Treatment for shortness of breath?

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I’ve suffered from shortness of breath for nine months. Probably the worst symptom I deal with. I’m asthmatic but my asthma was worse as a kid. It’s almost nonexistent now.

What I experience now is different. I don’t wheeze. I just don’t feel like I’m inhaling oxygen most of the day. But my blood oxygen level is fine. got diagnosed with CFS recently after many months of testing.

any treatments out there to battle the breathing symptoms?
 

wabi-sabi

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Mine is also about orthostatic intolerance. Feeling short of breath because the blood is all running down to the feet instead of carrying oxygen up to the brain. Doesn't matter if you blood oxygen levels are normal if the blood isn't where it's meant to be.

Lying down flattish helps, but this symptom can take some days to wear off after a low blood pressure episode.
 
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any treatments out there to battle the breathing symptoms?
It's very easy to not notice how exhausted you've become with breathing all the time. To begin to subsist on very shallow breathing.

I've had success with breathing deeply with exertion and holding my breath for two seconds, then exhaling deeply and holding my breath for two seconds. I do this daily and have noticed considerable improvements.

However, I am pursuing numerous interventions that may be contributing to the benefit. :D
 

antares4141

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Interesting because I have to hyperventilate to get a reading above 95 on my blood oxygen meter. And to keep it there. Otherwise it dips up and down between 80 and 95 on average. Rarely 95 or over. Often goes as low as 32. Usually if I walk around it will come up above 90. Or if I hyperventilate I can get it to go to 95 and stay there.

So I'm wondering if there are any artificial ways I can get more oxygen to my blood.


Asthma inhaler? Never been diagnosed with asthma.

Cpap machine? I tried to get my PCP interensted in this and a few other things like testing for Gluten, hep c and b, some of the sexually transmitted diseases, that can go under radar, lyme.

He took one look as the list rolled his eyes got real uppity and acted like I was wasting his time.

Air hunger I usually don't have to a large degree. I do find myself taking deep breaths and holding them for 10 seconds though cause I do have a mild case of this almost daily. Just not like I have it when I am inside a moldy house.
 
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Interesting discussion. I'm following.
While I was in acute stage of severe ME, I had constant air hunger while in bed. This was about 15 to 18 years ago and is getting much less now.

Since then, I was diagnosed with Asthma, which I'm still not sure this is the correct diagnosis. I take Asthma medications, but I don't feel I'm getting benefit from them. I had blood oxygen level tested about 10 years ago. My oxygen level was good, but low CO2 level (without hyperventilating) that could preventing from Oxygen released in organs. I was told to breath into paper bag to increase CO2 level... But I didn't feel it helped, either.
I was misdiagnosed with COPD, too.

The recent breathing problem is that I cannot empty air while I'm uplight. No doctor have clue what's wrong with me.

I'm connecting dots from x-rays when I was upright and lying on the table that it seems I have inflated lungs while I'm upright, but I haven't pursued further investigation due to difficulty organising appointments and investigations. I'm aware COPD would have inflated lungs while they lie down, not while they are upright.
 
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I experience frequent air hunger while having Great oxygen readings from my blood. For me, it feels like an anvil parks on the top of my chest. I'm breathing but it doesn't feel- deep or thorough.

So my view is: the oxygen is in the blood but isn't reaching the end organs or the cells well. And if we have non-deforming red blood cells: well, there you go? They are clogging up- not getting to where they need to go.

Or am I missing something?
 

Zebra

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Hi, @DoubleBubble

Are you certain your shortness of breath is from ME/CFS?

If you have a primary care physician, a work up for shortness of breath might be in order.

First steps are listening to heart and lungs, EKG, and often a chest x-ray. This can usually all be taken care of in one office visit.

If those markers are normal, second tier testing is an echocardiogram and/or pulmonary function test. The echocardiogram is a passive exam. The pulmonary function test takes a bit of effort.

I hope you might consider checking this out with your primary care physician.
 

