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Shortness of breath daily

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Shortness of breath daily

Posted by
Matthew on August 09, 2001 at 23:14:12:

Hi Dr. Stoll,

I am a 32 year old male. 6 weeks ago I went to my doctor complaining of a pain on my left side, about 3 inches left of the center of my chest..and right around the bottom rib. My doctor examined me and thought that I may have just pulled a muscle since I joined a fitness center the previous month...and I tend to push too hard too soon.

A week later I began to experience shortness of breath. It feels as if someone is sitting on my chest. I went back to the doctor. He did chest X-rays and an EKG. My BP was 125/75, 98.2F temp., he listened to my heart and lungs. My X-rays showed nothing abnormal, my lungs were clear, my EKG was perfectly normal. He prescribed Celebrex and told me to relax and it should take care of itself.

10 days later I went back to see the doctor. He performed a breathing function test. The results were normal. He examined me again. All of my vital stats looked good. He asked me if I was under a lot of stress or anxiety. I told him I was, but not more than any other person I suppose. He gave me a prescription for Xanax and Albuterol. He told me I didn't have to take it daily, just when I felt I needed it. I only take the Xanax every 3 or 4 days. It seems to help a little bit. The shortness of breath is still present, but I am very calm about it.

This past Monday I went to see my doctor again. I told him I am still having breathing difficulties. He told me he wanted to do some blood work. I received the results on Wednesday. My white and red count was great...no signs of Anemia or infection. My thyroid function is great. My sugar levels are great. Nothing out of the ordinary I was told. My doctor prescribed Celexa, an anti-depressant. I started taking it yesterday. I am to see him again in two weeks.

Dr. Stoll, am I crazy??? I have a hard time believing this is all in my head. However when I think about my breathing, it gets worse. My doctor thinks it's anxiety related. He told me that when the mind begins to focus on something the body does without the mind's help (breathing), it can really cause problems. I have no trouble sleeping, nor do I feel like I have any symptoms of hyperventilation. I began taking Pepcid complete in case of acidity. My shortness of breath is worse some days than others. I haven't been to the fitness center in 6 weeks just in case I did do something to hurt myself there.

I dislike taking medications. I do not want to "need" to take medications for this forever...and right now they are not helping. However I do not want to wake up and feel short of breath all day until I fall asleep. It is very disconcerting. I think the worst part is not really knowing what is causing this to happen.

Thank you in advance for all of your advice. I posted here a few years ago regarding my Pilonidal Cyst and you helped me immensely.

Be well,
Matthew



Re: Shortness of breath daily

Posted by chadom on August 10, 2001 at 09:18:44:

In Reply to: Shortness of breath daily posted by Matthew on August 09, 2001 at 23:14:12:

Matthew, I had similar symptoms for the last 5 years and finally have discovered it is caused from acid reflux also known as GERD Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. It had been misdiagnosed as asthma and then again misdiagnosed as anxiety. I finally realized that there was a correlation between what I ate and the onset of symptoms. I thought it might be the onset of adult diabetes, but my blood sugar levels taken with a glucomoter were normal. I knew it wasn't all my head. Funny as it may sound I also noticed that burping actually helped the shortness of breadth go away. Many doctors don't realize that shortness of breadth is a simptom of GERD, since most people with GERD have heart burn. If your shortness of breadth is brought on by taking in caffeine, alcohol or spicy or acidic foods, this may be your problem. You will need to see a gastroenterologist to be sure. Good luck.
Chadom



Re: Shortness of breath daily

Posted by
Matthew on August 10, 2001 at 09:48:13:

In Reply to: Re: Shortness of breath daily posted by chadom on August 10, 2001 at 09:18:44:

Hi Chadom,

Thanks for your reply. Well, I do not have heartburn...and I avoid caffeine...I do not care for spicy foods...and I do not drink alcohol. GERD crossed my mind as a possible cause, but I am breathless all day long. As I said before, some days are better/worse than others...but I am always short of breath. I will go back to my doctor in a few weeks, I am not sure what other tests he will want to do. Thank you again...it is at least comforting to know that there are other people that share in my plight.

