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Lung & Respiratory Disorders / COPD Message Board

Lung & Respiratory Disorders / COPD Board Index

A few months ago i noticed that i felt i needed to take a deep breath every few minutes for my lungs to feel "satisfied". If i dont wait long enough between deep breaths, then my lungs wont feel satisfied and i will have to wait a little longer. This usually doesnt bother me too much unless i really think about it and i continue to run varsity cross country and the breathing is no worse when i am running. I am 16 years old and a male by the way. I have never smoked or anything like that, and i have no problems sleeping. What could this be? Should i see my doctor? Just want to figure out whats going on. Does it seem like it is serious? Thanks
Are you under any stress or anxiety, I get this when I think about my breathing, or when I am stressed...

It goes away when I sleep, or when I don't think about it....
I\I was a Marine (aviation ordnance and also am a bodybuilding fitness competitor (never did drugs) don't smoke and have used aspartame and had sensitivities to it. I also am having a breathing problem. I have been checked for asthma, and allergies..both negative. I am a 26 yr old female and feel very confused and helpless at this point. The breathing is only fine when I am sleeping. It won't go away if if I think about other things. This was a sudden problem, and I don't know where to turn.
Dear Fellow Thread Members,

I happened on this thread just today and am astounded at how identical many of your symptoms are to mine! I have been suffering from shortness of breath for about 5 years. I have been treated for asthma, but to no avail. X-rays, heart stress test, blood oxygen are all normal, but flow volume loop (lung test) is not. Saw a pulmonologist who said it was GERD and prescribed Nexium, but nothing changed. Saw another GP and pulmonologist, who played the "anxiety" card. (I once heard a doctor remark that doctors diagnose anxiety when they have no clue what to diagnose.) In any event, I played along and took SSRIs (anti-anxiety meds) for about a year, still nothing improved. GI did an endoscopy and said that everything was fine, but prescribed PPIs (Aciphex). No improvement. After more appointments with my pulmonologist, he diagnosed me with vocal cord dysfunction (VCD). Check out National Jewish Hospital's website and an article entitled "Can't Breath? Suspect Vocal Cord Dysfunction" for more info.

VCD occurs when the vocal cords adduce (constrict) the windpipe during inspiration. Under normal conditions the vocal cords relax to allow for normal breathing. This doctor "confirmed" this diagnosis with a laryngoscopy, stating that he witnessed the vocal cords come together when I inhaled. He prescribed speech therapy, which put me in better touch with my breathing, but has not yielded meaningful relief.

I temporarily gave up on the condition for about a year, trying to resolve myself to the fact that this nightmare was simply my cross to bear. It is all the more frustrating because friends and co-workers perceive that nothing is wrong with me, but inside I am literally fighting for every breath, desperately gasping for a lungful of air that I incidentally get only from the occasional successful yawn or by contorting my body.

In any event, I started noticing that I always felt the worst after eating. I did some research and learned of a condition known as laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR). LPR is reflux disease that typically doesn't create heartburn. Instead it causes acid and digestive enzymes to bypass the upper esophogeal sphincter where it does all sorts of horrible things to the larynx-pharynx. Successful treatment of LPR requires diet and lifestyle modifications, many of which have already been offered in this thread, and others that are readily availbale on a Google search of LPR. What I'd like to emphasize, however, is that unlike GERD, the most commonly known reflux disease, LPR treatment calls for a DOUBLE dosage of proton pump inhibitors. I'm currently on Protonix, but there are others such as Nexium and Aciphex. LPR PPI treatment usually requires several weeks, if not months, and possibly up to a year to reverse the acid damage that has been triggering the underlying symptoms.

After saying all that, I've been on the double dose of PPIs for about a month, with no real improvement, though I'm reminding myself to be patient. And I do feel tons better by not drinking caffeine or carbonated beverages. With the LPR theory in mind, I re-approached my pulmonologist, who quickly dismissed my theory b/c he said that he hadn't seen any acid damage to my vocal cords when he scoped them a couple years ago. Thus he stood by his VCD diagnosis and recommended additional speech therapy and possibly a referral to National Jewish, the preeminent lung hospital in the U.S.

I asked for a referral to an ENT, who peeked at my vocal cords and said that they were fine and exhibiting a full range of motion. He also asked me if I had anxiety. I wanted to answer that after 5 years of not being able to breathe, or for that matter, live, normally, yeah, I guess I might be a little anxious. But I simply told him that anti-anxiety meds didn't help. He scheduled me for a videostroboscopic exam of my vocal cords, which will allow for a closer and more detailed look at them.

I apologize if this post is a little long-winded (no pun intended). I'm frustrated that people don't understand just how much this condition zaps one's quality of life. Working is a chore, as is reading, housework, or simply driving, not to mention going to the gym. I feel as if I'm a shell of my former self who was energetic, hard-working, and confident about his abilities, and yes, happy.

Does anyone know if an endoscopy could miss a hiatal hernia? All of my doctors say it can't, but I have a strange sensation in my abdomen and often experience a bloated feeling after eating. Just wondering if I should add this to my LPR theory.

Hopefully someonw can find something useful in this post toward our common, and reasonable, goal of normal breathing. Wishing you all the best of progress with your breathing struggles and keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

Yeah, definitely, but I feel that if I burp that I'll vomit a little. I have to be very careful so that this doesn't happen. I try to exercise as much as I can, which basically boils down whether or not I'm breathing well enough on that particular day. Sit-ups/crunches are particularly uncomfortable.

