Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Asthma Forum

Can't Take a Deep Breath (Page 5)


April 21st, 2006
Don't Really Want to Be Part of This Club, But...
It's a mighty touchy-feely concept, but I feel relief reading of all your problems, and I apologize for that.
Played football in school, and physical revealed high bp, as in blow-the- top-off-your-head high. Actually just the most extreme case of white coat on record. I can feel my pressure rising just typing this. After a treadmill test I was cleared to play, and did so with no ill effects. After school continued to work out a few years, then settled into semi-sedentary life, although work was physical and I was in relatively good shape. Suffered inexplicable bouts of deep depression at 22 and 25, did not go to doctor, developed coping techniques that worked - depression gone. Have coughed all my life. Childhood christmas tapes have me coughing on them. Big family, we all cough except one brother who smokes.
When I was 34 my father passed away and I took over running the family business and caring for my dialysis patient mother (and her big, old house). By then I was suffering from spontaneous nose bleeds, my pulse was erratic, over 100, I was the color of library paste, bp 220/120, deep sea diver breathing, edema added 30 pounds in places i'd rather not describe. Understand that my stock in trade is remaining rock solid calm at all times. Nobody knew my problem, and I did not go to the dr until I couldn't stand it any more about a year later. He thought I was going to drop dead in his office, wanted me in the hospital, I declined, as I had to work the next day. That was 1995, and i've been on bp meds ever since - proplanolol, diazide, prazosin. Bp still never controlled in dr's office.
1995 was my first experience of what you all describe, taking a deep breath, yet feeling as though the air wasn't "going in", and the frightening and frustrating feeling of wanting badly to yawn, but being unable to do so, the google search of which brought me to your subject thread. This has dogged me for ten years, coming on strong again recently. I believe it is mostly because we are all head cases, primarily because merely the reading of your stories allowed me to yawn most of today. Very satisfying, and I thank you. (had to yawn there just to prove I could do it).
Fyi - I don't have pets, don't have allergies, live and work in the country, mow a one acre lawn with a push mower in the florida heat and sun all summer. Recent stress compounded by a battery of medical tests for my dr re my bp. A vicious cycle.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied April 25th, 2006
Me Too!!!!
I cant tell you how relieved & grateful I am for this thread, which I have been desperately searching for, for months. Of course like most of you, I went the medically diagnosed route first, starting at the er, given an erosol inhilation pump, advised to see my doc, and a $500 bill, sent on my way. My doc then orders all kinds of tests, racking up the bills some more, such as a breathing test, chest xray, bone density, and a couple more to boot. All results show i'm ok and sent on to the psych dept.. Don't get me wrong, i'm not one for poo-pooing pschycological support. I have gone to see the shrink plenty of times. This does not feel like that.

I breath about 7-8 breaths just fine. The 8th breath is the one that just does not get the amount needed to go on without interruption. I am interrupted to now try and "air-gulp", just to get that amount of air that satisfies. Some times it will take 2 large breaths or gulps, sometimes it can take many more. When it takes many more, is when I get panicked. I feel like, I "just, must" get that full breath or I will die from all this struggle to just breathe. It's ridiculous.

I don't think it's from my dog, cause i've had buddy for 12 yrs., and this just started a few months ago. I've never had any asthma or alergies.

So this is what happened right before it started: I was brought to the hospital for what they told me was a mild heart "incident", was admitted, tested and told that I have heart disease, very high cholesteral, and I must quit smoking, if I want to live. I want to live. So, I started a new diet and signed up for smoking cessation classes. It was during these classes that I started to notice this breathing problem.

The only other thing that is going on with me is that I am having an extremely difficult time with menopause, and while these docs also think I should see a shrink about these horrendous symptoms, I have done my research, and found that what I need is progesterone. I have been taking it now, and I have been relieved, finally, of that torture.