Regards,
Matthew



Re: Shortness of breath daily

Posted by Matthew on August 10, 2001 at 09:54:12:

In Reply to: Shortness of breath daily posted by Matthew on August 09, 2001 at 23:14:12:

Boy, you sound just like I did once upon a time. I suffered from shortness of breath periodically for years. Stress was always the common denominator. I always had a delayed reaction to a particular stressor. It would come on days after the event and last for weeks, but it ALWAYS went away. Even now, I sometimes will feel like I need to take a deep breath, but I know that it's stress related, and not life threatening. So, kind of take it as it comes and just blow it off. Also, SR will really help you. As far as the meds go, I wouldn't take anything for it. It won't help in the long run. Good luck.

Namaste`

Joanie



Re: Shortness of breath daily

Posted by Joanie on August 10, 2001 at 11:10:54:

In Reply to: Re: Shortness of breath daily posted by Matthew on August 10, 2001 at 09:54:12:

I don't know how Matthew ended up in the name field. I didn't type it. Sorry.

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Re: Shortness of breath daily

Posted by Terri-Lynn on August 10, 2001 at 11:12:49:

In Reply to: Shortness of breath daily posted by Matthew on August 09, 2001 at 23:14:12:

I'm an intuitive and tuned into the feeling Matthew, i can tell you what i felt would realease the pressure; The muscles are just strained and if you get a good accupresure person [body work] that can work around your chest, by neck and the whole area of the chest and also on your back with using accupressure lightly, it will open up the places that were strained a lot. You also pulled a muscle in your back on the lower right lung [in the back] have them massage and work it out with accupressure and you will breath better; Also i would get some good aroma therepy like something with heat to it-and rub it on back and chest and breath it and it will also assit you; [like eucaliptus and rosemary ect.] Twist your body with slow yoga motion also will help work it out, might want someone to work with you on it though; Your neck is also out a little on the same side. Have someone do accupressure on it also; You will feel the release; Good luck! If i was there i would do it for you, for i feel people's body in mine and know right were to go; [some might suggest a good chiropractor and that might assist it some, but a body worker will be the best i feel in this, maybe even mixed with chiropractic, if you can't find an accupressure person;



Re: Shortness of breath daily

Posted by JR on August 10, 2001 at 14:55:36:

In Reply to: Re: Shortness of breath daily posted by Matthew on August 10, 2001 at 09:48:13:

I also have gerd and sometimes suffer from shortness of breath. On a bad day, it can last all day long without any other symptoms. I think gerd is also stress induced. I had a massage yesterday and the therapist worked on my sternum alot, in fact it is sore today. She said that's where I hold my emotions, and now I believe her. Before the massage, I was so short of breath I almost cancelled the session because I wasn't sure I could lie down, especially on my stomach, for such a long time, but she started on the sternum and it helped open things up and the massage ended up being the best thing I have done for myself in a long time. I made another appointment for next week and can't wait, as I am doing much better today because of it. It's amazing how awful I felt before hand, so it's become obvious to me how easy it is to let stress get the best of you.

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Re: Shortness of breath daily

Posted by
dani on August 11, 2001 at 00:31:21:

In Reply to: Shortness of breath daily posted by Matthew on August 09, 2001 at 23:14:12:

having breathing problems doesn't necessarily mean that it's just your mind causing the problem. what can happen (at least what used to happen a lot with me and is getting much better) is that you get stressed, and not only can this affect your breathing directly.. but also you can hold stress in your body. you might subconsciously tense the muscles (this is _very_ common.. muscle tension is SO related to anxiety/stress). this can really affect your posture, e.g. tense shoulders/back & neck. when your back & shoulders are tight, your chest usually is as well. not only can muscle tension itself hamper circulation (how can your lungs fully expand to breathe properly?) but also all this tension can lead to improper posture. improper posture means that everything can be slightly in the wrong place (for example hunched or slumped shoulders, or caved in chest) and so your respiratory "stuff" finds a hard time working properly.

i know what you mean about the doc saying it's "in your head" because i went through the same thing. but i eventually learned that the tightness in my chest & breathing difficulty _were_ related to mental and emotional patterns and my habitual response of tensing up in reaction stress. saying that something is partly mental does NOT mean that it is imaginary. that's important.

i think you have a really good intuition about not wanting to "need" medications forever. that makes me have a hunch that when you do enough research about the relationship between stress and breathing (actually stress & everything!) you'll be open to the advice you find. drugs that just control the symptoms can't be the answer in the long run cuz they don't address why you actually have the problem and how to solve it.

one thing i noticed when i started becoming really aware that my mind and body were influencing eachother -- was that i was having breathing problems (either hyperventilation or asthma-allergy stuff) and then my mind would get really worried that i wasn't breathing correctly and then this would make my breathing worse. (sound at all familiar?)

anyway, yeah this website has helped me a lot too. good luck!!

