Breathing problems please help

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Posted a day ago

Hi I'm a 22 yr old male who has had been having a horrible time with my breathing for 8 months now. I have had chest xray an chest ct both clear also have had a pulmonary function test results as shown

Fev1 90%

Fvc 104%

Fev1%E 85%

Pef 113%

With the report saying I showed a mild obstructive breathing pattern.

My specialist has said they are all normal results and put it down to my anxiety causing these breathing problems.

To my understanding my Fev1E is on the lower end of normal.

I have also had chest xray and chest ct scan which where clear and a heart echo which was fine

Could someone please help me understand this as I believe the specialist may be wrong . I am terrified. Thankyou

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15 Replies

  • Posted

    If the specialist said its due to anxiety then that's most likely the reason. Stress and anxiety causes your breathing pattern to get off track/balance and the best way to reset your breathing pattern is through exercise. And I understand exercise is the last thing you want to do when your having anxiety and chest pain / loss of breath .. Typical anxiety symptoms. So you could do it 2 ways.. Start exercising slowly.. Like walking very slowly for 10-15 minutes and increase daily. And when your comfortable move faster. Also you could do weightlifting.. My anxiety was so bad i had to get on medication and wait until I felt better and THEN I started exercising.. My breathing was reset and I was able to get off the medication easily and the anxiety didn't comeback. I always reccomend a healthy diet with lots of clean meats / healthy fats / lots of veggies to support your body and stress levels. Also a multivitamin / magnesium / b complex and getting enough sun helps a lot for stress and anxiety
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  • Posted

    Thank you for your reply I have been exercising quite a bit I feel it when I'm exercising even, can you please describe to me what your breathing problems felt like and how long they lasted
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    • Posted

      Try to exercise 3 times a week only as too much exercise can stress the body out I learned that the hard way rolleyes But I had serious loss of breath.. I felt like I couldnt catch a good breath or like I wasn't receiving enough oxygen. Sometimes the way I breathe can cause tension in the body and cause chest pain. Some symptoms like numbness / heart palpitations / racing heart / chest pain would happen due to hyperventilating so ... I practiced breathing meditation / hypnosis for anxiety for 30-45 minutes daily on YouTube and it improved dramatically once you master it. I don't have the problem anymore.. Most of my anxiety is all tension/headaches/brain fog / derealization now.
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    • Posted

      Could you send me the vids that helped you please ?

      Im about same age (21) as Adam and have same exact problems

      Last few days I managed my anxiety quite well ( decreased dizziness, unbalance feeling and brain fog ), but my breathing has become a disaster. I feel like im going to suffocate. I had problems with breathing for 4 months and a half now and today it is really really bad ( had those bad days before too). My pulmonary test results were even better then Adam's (still his results look also very promising). My xray alright, my blood oxygen near 100%, my blood tests perfect, my ekg perfect.

      Still I am not calm because my breathing seems so bad. Regarding sports I can do pretty much anything but it is true that im quite fit person too. If I go jogging I barely have to breath deeply.It is basically the same whatever I do. Exercising doesnt make it worse nor good. People told me that I couldnt run and lift if I had real breathing problems, but I remember from my childhood when I had asthma and I still could do pretty much anything (well after lungs were wheezing and had trouble breathing). If I go running really fast right now... Yes I will have big breathing problems (no wheezing, but no full satisfying breaths).

      I can sleep quite normaly.

      How can I know it is really anxiety ??? This was my first symptom of "anxiety" and how can I know that my shortness of breath didn't make me anxious in the first place and gave me all other symptoms.

      If I focus on something else I do forget about breathing usually but still my breathing is worse then the one I had with asthma (btw my asthma meds dont work for this problem). Im very very concerned about my breathing because it doesn't change on how anxious I feel.

      Is there any way to really determine if breathing problems are due to anxiety and not something else. I've been to many docs and nobody said for sure what it is. They are all like: "well anxiety could be the problem...". I don't want to die while the docs are not even sure themselves what it is.

      I also had smaller problems with stomach ( again I was told:" well that could also be the problem. It is also true that you could have stomach problems because of anxiety."wink

      "Well it could also be a thing where stomach made your asthma symptom again"

      "It could also be that your allergie are doing this to you" ( not the case anymore... Just wrote it here so you can understand my anxiety and confusion I have)

      Now after all this confusions and everything.... How can I be calm and say it is anxiety. Can somebody tell me a reason that it is just anxiety and I can finally focus only on that ?

