Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Hypoglycemia Forum

Difficulty Taking a Deep Breath (Page 1)

I read with interest the thread titled "changing symptoms" where dianajj mentions "difficulty taking a deep breath". I too had those symptoms for years when I had hypoglycemia. I underwent cardiac tests (i was 25 at the time and exercised a lot) and pulmonary tests but those tests showed that my lungs and heart were in tiptop shape so the doctors couldn't explain what was causing it. I think the doctors thought it was all in my head. It wasn't asthma because I get asthma from cats and it is a totally different sensation. The doctors gave my asthma inhalers but they did no good.
The sensation is like you're breathing as deep as you can but it's never a satisfying breath and only occasionnally will you be able to take a deep breath that is satisfying. Is that what you experienced dianajj?
I have been having my hypoglycemic symptoms again as I wasn't watching my diet (palpitations, optic migraines, feeling of faintness, etc) and this sensation of suffocating. When I had the suffocation symptoms 15 years ago, it was before the internet became mainstream and I was never able to find an explanation - a correlation if you will between this difficulty breathing and low blood sugar. I surfed the internet a few days and found a few studies that link microvascular angina and hyperinsulinism. Some of the symptoms of microvascular angina are chest pain and shortness of breath and I am thinking maybe this is the connection.

Can anyone enlighten me? Does anyone else experience this symptom and has anyone heard of what mecanism comes into play that would link hypoglycemia and difficulty breathing?
Did you find this post helpful?
First Helper missjones
|

User Profile
replied May 7th, 2006
Community Volunteer
It used to happen to me. I'd get this painful feeling that the doctor told me was my enflamed lungs sticking to the inside of my ribs and pulling off, which sounded ridiculous but feasible. I'm not sure of the mechanism though, but since many parts of the body shut down when sugar is low, nothing would surprise me. It seems the brain cycles through different things to keep a reserve of sugar for itself, shutting different parts of the body almost down in order to keep them. It would seem then this explains the cycling of symptoms, because it could mean the brain is cycling in order to not damage the areas it shuts down.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied May 7th, 2006
Experienced User
Hi,

stan, that is a very good explanation of why those symptoms occur. Didier, I couldn't find any answer to why I had the difficulty breathing either. The doctor gave me dimatap (a decongestant) and couldn't find anything wrong with my lungs. Only years later when I was diagnosed with hypoglycemia did I make the connection.

That's exactly the feeling you discribed, never being able to get a full satisfying breath. I think it has to do with the nerves that control the lungs, just as the palpitations have to do with the nerve that controls your heartbeat and when your blood sugar is low the sugar is diverted from those nerves.

It 's interesting that you mentioned optic migraines because I have those too occasionally. It starts with a blind spot in my visual field and changes to a jagged pattern that gradually moves off to the side. Is that what you experience. The first one I had, I thought it was a stroke. Very scary. I thought it might be a side effect of artificial sweetners (aspartame) so i've given them up and I haven't had one for a while. Dj
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied February 14th, 2014
I have just eaten a low GI bar of chocolate made from evaporated coconut and shredded coconut. It contained 52 grams of sugars. Within half an hour I have got the exact same breathing problems as you describe.
A week ago I drank 4 cups of strong coffee and had a 200g bar of normal milk chocolate containing 114g sugar. I had the shortness of breath and the visual disturbances of loss of central vision. The headache came about 36 hours later.
I have avoided coffee and sugar for 5 years. Prior to that I took coffee and sugar regularly and have always lived with these breathing problems and headaches even as a child.
Now I love coffee and chocolate and was eating the coconut chocolate hoping to find a substitute that doesn't have this affect.
I am in my 60s and lived the last 5 years without the coffee and sugar. This has made me feel fitter than I have ever felt even when in my 20s.
The chocolate and coffee lift my mood and I feel 'normal' so this is a lesson I really don't want to learn. I wish that there was another way I could feel ok
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied May 8th, 2006
Community Volunteer
I kind of worded it funny, but yeah, basically I just meant that the brain, while saving sugar for itself, will cycle through shutting various parts of itself and the body down (maybe only somewhat shut down) in order to save sugar while not damaging the body. Smart brain. The lung thing is an early symptoms, I remember getting this back in the day when all I was was tired during the day and sometimes a bit exciteable.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied May 8th, 2006
Experienced User
I too had difficulty breathing -- my first episode was in august. My doctor told me I had asthmatic bronchitis. Even gave me an inhaler but it didn't help. I never made the corrolation until I came to this site. Thanks, stan.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied May 15th, 2006
Quote:
the sensation is like you're breathing as deep as you can but it's never a satisfying breath and only occasionnally will you be able to take a deep breath that is satisfying


