Mysterious shortness of breath

Posted by gabrielm @gabrielm, May 31, 2018

I will try to make this as short as possible, but this has been going on for over 5 years, so it might be farily long. 

Beginning in summer of 2012, I began having shortness of breath (SOB) with no other symptoms. I felt a constant need to yawn, and every few breaths wouldn't satisfy the SOB. I would take a deep breath, and felt like it would get "stuck" before satisfying the air hunger feeling. About every 3-5 deep breaths would satisfy it, only for it to return a minute later. 

I got an endoscopy and other tests done, which revealed that I had some esophageal erosion due to acid reflux and a slight hiatal hernia and was diagnosed with GERD. I had always have bad heartburn, so I was prescribed with Prilosec, which I have been taking daily since them. I've tried stopping it a few times but the reflux always comes back a lot worse. 

Lung tests and x-rays were normal. Heart tests normal. Blood test revealed a slight anemia but otherwise pretty normal. 

I did some research reading forums where someone suggested taking vitamin B-12. Strangely, I took it and the SOB disappeared almost instantly. However, it only lasted a few days for it to return just as bad. I then started taking an iron supplement, which again made the SOB disappear quickly- same thing; symptom returned days later. 

After further research, I came across a breathing exercise method called the Buteyko method. Essentially you do a lot of breath holding to build up CO2 and reduce breathing as the theory is that I had chronic hyperventilation causing too much CO2 to exit my body. After applying the method and reducing my breathing, the SOB disappeared after only 2 days and I felt completely normal. I continued the method a few more days then no longer felt the need to pursue the exercises. I was normal for a whole year when the SOB once again returned with some chest tightness. I applied the method again and the symptom went away, this time with a little more effort; after about 3 weeks. I included physical exercise which also helped with my breathing. 

After that, I was normal for about 2 years. I mistakenly stopped or at least slowed down exercise and the SOB returned once again. I applied the method and began running for exercise but the SOB kept getting worse. It got so bad, I had multiple panic attacks and the feeling of completely empty lungs with the inability to satisfy it with deep breaths. I had to stop exercise altogether, apply the Buteyko method and do breathing exercises very carefully with very light and slow exercise. This helped, but it took many weeks for the SOB to improve. Then, it was almost normal when over a year ago as I was running, I couldn't get a deep breath to satisfy exercise-induced SOB. I have had SOB continuously since then (a year and a half). 

I once again started doing breathing exercises and slowly building up physical exercise, but I can't do any prolonged cardio activity because the SOB gets to a point where deep breathing will not satisfy it. While the breathing exercises have helped, they have had very little effect compared to previous efforts. It seems that every time the symptom returned, greater effort yields few results.

I suspect there is something, some underlying cause that is causing the SOB that has alluded me this entire time. 

So for the past few months to a year, the SOB is worse on some days, better on others, but never gone. There's no rhyme or reason or pattern for it. It's just there, sometimes affecting my sleep. I sometimes can't get a deep breath to satisfy it every now and then, but for the most part, a big gulp of air will satisfy it. But it returns seconds to minutes later. It's as though every breath doesn't deliver what it's supposed to, the SOB builds up, and then I have to take a big gulp of air to get rid of the feeling, pattern repeats. My breathing pattern is normal, however. I don't feel like anything physical is happening, but sometimes it feels like my airways and nostrils are slightly inflamed due to allergies, but when I don't feel inflammation the SOB is still there. 

Recent lung function tests show normal- I don't have asthma, or any other problems with my lungs. Heart tests are normal though I did have about a two week bout of heart palpitations which came and went. Haven't had any for a while- it just mysteriously started happening then stopped. Blood tests are normal, though tests always show a slight elevation of biliruben which my doc thinks is Gilbert's disease. 

I don't have sleep apnea (normal test), bloody oxygenation is normal, heart rate normal. 

I recently saw local naturopath (since mainstream docs aren't able to help) who immediately suspected a liver problem when I described my SOB, possibly liver inflammation. He used an electrodermal testing machine to test his theory which did seem to show a problem with my liver and gallbladder. He gave me digestive enzymes and a gallbladder formula to help clear a bile duct clog, thus reducing liver inflammation. He also determined with the machine that I have an egg sensitivity so I've been avoiding eggs. 

Been taking this and avoiding eggs for a couple of months, but there has been no noticeable improvement. Everything else is normal. Emotionally I'm normal- no anxiety, depression, etc. The SOB seems to be the only symptom of something, but always comes back worse, until a year and half ago when it came back and has remained since. I feel like I shouldn't have to do breath holding exercises every day just to maintain my breathing well enough to do every day things. 

