The SOLUTION: Excessive Yawning and Constant Need to Breathe Deep!

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All, Flutterbypie started this thread and there have been hundreds of responses: https://patient.info/forums/discuss/excessive-yawning-and-constant-need-to-breathe-deep-299705?page=0&utm_source=forum&utm_campaign=comment-notification&utm_medium=email#2776377

I needed a way to get my message out to everyone and thus wanted to start a new post. Many people suffer from this ailment which causes people to contantly (usually in 4-7 minute intervals) to take a deep breath in order to just "trigger" that satisfying feeling in their upper lungs. But it's not that simple, because sometimes that feeling doesn't come. And we keep forcing that deep breath, trying to get the satisfaction - a forced yawn, contortion of the body, whatever it will take. It always comes eventually, but the cycle starts over. We all say it's worse when we eat. We all say it's not a problem while sleeping. We all say it goes away at times when we are heavily focused on something. 

Trust me, I HAD it for almost 2 years, and it wasn't just once in a while. I literally had this thing NON STOP EVERY DAY until a few weeks ago.

One caveat before I say what I did - I've talked to many people with this condition, and it's true it's not a one size fits all solution - some have hiatial hernias, others have GERD, and I'm sure others have other conditions that cause it. But if you have any inkling of a thought that it could be anxiety, keep reading.

The reason why you will never hear someone say "here's the cure for it" is because it's not that simple. But I'll just throw it out there right now. YES IT'S A COMBINATION OF ANXIETY AND LIFESTYLE. STOP seeing doctors (again, caveat - unless you think it might not be anxiety per the above), STOP reading on the internet about what people do to fix it (pepto bismal, breathing exercises, just STOP). It's ANXIETY AND LIFESTYLE. And I didn't believe it either because, sure I was anxious about a few things every now and then (who isn't?), but this thing lurks around all day even though you don't think you are particularly anxious. But I guarantee there are things you are anxious about. For me, and I bet for many of you, I was anxious about my overall health. Why wouldn't I be? I was grasping for a satisfying breath every few minutes thinking this must be the end, so it makes sense. But I did something drastic, and I admit that I am a little bit in shock that it ACTUALLY worked!

I completely turned my lifestyle upside down. I am not suggesting all of you are fast food junkies, but I was. I wasn't obese (196 weight 5'10 male) but I could stand to lose 20-25 pounds. I was drinking coffee, diet coke, some water here and there - but burgers, fried foods, some good foods here and there - ZERO exercise. My waist was 38 and I remember it being a 36 for years, so this was a relatively sudden expansion. 

For the past three weeks (which isn't long), I've 100% cut out:

1) Caffeine and carbonated drinks

2) Soda

3) Fast food

4) Fried foods

And added:

1) Vegetables and fruits to diet

2) Exercised vigorously on an eliptycal for 20 min a day

As time went on and my weight dropped (now at 190.3), the need to deep breath almost exponentially vanished. I still breath deep every now and then mind you, but you have to remember, everyone breathes deep every now and then. I talked to a doctor who said people breath deep once every 20 minutes. But we are hyper focused on it, so we will think "Oh geez, it's back". It's not.

I never in a million years thought I would beat this thing, especially as quickly as I did, and a couple people I know did a massive lifestyle change and they said things look better. I wish this worked for everyone, and I'm sure there will be someone who says "but I am super fit and already eat well". You might have a different issue, OR, it is still anxiety but as I said - I was nervous about my health - now that my blood pressure has visibly dropped and I'm sure my cholesterol levels have too - I am NOT SO NERVOUS ABOUT IT and that's why my deep breathing went away. So you need to find out what you worried about and address it.

I hope this helps folks, and it can't hurt to try this if you think you might be worried about your health. I also feel there's a component of your stomach expanding (from food, extra fat around waist, etc.) that changes your breathing patterns - I don't know if it's more that or anxiety, but I don't really care as this works. Please do try it for a couple of weeks and let me know how it goes!

Again as a final disclaimer: I am not a doctor so if your deep breathing is totally unrelated to anxiety or diet/lifestyle, then you should definitely get it checked out. I can speak for myself, and many others, we've had our fair share of doctors and there's nothing they can give you to fix it. You need to fix it yourself and I am living proof that I was able to beat it! Good luck!

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  • Posted

    I forgot to mention things I added:

    3) Drinking TONS AND TONS AND TONS OF WATER!!!!

