on your own etc... The bottom line is find a way you like best of bringing your mind body and soul in alignment.. It may seem weird to you if you've never known any of it before, but ask yourself "WHAT HAVE I GOT TO LOOSE" If you try any of this, please give it a fair chance to help you and don't look for a complete turn-around over night..

     
    Old 03-22-2004, 02:20 PM   #13
    trotk03
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    Re: Need Answers Please!!!!! Please respond to this!

    Hi Hugger.

    How ya doing? I'm much better now. Definitely was some type of hyperventilation in my case.
    Hope all is well with you.
    Tcare.

     
    Old 03-23-2004, 07:11 AM   #14
    Hugger883
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    Re: Need Answers Please!!!!! Please respond to this!

    I have had a bad couple of days.....especially when driving. I'm glad you are doing better, that's great. I try to keep just breathing through my nose but just can't seem to get a good breath. I've been reading my "hyperventilation" book and it does say that it is a rather tough habit to break.....assuming that is what I have! So glad you are doing well!!!

     
    Old 03-23-2004, 08:58 AM   #15
    Hugger883
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    Re: Need Answers Please!!!!! Please respond to this!

    So are hyperinflated lungs actually a "bad thing"......I'm curious how they can be reversed with asthma but not with emphysema. It doesn't seem like my doctor was that interested in it. So if air gets trapped, then does it help to try and blow out more air?? I'm kind of confused, this hyperventilation thing is so strange. Like I said before, I have beaten this problem to death, I don't believe there are anymore tests that can be done........mental focusing on breathing seems to be the route to take. I'm trying but it isn't easy. It's been going on for over a year and a half and I haven't died from it yet, I just want it to go away!!

     
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