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    Old 05-21-2008, 09:28 AM   #1
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    ? About "Air Hunger"

    I just need some kind of hope...has anyone on here that suffered from "air hunger" ever get an actual diagnosis from a doctor, and have this awful thing cured???? It seems like all the people on here who have dealt with air hunger are bouncing around from doctor to doctor, never finding out whats really wrong, and having to continualy suffer from their symtoms. This is starting to sound like me! I've just been referred to a pulmonologist, but have this bad feeling he'll run a lot of tests, none showing anything wrong with me, and I'll continue having to deal with this every day until the air hunger magically decides to dissapear. Like I said, I just need some hope that someone out there has figured this thing out and fixed it???

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    Old 05-21-2008, 05:05 PM   #2
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    Re: ? About "Air Hunger"


    Have you had any testing at all at this point? Any x-rays or CT scans? My guess would be if it has anything to do with your lungs it will be found in a CT scan.
    What are your symptoms exactly when you say "Air Hunger"? It's hard to comment further without more details.

    Wish you the best and some answers soon!
    God bless and Take care.

    Old 05-22-2008, 03:00 PM   #3
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    Re: ? About "Air Hunger"

    I've had some testing - a spirometry test, a lung profusion scan, and an EKG to see if it was heart related. I also had some bloodwork done to see if it was anemia or a thyroid problem. All were normal. I will not have a CT scan or an x-ray because I am pregnant.

    When I say "air hunger", I'm referring to the symptoms that a lot of other people on this board seem to refer to when they speak of "air hunger": the need to yawn or take a deep breath every couple of minutes, and sometimes feeling like you just cannot get enough oxygen. It's comforting knowing there are other people experiencing what I am, because I feel rather crazy right now. But what I'm wondering is if anyone has seen those symptoms resolved, or had a doctor correctly diagnose the problem and treat it!

    Last edited by prettyfish13; 05-22-2008 at 03:00 PM.

    Old 05-23-2008, 11:37 AM   #4
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    Re: ? About "Air Hunger"

    hi, do you get out of breath doing simple things like walking while carrying things? or mayby walking while talking

    Old 05-27-2008, 12:46 PM   #5
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    Re: ? About "Air Hunger"

    nicola -

    I feel like I cannot breath properly 24/7. It doesn't matter what I am doing: sitting on the couch, talking on the phone, or walking around. Regardless what I am engaging in at the moment, I always feel like I have to take a deep breath to get enough oxygen.

    Old 05-27-2008, 02:57 PM   #6
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    Re: ? About "Air Hunger"


    I am sorry that I cannot offer any useful curative information for you, but I wanted to let you know that I empathize.

    I started experiencing 'air hunger' in October, 2005. It went away for a couple of months in early 2006, then returned in March 2006 and has remained with me ever since. I have it constantly - all day, when I am awake. I am fine when I sleep (it never wakes me up).

    I have seen two GPs, a pulmonologist and an ENT doctor. I had a full Pulmonary Function Test which showed slight dysfuction of the small airways (diagnosis: Asthma) but otherwise normal readings. The bronchodialator response was hardly enough to even call it Asthma, but I still was given Albuterol and Advair for treatment. It did not cause the "air hunger" to go away.

    I do have chronic sinusitis and GERD. I have been on a maintenance regime to treat GERD for about 5 years, so it's doubtful there is any role there. My sinusitis was confirmed by a CT scan and I was treated with a variety of corticosteroids and antihistamines. Also, I had two rounds of antibiotics last Christmas due to a sinus infection that migrated into bronchitis. Both were resolved.

    The only two tests that I have not had are a chest CT (or xray) or any kind of heart tests except for a simply EKG during a life insurance physical about a year ago (which was normal). Also, I am contemplating requesting a cardio-pulmonary stress test from my doctor to see if that reveals anything.

    Blood sats are ALWAYS 99-100%, heart rate appears normal, breathing CAN be normal if I am sufficiently distracted by something for a short period of time, but I almost always need to breathe deep, sigh or yawn to get a 'satisfying' breath and then that doesn't always work.

