I've seen three MDs and a naturopath about this and I've gotten not a lick of answers. The medical profession has been nothing short of a crock in this endeavor. My problem is this:

One day in 2005 I was lifting weights and on my final rep of bench press, I suddenly found I could not inhale. It was as if somewhere between my throat and my solar plexus, something had seized up and filling my lungs was impossible. From there on out, in order to draw a full breath, I had to rely upon a mixture of luck and finesse but no matter how much finesse I applied, I could and cannot draw a reliable breath. Without using a sort of "trick" to get my lungs to fill with air, I cannot breathe deep which means I am unable to do anything that requires slow, steady, rhythmic breathing. Erratic, jerky gasps and sighs are the only thing that works if at all.

The problem seems to be at its worst right now. I have phases where it's much milder but this isn't one of them. Medical tests have been useless. The spirogram shows that my breathing is just below normal. Nothing significant. The asthma doctor claims it's unlikely I actually have asthma, but I have no clue what it is. Its onset was sudden and not a day in my life have I been without some trace of this problem since that day in 2005.

I can't even reliably explain it to doctors. All I know is it feels as though my lungs are being held shut by some sort of bolt on my solar plexus and sometimes it feels like my throat is being obstructed. When I exhale with any more force than minimum it makes a wheezing sound. Currently, I've been fighting for breath so hard tonight my left ribcage hurts right around the heart. Not sure what that is.

Could someone point me in the direction of what this could be? Albuterol and Symbicort do nothing and the doctors have no clue. What I'd really like is to take whatever thing is holding my lungs back and tear it to little shreds. Someone help!
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replied October 5th, 2009
You might have chronic hyperventilation syndrome. I sympathise as I am in the same boat as you. I just cannot breath. I have had mine since 2001 and I am getting slowly worse. Now one of the worst things is that I cannot sleep because I get very, very bad at night. I take deep gasping breaths over and over again. This makes me feel very ill. But only rarely do I get a satistying breath.

I see a physio for this and am learning breathing exercises but it is getting worse and worse. I think you should maybe ask to see a respiratory physio. Also check for GERD cause acid reflux can cause bad breathing and so can sinus problems - i think it is called post nasal drip.

Let me know how you get on.
Holly.
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replied October 5th, 2009
Unlikely. I am male, and the disease has a 7:1 incidence ratio in favor of females. Plus I don't have the neurological issues that the article stated.
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replied October 5th, 2009
Also my girlfriend tells me I don't snore or gasp when asleep, so that's a good sign.

Whatever it is is definitely stress-related, but it's also allergy-triggered. Moreover, it doesn't get steadily worse. It's particularly bad this year but this year there have been many stress sources almost constantly.
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