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Nov 18, 2019 · Mysterious shortness of breath in Lung Health

It's been a long time since I posted, so I just wanted to touch base with everyone about my progress. It has been a long journey, but I have come a long way. From struggling to breathe what felt like every minute, to maybe just a few times a day. I'm going to share what I've been doing since it has been working, in hopes that anyone desperate for solutions can try some of this stuff. I know that's what I wanted when I used to read posts here, just ANYTHING to try that would make the god awful feeling go away. I can tell you honestly that I feel much better than I used to, but it has been hard work. I'll try to share everything I've done.

I start out taking a multivitamin (Vitacell) along with CoQ10, Red Yeast Rice, and Milk Thistle. Were these supplements alone responsible for my improvement? Who knows, but it's what I've been doing lately so I'm going to include them. Also I use a spray of Flonase sensimist in each nostril before leaving for work, just in case my problem is allergy related. (I'm really just attacking this from all angles)

I always take 20mg of Omeprazole like many have suggested. It's known to help many, so why not try it?

Other Changes:
When I first started having this horrible problem I weighed 240lbs. I now weigh 188. I have started running – initially only once a week, but now 3 days per week. Some have mentioned that it makes their symptoms worse. That's fine, but I believe over time they have increased my cardiovascular ability and enabled me to breathe better. My diet includes a lot of vegetables and fruits. I try to make at least one healthy meal choice per day. I include blueberries, broccoli, honeycrisp apples, raspberries, blackberries, carrots, pineapple, kiwi, mango, and others. I try to incorporate these fruits and vegetables into my diet whenever I can. I think improving my diet over the past year and exercising has made a huge difference. Try just eating one apple every day. If you want to heal, you have to work with your body and think about the nutrients it needs to do its job. What do you think will improve your health long-term, a greasy slice of pizza or some walnuts and almonds? I hate to jump on the more "organic" kind of food bandwagon, but it's what I've been doing for the past year and it has worked.

For a quick improvement, try looking up beet juice. There are studies that show that beet juice can improve the way our bodies utilize oxygen and make it more efficient. As one website says, "A new study shows for the first time how the nitrate contained in beetroot juice leads to a reduction in oxygen uptake, making exercise less tiring. The study reveals that drinking beetroot juice reduces oxygen uptake to an extent that cannot be achieved by any other known means, including training." I have just started incorporating this stuff into my regimen for the running benefits, and I started discovering all the benefits it has. I have also switched to a standing desk at work to try and stay more active. I really think this stuff makes a difference – not just one change, but the overall picture of your health as a person. Diet, habits, etc. Think overall lifestyle changes. That's how you're going to beat this thing.

Usually I pick this stuff up at Whole Foods, but I'm sure it's the same anywhere else. I'll add more if I can remember, but I just wanted to get this out there because I've been feeling good for a long time now. This has been the longest stretch where I haven't had any of those "bad days" where you just can't get a breath to save your life. Anyway, good luck to all of you. I really do hope every single one of you can beat this horrible curse – whatever the hell it is. If I can help just one other person to fight this thing, that would make me happy. Best of luck.

Jun 9, 2019 · Mysterious shortness of breath in Lung Health

Well, it's been a while since I last posted and I wish I had good news and could say that I have solved this problem. I have not.

I have been willing to try ANYTHING to cure myself of this. I have tried expensive medical tests, weird meditations, and intense exercise regimens, all to no avail. The cat scan of my lungs came back and showed nothing other than I had histoplasmosis at one time. According to the pulmonologist my breathing problems could not possibly be a result of anything shown on my cat scan. My breathing tests showed ruled out asthma and COPD, although I could have figured that from the months of taking inhalers that did absolutely nothing. I am now off all drugs, and my condition is still the same. I was instructed to blow in a "peak air flow meter" for a month to note any changes. There were none. I can blow hard enough to max out the meter in most cases, regardless of how I am feeling. I can conclude that I do not have an obstructive condition.

I have adopted an aggressive exercise regimen to condition my heart and lungs. Although I am 31 and not overweight, I figured perhaps conditioning my heart and lungs more would help. I have been running for about a year, but for the past month or two I have started running 10 miles every week. No noticeable improvement. A few weeks were good, but the past week has been bad with the exact symptoms we are all too familiar with. My diet has included one bag of mixed vegetables and fruits for the past year and a half. I have quite a healthy diet, and making diet modifications seem to yield no differences as well. The magnesium someone suggested also did not seem to make an improvement, although it did give me an upset stomach the next day. Also I have read about "low potassium" a few times. My bloodwork showed that my potassium actually was above the upper limit because of the amount of fruits and vegetables in my diet, so that would not be it.

