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Difficulty Getting a Deep Satisfying Breath. (Page 1)

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I am really beggining to panic. I have been for quite some time now 6 mo. Been having a very hard time getting a deep satisfying breath. What I mean is I feel like I have to breathe in deep and when I do I can not get the breath I am looking for. I went to the doctor and they prescribed me nexium for acid reflux (gerd) I have been on this for nearly 3 wks and no change in breathing, however the medicine is making me constipated!! So if someone can give me some answers that would help. Thank you!!
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First Helper emanresu4u
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replied August 16th, 2005
I know exactly what you mean. I am in my mid 30s and can't remember not having this problem. I was just doing a google search on "can't get a deep breath" and found myself here. Don't take this the wrong way, but it is actually refreshing to read and hear that I am not the only one suffering from this. Doctors have told me its stress, anxiety, hormonal, tesxted me for asthma - you name it. I can pretty much go for weeks without problems, then - bam - it hits. When it does it usually lasts for a few days (having good moments and bad). The worst of these are usually at night, when I am trying to get that last relaxing breath before falling asleep - I try harder and harder but can't and the more I try the more frustrating and harder it gets. It then takes forever to fall asleep and just gets worse the falling few days as I am more and more tired. Its definately a cycle (at least for me).
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replied September 5th, 2011
Short Breaths
My symptoms exactly, except its only been the last couple of years that the "short breaths" have been bad enough (beyond normal yawning, etc) that I've had significant anxiety about it. They do come and go. I've done a little research-I'm not expert, but we may certainly have "hidden" hyperventilation due to an overawareness of our breathing and our consistent effort to breath deeply. Hyperventilation forces too much CO2 from your blood, changes your blood PH, and causes a sense of breathlessness and shakiness. You may want to try (if you haven't already) relaxation techniques designed to slow your breathing and heart rate...and resist the urge to breath in too deeply. I imagine that IF this is in fact the problem we have, it will take quite some time to correct, since the symptoms are so acute. Preserver.
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replied May 11th, 2014
Hello - my 17 year told daughter was going thru the same thing - she was fighting to try and get deep breaths. And I have had this same thing for 5 years. I spent thousands of dollars in getting all sorts of tests done and have been put on steroids, inhalers, anti-depresents and nothing worked. I was so frustrated. But when my 17 year old got the same thing last month - I had it! And in my research, someone mentioned Chronic Hyperventilation Syndrome. That was it - that was what both of us had. I discovered that the only thing to help with that is Buteyko Breathing Workshops so I found someone and we've been to 2 classes and I am a ton better already! My daughter is a lot better but is not as good as me about doing all the daily exercises so she is progressing a little more slowly - but she definately can breathe again and is sleeping better. This was a miracle for us so I urge you to start the Buteyko method asap. You can do it from Youtube but I wanted my daughter to have someone showing her the exercises in person and making sure she did it right. Good luck - this has been an answer to a five year long prayer of mine.
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replied August 16th, 2005
I get it, too. Have had it as long as i've had these symptoms of anxiety :-\
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replied August 16th, 2005
Experienced User
Me too. And it even makes it weird sometimes when I try to talk I feel like I have no energy or breath left, so I have to tense my stomach and almost press the words out. Its horrible. It pops up about once a month and lasts 2-3 days. I have anxiety also. Have had for months
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replied August 18th, 2005
I know what your talking about truck, you try to talk to someone but it feels like you can't catch your breath, like you just ran a mile but didn't and I even get shaky. I always think people are going to think i'm a crackhead or something! It's embarrassing.
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replied October 27th, 2006
Can't Take Deep Breath
Everyone on this site is suffering from chronic hyperventilation syndrome. Type in a search for this and you will get all the answers you need. Also type in a search for buteyko and this will cure you. Good luck!
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replied November 11th, 2012
THIS THIS THIS.

Was having this same issue but attempts to treat it made it worse. Problem was I had TOO MUCH oxygen in my blood, and forcing myself to breathe even more deeply to take in more oxygen exacerbated the feeling (like meditating with super deep, calm breaths).