Does anyone have any idea of a possible underlying cause?

@merpreb

@helpnywhereucan– Good morning. Your news is so good. How did you hear about drinking baking soda and the ph of your water and diet?

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could you please send me the information about the DRINKING BAKING SODA AND PH OF YOUR WATER AND DIET. thank you so much

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Here's another eating plan that I came across to heal acidity for those who prefer a more natural of healing. If you visit his Instagram page you will see tons of testimonials from people who healed themselves from all types of diseases using his methods. I don't endorse anything, I am simply passing information along to those who are seeking a different alternative.
https://www.medicalmedium.com/blog/healing-acid-reflux
Here's his Instagram page:
https://www.instagram.com/medicalmedium/

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@saigurucharan

For SOB, all you have to do is, stop stressing about it, stop thinking so much, relax and tell to yourself that you aren't going to die and focus on different things. Because, stress makes it worse and causes other side-effects like acidity, burps etc, which makes us think more about our self-induced gastritis.

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I have been trying to tell myself this is true… but I still can’t rid myself of it.

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@joangma

please advise method on drinking baking sodas, and ph of water, and diet. thanks wayne

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You can Google Alkaline based diets. Foods high in alkaline are fruits, nuts, legumes and vegetables…Acidic Foods are basically any food that comes in a box and or processed meats..
There is a ton of info on alkaline based water.. For some reason it won't let me attach the most recent article on baking soda/water, but it's worth a try for acid reflux and inflammatory issues.

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@joangma

could you please send me the information about the DRINKING BAKING SODA AND PH OF YOUR WATER AND DIET. thank you so much

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@joangma – I know that I prefer natural products to help heal or prevent problems in my body. Changing the ph of your body is not a light thing as a treatment for a hang nail. These are chemicals and it's best to check with your doctor before taking any chances. Using chemicals to change something in your body is like using a dull instrument. There can be serious side effects to consider. Have you checked with your doctor? Do you know if you have a high acidic PH?

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@saigurucharan

@merpreb @bb7777
If you have dry nose, that is definitely a culprit. I am not a doctor, but I have had issues with SOB too. I read about ayurveda (and also I am an Indian(from India)) and used ghee(which is called clarified butter, but I don't know if I can rely on US produce) in my two nostrils. Usually, people use Nasya Oil, but I just applied ghee to my little finger and rubbed inside my two nostrils. You will see mucous being produced in a very few minutes after application(nothing to panic about). If your SOB gets fine after that, then it is all about just a dry nose and lack of mucous in your membranes. Try it, it doesn't harm you at all, because it is all natural.
You can get ghee in any indian stores, go for a high quality organic cow ghee.

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@saigurucharan – By culprit do you mean a cause for SOB? Dry nose usually indicates a lack of mucus in the nasal cavities. It is usually an excess amount of mucus that can cause problems. There many number of things that can dry nasal passages.
https://www.healthline.com/health/dry-sinuses#symptoms
USA products are excellent. I would hesitate to put ghee in my nose. Gels and sprays are balanced with enough sodium to help nasal passages to achieve a homeostasis. I've been using them for years. Can you even get them in India?

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@merpreb

@joangma – I know that I prefer natural products to help heal or prevent problems in my body. Changing the ph of your body is not a light thing as a treatment for a hang nail. These are chemicals and it's best to check with your doctor before taking any chances. Using chemicals to change something in your body is like using a dull instrument. There can be serious side effects to consider. Have you checked with your doctor? Do you know if you have a high acidic PH?

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With all respect,,, adding more alkaline based foods to your diet can only benefit your health. There is no health benefit in eating processed/high Acidic foods.

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@saigurucharan – This is much easier said than done. I find that it's realistic to feel stressed when I find myself short of breath, at least I did when I first had lung cancer. It's very scary when you have been able to breathe and then all of a sudden have a problem with it. I know that stress does make it worse but when I didn't know what was going on I had no idea what to do, who to see, and what it was. Stress is a natural reaction to freighting things. A lot of people, like myself, are worry warts. We are all different. Did you not become stressed when you first had SOB?

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@fracturedd

With all respect,,, adding more alkaline based foods to your diet can only benefit your health. There is no health benefit in eating processed/high Acidic foods.

