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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Mystery Illness - Persistent Shortness of Breath

    Hello, everybody. I am a 26 year old man in relatively good shape. I am skinny and fit. I exercise regularly and eat healthy.

    Occasionally I will have an episode where I feel like I can't get a full satisfying breath. When one of these episodes comes on, it can last for hours, or even a couple of days.

    When the first started happening, I was very scared, and I went to the emergency room. Over the years I've seen many doctors, and I've had numerous EKGs, an echocardiogram, a spirometry test among other pulmonary tests, bloodwork, and that thing that they place on your finger to test the oxygen level in your blood.

    All of the tests came out normal, and the finger oxygen meter tool always reads 100% oxygen level.

    Despite this, I still get the sensation that I can't get a full breath. At home when I feel like I can't get a full breath, I will blow with the same strength in a peak flow meter that I would when I'm feeling alright.

    It's not hyperventilation, as it does not always resolve when I try to breathe slower. Whenever I read up on anxiety-related breathing issues, most of the time they speak of hyperventilation.

    When these breathing problems occur I notice I do have excessive stomach acid/gas. I do not think that stomach acid is silently getting into my lungs, because to get to my lungs it would have to go through my throat and vocal cords. My voice is not horse and my throat is not irritated.

    Given that my heart and lungs always check out alright, I'm thinking that there's only two possibilities here.

    1. When I get indigestion, excessive gas makes my stomach/intestines expand, which crowds my lungs.
    2. Anxiety causes my breathing muscles to get tense, giving me the sensation of restricted breathing, despite the fact that I'm getting plenty of air. The indigestion that follows is unrelated and is caused by anxiety.

    My questions here are:
    Does anybody else have any experience with this kind of thing?
    Can anxiety cause shortness of breath through some means besides hyperventilation?

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    yes,iv experienced severe shortness of breathe for days now,a racing heart and iv been light headed like im going to pass out.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Hello Eric and wini87!

    It sounds very similar to a panic or anxiety attack. I have had many of those, with many dastardly and serious gastric consequences! You should check with your doctor to verify this is the case, but often times, these symptoms are accompanied by obsessive negative thoughts, feeling nauseated and/or wanting to throw up, and having diarrhea and gas issues.

    I'm sorry to hear you both are feeling so poorly! Wini87, I think I read in another post that you deal with malaria as well!! How terrible! I'm so sorry for your ill health! I read that malaria is keeping Africa poor because it's making your money go towards healthcare and daily maintenance instead of being able to save it up. How frustrating!!

    A hot water bottle for your tummy, hot tea, and soup tends to be very soothing on my stomach and nerves when these symptoms start up for me. Try to incorporate a calming mantra, or deep breathing into your daily regimen.. it helps to reduce the amount of chemicals (adrenaline, and others) that flood your bloodstream and cause you to feel short of breath.

    I hope some of this helps!

    To better health!


  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    I found a cure for my SOB. For two years I was having constant SOB where it felt like I could never take a deep breath. After 2 ER visits, a cardiologist, rheumatologist and gastroenterologist, they all said it was anxiety...(well, the gastro said it was GERD and tried to pump me with antacids - but I knew it wasn't because I don't eat that unhealthy). I had a feeling it was stomach related because I could breath a little better after a bowel movement and in the mornings after having layed down all night. I started drinking a Probiotic drink called Good Belly(mango flavor) which helped a lot but what really helped was Mastic Gum. It's some kind of bark from a tree in Greece and you can only order it online. I realize my SOB was due to inflammation of my stomach and intestine. I believe that all of the processed GMO food that our government is feeding is is actually killing us.I only eat meat once a week now and that helps too.(Watch Forks over Knives on Netflix and research Monsanto GMO) Be care full what you eat and take Mastic Gum and you'll feel better!

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    I have had this be for but it always seemed to happen when I was super fatigued, either from lack of sleep or else a side effect of my anxiety/panic attacks. when I was I wellbutrin I had it all the time. it was like I couldn't yawn all the way if that makes since.really annoying. I would definitely talk to your doctor about some kind of relaxation techniques. or maybe get a sleep study done, and that's causing fatigue? good luck. and hope you feel better



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