I have to reiterate that cutting out carbonated drinks and caffeine, as well as eating smaller, more frequent meals, seems to have reduced the bloated sensation substantially.
I have have a really simular problem. LES Dystfuntion/Lower Esophageal spinchar Dysfunction. I don't have the problems witih deep breathing, but the rest sounds the same. I constantly have to clear my throat, have reflux, chest pain etc. My gastroenderologist (I'm sure this is not spelled correct)
had me go to the hospital for an manometry test. That is what my diagnosis was based on. I get botox 2 injected in my esophogus. Does help a lot but doesn't last and must have it redone ocassionally.:)
I am 53 and have always been in great health with the exception of a few minor issues. About 7 years ago I had the same sensation described by many here. Could not get enough air in, yawning would help but sometimes the yawn would not do the trick. Of course, a little panic would set in and seem to make it worse. Had all the pulmonary function tests, was given an inhaler which did not work and suddenly the symptons went away without the inhaler. Once in a great while they would come back - nothing major and would disappear quickly. Now, I find myself with the same symptoms again only worse. More yawning - sometimes works, sometimes does not. The doctor gave me an inhaler to use twice a day and has scheduled me for more pulmonary testing. He thought it might be "anxiety issues" but said the chest x-ray indicated my lungs appeared to not be dispelling air properly. Now he thinks it could be asthma - same as last time and it was not. This time it has hung in there with me longer than last time 7 years ago and is causing me stress. It has been getting progressively worse for a month. It really started after a bronchial/sinus infection that hung on for over a month. When that was gone, I was fine for another month then this really escalated. I do not cough but seem to clear my throat more than usual these days. If I do not think about it, it is not as bad but there seems to be no pattern and I am becoming very frustrated. No better or worse when I exercise and there seems to be no pattern. I am interested in hearing more about those folks with sinus problems that have contributed to similar breathing issues. The problem is scaring me a little as I worry if it will continue to get worse. I should not say misery loves company but I feel better knowing that I am not alone in this problem and it is not in my head.
It's definitely not all in your head. I can't think of anything more anxiety inducing than not being able to breathe. Although it hasn't cured me, speech therapy has provided some degree of relief at times. Of course, I don't know if your breathing difficulties are casued the vocal cords, as in my case, but the breathing exercises, if nothing else, are useful as a relaxation technique.

Make sure you are using your diaphragm to breathe, not your shoulders/upper body. While in a comfortable position, either sitting or lying down, place your hands on your belly and simply breathe. Feel your belly rise when you inhale and fall when you exhale. Inhale through your nose, then exhale (but don't force air) through pursed lips. Repeat the same but try exhaling while making an "sssssss" sound, then an "ffffffff" sound. I usually do about 3 sets of ten of these, and they can calm the body and regulate breathing. Hope this helps.
WOW, JCGMAN,,,i think you just describe me almost to a T. Going on 8 or 9 years now, ive been having trouble taking in a deep breath. All day long, its a struggle to take a good , deep breath. Any physical activity naturally is made more difficult by this. Im totally exhausted 24/7. i wake up exhausted. At work all day long i have to fight to stay awake. I hate driving more than an hour in a car, cause the moment i sit down, i just start to fall asleep. Ive had a stress test that was normal, though it was quite hard to suck in those deeps breaths on that treadmill. Ive had a sleep study. It showed my sleep was being interupted a 100 times a night. Though the Dr going over the results did not know what was causing it. Most recent endoscopy showed a small sliding hiatal hernia. Dr said he thought it was too small to be causing any harm.
I always feel like my stomach is bloated. Seems like its always a ball of tension down there. If i wear a very tight shirt(underarmour) it feels like its even harder to breath. Its ruining my life. I cant do the things i enjoy. Working out,,running,,etc. I really dont know where to turn. Stressful situations always bring about a great deal of pain in the stomach region,and greater difficulty in deep breathing. But as i said before, this is an all day long situation. There are things that make it even worse,,but nothing ever makes it better. I saw that yawning was an issue also. Most of the time i cant even complete a yawn. It goes half way,,then just stops.
Playing sports,,like racketball,etc, i can only do for a little while. at some point it just gets too difficult to get a deep breath. Feels like i have to strain to try to get air, then i just get a headache and have to stop what i was doing.
I have been experiencing some of the same symptoms over the last five months following an automobile accident...My symptoms are difficulty breathing that only a deep yawn satisfies, uncontrollable burping, numbness on left side of face and arm, and pain in the left shoulder. One doctor said it's anxiety and "find a hobby" doctor said Vagus Nerve damage and both prescribed meds for their diagnosis. My body developed an adverse reaction to the medications it culminated with a severe reaction to the benadryl that the paramedics gave me. I ended up being air lifted in to the hospital and released hours later b/c nothing 'looked' wrong. The doctors have now stopped all meds and I still can't breathe. I am now in the care of doctors at the Mayo Clinic and they are looking into the possibility of Phrenic Nerve Damage. Please search this topic...It may be of some help to you. At a point we had to become our own advocates for health care. I cannot tell you how many times the doctor implied I was having anxiety attacks, but, I know my body and I knew something was not right. DON'T GIVE UP.

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