It amazes me how many times we are sent to the psych dept., just because the symptoms don't fit anything in thier books. I was put on vioxx and premphase, both products no longer considered safe. With no "oops, sorry 'bout that", or anything. I am wondering if it wouldn't behoove us to stick together, send these comments, in mass, to the president of the ama and ask him/her if he/she could get us a group rate at the shrinks office, who btw, specializes in this particular breathing ailment.

Thanks for being here. I will continue checking here for any updates, and if I learn of anything concrete, or have any success in treatment(s), i'll come back and share.

Take care

sorry for the length, but "thanks I needed that"
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied April 28th, 2006
Can't Take a Deep Breath
Hi everyone, I just found this website and have the same thing! Unable to get a breath with sighing/yawning is shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. Any disease/condition that can cause you to be short of breath can have this effect. Anemia, heart disease (mitral valve prolapse, arrythmias, murmurs), asthma, gerd, pregnancy, thyroid disorders, magnesium deficiency, anxiety...Etc.

I will tell you that mitral valve prolapse is often not seen/heard until you do an echo and sometimes it is still missed--it can give you these symptoms--unable to get a good breath, heart palps (especially at nite), worse when lying on side, anxiety, etc. Many of the disorders that cause shortness of breath cause anxiety too, so I hate when docs just say anxiety because it can be a symptom of something too. Mitral valve prolapse symptoms can be helped with beta blockers which will also help with anxiety.

Also, you can control your breathing, even asthmatics that have attacks can slow there breathing and regulate it so they can get through an attack. However, it doesn't solve the cause of shortness of breath--it just helps with a symptom....You shouldn't be short of breath without a good reason and anxiety is a cop out. Everyone has a bit of anxiety and hyperventilation is a symptom...Not a cause.

Just don't let your doc railroad you into believing you have to live with this...I have it right now and they think it is mitral valve prolapse, unfortunately I am pregnant and can't take beta blockers. My aunt had the same symptoms and they saw a real mild case of mitral valve prolapse, so they put her on beta blockers and within weeks she did not have the sighing, etc. And hasn't had any symptoms for 15 years. My son also has it and has allergies, when he takes his allergy medicine regularly it goes away!

There may not be one answer for all of you, but make sure your doc tries different things. Sometimes tests can be wrong and miss something.

Good luck
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied May 13th, 2006
Hard Time Taking a Deep Breath
I saw so many people having the same problem as I do so I felt a sense of relief; however, I am not getting a sense of relief from not being able to get a good deep breath. I too have been to a Dr. Approximately 14 yrs ago with this issue and could not find a problem. Using the inhaler did nothing for me either. I was in denver a week ago (i live in long beach, ca.) and I had a hard time breathing there, knowing that it is a mile high, I assumed that was the issue. Now, I am at sea level and still having a hard time getting that sense of a good breath. I started running again after 4 yrs so I thought maybe that was the cause of it but after reading other forums, it doesnt seem to be the problem either. I do smoke on a regular basis but run too so maybe that may be the problem. Who knows. Oh well. I guess I will have to yawn and take deep breaths just to feel that sense of getting any oxygen.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied May 18th, 2006
Unable to Get a Satisfying Breath
I too am suffering with the same thing you all are. Unable to get a satisfying, deep breath! I am also very fit. I work out frequently and have low blood pressure. I'm 25 years old, female, 5'3 and 105 lbs. Currently going to school to be a fitness instructor/nutritionist. I first noticed this issue after an intense workout. I've worked out intensly a number of different times, and sometimes, I would get this problem, but it would only last about a day or so. About a year ago, it began after an intense workout, and it never went away. I've had it ever since. My doctors also blew me off and told me it was anxiety and wanted to put me on anti depressants. But, I feel that I do not need anti depressants. I'm not depressed! Has anything helped any of you? Please let me know. Thanks and keep us all posted if anybody learns anything new about this.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied May 18th, 2006
Just curious here. Has anyone else noticed these things?:::

-shoulder and upper back pain
-problems wearing snug pants (or in my case, also snug bras)
-a feeling that there's something "off" about your stomach, especially when you're having the breathing troubles?
-burping, which makes you breathe better?
-stomach/digestion troubles?
-find that sitting up straight helps the breathing?

