Anyone aware of bradypnea (slow breathing rate) or CO2 issue?

ryan31337

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Hi all,

Has anyone had treatment for respiratory issues in relation to their ME/CFS? I'm aware Breakspear clinic have prescribed O2/CO2 therapy to some patients, curious if any here could share their experience?

I've had some awareness of breathing issues over the years, stuff like: excessive yawning & sighing, 'forgetting' to breathe and gasping (both awake & asleep) and odd habits like holding breath and exhaling slowly & forcefully without realising - much to the annoyance of others! A recent positive tilt table test really gave me a clear indication of shortness of breath during pre-syncope too, I had a really dramatic desire to breathe excessively deeply, something I have experienced from time to time previously without associating. I don't think any of this is particularly unusual in ME/OI circles.

However, yesterday I had a CPET and the physiologist couldn't believe that I wasn't actively slowing my breathing, apparently I was doing ~6 breaths per minute during the low intensity phase, which was considerably less than her whilst she was just standing there. I'm generally comfortable breathing 4x times a minute at rest, if I meditate this will drop to 3x or lower. Apparently <12x is Bradypnea...who knew :woot:

I assumed this would just be related directly to dysautonomia in some unhelpful way, but having seen the list of potential causes for bradypnea like hypertension, electrolyte imbalance, hypothyroidism etc. perhaps there's more to be done. Its quite fascinating seeing the implications of low CO2 as well, vasoconstriction, hypoperfusion etc...
 
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I've had episodes of inexplicable yawning attacks, air hunger, and pretty consistent bradypnea without forceful exhalation. My breathing tends to especially slow down when I'm laid out with PEM, yet despite not breathing notably deeply, never seems to leave me gasping for air. I wouldn't be surprised if I only do breath 6-8 times per minute on average.

In my case, I also have a heart rate in the 40s most of the time.

Bradypnea, and more likely the autonomics factors that precipitate it, are also associated with central sleep apnea. You describe central sleep apnea in your 2nd paragraph.
 

leokitten

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Hi @ryan31337 yes definitely yes! I just posted on this symptom as I’ve had it since getting ME. My breathing rate is significantly slower than normal and compared to what it used to be. I breathe a lot slower than my spouse and didn’t used to. I don’t have any breathing issues though aside from the ME causing me breathing rate to slow down.