WHAT FIXED IT (hopefully it's just high O2 levels for you too):

Goal: Increase C02 levels

Action:

1) Take in a deep breath
2) Re-breathe the same air by forcing the lungs to make breathing motions, but disallowing air to actually enter your nose/mouth
3) I suppose you can breath into a paper bag, but I didn't have one available.

In about 30 minutes, that damned feeling was GONE.
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replied March 5th, 2013
"2) Re-breathe the same air by forcing the lungs to make breathing motions, but disallowing air to actually enter your nose/mouth"

What?! HOW??

"In about 30 minutes, that damned feeling was GONE."
30 minutes of breathing into a paper bag would probably make you faint.
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replied October 29th, 2006
Experienced User
I was having this same problem and I am under a lot of anxiety and depression right now. My best advice...Go get a massage. I did and I felt so 100% better...Try it...Let me know the results
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replied November 5th, 2006
When that happens, try to shift your attention to your diaphragm while breathing--pull air into your belly first, then take it into your lungs. You'll notice as you're inhaling into your lungs your belly begins to go down. Follow it with an exhalation. That is a full deep breath. The impression that you are not getting enough air, (assuming your breathing passage is clear) is actually anxiety, when you are in fact breathing deeply. Shifting awareness to deep belly breathing is calming, even if you panic at the beginning that you are not breathing right...After a while your body will start to feel calm from the deep breaths. Sometimes breathing like this can be emotionally painful, because deep breathing can bring out feelings you couldnt fully experience before because of the anxiety.
One thing I read somewhere, was to imagine a lotus flower opening inside your belly while you inhale, and imagining it shut while exhaling. It sounds kind of goofy/neurotic, but it helps to shift attention from tight, incomplete breaths to your belly, which is where healthy breathing originates.
Good luck all, i've been there and there is always another way!!
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replied November 9th, 2006
Maybe This Will Help
I have had similar issues, all linked to anxiety/stress and work.

One question everyone in this forum should ask them selves, do you work in front of a computer? I have done so for years and these issues on started after a few years of working in front of the computer.

Some things that help me to "release" so that I can breath deeply are:
1. Hot water bottle
2. A good physio therapist (preferably sports) as they seem to understand muscles and how they operate in your body
3. Beleive your doctor, I know its hard but you have to have faith in them or if not one, get a second opinion, dont tell the second one at all that you have seen another doctor, so then their decision is not biased.
4. In australia we have bowen therapy, not sure if you have it over there, can be very effective.
5. Yoga or pilates
6. Work less, or take more breaks.
7. Review your matress, you spend 1/3rd of your life on your bed, and it may not be as "supporting" as it used to be so could be causing back issues which cause back spasms/tightness
8. Laugh as often as you can, if not at a comedy, ring an old friend and reminise over stupid things youd do, its amazing how much laughter helps.
9. Ride a bike
10. Get a massage

those things have helped me, ive had some rough trots, but have gotten through them. One thing which I always would think to myself when I thought it was the worst its ever been was, what doesnt kill us makes us stronger.

Hope this helps.

Littlegong
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replied February 21st, 2008
I too also work in front of computer. I am 27 and have been working in front of computer full time for almost 2.5 years now.

I started realizing these symptoms after an urgent project over the weekend but it was very light.

I then have this very serious attack over 2 days from the night i decided to quit smoking.

I had CT, x-ray, PFT and blood test done, except a bit high on CHL everything else seems normal.

It is almost 3 weeks now since my first so called "anxiety attack" and sometime i still feel short of breath, i just can't seem to command my lung to breath properly.

My symptom is the most obvious when catching a train to / from work. And it's the least when having a laugh with friends after work in the cafe.
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replied May 2nd, 2008
This has happened to me four times during the past eight months or so. Each episode lasts about a week or ten days. At first I have to yawn or else I cant get a full breath of air. After a few days of this I cant get a full breath no matter what I do. I know I really am breathing but I feel like my lungs aren't taking in any new air, its just the same air in there going up and down as I breathe, and so I feel this incredible need to breathe in a huge breath of fresh air, but I cant get it to go all the way into my lungs. As a result of constantly trying to do this, my stomach feels really bloated and my head starts hurting, and I start getting really angry and irritable.

