Severe persistent shortness of breath/ Metallic taste after breathing exercises

Posted , 7 users are following.

Im 21 year old male and I have been writing about my condition before, but last two days shortness of breath went out of control.

I have been working on myself and saw improvement in other symptoms but breathing. Breathing is worse. The pulmoraly ( lung capacity etc.)tests I had were alright, my ekg ok, blood ok, my oxygen level in blood near 100%, blood pressure was 105/60, heartbeat usually doesnt go above 80 if im still.

I had this problem for more than 4 months now and it got worse last few days and I simply dont get it why. My anxiety was improving and then I suddenly like feeling like suffocating. This is persistent. Because of that my anxiety is going back to pretty much severe anxiety.

I am trying lip pursed breathing and after intensly inhaling and exhaling my breathing "tasted" and felt like something metallic ( like blood in mouth) even though there was no blood.

I also feel like a weight in throat and chest area. Should I be concerned ? I really am because it feels like im going to suffocate one day.

One more thing. I sleep pretty much normaly idk how. I can also do sports and my breathing during that wont get worse. Few times it kind of felt like a small relief but not sure.

Im on vacation currently so I wont be visiting my doctor for at least a week. What should I do ? Can it be anything alarming?

1 like, 77 replies

Report / Delete

77 Replies

  • Posted

    Oh, Happyguy,

    You're not having a very good time at the moment, are you?

    If you're sleeping all night you must be breathing, so your anxiety has got its claws into you badly right now. I know this sounds like I'm dismissing you, I promise you I'm not. I think because you're nowhere near your regular doctor you're panicking.

    You can do sports. I can't, but I can breathe. I see that you're still checking your BP and pulse, for here we have an update. Please try to stop doing this. PLEASE.

    I know it's hard, but you have to allow yourself the pleasure of telling the anxiety to leave  you alone, not let it take you over.

    As to your questions - no, really, really, you shouldn't be worried. you've had  a bunch of tests and they were normal.

    It IS normal for people with anxiety disorder to dwell on the most minute things. You say your pulse is about 80 - unless you move - that's normal. I'd be very worried if your pulse stayed the same when you moved.

    Please try to enjoy your holiday and tell the anxiety to stop spoiling your life.

    love from Tess xx

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Well it is interesting though. I became very good at controling other symptoms, but not breathing. Idk why, my mind doesn't want to accept it is anxiety. I accepted my dizziness and ubalanced feeling... And it improved. But breathing... I never truly accepted it. I am keep telling myself it is anxiety, but deep down I don't trust it and that might be a problem. The thing is.... Troubles with breathing is how it all started. I remember many months ago how my breathing was slowly going downwards until I had all other symptoms. Maybe this is also how it will end. Maybe it will be the last symptom before I get well again smile

      Just a bit of background wink

      Thanks a lot for your help smile It means a lot to me. BP tests are not from now. They are about one week old I think. They are pretty much the same for months so i am trying to not bother with that anymore.

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    First you need to calm down. No, it's nothing alarming and the very fact that the thought entered your head shows that you are panicking.

    Anxiety symptoms are sneaky little beggars. They creep up on you when you least expect them. You expect that you should feel great, after all, you're on vacation, right?

    Wrong sad Inertia is the enemy. You can do sports and it doesn't worsen your breathing ? That's because you are burning off some of the excess adrenalin that is flooding through you and resurrecting your symptoms.Trying to practise your "good" breathing tells me you are trying to hard dear. Tensing up in desperation to calm your breathing pattern. It's not a race after all! Slow down with the breathing and try not to desperately inhale and force the air out of your lungs too swiftly. Practice makes perfect. You'll get the hang of it. The metallic taste? That may well be fear. It's not unheard of. Fear can be tasted and fear can smell believe it or not.  It's not blood so don't let your imagination run away with you.As for the leaden weight in your throat and chest ( very common in anxiety disorder ) that's the muscles bunching in tension.This makes your throat and chest feel restricted, hence the feeling of suffocation.

    Nothing bad is going to happen to you. Trust me on that. You are not going to spontaneously suffocate anymore than I am going to get a date with Sean Connery.

    We're talking one in a hundred billion chance here.

    You're okay. You've just frightened yourself. You're symptoms have reared because you  and your mind/thoughts have not  been distracted by work and life.

    Now then, no lolling about in a deckchair focusing upon how crappy you feel! Go for a swim, a walk or whatever..but move your body!