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Re: Shortness of breath daily

Posted by Walt Stoll on August 11, 2001 at 10:24:49:

In Reply to: Shortness of breath daily posted by Matthew on August 09, 2001 at 23:14:12:

Hi, Matthew.

COSTOCHONDRITIS! It is astounding to me that your doc would spend thousands of your insurance dollars without telling you this!

Absorb the archives about this and let us know what you learn.

Walt



Re: Shortness of breath daily

Posted by PeterB on August 11, 2001 at 11:08:02:

In Reply to: Shortness of breath daily posted by Matthew on August 09, 2001 at 23:14:12:

Lots of good ideas here, maybe its nothing the SR or massage won't correct. But you said two things that would concern me (as it obviously has you.) One is the location of the pain, which is the area of the spleen. It is certainly possible that you have Mono. If so, without complete bedrest you are in danger of rupturing that organ. Two, you said you feel like something is sitting on your chest. That CAN be a symptom of heart distress, and the heart doesn't always cooperate with the EKG on a given day. This has happened with my mother a number of times. The allopathic response is to prescribe a drug that 1) generates income; and 2) stimulates the body into a better test result the next time. You mentioned the anemia test. It may be possible to have a good red cell count and still have a problem metabolizing iron. If that is the case, your shortness of breath would be a classic symptom of poor iron uptake. I think your symptoms may be quite serious. I wouldn't hesitate to get 2nd and 3rd medical opinions. But if you feel you can afford to try out some theories, here's what I would consider. First, stop taking any OTC medicines or prescription drugs for now. Get a good brand of Kava herb in capsule form (I take TwinLabs "NaturesHerbs" brand.) Each morning for a few days, take 5 or 6 and see if the relaxation effect (quite pronounced but not sedating after a good nights sleep) eliminates or reduces the shortness of breath. If it does, Kava won't be your cure, but it would tell you that stress is the problem. If it does not help, then I would look at the potential need for improved iron uptake. Try both a good iron and copper supplement. Country Life has a good one called Iron Aid, it provides iron in a nutrient complex that helps it metabolize. I would take two tablets a day. Then ADD a 2mg copper supplement (TwinLab has a good one) to avoid copper suppression from the extra iron (plus copper is essential for hemoglobin production.) It would be a good idea to add 20mg of zinc a day if you aren't already getting it. Again, you would have to stop taking all medications while attempting to get these answers.

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Re: Shortness of breath daily

Posted by PeterB on August 11, 2001 at 11:22:14:

In Reply to: Re: Shortness of breath daily posted by Walt Stoll on August 11, 2001 at 10:24:49:

I didn't realize you had "nailed" Matthews problem while I was still typing up my Dr. Frankenstein routine. I defer to you, Dr.! I looked up costochondritis since I have never even heard of it, and at least my suggestion about Kava turns out to be helpful. He can obviously forget about the iron! (Matthew, hope you are reading this!) :)



Re: Shortness of breath daily - Thank you all

Posted by
Matthew on August 11, 2001 at 12:21:07:

In Reply to: Re: Shortness of breath daily posted by Walt Stoll on August 11, 2001 at 10:24:49:

I want to say thank you to everyone for your advice and thoughts. I will continue to research the board and learn all I can about Costochondritis and what I can do to help heal myself. For me, knowing what is causing my breathing difficulties for certain would go a long way towards helping me heal. The uncertainty and guesses by my doctor make me worry that it could be something life threatening. This keeps my stress level fairly high. It's a vicious cycle. I am going to work on SR twice a day... After reading through the boards I have already learned much about myself. For instance, I notice that I ALWAYS have my shoulders hunched up...and I have to conciously relax my shoulders and let them drop...only to realize that I have hunched my shoulders and tightened my chest within a matter of seconds.

Thanks to everyone. I am just beginning my endeavors to get well....I will keep in touch.

Be well,

Matthew



TERRI LYNN please write to me

Posted by Carol on August 11, 2001 at 15:01:38:

In Reply to: Re: Shortness of breath daily posted by Terri-Lynn on August 10, 2001 at 11:12:49:


Hello Terri,

I would like to talk with you. Please email me at Aflame@rocketmail.com

Thanks



Re: Shortness of breath daily

Posted by Walt Stoll on August 13, 2001 at 07:32:56:

In Reply to: Re: Shortness of breath daily posted by PeterB on August 11, 2001 at 11:22:14:

Thanks, PeterB.