The first time this happened it was about a week after I quit smoking and so I associated it with that. I have relapsed since then and been smoking off and on. I have gone through some very traumatic events in the past few months, but I'm not sure the breathing problems are related to that because there is nothing in particular that seems to set them off. This week I have been having a very good week but yesterday it started happening again for no reason at all, I just suddenly realized I wasnt getting enough air.

I would really like to know how to stop this!! Today I took a 1mg Xanax and I felt a lot better, but only because it kept me from worrying about my breathing. It was still hard for me to get a full breath, I just didn't feel the urge to do it as often.
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replied September 5th, 2011
I can relate, though I can get a satisfactory breath every few breaths or so. You need to know that you are in fact getting enough oxygen. If you weren't, you would have passed out a long time ago. The problem it seems (based on some amateur research) is "hidden hyperventilation" or maybe in your case obvious hyperventilation. Its counterintuitive, but the deeper you breath the more you feel like you didn't get enough oxygen. This is because a deep breath involves a deep exhale as well, which removes too much CO2 from your blood...this causes your symptoms (or so some say). I notice when I wake up at night and I feel really good and relaxed how shallow my breathing is. Your breathing is supposed to be automatic but with anxiety and over awareness of your breathing, your conscious self #1 feels anxious and #2 takes over for your automatic breathing. Next thing you know, you're exhaling too much CO2. Work on relaxation, shallow breaths, massages...it'll take time, but I hope it works for you and I both.
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replied April 23rd, 2012
Look, guys, everybody just drink ten cups of water. Wait a little then drink five cups of water. Now try to breathe. Better? Good. That's the mucus in your lungs thinning out due to good hydration.
Rinse and repeat.
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replied October 5th, 2008
problem getting deep breath or yawn
This is a reply to jimcro09, around the end of June, I started not being able to get deep breath or yawn, after 2 wk. went to pri. care doc., he game me 3 inhalers, none worked, he sent me for cheast xray and pul. function test, both ok, then an ultrasound on my heart, ok, so then pul. doc. he started me with nexium, nothing, then he gave me zegerid, no good,(but first thing he did was take me off a med calledLisinopril for high BP, said it contained an ace inhibitor and it would take about 6 weeks to get out of my system, well, in 3 days the six weeks are up...the week before my last visit, I had a slight improvement, he said he wanted to do a stress test but wanted me to walk 30 min a day for a month first, did it for 3 days, had no trouble during the walk, did it for 3 days, each day my breathing got worse...sometime I think I'm going to lose my mind and have seen many sites with the same problem, and not one person has said their dr. found out the problem.....
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replied October 5th, 2008
breathing
I forgot to add this, I use Miralax for constipation, only thing that I have ever used that makes that part of my life normal.

jensbirl
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replied October 25th, 2008
Breathing
Please someone tell me that your dr. has figured out this problem!!!!!!!!!!!!
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replied November 4th, 2008
Getting a deep breath
Having difficulty breathing is very normal for everyone. Just knowing that should already make it easier for you to breath. You are simply experiencing what it means to have a life... and all the anxiety that comes along with it.

Why you feel constricted respiration is because anxiety creates tension in your heart. the heart is a nerve center for the whole body. You may think that the brain is the nerve center but its really not... The brain is the cognitive center. When your heart is burdened, it creates tension and congestion along the entire nerve system of the thoracic vertebrae. And guess which vertibraes control the lungs and diaphram??? you GOT IT... the thoracic vertebrae!

So there are several things you can do... ummm... endless actually... you can pound on the pressure points that hold the stress in that area, you can do inverse breathing... its commonly known as pranayama. You can write down your fears and anxieties so they become EXTERNALIZED. You can make it worth while for friends to help you resolve the issues that burden you. You can read self help books on the issues that concern you, finance, relationships, aging, health, etc...