    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Mind you, I wouldn't even go on a date with myself at the moment. As I said in an earlier post I went mad and had a pixie hair cut. I look like a demented hedgehog or that I have been plugged into the National Grid sad

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Thank you so much once again. Your help means a ton to me.

      I think shortness of breath is where im vulnerable the most currently. I kind of accepted other symptoms and I also try to accept this one too, but shortness of breath is how it all started.It was my first symptom. I will try to trust the forums and my doctors and will see how it goes smile This breathing is really insane rolleyes

      Anxiety is really playing games with me smile

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I get shortness of breath a lot...many times a day. It's just part of my life for now, so I don't fight it...that tenses me up and it's worse. I just sit quietly, relax my muscles and breath in as much as I can without strain, then release the breath through my mouth just letting it come out easily. I keep it up until I am breathing fully and regularly. Usually 20 or 30 seconds.

      Anything we fight gets stronger and increases anxiety. Anything we accept (oh, it's you again) we can learn to handle.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I do sympathise with you. Some symptoms are harder to get a grip on than others and breathlessness is scary I know. The trouble with breathlessness is that we panic ( been there done that many a time ) and as a result it either gets worse or hangs around like a bad smell...sigh

      My first symptom was loss of balance. It scared the hell out of me. Nothing would convince me that it was anxiety related. I was sure there was something  seriously wrong with me and because I was in that fixed state of mind, other symptoms followed in rapid succession.

      if only I had known then what I know now. If only there had been this site and the support it gives I could have saved myself years of misery I can tell you.

      It's right back to acceptance honey. Accepting what it is ,is the only way to grab it by the scruff of the neck and shake it loose.

      Tess was so wise in telling you not to keep having BP/ pulse  readings ! By doing so you are not only frightening yourself but once again concentrating upon your "Health" It can become obsessional. i know because when my GP told me my BP was very, very high I was thrown into a state of acute anxiety. I kept monotoring it and the more I did the higher it rose....which is exactly what you are doing with your attitude towards your breathlessness. You are focusing upon it and by doing so it becomes more and more of a problem.

      I can only say I went through 10 months of hell until I woke up and smelled the coffee one day and thought, To hell with this! This is no way to live, always thinking I was either going to drop dead of have a stroke.

      Now I don't give my BP a thought. And once I "let go" the awful lightheadedness, the feeling I might pass out any minute, was gone in the blink of an eye.

      Am I still wobbly? Yes, sometimes but not often now whereas once it was there every waking moment.. It comes. It goes. It's here today and gone tomorrow. I live with it. It's my bete noir. In the bad times I tell myself, Ah well, this too shall pass. And as a result it is manageable and no longer throws me into a state of terror. The panic attacks subsided also with acceptance.

      Your breathlessness is your bete noir. We all have one in one shape or another. But if you could let go of your fear of it, accept , yes it might come yet calm yourself with the belief that it will go, then go it will.

      Anxiety is a bully. And the only way to overcome a bully is to face up to it.

      If anxiety is playing games with you then don't play anymore. Believe in your own strength to batter it.

      Hugs from Hele smile


      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Well said Helen, well said. I also stopped with the BP thing. No medication works, and I'm tired of being told horror stories by the doctors. I do have a lovely doctor now, who accepted that I was serious when I told him I didn't care how high it was, I was done with trying meds  that after four years of trying one after the other, just don't do it.

      I'm just thrilled that the anxiety meds are doing so well for me. So...all is well.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I have never felt so ill in my life as when on BP meds and statins. The side effects were horrendous and my anxiety went through the roof. The doctor tried me on 5 different types and whilst my bp plummeted so did my quality of life to almost zero.The docotr was adamant I continue for my "health@s " sake.

      I  decided I couldn't go on feeling like that anymore so I threw them in the bin and gradually, slowly, when they were flushed out of my system, the vile and numerous side effects drifted away.

      I would never advise anyone to go against their GP.

      I just decided to take charge that's all. Know your own body is my motto

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      i'm not saying anyone should fire their doctor either, I'm just saying I fired mine... for telling me to cold turkey off a beta blocker called metoprolol. That horror of an error on her part threw me into the anxiety tornado....but.......I never would have met all of you, and enjoyed myself so much helping others out of the anxiety pit. So, I have to see it as a blessing in disguise.It's like peeling off a devil costume and finding an angel.  But my doctor stays fired!!lol

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Well I didn't fire mine. I just didn't tell him! I cannot get another GP because I live in a village miles from another practice. But it is a group practice so I have choices in whom I be honest I feared a confrontation which, at the time feeling so ill from the meds, I just couldn't face. Also, I feared it would impact upon any future health care I might need. I was worried he would cop an " You didn't follow my advice last time " attitude.

