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cannot take a deep breath, then i must yawn but can't

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Old 02-11-2010, 10:39 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 14
ktthyroid HB User
cannot take a deep breath, then i must yawn but can't

Well, it sounds like I'm the newest addition to this symptom. It all started about 2 weeks ago with my chest feeling like it was under a huge weight (pressure, although not quite painful, just highly uncomfortable). After about 5 days of this coming and going it simply stayed all day. This was a weekend so I went to the ER to make sure nothing was wrong. Boy! do I love the lines there. I went in, had an EKG, basic triage (blood pressure, heart rate, etc) and nothing panned out. So they told me it would be about 8 hours before I saw a doctor for further work. They suggested that it might be GERD / acid reflux, but I've had this only about 3 times in my entire life and definitely had the burning when I did. There was no burning here, just pressure so, I left. Over the next few days the pressure subsided but then I had difficulty taking a deep breath. The next few days this got worse and worse to the point where I was needing to take a deep breath every few breaths but finding that only about 1 in 5 actually did the job. I also had the constant yawning but no coughing. The strain of trying to take a deep breath is actually starting to hurt my chest. Never had this problem before in my life!

I've been emailing my doctor about the symptoms and she emailed me back telling me that I had tested for mild sleep apnea and that this is what it was. While I believe that she was honestly trying to help, I have no idea how this can be it. First, I have an extremely mild case that the doctor was barely able to catch. Second, it only happened at night generally if I am stressed or had a few drinks. Third, the problem isn't that I'm trying to take a deep breath, it's that I can't when I try.

So I emailed her back asking these questions and she emails saying that I'm due for a blood pressure check??? Anybody else have an infuriating doc like this? I tested about three months ago at 135/85 after always having a 120-125 / 80-90. So she wants me to come in and get rechecked to see if I need blood pressure meds. I can possibly believe that this is apnea or blood pressure related or anything if it had come on gradually and lasted for months, but this is something that sprouted up overnight and then turned into a breathing problem. ANY ideas guys?

Last edited by ktthyroid; 02-11-2010 at 10:42 AM.

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Old 04-26-2010, 05:51 PM   #2
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 98
goingcrazy8 HB User
Re: cannot take a deep breath, then i must yawn but can't

Can't post a link, but google waitingroomforum for more info on these breathing issues.

Old 05-06-2010, 06:43 PM   #3
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Kansas USA
Posts: 2
prairiecat HB User
Re: cannot take a deep breath, then i must yawn but can't

Try looking up "vocal chord dysfunction." There is some good info on the National Jewish Hospital website. Hope this helps!


Old 05-20-2010, 05:11 PM   #4
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 7
PainNoMor HB User
Re: cannot take a deep breath, then i must yawn but can't

I have a similar problem and found advice that helped. The problem was I could not breathe deeply because I did not exhale properly. My lungs were full of old, stale, air, leaving no room for fresh air. I had to learn to exhale completely forcing the old air all the way out till I could not blow air out anymore. Then I slowly started breathing inward deeply. Initially I could not breath all the way in right away, it took a few tries until I could breathe in deeply. I had to do this exercise several times a day until my lungs re-trained to exhale completely and then inhale completely. Within the first day, I was able to breath deeply. It is critical that you do this exercise several times a day for two or three minutes at a time. I also have been able to yawn deeper than I used to be able to, sometimes I get a full yawn (not all the time). I am new at this exercise and I am hopeful that I will recoup completely, but so far I breathe so much better. I have been doing this for a few weeks only but my breathing has improved tremendously. It might work for you too. I hope this helps.

The Following User Says Thank You to PainNoMor For This Useful Post:
simplechap (01-20-2011)
Old 08-18-2010, 01:25 PM   #5
I Can Help
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: NE US
Posts: 1
I Can Help HB User
Re: cannot take a deep breath, then i must yawn but can't

I have not thought about this problem for 25 years. I too saw every specialist available, wore a Holter monitor for the palpatations and was tested for allergies. I finally solved the problem by cutting out what was then referred to as Nutra-Sweet. It is now known by its generic name, aspartame. When I stopped aspartame, the problem went away in a few weeks and did not return until this month (August, 2010).

I have now learned that the manufacturer of the gum I chew changed the formula to include aspartame. It's not even suger free gum!

I too am a type A personality so anxiety crossed my mind.

Do this: google "aspartame" "short of breath" and "palpatations." You will see very similar stories.

Cut out the aspartame and read lables (it is lurking in many "light" and "diet" foods, and is beginning to appear in other, non-diet foods)

Give it a try.

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