    Two of my doctors have suggested "psychogenic dyspnea" (meaning stress or emotions or some other psychological process is causing the problem) and have put me on up to 8mg of Lorazepam a day with little effect.

    Lastly, I'm 47, smoked moderately between the ages of 22 and 35 (when I quit completely) and have had diagnoses of asthma (though one doctor told me I didn't have it) and sinusitis. Oh, and GERD (which revealed itself on a Barium swallow test but was asymptomatic).

    This condition is tiring, stressful and annoying. I am concerned that breathing 'incorrectly' for such a long period of time may be doing harm somewhere that will show up later.

    Any comments or advice on the above would be welcome. I am tired of doctors looking at me like I am speaking a language they don't understand.

    Last edited by sir-tainly; 05-27-2008 at 05:16 PM.

    Old 06-05-2008, 06:29 PM   #7
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    Re: ? About "Air Hunger"

    Hello all trouble breathers like me,

    I am in the Army and I have been dealing with the same issues as all of you. From the moment I wake up till I go to sleep I feel like I am not getting enough air in my lungs. I feel the need to yawn and sometimes I get a full breath but soon after I feel the need to take a deep breath again but it doesn't work. My chest will hurt, i will feel dizzy, and my fingers and other muscles will feel tingly. My fiance and I are both very worried. When I go to th emergency room when it gets really bad my vitals are always normal. I have taken a pulminary functions test, two lung x rays, and a CT scan on my chest. All of the test came back normal with no signs of anything irregular. My doctor is a Captain in the Army and is treating me for GERD(Acid Reflux), but I never get heart burn. I am taking FLOVENT(steroid inhaler), OMEPRAZOLE(Prilosec) for reflux, claritin, and suduaffed. I have only been on the reflux medication for 6 days, and the inhaler for 2 days. My doctor wants me to return next week to see if anything has helped. From what I have been reading a lot of you have done the same as me with no answer. I am thankful that my treatment is all free but i wonder if that effects their judgment. I am lost and have no idea what to do. Both my fiance and I are very worried. Does anybody know if it is anything serious? I dont eat that much anymore because when i eat even foods that dont cause GERD it makes my breathing worse sometimes. I feel afraid to eat and to even leave my room to do anything. I feel helpless and afraid of what is wrong with me. I feel useless at work because there is not much I can do. God please help me and the others on this board and around the world dealing with this issue. If anyone has any questions for me or any advice please PLEASE PLEASE talk to me. I know what you all are going through. Thank you all and I hope you all find a cure along with me. If I don't find a cure soon I am gonna take this thing global and make at huge deal. I will be praying for all of you and take care. I will ad another board message sometime next week with details from my doctors visit. For all of you who are just developing this ailment, hold on, and God is with you. Take Care everyone.


    Old 06-07-2008, 02:19 PM   #8
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    Re: ? About "Air Hunger"

    Prettyfish - did this come on since you have been pregnant? The baby could be pushing on your diapraghm and you are not getting either full inspiration or expiration.

    Good luck, I came to this board because I have just started up with some problem. I have spine issues in neck and thoracic. For the past 6 months I have chest tightness, pressure and feel like I am not breathing or can't get good breath getting worse each month. I have an old history of asthma but not for years and this doesn't feel like that.

    They started testing, heart good, and funny thing is xray looks good, but when I had the chest CT with contrast it showed a widespread lung issue. Also funny though is I have good oxyg sat while all this is going on. Anyway the thing to do would be to work with your doctor to get a chest ct as soon as possible.