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  • Posted

    Hi Steve,

    I agree with you. I suffered for a while (since I was a child, on and off ) and thought there would be no cure for me. Some attacks were so bad I thought that I wouldn't make it.

    Over time while I started to change my lifestyle the condition started going away. I had tried several different medicine including steroid inhaler and Salbutamol. I do not have asthma or depression. I dont use them anymore. My anxiety started goin away when I started lookin after myself properly. Healthier eating, more movement, dropping weight, more spiritual and communal work.

    Interesting. I never thought I would be able to agree but here I am. A living proof. This doesnt mean that the suffocation sensation is gone forever. As soon as I am back into a very stressful situation and bad life style it will be back. It always is. So please dear readers look after yourself to improve your comfort. Try this what Steve suggests. At least for a month or two and see.

    All the best.

    xxx

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  • Posted

    HI steve91931-

    I think you have nailed it.  I have suffered from this on and off for a couple of years now.  I have always had a background idea that it was anxiety-related.  The reason being is that I could get caught up in things and the problem seemed to away.  Then I would remember it  or start thinking about things, and it would be back.  It's been so bad lately that it's affected my hiking, especially uphill, where I have to stop and force a yawn, then continue.  The last time I had it really bad, it  seemed to be associated with unresolved grief.  When i finally dealt with the grief, it got much better.  This time, I'm not sure what has triggered but it's there.  I have a theory about this.  I have long thought that what is actually occurring is that I am not having a full-on panic attack, but ..... my breathing is shallow and perhaps a "little" faster than it should be so that in effect I am slowly hyperventilating.  Not the way that is customary as to be recognized as such, but the anxiety is making my breathing off enough to where I need to augment it with a deep and satifying full breath.  Just a thought.  Anyway, thanks for summing up your findings so nicely.  I also have bouts of GERD which i think are related to anxiety as well.  Curious how many who complain of this air-hunger thing, also have GERD on and off.  Cleaning up the diet, getting some daily exercise and attempting to get 8 hours of sleep will go a long way to helping with this i think. That, and resolving the anxiety producing issue (grief in my case).

    One other thing with anxiety that can help is using cognative behavioural therapy (CBT).  Many of us anxiety-prone individuals aren't terribly rational in our worries.  CBT can help with that and get you off that hamster wheel.  Pick up a book on CBT and give it a chance.  "Mind Over Mood, Second Edition: Change How You Feel by Changing the Way You Think" is a good one.  There is also an App you can get (called iCBT, i think). It helps if you understand CBT a bit before using the App.  I found it the most helpful of any therapies I have tried for anxiety.

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  • Posted

    Well that is a great explanation of the disease, congrats. I related to pretty much everything you said and I've also noticed how i gained a little weight and stopped exercising. Also, I've eaten a lot of unhealthy food lately. The only thing that i would add is the fact that i cant get my mind off it and i have a hard time concentrating. My respiratory process seems to be conciouss now, at least while im awake, therefore its really difficult to not think about it all the time. Its like, im sure that if somehow i would erase this completely from my memory everything would be just fine.

    Also, worth mentioning is that i got this in a very stressful period of my life, so in my case it is anxiety related too.

    Anyway, thank you very much for sharing and i will follow your advice, lets hope it will work :p

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  • Posted

    Hi Steve I've been experience the same symptoms as you I'm going on for months with these issues with shortness of breath feeling of air hunger and feeling that I can't fill up my lungs I've had numerous tests including EKG electrocardiogram and pulmonary function test including blood work and x-rays and yet everything comes out normal so I'm freaking out doctor say it's anxiety but some days I feel like I cant literally breathe.

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    • Posted

      Hi. I had the same problem for a few weeks. The doctor said everything was good, so I went to a chiropractor. After the adjustment, I could tell a difference. The next day was even better. I’m sure I’ll havw to get adjusted a few more times for it to stay, but I can finally take deep breathes again! 
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  • Edited