      I talked things over with my family and researched a lot before I made my decision and for me I made the right one. It was cowardly of me I know but at  least I am not a suffering, ill, coward.

      I don't doubt the day will come when I will have to confess, if not to him then to another of the GP's but until then I am keeping my head down.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      It doesn't seem cowardly to me, it sounds like in the circumstances, you made a wise and considered decision. You weighed the options and (rightly) voted for yourself. Hooray for you, Helen.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I did try. But he was adamant it wasn't the meds causing problems. Me, I was sick of the lightheadedness ( constant ) the feeling I might pass out any given minute ( constant ) the hacking cough, the breathlessness if I so much as walked from one room another..cramp...sleeplessness...the list goes on...

      Funny how they all dissipated once I was off the meds!

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Well done, Helen.

      I have met many doctors in my life but my last GP was always wrong.

      I was able to go to another practice and that's where I found real help for my benzo addiction.

      Doctors are NOT always right. Especially obstetricians.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I am astonished! I thought everyone would be horrified I had ignored my GP's advice and thought me pathetic for avoiding tellin him.

      The best comment came from my niece I must say. She snorted indignantly, with all the confidence of the young and beautiful woman that she is, " The man's a fool. He doesn't live in your body, Aunty Helen, you do. You know your own body. To hell with him "

      Lol. To hell with him indeed.

      The man has two ears but they don't Listen

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Of all the BP meds they tried over four years, the only one that I didn't react to horribly is the one in my anxiety med (which I love) and that doesn't work at all. It all reminds me of a Monty Python movie.and I'm the person chasing them through a cloud of pot smoke.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Helen,

      I am new to this forum. This is my first post. I have been researching support forums for a few weeks now in search of some help. I saw your post/respose to Happyguy and it was amazing. It made me feel better. But unfortunately I am experiencign a lot of the same symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks that Happyguy is. Racing thoughts, pounding heart, shakey, dizzy, tightness in chest, tender throat (feeling like theres something in there), I find myself swallowing a lot. Every little feeling in my body terrifies me. sad I find peace at night when I am sleeping, but I toss and turn a bunch. Then when morning comes, within 15 minutes of waking all of these symptoms are back. They go on and on all day long. I may catch a few moments of peace but then it's right back to feeling overwhelmingly panic stricken again. I have been dealing with this anxiety for about 2 months now. I ended up going to the ER last month because I felt like I was going to pass out and die. Not to mention I am scared to death that what's going on with me is something more than anxiety. I feel like I'm not even me anymore, I have no control over the anxiety and fear. As I write this post, I feel like crying. When I went to the ER they also did CBC, EKG and Chest x-rays, all came back good. I just don't understand how they can be good when I feel so bad. 

      I am exhausted and want to sleep, like I said, it's where I find my peace (if I end up falling asleep). I want to feel better for my family and children. I struggle everyday to get out of the house, not because of fear of being out in public but because my attacks make me want to stay home. I guess mainly because I'm tired and just don't like how I feel. 

      I am 31 years old, mother of two, and a full time online student. I have found it extremely difficult to focus on school work lately, almost to the point of wanting to quit school. 

      After going to the ER, I followed up with a General Doctor, and he perscribed me Zoloft 50mg. I started with a week of 25 mg, and then on week 2 began the 50mg. He also gave me ativan 0.5 mg. The ativan does nothing, and the Zoloft feels like it's not working. I mean, I am just waiting to feel better and each day is a struggle to manage my symptoms. 

      I feel like it is never going to end, I get upset because just about 2 months ago my life was normal. I know in my mind that there has to be an end to this, that I will get through it but I just don't know when. 


      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      The problem with Anxiety Disorder is that when it first strikes the symptoms appear to attack from all sides and that throws the sufferer into panic mode, then they feel even worse.

      All your tests results are clear. You have to get this into your head and not allow your imaginatiom to run wild.  Had there been any cause for physical concern the medical profession would have picked up on it and any necessary treatment set in motion

      Never google symptoms. You are neither a doctor nor a psychiatrist and either or both are needed for true results of any complaints from patients.

      If you must google, then google breathing techniques. Shallow breathing is the curse of Anxiety and ignities many of the symptoms. Get your breathing under control and you're halway there.


      The first thing you have to do is accept that this is an  Anxiety/ Panic disorder.illness.