i get exactly that, I got that ever since I was a little kid. I have asthma, but it feels different to asthma and I got this feeling way before I was diagnosed with asthma (i first noticed it when I was betwen the ages of 5-7 and I got diagnosed with asthma at 11 -12). I dont know if im hypoglycemic or not but I think I may be

i have a little question for anyone who wants to answer

when I was 5-7, I couldnt take deep breaths like I said, but also sometimes in the morning after I woke up and tried to go downstairs ide be really shaky and weak, it got so bad that one day I actually couldnt walk. I got diagnosed with anemia shortly after. It may just have been anemia, but since I got shaky and not able to take a deep breath, im wonderin if it was perhaps an early sign of hypo aswell. Anyone know?

Thanx.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied May 15th, 2006
Community Volunteer
It could be, yes. Most of us, as far as I know, have had symptoms we can recall stretching back way in our youth.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied May 15th, 2006
stan stepanic wrote:
it could be, yes. Most of us, as far as I know, have had symptoms we can recall stretching back way in our youth.


:) thanks. The more I find out about hypoglycemia, the more I suspect I have it.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied June 8th, 2006
I know exactly what you mean! I thought it was strange, but definitely the worst of my problems. It's not a feeling of constriction, I can fill my lungs up, but I sometimes I don't get the sensation that they are actually full, there isn't that satisfying rush of oxygen that I normally get.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied June 8th, 2006
Spzvorak2,
do you still experience that shortness of breath? How long have you had it for? And are you treating your hypoglycemia with the low carb diet that stan recommends?
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied June 8th, 2006
Community Volunteer
Here's another symptom that I don't know how to categorize, this is only one of the forms it takes. I'm not sure why, but many hypoglycemics will get odd body sensations where something they're doing (even something as basic as breathing) will feel like it's not working properly, even though it is. I've had it happen where I feel like my tongue isn't working properly and will sit there pressing it against the roof of my mouth. Weird.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied June 8th, 2006
I used to have panic attacks (or so they said). I felt like I wasn't getting hardly any air in. That's gone now, but since i'm still growing sometimes I am about to sneeze and I take a deep breath and my chest must be too small or something because all of the sudden I start hurting and all the air just comes right out. I couldn't even sneeze. I will hopefully grow out of it. I've grown a little since then and I haven't had anything like that happen in a while. Every now and then I do have a shortness of breathe. My grandmother has asthma.

Note: if you think you have hypoglycemia please get checked.
Take a day off work and get a "glucose tolerance test". They drawn blood for 5 hours. You can't eat from 10 pm the night before until the test is done.
For me I didn't eat from 9pm until 3:45pm the next day. I had the drink they made you drink too see how your blood sugar levels adjust. Tastes kinda like gatorade but sweeter.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied August 31st, 2011
omg honey i had the same thing happen to me 3/4 days before.i had jz woken up and felt like a lump in my throat.i felt like my tonsils were constricting.i just felt like the tonsils were swelling towards my mouth.and my voice was changing.idont no i was able to eat and drink properly but had difficulty swallowing my saliva.and then i became sweaty and it felt like i was gona die because of being unable to breathe.and i grew panicky and felt too damn scared .it is imp o know that i am underweight and for a long time then i had been starving my self and sleeping alot.i just fet too lazy to go get food.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied October 29th, 2011
The "panic attack" after eating can actually be diabetes/ insulin-resistance. I had hypoglycemia since age 15 and now at 38 I was just diagnosed as prediabetic. I also ate low carb diet since I felt worst after eating carbs, so all my blood glucose tests did not show the diabetes. You need to eat medium to high carb for 3 days prior to a blood glucose test for it to show correct results.