      Am I panicing right now ? Yes.

      Is my breathing worse right now ? No.

      I literally dont know what to do anymore. Pls help. Just pls somebody help me. Nobody seem to give me cure.

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    • Posted

      My answer is short, but I really hope that it will help you.

      It HAS to be anxiety, because if you do all that sport and don't die immediately there is nothing wrong MEDICALLY with your breathing.

      That doesn't help the rest of the anxiety, but it's a start........ love Tess xx

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    • Posted

      I'm with you doctors have said the same things but I'm not buying it, ashthma medication doesn't help. And when I'm really relaxed I still feel it, anxiety or not anxiety. I know what anxiety is and my breathing is about the same disatisfactoryness anxiety or not anxiety. I'm currently experiementing with the buteyko method, you may want to check it out. It's theory is that we developed a chronic hypervintilation and need to retrain our resting breath rate to be less volume per minute. Is your breathing at rest good? CAn you hear it? Do you have an air hunger with exercise only or even just sitting at rest?

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  • Posted

    Its bloody horrible isn't it.

    Did it feel like it was literally hard to breathe? How long did it last for?

    This has ruined my life

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    • Posted

      Yes it was hard and it did last for awhile only because I didn't find out how to stop it. The key was meditation and breathing exercises. That alone will reduce your anxiety so your less likely to have breathing issues and after practice for sometimes hours a day.. It all went away.
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  • Posted

    Ok what breathing exercises work for you? I sorry for the questions but I really need help with this
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  • Posted

    Make sure you dont have allergies to food or , or environment
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  • Posted

    Stop panicking, Adam. All those results are normal.

    You can panic when you see my husband's result lol.

    I'm glad everything came up as normal. Love Tess

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  • Posted

    Adam, I sent you a PM though I probably shared a bit more on this message.  For one or more reasons I don't think it's incredibly well-researched or understood well enough.  I suspect part of what you are experiencing is referred to by at least one name is a breathing pattern disorder..  Reflecting the fact that it's not well-researched or quite totally understood like other conditions, there does not appear to be basically one term for it.  Other terms I've seen include (and this is probably not a comprehensive list): 

    -Disordered breathing

    -Dysfunctional breathing

    -Hyperventilation Syndrome

    Symptoms of this condition often include anxiety which can enter the equation by being made worse by the breathing and the anxiety making the breathing pattern worse.

    Again, if I were more learned about it, I'd share more--I may give really trying to learn about it another try, as there are some resources out there on it both in print and the internet but find learning about such material to be a struggle and it in itself is discouraging. 

    In my non-expert opinion, I'd say even some of the resources I have read tend to lean towards talking about breathing pattern disorders or disordered breathing as being mostly of hyperventilation in their process, whereas in my case personally, from what I am aware of when I'm aware of my breathing, I tend to hold my breathe quite a bit in short and may breathe slowly in conjunction, but very often intervals and don't tend to hyperventilate except perhaps (not certain of this) when I have notably elevated anxiety or stress.

    If you don't mind me asking, what country do you live in?  I believe there are specialists trained to treat it though I'm not sure there is necessarily one uniform approach, but in general as you've found, most doctors seem fairly clueless about it--and probably say it's anxiety and to take a pill and/or go to a psychological therapist and it's been discouraging and incredibly frustrating I'm sure for others that have experienced the same ordeal.  I know it has been for myself.

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  • Posted

    Adam, darling, there's no point in going to a specialist and then imagining he's wrong!

    Those results are a good deal better than my husband's who has Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Oh, and he's had it for ten years and has yet to drop dead. I'm not trying to belittle your anxiety, but there isn't any point putting all those results on your post. I have yet to encounter a doctor on this site. I myself am a nurse - and I know about those results because of my husband's condition. It's really specialist stuff. And you've seen a specialist, yes?

    Can you try to explain what is terrifying you? I'll try to help. I do understand that you're very anxious about your health generally.      love Tess xx

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  • Posted

    Hi Adam,

    I'm going through a similar thing. Can you give me an update on how you are doing now?



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