    Old 06-07-2008, 05:08 PM   #9
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    Re: ? About "Air Hunger"

    Hi, i am new to this forum. I am only 18 years old and for the past 3 months i have had severe shortness of breath that is constant. I remember that i had a throat infection that lasted a longg time and when i woke up one day i thought i was having an asthma attack so i got rushed to the hospital where they gave me a mask and ventalin..which did nothing for my shortness of breath. At first i thought it was anxiety because thats what all the docs are telling me, but now i realized that i have had post nasal drip in my throat for about the same time, and last few weeks my stomach sounds really bad and i have been burping like every 5 mins. The only problem is the shortness of breath that i cannot live with. It is so hard and my doctor said shortness of breath is not related to GERD, or that its probably just my asthma...But i haven't had asthma since i was a child and the medications don't even work anyway.

    I have had chest xrays and all the works but i really think its GERD now. I have all the symptoms...But i am in so much depression right now after reading that people have lived with this for years that i feel as though i might just give up hope. There must be some educated doctor somewhere that knows where the shortness of breath is coming from. I am so desperate, that i feel as though we should get as many suffers with this problem together and try to find a solution TOGETHER. If everyone knows each others symptoms i feel as though we can find something that works.

    Please email me if you agree with this idea, I know exactly how hard this is and we cannot just let doctors push us away. I am going to India soon because there is a lot of smart doctors there and they have many natural solutions.

    Last edited by moderator2; 06-07-2008 at 06:05 PM. Reason: posted contact info

    Old 06-09-2008, 01:08 PM   #10
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    Re: ? About "Air Hunger"

    Originally Posted by neckpatient View Post
    Prettyfish - did this come on since you have been pregnant? The baby could be pushing on your diapraghm and you are not getting either full inspiration or expiration.
    Yes, this all started when I was about 15 weeks along. That's what my OB is telling me, that it's simply the baby taking up space. I just have a hard time believing it because they baby was still so small at 15 weeks.

    I went to a pulmonologist last week, and he said he thinks it's anxiety. He can find nothing else wrong with me. I had a chest xray done, and everything looked good.

    So, my gut feeling is that is is anxiety, and a bit from the baby taking up space. I know that my lung capacity will be compromised as the baby grows bigger! Now I am just keeping up hope that after the baby comes, all of this will go away, either because I have my lungs back or because my crazy hormones calm down, thus my anxiety calms down.

    Old 06-16-2008, 12:52 PM   #11
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    Lightbulb Re: ? About "Air Hunger"

    i know this is going to sound crazy, but you may want to start keeping a food journal for a few weeks. you may have developed allergies to certain foods or certain chemicals in foods. i have experienced this same exact feeling some of you have described, the need to yawn deeply to get a satisfying breath, usually it doesnt "catch" but i keep trying anyway. it started for me back in 2004 and i have dealt with it on and off ever since. i have had every test in the book but ended up discovering on my own it is due to things i ingest. for instance, i cannot drink some of my favorite teas anymore due to them being fermented nor can i drink wine for the same reason. i also happen to have "aspirin intolerance" in which the same breathing problem occurs if i take an aspirin. its funny though, it doesnt happen right away. i will be fine til the next day, its like a delayed reaction kind of thing. some of the other foods that i have a reaction to are ones that contain MSG and large amounts of aspartame. i was on this crash diet once in 2006 and i thought i had already eliminated the culprit for my breathing problem. so one night i had eaten nothing all day but coffee and water and by night i was starving so i ate 2 fat free yogurts before bed. the next day was sunday and i was so out of breath i made my husband go buy an inhaler at the drug store but it did not help. i ended up going to the emergency room just for oxygen because of course they found nothing!

    so just a thought. check every food you put in your mouth, every ingredient, even every medicine you take as sometimes the coatings on pills can cause a reaction.

    Last edited by lvm6; 06-16-2008 at 12:53 PM.