Pyrrhus

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Sophiedw

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Howdy,

While I don’t really have CFS by classical description I defo do get air hunger.

Mine is reliably extinguished by taking manganese (I take a bout a billion tablets so not sure if you should take it continually in isolation as it’s balance with all my other supps but could try it and see if it made any difference).

This is my experience and not saying it will work for everyone as I seem to have quite linear nutrient deficiencies == certain symptoms that doesn’t seem to be a completely normal experience with others on this forum. But as day follows night if I have air hunger it means I need more manganese.

Best of luck x
 
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If it were cells being starved of oxygen you would feel 'Pins and needles' - or paraesthesia, to give it its medical name.

I guess it could be a lack of blood flow to the brain, but if that were the case you would faint or feel like you were about to faint. Anyway, that would be highly unlikely because blood vessels would dilate to maintain blood flow.

If your blood oxygen level is fine, then it must be something interfering with the rhythmic muscle contractions of normal breathing. I would suspect chronic constipation or slow transit constipation causing a barrier constricting your diaphragm from its normal range of movement?
 
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I experience frequent air hunger while having

Or am I missing something?
Hello. Just in case you misunderstood from my post... What I meant blood oxygen level was Arterial Blood Gas analysis. They draw blood from artery and analysis oxygen and carbon dioxide immediately after. They found normal oxygen level, but borderline low carbon dioxide level.

I check oxygen level with pulse oximeter and my O2 level is always excellent. I also wear Garmin Vivosmart 4 heart rate monitor that measures oxygen level during sleep. It seems O2 level drops, but I don't have air hunger while I'm lying down. I'm not trusting the accuracy of oxygen level by Vivosmart 4. It's only reference purpose. (I also don't have sleep apnea.)

"anvil parks on the top of chest" sounds like tight chest to me. I suggest to see your doctor, if you haven't already asked about it. It could be the sign of asthma.

Sorry, but I don't know how to treat our air hunger...
 

Sarahloudobby

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I have had this a few times before and find it a horrible symptom.
My friend Louise started a gentle movement class that I attend when I can and her breathing technique is the best thing I have found to combat the feeling of air hunger.
Before it didn’t matter how big a breath I took I still felt like I needed air but with this I can combat it. I will do my best to explain here but it is different when she’s in the room talking you through it.

Lay on your back and let your chest and diaphragm completely relax. Now imagine your lungs and think of them and only them. Take a deep breath and as you take the air in imagine each lung filling totally with air right to the bottom and right down towards your back. Then slowly breathe out. The air is cold and fresh and is filling every millimetre of space . Repeat a few times until you feel totally relaxed x
 
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Have you had your B12 levels checked? I was severely deficient and since having B12 injections my shortness of breath has mostly gone, I used to feel like I wasn’t breathing in enough air just laid in bed. I used to have a hand held fan on me so it felt like more air was getting in but that’s all gone now. Sorry you’re dealing with it, it’s a horrible symptom.
 
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Have you had your B12 levels checked? I was severely deficient and since having B12 injections my shortness of breath has mostly gone, I used to feel like I wasn’t breathing in enough air just laid in bed. I used to have a hand held fan on me so it felt like more air was getting in but that’s all gone now. Sorry you’re dealing with it, it’s a horrible symptom.
My B12 was 394 (within the healthy range) in July. Haven't checked it since. But the air hunger started in Feb. It's less severe these days but still happens especially late at night, when I always feel the most drained in general.
 
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Hi, @DoubleBubble

Are you certain your shortness of breath is from ME/CFS?

If you have a primary care physician, a work up for shortness of breath might be in order.

First steps are listening to heart and lungs, EKG, and often a chest x-ray. This can usually all be taken care of in one office visit.

If those markers are normal, second tier testing is an echocardiogram and/or pulmonary function test. The echocardiogram is a passive exam. The pulmonary function test takes a bit of effort.

I hope you might consider checking this out with your primary care physician.
Ive gotten all of the above done but this didn’t illuminate a root cause.