I'm still no closer to an answer on this weirdness (which appears to be pretty common, so maybe we're normal and everyone else is weird). I'm going to ask my chiropractor if he thinks a hiatal hernia is a possibility. He's already suggested that I may have low stomach acid, so i'm working to change my diet, etc. To see if it helps.

Just curious...
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied May 25th, 2006
Short of Breath Most of the Time
I too have this problem I had a short run of it that lasted 2 weeks bk in 2003 and then for the last 11 months or so which has progressively gotten worse in the last few mths, I dont get alot of excersise exept walking too and from the school with my daughter in the morning whihc is bout 20 mins each way, admittedly I split with my daughters father end of 2004 after 9 yrs which may have triggered this off , my docs tell me its anxiety related, tried on anti depressents for 6 mths to no avail, tried valium for a couple of weeks helped slightly but bk to feeling breathless again, feeling of bloatedness the occasional chest pain, clear x-ray, constantly yawning and sometimes not being able to complete a yawn but when I do its one of the only times I feel like ive got a satisfactory lungful.
I have been in contact with a breathing-physio therapist via email and told her my problem and she thinks it sounds like hyperventaling so I should try to be refered to her, but its getting my doctor to see sense I am going today with a bit of luck I should get to see her, I see this a better option compared to more pills they just make u feel even worse!
Another thing lately I get achy pains up the sides of my neck im wondering if this is due to the yawnin alot, also got acidy taste in my mouth yuk!
Cant wait to get some productive help instead of being fobbed off with more tablets!
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied May 27th, 2006
Re: Cant Get It Outta My Head
I can relate exactly to vincent. I'm 15 and this has happened since I was 14 and it just came back last week. When i'm occupying myself I never think of it but when i'm on the computer or reading I remind myself I can't breathe and start hyperventalating ahh. Usually it happens after I eat worse, it feels impossible to get a breath. I wish there was a cure for it :(
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied June 6th, 2006
Difficulty Breathing
Wow. I really got to the point where I thought I was the only person in the world experiencing this problem. No doctors can help I swear. I have the exact same sensation that u all describe- where I can't finish a yawn, or the end of a deep breath just isn't there. And the more I can't do it, the more I need to. I went to the emergency room the first time this happened to me 2 years ago. They ran all kinds of tests and nothing helped. They tried to blame it on axiety. I'm not anxious nor stressed out. Antidepressant did nothing and I hated taking them. Later on I found out I have a heart murmur, but they still didn't see a connection. I don't have allergies. After that I tested positive for lyme disease. I took antibiotics for that and the breathing difficulty never subsided. It's not all the time. But when it starts it won't stop. It makes me yawn round the clock, no matter how much I sleep. I'm on day 3 now and it's driving me crazy. I just feel like no one can help, no one has an answer, and no doctors can do anything. And also, it definitely gets worse after I eat- which makes me not eat. I'm 21 years old. I also get the burping. And I tug at my snug bras, grasping for anything to help. I just feel like everyone on here knows exactly what I mean, so why can't it be fixed????
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied June 16th, 2006
I Understand
I am new to the forum, but am finding comfort in reading these other post. I am 23 years old and have had this same feeling of not being able to get a satisfying breathe and feeling like I can't yawn. I feel tight or full in my whole chest and lung area when this happens. I have just started having this problem. I have had an ekg and all sorts of blood tests. This all started after a serious upper respiratory infection. Could they be related?
I have been to the doctor sooo many times in the past 2 months for this. She finally put me on prozac hoping that it will help. She believes it is anxiety/panic attacks. Could be. We'll see what happens. I have since read a lot about anxiety and one of the symptoms is hyperventilation...
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied June 16th, 2006
I woke up this morning with the same symptoms everyone else is describing. It was bothering me so much at work today, that I googled "can't take deep breaths" and found this. I'm 23 and just started consistently running. When I woke up today, I couldn't take deep breaths and like everyone else, the worst came to mind. I do feel a little better now, knowing i'm not going to die immediately. However, I do find it interesting that counting mine, the last three post are from pa - philly area. Could there be a rise in allergens or pollution in the area?