      The second thing you have to do is to accept that it will not kill you, you will not pass out, have a heart attack or lose control and embarrass yourself in any shape, manner or form.

      Medication. Medication takes time to get into our system. It can sometimes make you feel worse before you feel better. You have to ride it out. You have to give it time

      AD is exhausting so don't wonder if you feel as though you've been run over by a truck. Every muscle can ache. You might feel apathetic. You might feel like sleeping night and day. That is natural so don't be frightened, okay? smile

      Symptoms. Now then, you are looking at them and feel as though you have lost control because it's not one symptom, there's a few. Having said that you can and should deal with them one by one

      The worst thing you can do is to fight them, or try to fight them. This adds fear and tension.

      There are things you can do to help yourself. I mentioned right breathing. You can drink chamomile tea, a wonderful, calming relaxant for stomach and nerves and a whole host of other complaints.

      Reading the experiences of others on this wonderful site will help you enormously. It will take away from you much of the loneliness because the minute you reach out, others will not only rush to help, but they, having similiar experiences, totally understand

      Taking back some measure of control will give you a renewed confidence and quiet determination.

      This is a journey of sorts. But it is a  path you need stumble along all alone. Everyone here will help!


      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I believe Helen meant in the last is a path you DO NOT need stumble along all alone.

      And she's right. We are here for you. She gave you a wonderful overall and specific view of anxiety disorder. Very good advice!!!

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted


      I am honestly blown away at the support that there is out here for people who are suffering from this disorder. You have no idea how much I appreciate your kind words and encouragement. It gives me a sense of relief. 

      Unfortunately, the way this stupid anxiety works is... you have gone to the doctor, and they say everything is okay but you still wonder continuiously if there's something they missed. That all of these feelings and ailments HAVE to be connected to something more serious and that's the part I can't control. "What if they missed something?" 

      These thoughts and feelings interfere with everyday life and function. I try, try, try, to overcome these feelings but it's a 24/7 battle. 

      Throughout the course of my life, I have had 3 bouts of anxiety. However, none have ever been this bad. 

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Acceptance is the most difficult obstacle to overcome. But without true acceptance you cannot begin to recover.

      Believing the doctors have missed something, that  Anxiety Disorder cannot possible be responsible for your symptoms, is a common misconception.

      The likelihood of doctors misdiagnosing is rare indeed. That clear tests results are faulty is more or less non-existant. You have to have faith and put all the worries in that respect to one side and accept. I cannot repeat it often enough.

      You have anxiety disorder. If you imagine it is anything different/dire/life threatening then you are digging a deep hole for yourself that will be nigh on impossible to climb out of.

      Everyone hopes for immediate medical intervention. Everyone hopes for immediate treatment. Everyone wants to escape their symptoms, be their old self. That is fear. Pure and simple fear. Cringing before the symptoms, letting them keep a stranglehold on you.

      You say you try to overcome them. trying is fighting. It's desperately seeking a way out. It's adding panic to fear. It's tension. It's the inner voice that says, " GO AWAY! PLEASE GOD< MAKE IT STOP!"

      And of course it doesn't.You're too frightened.

      If you accept that you have AD, nothing more, nothing less, and stop imagining it is something different, then and only then can you deal with it.

      Right then, you tell yourself, I have AD. I feel like crap. My head aches. I feel lightheaded. My arm feels numb. My chest is tight. I can't swallow properly....the list is endless.

      Face the symptoms. If you find swallowing difficult make a warm drink and sip it. Sip water. But face it.

      If your legs are wobbly then walk about slowly. They will hold you up. It is only lack of confidence/fear of the sensation that makes them tremble.

      If  your chest is tight get a warm hot water bottle and lay it in your chest and relax,read, watch the tv

      If your arm feels numb, swing it back and forth. If your leg feels numb swing it back and forth.

      If you have the impending doom sensation, usually related to a flood of adrenalin, move your body. Walk about in the garden and look at nature. Climb the stairs. Light housework. No matter what it is, MOVE. Burn off that adrenalin.

      When symptoms come at you never ever sit slumped, "listening " to them. Take action. Be determined.

      What I'm trying to get across to you is taking positive action.It's about facing up and doing something. By taking action you take control. By taking control you gain confidence.

      Eat sensibly. Even if you're not hungry your body needs nourishment. Sleep. Your body needs rest. If you are plagued with insomnia then lay in bed, practise slow breathing and use your imagination, weave dreams about nice things and you will drift away.