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@fracturedd– You are correct. I don't think that I mentioned foods. I was just trying to encourage caution in changing your whole body without proper medical insight from a doctor or even a qualified nutritionist. Great harm can occur if your body doesn't need this change because the problem is not acid but something else. Does this make sense?

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@merpreb

@joangma – I know that I prefer natural products to help heal or prevent problems in my body. Changing the ph of your body is not a light thing as a treatment for a hang nail. These are chemicals and it's best to check with your doctor before taking any chances. Using chemicals to change something in your body is like using a dull instrument. There can be serious side effects to consider. Have you checked with your doctor? Do you know if you have a high acidic PH?

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Typically traditional doctors don't believe in natural ways of healing so many will dismiss or discourage it. People should do their own research, work with their doctor and listen to their own body. I have encouraged people to go back through my previous posts and read if natural alternatives resonate with you. It's too lengthy to post all that each time I post. I prefer to use food to heal and rely less on supplements but if someone could benefit from one I say try it…but use wisdom and caution. To me supplements require the same approach as pharmaceuticals. I have been helped tremendously by magnesium and a small amount of potassium and a healthy diet. And I have done EXTENSIVE research on anything I do to my body.

Please do your own research on this stuff and use sound judgement. A salad won't hurt you but if you have a medical condition such as high blood pressure and use a teaspoon of baking soda you will land yourself in the ER. If you are already too alkaline same thing. Carve out some time and research anything on this board that resonates with you. Don't just take someone's word for it.

Some people only trust doctors for medical care. Others have had bad experiences with doctors including misdiagnosis, no diagnosis, botched procedures etc. There's no right or wrong here. Just wanted to post my experience on how I got rid of my sob. Might not be the path for everyone. It's a personal decision.

And finally I'll add as someone stated above. All this stuff is a click away. Just start with a few keywords…sob, difficulty breathing, acidity, heartburn, diet and let the path lead you from there.
♥️

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Here's another article on how changing diet helped someone from Dr. Fuhrman who recommends a plant based diet to help conditions. Again do research and speak to your doctor.
https://www.drfuhrman.com/get-started/success-stories/754/denniss-story

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@merpreb

@joangma – I know that I prefer natural products to help heal or prevent problems in my body. Changing the ph of your body is not a light thing as a treatment for a hang nail. These are chemicals and it's best to check with your doctor before taking any chances. Using chemicals to change something in your body is like using a dull instrument. There can be serious side effects to consider. Have you checked with your doctor? Do you know if you have a high acidic PH?

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no but that's the place to start thanks

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sir how about copd that's my sob problem

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I'll also add that my posts in regards to healing sob naturally are aimed at those who like myself had been checked by doctors and told there's nothing wrong, great health, it's anxiety etc. Not for those with chronic conditions etc. The posts are aimed at those with mysterious shortness of breath not diagnosed conditions.

I thank all of you who have supported us, posted your experiences, comforted us when we were afraid. Your posts really helped me on those long sleepless nights. I'm leaving the group since I think I'm in the clear. Best of luck. Never stop searching. It's a god awful condition and if you find relief leave a trail for others. Sincerest gratitude.

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@merpreb

@saigurucharan – By culprit do you mean a cause for SOB? Dry nose usually indicates a lack of mucus in the nasal cavities. It is usually an excess amount of mucus that can cause problems. There many number of things that can dry nasal passages.
https://www.healthline.com/health/dry-sinuses#symptoms
USA products are excellent. I would hesitate to put ghee in my nose. Gels and sprays are balanced with enough sodium to help nasal passages to achieve a homeostasis. I've been using them for years. Can you even get them in India?

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@merpreb Yes, we do get everything in India, however, I now live in US. It is not necessary that mucus causes SOB. Mucus moistens and warms inhaled air and keeps the mucus membrane cells and the little hairs called "cilia" lubricated. Lack of mucus also causes SOB, please read over it. Your case could be completely different than mine, but however, when I moved to US, because of the heaters and the A/C, my nose goes dry very easily. Doctors in US don't give a damn about the dryness. I know US healthcare better than anyone else as I have personally experienced things and I work for a school of med. Nothing is diagnosed very easily in US. However, the procedures are very sophisticated after the years of trials and definite diagnosis, because it is evidence driven healthcare, which is good, but not for everyone who needs quick diagnosis and has no time or knowledge to research as much.
Ghee has the same qualities that you have mentioned to me in gels and sprays. I used it and I got better for sure, but it is all up to you and your condition and yes, please contact any ayurvedic physicians before you start using anything that is mentioned in the forum. Also, look into Nasya Oils.

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