Last night, before I went to sleep, I was craving some sugars - which I have lowered as part of a new diet. So I took a swig of orange juice, although I know I have some sort of allergy to oranges ( or orange products). In the past, after drinking orange juice, or say orange-flavored gatorade, i'd have a hard time breathing due to mucus build-up. I've avoided oj for the past year or two, but I figured one swig of oj wouldn't hurt. I'm guessing this played a major role in my breathing problem today. Has anyone else noticed a connection with oranges?
Also, does anyone get the feeling that if you took a large, ground-rattling burp, the breathing problem would clear up? That's how I feel and I keep trying to force a long burp, but it never comes out.
Thanks for the messages. Goodluck...
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied June 17th, 2006
I have not noticed a correlation between oranges. However, sometimes after I drink milk I get that mucus feeling in my throat which makes me feel like I have a lump in my throat and makes me start thinking I can't swallow right, or breathe right. I usually can convince myself that I am fine. I just started taking this anxiety medicine so we'll see what happens. I will keep ya'll posted.
(to reply to the last post.. I was also told I have allergies- although no allergy testing has been done- and put on clarinex. I don't think it helped and stopped taking it.)
i do feel like I am crazy because of all this. Anyone else?
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied June 21st, 2006
Difficulty With Deeps Breaths
I too have had difficulty taking deep/satisfying breaths. It started probably when I was about 13-14 and then suddenly just went away one day. But then I got it again when I was 19 and I would have it for literally weeks at a time. I couldn't take deep breaths or yawn for two weeks or so. I went to a Dr. And she couldn't figure it out. Went to the er and the Dr. Came in, asked me about three questions and diagnosed me with reactive airway disease and gave me an inhaler with a spacer. Now, I have tried inhalers before and they didn't work, I told him this but he prescribed combivent which is pretty much a shot of adrenaline in inhaler form, I hated it and it didn't work anyway - like I told him. I went to a different Dr. And told him that the inhaler wasen't working, he thought at first that it was because I didn't have rad so we did chest x-rays - everything was fine. We did a lung capacity test to see how much air I was really getting compared to how much air I should be getting; even when I couldn't take deep breaths my lung capacity was 115%, so that didn't tell us anything. But he also thinks that I have rad, so he prescribed me this new drug called singulair let me tell you, it works!!! I take it every night before I go to bed and when I wake up in the morning I am fine, I think it kind of wears off towards the end of the day but I have only been taking it for a few days, and aaaahhh it is wonderful!!! Everyday it gets better. So, if any of you have run out of options, try singulair, it is pretty new I guess because I got a voucher for it so it was free:-)
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied July 21st, 2006
Deep Breaths
Definitely don't feel alone anymore. A couple of years ago, I started seeing and allergy doctor regularly. During one of my appointments, when he asked me if I was having any problems, I was very hesitant to tell him that I was having trouble getting a good breath at times. I told him he would probably think I was crazy because one of the times it is difficult to breathe is when I laugh real hard. I'm talking the kind of laugh where you're just tickled and you can't stop laughing. Well, when I laughed like that, I couldn't breathe - then, I would try to tell those around me to stop so I could catch my breath, and my voice was hoarse and I had to really slow down and focus on breathing. He said I was not crazy at all and blamed that on my allergies. He then ordered lots of breathing tests, which came back normal and put me on combivent which doesn't help and makes me very dizzy.
I have since fired him as a doctor and gone to someone else who said that I don't have allergies at all but have non-allergic rhinitus and may have a touch of asthma (which does run in my family). I have been very frustrated lately because I have been having a very hard time getting a good deep breath. I live in the midwest where it is very humid much of the summer time and I definitely notice my condition is worse on very humid days or days where the air quality is not so good. I also notice that it is worse when I think about the fact that I can't get a good breath - so I just change my thinking.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied August 3rd, 2006
