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Author Topic: Permanent breathing problem  (Read 273 times)

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Online algeus

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Permanent breathing problem
« on: April 13, 2014, 11:24:41 AM »
Hello all,

I'm new here,seeking advise and some support.
I'm suffering from panic attacks and depression disorder for about 20 years.Had bad times and good times,but nothing prepared me to what happened to me more than a month ago,leaving me almost hopeless...
But first of all,some facts:

* Panic attacks were always followed with shortness of breath for me.Shortness of breath that would go away in 30 minutes- hour.

* During last months, and almost every day I felt myself weak and short of breath while going from my office to the parking in the evening.I was OK during the morning and the day,so was hoping it's just some stress period in my life,and it will eventually get better.

Then,one morning,I was out shopping, when I started to feel really strange. I was dizzy out of a sudden,and could barely make myself to the car.Then I felt like I'm going to faint, and die. With all my panic attacks in the past I NEVER felt such a horror and a feeling of something is extremely wrong with me.
I got myself home,called ambulance and was admitted to the hospital.Nothing was found during my stay there(3 days), but a tachycardia that doctors couldn't explain.The ECG was fine,and so was my "echo". I had a negative d-dimer test,and based on my blood test the doctors ruled out possibility of pulmonary problems as well.They did noticed a have higher than normal level of oxygen in the blood(hyperventilation) and "respiratory alkalosis".
All the doctors I saw were claiming it's all about my anxiety.

I'm in the living hell since that morning. I feel constantly short of breath.A feeling I have something in my throat.Even in rest.It's the first thing I feel in the morning when I wake up.This and a fatigue.I'm dragging myself to the work each day,trying to convince myself it's an anxiety.
Taking 100mg a day Lustral for almost a month won't make any difference.Xanax seems to ease the symptoms a bit,but I'm trying to avoid using it(0.25mg) as I afraid to get addicted to this drug...suffering.

It's really hard for me to accept my anxiety could cause such a problem as a permanent shortness of breath, and I really afraid doctors missed something,trying not to read some stories about people dying from pulmonary and cardiac problems.

It would be nice to hear about somebody with such a problem who finally could overcome this, or just a re-assurement it's an anxiety,and not just doctors trying to find a diagnosis when they don't have anything else to suggest.

Thank you very much in advance,

Alex
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Offline kconnors

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Re: Permanent breathing problem
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2014, 04:47:24 PM »
Hi,

Glad you came by . . . I'm sorry that I cannot be of much help in terms of advice, but I do know that I have had panic attacks and I have had a difficult time getting by them even when reassured that they had been caused by anxiety . . . for ever so long, when I had even a semblance of the same feeling that was associated with the panic attack, I would "relive" the experience and so I was almost in a constant state of anticipation for "the next time" . . .

I am not a med professional so I cannot comment on things like respiratory alkalosis . . . I guess, though, I would want the doctors to explain how this happens and what can be done to prevent or manage it . . .

Sometimes, and this is just me, but sometimes when I was in an episode of anticipating something happening, then I would have the symptoms of that event with me on a continual basis . . . .

If you feel as if the doctors have missed something, is it possible to get a referral to a respiratory specialist who at least could give you suggestions on how to counteract the alkalosis . . . could anxiety be causing some type of hyperventilation (this has happened to me) and does this create this alkalosis (I don't know as I do not even know what alkalosis is and I always stop myself from looking up things on the web because I don't have the med background to be able to interpret what I am reading, etc.)?

If these symptoms are triggered by anxiety, then it does not have to be permanent . . . if you know it is anxiety, then you need to consult with a counselor to start to manage the triggers and resolve them . . . if you are already seeing a counselor, then perhaps it's not the best match . . . only you would know . . .right now, though, because it seems that you do not have a real good explanation of what is happening, your anxiety is feeding off this lack of knowledge . . . again, my apologies, but I do not know much about the meds end of things . . . there are many different types of meds on the market and if the meds do not appear to be making a significant difference, then you may need to make sure your prescribing doc knows this . . .which brings me to another issue . . . this is nothing against the prescribing doctor but if s/he is not a specialist in anxiety, then s/he may not know of the best meds or combinations for you . . .different meds work differently for different people . . .

I know that we have many others here on the forum who will be of greater help to you than I am because among us we have a wealth of direct experience and a willingness to share as you have with us . . . please come back here as often as you can . . . .although not all of us can provide you with direct experience (like me), we all will be as supportive of you as we can . . . thanks for joining us . . .take care and let us know what's going on . . .kc
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Online algeus

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Re: Permanent breathing problem
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2014, 09:33:51 AM »
Hi kconnors,

Thank you for your response.Actually I did met some experts, and was told the cause of my symptoms are probably anxiety.And still it's very hard to believe this, as it's not something I've ever encountered before...