Your suggestion had merit. NEVER be hesitant to give your opinion since I am not infallible and no one is.

I just know that the most likely cause of ALL his symptoms is costochondritis.

Namaste`

Walt



Re: Shortness of breath daily - Thank you all (Archive in bracinhg.)

Posted by Walt Stoll on August 13, 2001 at 07:40:52:

In Reply to: Re: Shortness of breath daily - Thank you all posted by Matthew on August 11, 2001 at 12:21:07:

Congratulations, Matthew.

You have taken the hardest and most important step: awareness or your bracing.

Let us know how you do.

Walt

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Re: Shortness of breath daily

Posted by Sally on August 13, 2001 at 13:04:13:

In Reply to: Re: Shortness of breath daily posted by Walt Stoll on August 13, 2001 at 07:32:56:

You are one, loveable man. What a shame that people can't be treated personally by you. Oh well, you probably would be thrown out this time for being TOO NICE!!!



Re: TERRI LYNN please write to me

Posted by Terri-Lynn on August 14, 2001 at 08:32:34:

In Reply to: TERRI LYNN please write to me posted by Carol on August 11, 2001 at 15:01:38:

I'll try to reach you today, i was not on board over the weekend. Via e mail;

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Re: Shortness of breath daily

Posted by Sally on August 14, 2001 at 14:26:36:

In Reply to: Re: Shortness of breath daily posted by Matthew on August 10, 2001 at 09:48:13:

Matthew, I just thought I would add my two cents. I was short of breath for years also. I am sure it was stress related but also hypothyroidism affects the smooth muscles and I think that would affect the diaphragm. I always felt I couldn't inhale as deeply as I needed. I was not in pain or anything, just seem to lock up when I wanted to breathe deeply. But maybe that is not your problem. I would also find someone who does accupressure, or as my physical therapist called it "soft tissue work". It is amazing what they can do if they hit the right spots. The muscles really react to the pressure and then relax. What a great feeling.



Re: Shortness of breath daily

Posted by Walt Stoll on August 15, 2001 at 08:41:19:

In Reply to: Re: Shortness of breath daily posted by Sally on August 13, 2001 at 13:04:13:

Thanks, Sally.

I needed that!

Namaste`

Walt

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Can I have just SOB w/o pain with COSTO???

Posted by
Matthew on August 15, 2001 at 20:01:22:

In Reply to: Re: Shortness of breath daily posted by Sally on August 14, 2001 at 14:26:36:

Since I seem to have Costochondritis....is it possible to have little or no pain in my chest? I have the very slightest of tender areas on my left side (ribs)...but not really pain. My main symptom is shortness of breath.

Be well,

Matthew



Re: Can I have just SOB w/o pain with COSTO???

Posted by Sally on August 15, 2001 at 20:51:12:

In Reply to: Can I have just SOB w/o pain with COSTO??? posted by Matthew on August 15, 2001 at 20:01:22:

I really can't answer that Matthew. I'm just using my own experience. But no matter, the solution is the same for all symptoms, and that is the wellness program that Dr. Stoll has outlined. The genetics of each individual determine how the symptoms will manifest themselves to you but the causes are all pretty much the same.



Thank you Sally :-)

Posted by
Matthew on August 15, 2001 at 21:05:37:

In Reply to: Re: Can I have just SOB w/o pain with COSTO??? posted by Sally on August 15, 2001 at 20:51:12:

Thanks for your advice....I have started watching my diet...doing SR and breathwork twice daily...and trying to keep my mind from running away with itself and worrying.

Be well and take care,

Matthew

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Re: Can I have just SOB w/o pain with COSTO???

Posted by Joanie on August 16, 2001 at 08:23:28:

In Reply to: Can I have just SOB w/o pain with COSTO??? posted by Matthew on August 15, 2001 at 20:01:22:

From one Costo sufferer to another, for me, it all began years ago with SOB and has steadily progressed to where I don't have much SOB, but lots of pain in my rib area in the sides and back mostly. Unfortunately, I have only just learned about all this in the last year, so it's going to take me longer to heal my body. It's fortunate for you that you have discovered this so early in the process that it probably won't take you very long to overcome it. Good luck!

Namaste`

Joanie

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