Some Things That Help Me Breathe Better
I have the same problem with my breathing. I do feel better knowing that i'm not the only one with this problem. Some things that help me take deeper breaths is vacuuming, playing with my kids and believe it or not sex seems to work the best. I guess maybe the release of endorphins or adrenalin seems to help. I don't recommend the sex thing to the younger ones here who have posted, but for those of you who are older it really works! I do think that maybe it could be the stress or anxiety thing that causes it. I have rapid-cycling bipolar disorder and post traumatic stress disorder and i've noticed that on one of my bad days the breathing is worse. My husband and I just got a house and we're having to remodel which is really stressful and over the past few weeks i've had alot of trouble breathing. I've also been to the er for this and they did a cbc, ekg and chest x-ray and found nothing at all wrong, the doctor said it was just something called bronchospasms. My psychiatrist prescribed me some ativan which is for stress and tension and when I take that my breathing gets better and it's easier to relax.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied August 15th, 2006
Hope This Helps Someone
I found this site a couple of weeks ago and it was very helpful to see that I am not the only one with this problem - until now, I have had no allergies, no panic attacks and no breathing difficulties (no health problems) -- I am a runner that ran the chicago marathon last year and i'm training for the new york marathon in november. Suddenly I started having the problem of feeling like I needed to take a breath but not being able to get the full lung breath that my body really wanted. It started slowly with that happening maybe one out of 3 times til almost every time I tried to get a deep breath I couldn't. It was mostly at rest as I was still able to run with no major problems. It was driving me crazy so I began reading everything I could find on-line - the only thing I had changed during the previous month was my diet soda -- I drink 6 to 8 diet pepsi's a day (my biggest vice) and switched to pepsi one to get away from nutri-sweet which I had convinced myself was making my memory get worse. Since I couldn't find too much about splenda and breathing difficulties, I went back to diet pepsi but I kept searching for other things that could be causing the problems. I saw that low iron was mentioned many times as was dust mites in bed clothing. I began taking an iron supplement and I hot washed every bit of my bed clothing followed by freezing them (recommended on several sites) -- after 3 or 4 days, the problem went away. Since i've never had allergies and many runners were on this blog, I was convinced that low iron must have been the problem. I was thanking god for finding iron and for my ability to once again to take rewarding breaths . . . And I decided that I was being silly about the pepsi one and once again gave up the diet pepsi (nutri-sweet) and started drinking pepsi one (splenda) again - within 2 days (after about 10 pepsi ones) I was back to not being able to take a deep breath and it was even worse than before. It was the splenda! As I tried to detox it out of my system over the next 2 days, slowly the problem got better as the splenda left my body (this must be a cumulative thing -- you must have to ingest a certain amount for it to effect the breathing) -- I will never drink/eat splenda again (its amazing how many items are now made with splenda) -- please let me know if anyone else found this to be the culprit for them -- there are articles on the web that describe a splenda allergy . . . Many people get a rash from it (i did not) -
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied August 16th, 2006
"can't Take a Deep Breath"
I am so glad I found this forum. I thought I was going crazy. About 2 years ago coming in from jogging with a friend on my break at work I suddenly found it very difficult to take a deep breath into my lungs, especially on the left side. My boss told me that it was anxiety so I just waited for the symptoms to go away. Two weeks later I still had the symptoms with no relief in sight. Here I am two years later and still no relief. The symptoms use to come and go but for the last three months they have been pretty steady. My condition makes me yawn at times and I also get sharp pains shooting through my chest. I have been through all sorts of tests and the doctors still won't give me a definate diagnosis. I feel so scared at times, I felt like no one understood what i've been going through. Thank god I found this forum, now I have pages full of people who understand. Although I do not have a diagnosis I do know this. When my symptoms started I had been working for detroit diesel remanufacturing. We use to get filthy dirty fuel injectors that came in from the big rigs, tear them down, build them up and then ship them back to the auto parts stores. I worked in the clean part of the plant but yet every day when I came out of work my skin and clothing would smell just like the chemicals used in the factory. I was always told that the chemicals weren't in the air but how could that be true when I smelled like that every day.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied August 16th, 2006