Now just get out there and do it.
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replied April 17th, 2009
A deep Breath
I started having this problem after my breathing passages were irritated by cleaning products. The problem is, although I'm a lot better now, my brain is still caught up in that circular idea that I can't take a deep satisfying breath (what is the mechanism involved in this, anyway)? I've been tested for asthma, COPD, etc. -all negative. I even went to the ER in a state of panic. My oxygen level was at 100%! Even though it all started with a injury, it seems it's all in my head now. I have an inhaler and am on steroids to reduce inflamation. I yawn a lot. The only time I find relief is while sleeping, which I don't do enough of. This must be an extreme state of anxiety which is circular in nature -kind of like OCD. We are obsessed with our breathing, which makes matters worse.
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replied July 5th, 2009
shortness of breathing
I think it has to do with laptop/computer. I work full time in IT. I started noticing these symptoms a month ago. One of my friend also had the same problem and he works full time with computers too. Once I shut down /go for a walk I feel much better. Since we are the first generation using computers a lot, we will be the first victims of it's side effects.
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replied January 5th, 2012
I am wondering too if its related to computers. I have whatever everyone here has - when I'm in a period of not being able to breathe properly, I can get a breath every few breaths or if not I yawn constantly..
When I first had it I freaked out and went to the ER, because I didn't know what was going on...
When I went out into the bush for three weeks the symptoms went away but that could equally be from nature in general... I spend a LOT of time at the computer though..
And wow it's good to see that this is psychologically based and controllable through mind work - the symptoms can be scary - the decreased blood Co2 can cause muscle cramps and twitching as well, producing symptoms which on the whole can be really scary because they mimic degenerative nervous diseases!... it's a conspiracy! (lol)
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replied August 3rd, 2009
Not getting deep breath
I know what it feels like not to get a deep enough breath. It feels like I'm breathing in my chest, and no matter how hard I try I can't breathe in my stomach. What's really frustrating is that i play the french horn, so I have to be able to breathe right! The only times I've felt a really satisfying breath is when my old trumpet teacher told me to lean over, touch the floor, and suck in really fast. It always worked then, but I can't get it to work when I'm sitting up. And now I feel frustrated and I guess I subconsciously think that I'll never get a good breath, so I never do.
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replied August 4th, 2009
Do you guys know what, i suffer the same condition, and to ease this condition i yawn and yawn and yawn until i can catch that deep breath through my yawning as if i=at the same time as yawning, anyone else tried this?? it works
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replied September 9th, 2009
You may not think you're stressed, you enjoy your job, you go out enough, you have a life. But working for a long time at the computer can make you stressed, keeping a bad posture while you're doing it will make it worse.

When our minds are stressed, we breathe shorter, shallower breaths, not deep enough to exhale all of the CO2 out of our bodies. We want to take a deep breath because it's the body's natural mechanism for rotating the air in our lungs. Breathing short breaths is like what you would automatically do when the air you're breathing is of bad quality, such as if you were in a burning down house. Maintaining this bad breathing leads to not enough good oxygen getting to the lungs, which can then cause air-hunger (gasping for breath, insatiable need for a deep breath), nervousness, tremors, tight chest, palpitations, panic attacks, feelings of terror, dizzyness etc.

Things that can help ease symptoms-
Less hours at the pc, take regular, strict breaks, check your posture every 1/2 hour, if you don't know what correct posture is for computer use, find out. Make sure the lighting in the room is good, the air and air temperature is good. Don't ignore those things.

Take exercise, eat regularly (not eating regularly can make the body stressed), find something you can do if you start to feel strange (I peel fruit, sounds weird but it concentrates your mind on one thing and your body sets the breathing right. In yoga they teach you to focus on the ticking of a clock, whatever works. It's a form of meditation.

Try to breathe through your nose at all times, even when you feel panicky. Normal breathing is about 9 times per minute, check yourself every now and then.
Learn pranayama, forget Buteyko- it's a pointless cashcow, you won't find anything out for free, and what you do find out can be learnt through Yoga, which has been practiced for thousands of years, who are you going to trust?
Get at least 7 hours sleep a night, learn to notice when your mind is tired (you might slouch, you might feel strange between the eyes, you might frown etc)

Stop taking 1/2 of the medication you've been given, just to test yourself. . . reasons follow.