I do like what one gentleman mentioned – it's not SOB but "air hunger". That rings true to me. I'm not short of breath really, I just feel the need to gasp for more air. I can resist the urge with seemingly no consequences, but why is the urge so persistent when it has been shown that medically nothing is wrong with me?

I feel for all of you, and I read all of your posts. I'm usually on my phone and I find it cumbersome to type long posts, so I typically just like posts that resonate with me. Wishing all of you the best in fighting whatever this is.

Apr 15, 2019 · Mysterious shortness of breath in Lung Health

Since it's been almost a year since your original post – I'm curious – have you made any progress? I'll have to try the caffeine thing, although my caffeine intake is pretty consistent, so it wouldn't explain the whole good days / bad days thing. Like you, I have been journaling for about a month now and there is honestly no rhyme or reason to it that I can discern. I just went on vacation recently and completely changed almost everything. Diet, activity level, climate, etc. It was the same! I had some good days and some bad days.

It's definitely a really frustrating problem and my heart goes out to all of you in this thread. The only thing that I have found that makes ANY real difference is exercise. On days where my activity level is really high it seems to be a lot less. I'm not sure that it works that way for everyone else, but typically a lot of activity cures my SOB. The problem with this is that I'm a student and I have a desk job, so it's very difficult for me to get a lot of movement in. It can't be quick either, it has to be like 30 minutes of sustained movement. Usually on days where I'm very active, the SOB gives up at some point and I feel better. It doesn't give up without a fight though, it's usually there fighting for a while. On the weekend I jog on the treadmill for about 30 minutes. Sometimes the SOB is annoying during the entire workout, but it's usually better by the end. Other than that, I haven't found any magic pill. I should also note that I've been exercising for years so I doubt that it's just going to "go away" randomly because I was out of shape. I guess it just gets the blood pumping and opens my lungs giving me temporary reprieve.

Anyway, I'll keep trying things and keeping everyone posted. I was hoping the climate change, diet change, the vitamins I started taking, fish oil, meds from the doc, or SOMETHING would yield some serious results I could report back but I've got nothing.

Mar 30, 2019 · Mysterious shortness of breath in Lung Health

@merpreb Thanks. The result I got back from the breathing test was "mild restriction" and they told me to keep my appointment with the pulmonologist, but that's still pretty far away. Until then all I can do is keep taking my inhalers and hanging out in support groups like this one.

@chines118 That makes sense. I feel like my difficulty is with inhaling, but it's possible that it's actually because my lungs can't exhale properly. I don't know.

@davek Well I'm on the anti-anxiety medication but still can't get a deep breath lol, so I really don't think it's anxiety. And yeah, like you I went two days where I could breathe pretty good. I was hoping I was cured! Nope, it started to get slowly worse last night and sure as the sun shines, it has returned today lol. Already taken my albuterol….it's all I can do. It's possible it's allergy-related.

@jenniferhunter Hmm I've never heard of that before. I'm sure that makes it a very easy condition for doctors to overlook.

Mar 26, 2019 · Mysterious shortness of breath in Lung Health

I've been reading through this thread for a few days now. After tons of research on the internet I've really found nothing that matches my symptoms as succinctly as the mysterious condition described by so many of you here. I've been seeking answers for about a month now, but my condition began long ago. I'd say I first noticed something was off with my breathing about 2 years ago, and ever since then it's come and gone with varying levels of severity. However, this time around it was seriously exacerbated by a cold, and that was a little over a month ago. I've been struggling to get that deep breath ever since. Some days are better than others. A lot of forced yawning! I've found that Buteyuko breathing to be helpful, and I've also tried the vitamin b12, and started taking a PPI although I haven't noticed much heartburn. The doctor has me on symbicort, Ventolin, singular, and an anti anxiety. I know this isn't purely anxiety because even after taking the meds, I still can't get a deep breath – even though I'm totally relaxed and all my problems seem unimportant. The other meds seem to just barely help, but after a month they certainly have not cured me of this awful condition.

I had a pulmonary function test last Friday and I'm waiting to hear the results. My fear is that like many of you, the test results will be normal, and I'll be left with more questions than answers.