"can't Take a Deep Breath"
Back to finish my story. I heard through the grape vine that the calibration fluid that is used there was actually banned in the state of california. I hoping to find out if that is true or not. I spent 4 years in that factory but am glad to say I don't work there anymore. To add some further information I do live in one of michigan's buisy cities which of coarse has more air pollution, I use to smoke when I was younger but quit and I have a dog. I have never been diagnosed with allergies at all but wonder if I should be checked even though I never have a runny nose or sinus infections, my symptoms are there always but seen to worsen with more activity. I strongly believe that anxiety and panick attacks are a symptom of this unknown disorder or disease or whatever it is. I have tried inhailors and advair which do not seem to make a difference one way or the other for me. I'm wondering if anyone has tried an oral anti-inflammatory with any relief? I would like to try the salt pipe soon and am wondering if anyone had tried it with much luck.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied August 16th, 2006
"can't Take a Deep Breath"
Back to finish even the rest of my story and questions. When my symptoms occured I was in perfect health, the the anxiety and panick did not set in until later on when I realized that what I had would not go away. This is only an opinion but my belief is that the anti-anxiety and anti-panick meds will work in some people to treat the symptoms but not the cause. Another thing I know for sure is that I have always been a shallow breather and had to train myself in the deep breathing technique. This can provide short temporary relief for me at times and help to calm a moment of panick. Yawning when it occurs often helps some. I live with this condition every day. It hasn't killed me yet but sometimes I wonder "how can you totally feel like your smothering when your not"? It feels like I have someone sitting on my chest all the time trying to crush my lungs. Has anyone ever had their lungs scoped? Or had any kind of tests that would show a complete 3-d image to see if some other structure is pressing on the lungs? I can't get my insurance to do it.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied August 17th, 2006
Breaths
I have had this problem on and off for a few years. I usually is like a couple times a year and lasts for a week or so. You try to breath, but it just doesn't feel like a good full breath, even though your lungs are completely expanded. No wheezing or anything like that. It seems to come on when I lift or swim. I weight lift a lot and I am usually fine. This current bout started when I was doing dead lifts(picking up a barbell off the ground). It was very heavy weight and my lungs and chest were fully expanded. After the set I started with the breathing problem and its still here 4 days later. Stress could be a possibility or maybe allergies, but I have no other symptoms. Sleeping or lying down, I have zero problems breathing. I wake up hoping that its gone and then that dreaded half breath feeling comes.

I'm sure it will take a good lung specialist to find the problem, yuor regular doctor is gonna say its athsma, acid reflux or stress probably. It goes away for me though and I am good for months, sometimes if i'm real tired I have the problem, but it doesn't last usually. Hopefully this will get more medical attention and so real research will be done.
|
Did you find this post helpful?
Quick Reply
Answers to Similar Questions
User Profile
Harpreet Singh
User Profile
Dr. Nikola Gjuzelov
User Profile
Dr. Nikola Gjuzelov
User Profile
Dr. Nikola Gjuzelov
User Profile
Dr. Leonard J. Grossman
Must Read
Asthma affects more than 22 million Americans. But what happens during a respiratory asthma attack? Learn the basics about asthma now....
Some people are more likely than other to be diagnosed with asthma. Learn if you are at risk of asthma in this section on risk factors and causes of asthma....
How can you identify the signs and symptoms of asthma or respiratory problems? We list the common asthma symptoms here and discuss asthma problems....