    This has been my life since August 2017! It all started with a panic attack in the car and then my acid reflux, the lump in my throat and difficult to take a satifying deep breath all started! Sometimes i feel like i cant even breathe and then i start to freak out until i finally get myself together and realize that its just Anxiety... or thats what i believe it is since ive seen ever specalist and doctor and all my text came out good! Im 5'5 and weigh 126 pounds so im not worried about my weight but i do eat bad sometimes, which include fast food wings(plain), fries, sandwiches, burgers, and some junk snacks here and there, i try to eat salads and vegetables, fruits and water is hard for me though! I havent drank sodas since July 2017 so im not worried about that! I just cant live my life with this problem! Its so bad that i made an appointment to get ssri medication for my anxiety! I feel like whenever i breathe normal through my nose i still feel like im suffocating and that forces me to take a deep breathe and most of the time its not satifying and i need to yawn it out! I constantly have to clear my throat because i feel like i cant breatge and my throat is closing up! Such a horrible feeling! This problem goes on from the moment i wake up to the moment i fall asleep, but whenever i get myself to sleep i sleep like a baby! It doesnt wake me up at all whoch makes me think that its not anything physical. Im going to take your advice and eats only healthy and drink tons of water! I will be starting and ssri because of my anxiety, i also do cbt with my therapist. Its been a couple months since yall have written and hope to hear from any of you on how you all are doing! 

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    • Posted

       Hey Regina!How are you going now? I’m 6montha with this thing and it’s caused me severe anxiety and depression! I don’t know what to do anymore.ive seen so many doctors who just try to shove me on antidepressants even tho the depression I know is only secondary to the fact that I feel like I’m suffocating all day every day. I’ve an appointment next week with a doc who specialises in chronic hyperventilation syndrome so I’m basically putting all my eggs into this basket! Have seen docs, physiologistsand a buteyko teacher and nothing.  Desperate for help!!i can’t keep going on this way! I do t remember what normal feels like!!sad 
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    • Posted

      That has been my life for the past 6 months also! Its horrible! The only normal feeling i get is that 1 minute in the morning when i have my first normal yawn/deep breath, and then it goes downhill after that! I find myself breathing normal through my nose but my chest gets heavy as if im holding my breath and about to suffocate but IM BREATHING ugh! Its so hard living like this, im able to do everything i usually do but drive when sucks because whenever im in the driver seat i feel my breathing getting more difficult like im going to suffocate and die behind the wheel, its like this because of my first panic attack while driving! Ive also went to every specalist and doctor, psychologist and everything turned out normal! My last resort is just seeing a psychairtrist for anxiety medicine. Please keep me updated on your appointment!!
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    • Posted

      I imagine what happened to you is when you had the panic attack and couldn’t catch your breath you were doing everything to try and catch your breath and your body has just adjusted to this over breathing! It’s the same I imagine with me, I had a bad cough for over a month which obviously wasn’t great and after that I became breathless which ended up in me having a panic attack and have been like that since! It’s basically a matter of retraining breathing... I have a few books that say it can take weeks,months and even up to a year! I think it’s just a matter of being patient but I understand that that is hard! I personally don’t think antidepressants would help,it might lift our mood but do t think it would help the breathing coz eve when I’m at my happiest chilling out with my partner in our beautiful home I still have this thing! I have hope though! 
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    • Posted

      This is an anxiety symptom that can occur at any given time whether you are happy, sad, scared, angry or stressed. When your anxiety goes away your symptoms start to fade, or that what i believe. As my friend has has the same thing as us for 2 years and since she started on celexa for about 10 days she is extremely better and can breathe normal again! I know its different for everyone but training my breathing makes me feel more suffocated whenever i do the breathing exercises.  Have you found anything to ease this problem? How has tour lifestyle been? Do you eat healthy? 
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    • Edited

      Yea I feel the same thing from the morning I wake up to when I go to sleep I've pretty much told myself it's copd or something the doctors cant find because I've been to the ER SOOOOOO many times and my family doctor so I'm just gonna go with the flow if it kills me it kills me the Shortness of breath has me borderline bed ridden I don't know what would happen if I had to run I would surely run out of air it's debilitating but I'm not going back to a doctor for it if it's gonna kill me it can kill me

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    • Posted

      Hi. I had the same problem for a few weeks. The doctor said everything was good, so I went to a chiropractor. After the adjustment, I could tell a difference. The next day was even better. I’m sure I’ll havw to get adjusted a few more times for it to stay, but I can finally take deep breathes again! 
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    • Posted

      hi, i have had this on and off (mostly on) for the past 3/4 months, some days it is easier to cope with than others but makes me feel so on edge and anxious its horrible, i am going to try some breathing techniques to see if i can get any relief.

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