I've had it all, pulmonary tests, cardio tests, blood tests, ER trips. I was diagnosed with asthma, then told I didn't have it, then told I had hyperthyroidism, then told I didn't, then brachycardia, then anaphylaxis. . .the list goes on.

I found that some of the medicine given to me (inparticular bronchodilators) induced unpleasant interactions in me with things like coffee or alcohol, the unpleasant interactions would then give me another symptom (like pins and needles in my arms and legs) which would then make me worry more, the doctors would give me one more medicine to add to my carrier bag, and the problems kept getting worse.
Stopping taking the asthma meds helped me 50%, stopping the rest helped another 30%. Finally I'm back at square one over a year and a half away before I started taking anything and I just had a problem catching a deep breath.

I have to say that my problems really started when I gave up smoking. It puts a huge stress on your body, one that you can't imagine, it infects your senses, your brain, your dreams, and your fight/flight response can be seriously mal-aligned.

Avoid stress at all costs, learn ways to calm down. Even if you don't believe it, try to learn why people meditate and find out your own way of doing it, it really helps.
Change your diet, eat regular meals, don't eat too much fat, over-eating can have negative affects on your breathing. Also make sure your clothes aren't too tight, if they are it promotes bad breathing (breathing up through the top part of your lungs) practice breathing out through the very bottom of your stomach (diaphragm breathing) you get more air into your lungs and it's much more natural.

Doctors are useless, you have to find this out by yourself.

Good luck & stay healthy.
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replied April 11th, 2011
i suffer from the same symptoms. i feel as if i cannot get a full satisfying breath no matter how fast i am breathing. it feels as if i want to yawn but cannot get enough air in to do so. i feel somewhat of a tightness in my chest, but that may just be because i am trying to inhale more air than what is normal.

in a recent yoga class i learned a breathing exercise that i found helpful...

take your thumb and fourth finger and use them to pinch your nostrils shut. practice deep breathing through one nostril at a time, taking enough time to fully inhale and exhale through each nostril. repeat this for long enough until you feel calm and your breathing has returned to normal.

please let me know if his helps.
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replied April 19th, 2011
Any advice with home remedies to cure anxiety???
I am 27 and have been going through many symptoms of anxiety, alot going on in my life right now. My mother and grandmother were very worried about me so they forced me to go the an Urgent Care. I went and explained to the Dr my symptoms and pretty much told him I had self diagnosed myself with anxiety issues. For 2 weeks now I have not been able to catch a good deep pleasing breath, my chest is now so tense and stiff feeling that it feels almost bruised. Cannot sleep, feel out of sorts with myself. The Dr. listened to my heart and everything and said my lungs sounded clear and that my heart sounded fine that it was all in my head and accused me of being there to try to get drugs for a high. I was so disgusted I have 4 children and need help, I yelled at him and left. Does anyone have any ideas on how to handle anxiety without medication??? I feel so helpless????
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replied November 1st, 2012
Anxiety Help
There are two excellent things you can do to help anxiety disorder... trust me I suffered from severe anxiety for years and have found these an absolute god send. The first is a very quick and easy book to read called "Self-Help for your Nerves" by Dr. Claire Weekes (she is possibly one of the most sensible drs I've ever heard of. Her knowledge of this disorder is incredible... all drs should be told to read this book, it would save such alot of trouble and wasted money on medicines and treatments). This book has the most simple down to earth advice and understanding of this disorder and I absolutely swear it will help and reassure anyone who reads it. I have leant mine to people I've met over the years suffering from anxiety and all have been so relieved to have finally found the help that it provides they have bought their own copies. They found it more helpful than anything else including medication as did I. The other is called "The Panic away program" by Barry Joe McDonagh. This is available online and also gives excellent advice to really help you learn how to overcome anxiety and to lose the fear of it, especially for younger people/kids... I was looking for something to help a friend whose young teen had started with anxiety. I highly recommend you find both of these... trust me you will wish you had found them when you first started suffering with anxiety. They are incredibly helpful. Good luck, I hope you feel much better soon!
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