    Old 07-21-2008, 07:31 PM   #12
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    Re: ? About "Air Hunger"

    I am in my mid 40's and have suffered with air hunger on and off since I was in my early teens. I have been diagnosed with very mild asthma (not sure I'd agree with that one), seasonal allergies which I take Zyrtec for, and a couple food allergies. The air hunger comes and goes--will last for weeks or months. It never bothers me when I'm asleep. The ONLY thing that I've found that has ever made it go away was something I read on a website several years ago. I can't remember what it was called but it was a method to stop the cycle. Basically, you breathe through your nose ONLY, even if you have to breathe deeply through it. I can tell you that it's REALLY hard to do, and it takes a lot of willpower not to give in and take a deep breath through your mouth. At first, I was sure I would pass out from not getting enough air, or at least that what it felt like. But, I didn't, and though I can't remember how long it took to break the cycle (several days maybe) it DID work. Though I don't know exactly what causes the air hunger to act up--chewing a lot of sugarless gum seems to make it start sometimes , certain times of year seem to start it up, stress seems to start it up, thinking about it can start it up--the nose breathing can almost always break the cycle.

    Old 07-24-2008, 07:58 AM   #13
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    Re: ? About "Air Hunger"

    To the poster who mentioned breathing slowly only through your nose -- that is called the Buteyko Method for Russian doctor Konstantin Buteyko.

    A couple of other suggestions:

    1. Get an intracellular (not serum) magnesium test. If deficient -- you probably are -- soak in a magnesium chloride bath or use a magnesium cream (Dr. Norm Shealy sells it) until your levels are normal. Be sure to test. You don't want to overdo it either. Orals won't work well for many once they are deficient. Good luck finding a doc who will give you this test.

    2. Test your urine with pH strips to find out how acidic or alkaline your urine is. Susan Brown has a good book out there that explains how to do this. It's easy to test. Many people are too acidic. Most docs will pooh-pooh this, too, but ask yourself if they are actually helping you overcome your problem. It doesn't sound like it.

    3. Take 1-2 tablespoonfuls of a quality fish oil each day. Carlson's is good. Read up on the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. Examine your diet to see if your ratio is healthy. Not surprisingly, most people do not have a healthy ratio.

    4. Meditate at least once a day for 20". There are many ways to do it, just find something that works for you. Meditation has all kinds of tremendous health benefits which the (Western) medical community is just beginning to understand. Years ago, most docs pooh-poohed meditation, too.

    5. A type of yoga might help, too.

    Old 07-25-2008, 07:05 PM   #14
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    Re: ? About "Air Hunger"

    I want to second what lvm6 wrote about looking into food allergies. Some background first: I've had air hunger on and off for at least 5 years now (I'm 29), with each episode lasting a few hours to a day. I do have mild asthma, but there is no resistance to getting air in my lungs like with other asthma symptoms, it is just that I don't *feel* like I can get a deep breath and I feel like I need to. Perhaps unlike some others, I can usually get a satisfying breath after a few tries, but not always. Laying down helps (it is worse when I'm sitting), as does breathing as deep as I can, holding my breath for a bit, then taking one or more tiny breaths (releasing only a bit of air, then breathing even deeper).

    Anyway, back to allergies--I am 99% sure that my episodes are caused by certain foods. I have a pretty regular diet with few changes from week to week, and every single time I've had it in over a year was soon after eating specific foods. For me, it is some sugar-free foods, like popscicles and those flavored powders that you add to water, but other sugar-free foods aren't a problem, like diet sodas. As with lvm6, it usually takes a day or two to start after I've eaten the food, so it is very difficult to figure out.

    I found this thread when I was searching to see if anybody had ideas of exactly which of the food additives might be causing it. My foods all seem to have Maltodextrin and Acesulfame Potassium listed as ingredients, but I wonder if each person might be sensitive to different things. Anybody else think their problem is due to foods?

    Old 08-10-2008, 04:17 PM   #15
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    Re: ? About "Air Hunger"

    Hi, I am 35 years old, and have suffered with air hunger for many years, i have times throughout the day ever day of my life where i go to take a deep breath and cant, or feel like i have no air in my lungs that i start to worry i am dying... I have not learnt how to control it, I have been on all kinds of medication and nothing works.
    Its got to the stage now that I wont travel anywhere without knowing where the nearset hospital is, as soon as ileave my house i start to worry i am going to start the air hunger. I hate being left alone, infact its so depressing i dont do anything, can anyone help me

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