      Being pro-active is empowering. Negativity will crush you.

      You think right now you have this and that there is nothing you can do. It's like a runaway train. You can't stop it.

      But you can. It's getting your thoughts together in thinking about this in a realistic way. Not what you fearfully imagine you have but again accepting that which you really have.

      It's positive thinking. It's positive action. These are the tools you use. All these things are the key to freedom.

      Use themsmile

      You can do it.

      Helen xxx


      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Is this Helen the person you were trying to find? There are so many posts in a day, and so many replies, which do not come up in order, that it is difficult at times to find something specific more that a few minutes later...especially if it is under another title.
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Helen! Thank you so much. Your post brought tears to my eyes because I see that I am capable of doing all of those things you mentioned. I want to do them, so that I can continue on each day and find some sort of relaxation. I admit, I have AD, and I want to learn how to accept the way it makes me feel. I will try the suggestions you mentioned and continue with the meds my doctor gave me. Knowing I am not alone, and people are here is a wonderful feeling. 

      I appreciate you more than you know. Thank you! smile

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Thats my girl!

      You know, accepting it's AD, accepting it's not something worse, so to speak, brings a kind of relief, hard though that might be to take in at first.

      Tell yourself, right then, I'm not facing and having to deal with MS/Heart Disease/ Cancer..whatever it is I feared or imagined. Tell yourself, Well, it might not feel like it but I'm one of the lucky ones! Other people do face those illnesses, even babies and children.

      I must emphasise here I'm not asking you to be grateful here. I'm trying to enforce into your mind what it is as opposed to what it isn't. Nobody with AD is grateful it's not, say, cancer, because they still suffer. It's just another form of suffering. But knowing what you exactly suffer from is don't want a pot on your leg for a headache anymore than you want eardops for a stomach ache. The right "medication" is vital, more vital that it be established in your mind than the pills you swallow to help you along

      I hope you understand what it is I'm trying to get across? We can only, what I like to personally term, Deal And Heal, with what we have when we know exactly what it is.

      So we put fears and imagination to one side. We accept and now we get on with the job of getting better.

      I will not lie to you. It's not easy. Some days will be harder than others. Those days you must not view as a failure. Hope, determination, mental and physical strength wax and wane.What is vital is that you are not fighting but trying, trying with a quiet determination

      If you have a bad day you must not let it disappoint you. Accept that this is a journey. Be kind to yourself on bad days. Because there will be good days and those will reinforce your hope and determination .And gradually the good days will outweigh the bad ones.

      All those here on the site have or will emerge as different people, They will have a new empathy for others, new strengths. They will see the true value in life, see what counts and what doesn't.

      And because of it they will be better human beings smile

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Thank youredface We all do our bit to help each other  here, dear friend. You and Lisa more than anyone. The problem with this site is disorder. Posts are not organized, posts/responses not always automatically forwarded by email.

      Sometimes I have to "search" to ensure I haven't missed anything. Also, due to my sight problems my eyes soon grow weary and my eyes burn and blur so I cannot always respond when I should! It's a pain in the butt..or should I say, in the retina, lol

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      And TESS! Another angel. I thought I had put her name with yours and Lisa's! It was only when I came back on the page I realized the omission!

      Forgive me Tess! You are invaluable! xxx

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      How lovely, Helen...your name is here, too. As to the searching. Don't you love when someone refers to something you vaguely remember and then have to go on the safari to find it?

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Yup! Such fun rooting through the posts...steam coming out of my ears... snorts coming out of my nostrils...face turning beet red....teeth gritted...cusses pouring forth from my mouth...

      Patience not being one of my virtues I might add, in case you hadn't guessed!

      I'm a Virgo, notorious for everything to be well ordered, neat, clean, minimal.. Begone you clutter! Begone I say! A place for everything and everything in its place being the motto by which I live.

      Now he, possessor of the unmentionables, is an untidy beast. A would-be hoarder ( If I let him, fat chance of that ever happening!) He has a mind set that says,  I'll keep it.It might come in one day.

      That day never comes.. So out it goes.

      I am not totally heartless though. He has two man caves in the shape of a hut and a garage, both brim full of It'll Come In One Day crap.

      God forbid he should drop off this earthly perch before me, I shall require the services of the Bomb Squad to blow those 2 storage f*****s to smithereens

      Mind you, something to look forward to. I could have a barbecue. Invite the kids. Put on a firework display. Roast a suckling pig....Hey, it's not all bad is it?

      Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up