Weird intermittent quick inhale/exhale at random intervals

Posted by ljmontgo @ljmontgo, May 12 1:27pm

It rarely happens more than once in any giver hour but has been going on for weeks. I researched respiratory illnesses but couldn't find anything. Anyone have a clue what this might be?

Hi @ljmontgo, and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Those of us on Connect are not medical professionals so we can’t diagnose conditions. However it is a place to learn from shared experiences and insights.
It looks like you’re not alone in having these intermittent breaths. I did a little research online as well and found a few links to sites with people asking the same question…but not really answers.

Like you, the patients are concerned about the breathing, but it appears it’s not a serious medical issue and more of an annoyance. However, looking through them I did notice that the onset of the symptom usually, but not in all cases, began some period after an event, such as surgery, periods of stress, impact to the chest, a cold, influenza, asthma, sleep apnea…the list goes on…
Do you remember anything taking place before your symptoms began?
For your peace of mind, it might be worth a trip to your physician to make sure there’s no discernible cause.

Here’s one of the links I found, though the entries are quite dated. See if these stories sound familiar. Hopefully we’ll get some community members responding who may have had similar experiences as yours.
https://www.medhelp.org/posts/Respiratory-Disorders/Strange-Involuntary-Breath/show/14555

REPLY
@loribmt

Hi @ljmontgo, and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Those of us on Connect are not medical professionals so we can’t diagnose conditions. However it is a place to learn from shared experiences and insights.
It looks like you’re not alone in having these intermittent breaths. I did a little research online as well and found a few links to sites with people asking the same question…but not really answers.

Like you, the patients are concerned about the breathing, but it appears it’s not a serious medical issue and more of an annoyance. However, looking through them I did notice that the onset of the symptom usually, but not in all cases, began some period after an event, such as surgery, periods of stress, impact to the chest, a cold, influenza, asthma, sleep apnea…the list goes on…
Do you remember anything taking place before your symptoms began?
For your peace of mind, it might be worth a trip to your physician to make sure there’s no discernible cause.

Here’s one of the links I found, though the entries are quite dated. See if these stories sound familiar. Hopefully we’ll get some community members responding who may have had similar experiences as yours.
https://www.medhelp.org/posts/Respiratory-Disorders/Strange-Involuntary-Breath/show/14555

Jump to this post

Thank you very much. I didn’t have any obvious precipitating lung related event but recent blood test keep showing below average blood sodium levels. At one point I felt so weak that it was a struggle to get to a sitting position after lying in bed. Of late I have been adding salt tablets but the breathing issue hasn’t stopped yet. I have some other blood work that’s still outstanding. I will update when the results are in but these episodes happen hours apart so it’s hard to figure out what is the trigger.

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@ljmontgo I’m so sorry you had such a frightening experience. Amazing how our bodies can get so out of whack. In your case it may have been the low sodium which was the triggering event. Having low sodium can have an serious impact on your body’s normal function. The fact that you were so weak shows the level of the disruption from being too low.

Were you given any idea why your sodium is so low? Did your doctor recommend the salt pills?
I’m only asking because when the sodium level in a body is low, often other key elements such as potassium and magnesium are affected. Replacing electrolytes in a balanced formula such a Pedialyte or Gatorade is preferable…it is possible to go too far in the other direction. ☺️

On a personal note, because of meds I’m on, I have to drink at least 64 oz of water daily to keep my kidneys and liver happy. So my blood is monitored all the time to make sure I’m not flushing too much of the electrolytes down the drain and I do have to take daily magnesium supplements. 😂

Yes, please keep in touch with your results. This is a wonderfully supportive community with members supporting members. The experiences you share will benefit others.

Wishing you good health. Lori.

REPLY
@loribmt

@ljmontgo I’m so sorry you had such a frightening experience. Amazing how our bodies can get so out of whack. In your case it may have been the low sodium which was the triggering event. Having low sodium can have an serious impact on your body’s normal function. The fact that you were so weak shows the level of the disruption from being too low.

Were you given any idea why your sodium is so low? Did your doctor recommend the salt pills?
I’m only asking because when the sodium level in a body is low, often other key elements such as potassium and magnesium are affected. Replacing electrolytes in a balanced formula such a Pedialyte or Gatorade is preferable…it is possible to go too far in the other direction. ☺️

On a personal note, because of meds I’m on, I have to drink at least 64 oz of water daily to keep my kidneys and liver happy. So my blood is monitored all the time to make sure I’m not flushing too much of the electrolytes down the drain and I do have to take daily magnesium supplements. 😂

Yes, please keep in touch with your results. This is a wonderfully supportive community with members supporting members. The experiences you share will benefit others.

Wishing you good health. Lori.

Jump to this post

Thanks for the reply. My doc did not suggest salt tablets or pedialte but did order more blood test. I hav been taking pedialite on my own.

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@ljmontgo

Thanks for the reply. My doc did not suggest salt tablets or pedialte but did order more blood test. I hav been taking pedialite on my own.

Jump to this post

Thought I’d update that the breathing issue eventually cleared up on its own. I think whatever mechanism controls hiccups might have been involved but the events were much more spread out than hiccups, at least in my experience. The bloodwork I mentioned led to identification of a liver issue. The low sodium cause remains a mystery.

REPLY
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