Anyway,I'm happy now days we,the sufferers, can share our problems in forums like this one.It was not the situation when I got my first PA 20 years ago...
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Offline christina10778

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Re: Permanent breathing problem
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2014, 07:55:11 PM »
I've been dealing with this 24/7 for a while now, as well.
Plus, the dizziness/"off-balance" feeling.....horrible.
And every time I go to the ER they tell me that I am fine....but I surely don't feel fine, at all.
It does feel like I'm dying or something...it's terrifying!
I'm so sorry that you are going through this :(
But, a lot of Anxiety sufferers deal with this...I really don't know why.
Mine comes out of nowhere, sometimes, and I swear I am not panicking or anything.
I just don't understand....

But, here is a video that I posted on this issue...
Check it out...a lot of people have found it helpful:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Voe6JGyn74c

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My Health Anxiety Channel: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8-5ZQ6ZyRtI4ccjpE_4QwQ/videos

1 Peter 5:7 - "casting all of your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you."

Online algeus

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Re: Permanent breathing problem
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2014, 04:00:47 AM »
Hi Christina,

Thank you very much for sharing your problem - it's definitely helps us all to understand we're not alone in this. :action-smiley-065:
A question - did you have some tests to rule out some other possible medical issues?
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Offline christina10778

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Re: Permanent breathing problem
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2014, 08:10:03 AM »
Well, as I mentioned before, I have been to the ER a few times and my oxygen levels are always at 99-100 and they tell me that I'm hyperventilating....although I don't feel like I am.
And they have never suspected anything or got anything bad from tests...although I told them repeatedly that I could not breathe.
They always tell me to just calm down and to go see a Psychiatrist....
Plus, I have done some research and found something called "Hyperventilation Syndrome".
It can become a chronic issue that lasts for months or years.
I have also done some, at home, experiments on myself (Like, for instance, seeing how much air I can forcefully blow out against my hand and then going and testing my husband and all of my kids the same way and comparing, lol) and they've all came out great, lol.

But, it can be so scary....
As a matter of fact, most mornings, like today, I wake up feeling as if I seriously can not breathe! :(
(I believe that I panic even in my sleep)
I stay calm and yawn so that I can try to get a good deep breath in....sometimes it just doesn't work and I have to give it a few minutes....but, I have been dealing with this for a while now....it sucks.

I guess I know that it's anxiety because nothing has ever proved otherwise...even with ER visits, I can make things better or worse by staying calm or panicking, if I'm completely distracted...it is practically non-existent, I don't have the other symptoms associated with asthma or COPD, when I started taking Magnesium and Calcium the breathing symptoms lessened greatly, etc. 

It's so terrifying when you have Anxiety because you have all of these symptoms that are associated with all of these horrible illnesses and yet "nothing" is wrong with you....it can be hard to grasp.
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My Health Anxiety Channel: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8-5ZQ6ZyRtI4ccjpE_4QwQ/videos

1 Peter 5:7 - "casting all of your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you."

Online algeus

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Re: Permanent breathing problem
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2014, 09:30:46 AM »
The problem with the saturation oxygen level test, is that it's not giving doctors the full picture.Making my own research, I've found out that one of the MUST checks in the case of shortness of breath ,that the doctors I met were not so happy to make,is ABG(Arterial Blood Gases).
In addition there are many other physical conditions to check, that doctors are just neglecting sometime...
Dealing with this problem for over than a month,I've found out that the "anxiety" diagnosis is often being used when no other specific symptoms are there,and the doctor is trying to "close the case" somehow.
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Offline e77

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Re: Permanent breathing problem
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2014, 02:21:04 PM »
Hi Alex,
When anxiety/panic breaks through and the body's flight/fight response kicks in, fear takes over and reason takes a back seat.  I know this too as I spent a day in the ER several weeks ago because the irregular heartbeats I felt triggered panic and fear that I was dying.  Hard to believe anyone when it feels so intense and real!  At some point I had to believe what the doctors were telling me and accept that despite the PVCs(heartbeats) were and are benign.  Not easy as my habit of anxious brooding and introspection over this causes me to record and amplify every odd heartbeat.  Maybe the same thing is happening with you regarding your breathing.  The fight flight response is the most powerful instinct we have and most definitely can bring on the body sensations we feel.  I think kconnors makes a lot of sense as to how to treat our condition. Hope peace of mind returns to you soon.  Best wishes.
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Online algeus

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Re: Permanent breathing problem
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2014, 04:03:24 AM »
I have PVCs issue too:(.
My motto in these cases is “Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you” . Just because we are anxious more than the others,doesn't mean we should always accept the first and the "easiest" diagnosis of anxiety all the times.
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