I had these postprandial panick/palpitations for the past three years and they were worst in the morning after breakfast. I purchased a glucose meter and confirmed my suspicion. Glucose was 100 - 130 when at 6:30am. After eating my BG went upto 170 after an hour and then back to 100 in less than 30 minutes. When my BG decreases this fast, this is when I had the heart palpitations, my blood pressure increased 140/95 and my abdomen hurt all day. I felt bloated and nauseated all day. I went to the endocrinologist and did the 5 hour glucose tolerance test. I was put on Glucophage (Metformin) and my symptoms have almost disappeared (this is my 5 day on the medication). It makes your body use your own insulin more efficiently (insulin sensitizer).
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied June 8th, 2006
Community Volunteer
The test helps, but people should also know it's not entirely necessary. It will only verify for certain you have it and give you paperwork to back it up. Otherwise, if you're afraid of crashing after the test hardcore, you can simply try the diet and if you notice no changes at all it's doubtful you have it. Saves money too.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied June 8th, 2006
23 dollars wasn't really that bad. But yea, try the diet first. If you notice almost immediate results then stick with it. It's best to be on the diet anyways. You really don't need all those simple sugars.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied June 9th, 2006
Community Volunteer
23?!!! Man, my insurance payment alone was like 75 for that test.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied June 9th, 2006
Wow! I went to a place where they do mainly drug testing. They drew blood 6 times. I must have great insurance. In alabama they don't charge you retarded prices as much.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied July 2nd, 2007
Hypothyroidism And Difficulty Taking Deep Breath
I, too, am on a hunt to find out why - even when running - I have to bend over like an Olympic racer to get air into all quadrants of my lungs. I cannot seem to get or process enough air just standing up.

I have been diagnosed hypothyroid which makes me very tired all the time without supplemental hormone.

There are some known limitations in lungs and diaphragm in hypothyroids but I was hoping this was caused by something I could reverse!! Smile

People stop me on the track and ask me if I'm ok because I make so much noise, trying to get enough air. Sad
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied December 13th, 2007
Hypoglycemia
stretch I just spent most of the night sitting up with my teenager and when I typed in her symptoms, it took me to this posting site. For the past year she has been experiencing a funny sort of sound, like a rattling or shaking, when she took breaths (not the rattling like with bronchitis, totally different, almost like shuddering). It doesn't happen all the time. It can occur during a quite car ride and it can happen after a strenuous dance workout. Late last night however, she came and got me because she was really scared! She could not get a deep enough breath and she had a pain in the front of her chest, near her breastbone, under the collar bone, front and center. Her legs felt weak, she described them "like jello". She felt dizzy. She thought she might black out, like when she had her ears pierced. This was all getting scary for her. I tried relaxation breathing, gave her peanut butter, honey, & water. She tried to eat, but felt she could not hold it down. It took almost two hours for her to regain herself and feel calm. I remembered when she had her ears pierced (she was 13 at the time), everything went black and I took from the kiosk to a table, she could barely walk, she put her head down on the table. Thinking that she must have either had a drop in sugars, or she was faint from the idea of the piercing, I bought her an Orange Julius, which seemed to do the trick after about 20 minutes. I vaguely remember having similar "deep breathing" problems in my teen years, but they have long since gone away. Is hypoglycemia something that can disappear as you grow older? After reading your posting forum it seems as though hypoglycemia may be part (or all) of the answer. If anyone has any "food" for thought on my daughter's experience, please reply. Thanks!
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied December 13th, 2007
Community Volunteer
She wouldn't just be having breathing problems, and the piercing thing would be totally unrelated. There is no reason why getting an ear pierced would cause sugar to drop. It sounds like she's getting herself worried, but does she have any other symptoms?
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied December 13th, 2007
Breathing
She had already been in bed for almost an hour last night when she came to me and said she couldn't catch her breath. She felt she couldn't get a deep enough breath. She said she felt lightheaded. Even when laying down her legs felt funny, weak. She felt worse laying down. Over the past few months, she has developed a "clicking" sound when she breathes. I can hear it, for instance, when we are in the car, I am driving, she is sitting in the passenger seat up front, I hear the "clicking". It is not coming from her nasal area, it is coming from her chest and/or throat. I was doing some more research and found some information on "rales" but am not sure if that is something that can be heard audibly. Rales seems to be deeper in the lungs. It is definitely not wheezing. And, it does not happen constantly all day long. It can happen when she is relaxing just as easy as it can happen when she has finished dancing for nearly 2 hours. So, physical activity does not seem to be a major factor.
|
Did you find this post helpful?
12 >>