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difficulty taking a deep breath?

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I am a perfectly happy person with a beautiful son and a supportive husband and we live in sunny beautiful city in a great house. However I have been suffering from difficulty taking a deep breath in. I have been to several docotrs with no answers other than anxiety....I have had one episode of anxiety about 10 years ago but didn't have any issues breathing....and once i took myself out of the situation that was making me anxious it went away.....I do get anxious when i can't breath but who wouldn't that is our life line and i find that the anxiety is only a secondary symptom.....I do suffer from GERD but have asked my Gastro doctor if this would cause the breathing difficulties and he said very assured absolutely not. I have also gotten an EKG, Chest exrays, breathing test, blood work to check for galstones. Everything came back normal. This has been going on for two years now and i am very frustrated with the medical system as i have spent a lot of $ with no answers.........


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replied March 26th, 2011
difficulty taking a deep breath?
Hello.

You might need to check with a Chest Physician if everything is indeed ok as far as any physical cause is concerned. The difficulty taking a deep breath in could be a matter anxiety, but one must be sure it is not something to do with the body. Abdominal breathing is known to fill up the lungs more than chest breathing. You might try a few breathing exercises, as they might help you regulate your breathing in case it is not proper. The pain in the sternum and ribs can also give rise to concern, but this can also be seen with anxiety.

There's a small aspect of this whole problem you might need to focus on. Anxiety can make you feel you are not able to breathe at all (as happens in panic attacks), or a definite difficulty breathing even normal. If you find yourself having difficulty taking a full deep breath, you might have to check if you get anxious due to this, and if that anxiety increases the problem further. This observation can give you a good hint about whether anxiety is at the root or it is just a side effect.

Having said that, trying a short course of anxiolytics might be a good idea.

Hope this helps you a bit.

Abhijeet Deshmukh, MD


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