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Can't take deep breaths


Foxyblue
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Hi,

I have POTS and I have a symptom that really bothers me. I have bouts that come out of nowhere where I cannot take a deep breath. I can get very close to getting a full gulp, but not a full breath. Sometimes it gets so bad I spiral into a panic attack. Does anyone else have this? Please let me know, I would really appreciate it!

B

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Guest Belinda

I am having serious breathing problems and feeling like I am not getting enough air and that things are comprimised ..mine is hard to describe though..

remember autonomics alos control some of the breathing ..most is controlled though!

It is a very bothersome symptom for me!!

Sorry your feeling it too! :D

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I have this alot. My oxygen sats (with the finger thing) are always fine when I have went in complaining of this symptom. I have found I often get it when my stomach is not emptying. You have to relax and just try to breathe in and out in your belly. I put a hand on my chest and one on my belly and make sure only the belly hand goes up and down. If I put on headphones with a good CD playing it helps alot. I did some biofeedback and have actually gotten too good at this, my respirations were 4 per minute. And I wonder why I'm dizzy LOL.

I know all too well about the panic feeling you get, I used to run around the house saying "I can't get enough air" it's an awful feeling. But if you focus on it you end up hyperventilating. You have to relax!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Plus always remember the worst that can happen is you will pass out and your breathing will return to normal.

I am not minimizing how you feel, it's just I have had this symptom since I was 18 and am now 50. I have went to the clinic many times and they have always said panic. It's like learning to meditate and clear your mind of thought, if someone says don't think of a pink elephant that is all you will think about. If you focus on I can't get enough air you will keep having that thought and sensation.

The mind is a tricky thing :D

All the best

Dawn

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Guest CyberPixie

I get this, has been loads better since i upped my potassium intake. I still get it a little when my chest feels tight at the same time, like the muscles have tightened. So important to relax and not panic, it really helps. Try and distract yourself or do some hypno Cd's or something similar.

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It's actually called sighing hyperventilation because you don't breathe fast, you just want to get in big deep breaths, but as soon as you do, it just starts over again.

I have found a big decrease in this since going on potassium supplements too. Sometimes if I do have it, I find different positions will help. Stretching out on my back will make it easier for instance. morgan

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B~

I have had problems with breathing too. Like the others said, it has to do with the autonomic system. Just the other day, I was talking away when all of a sudden I couldn't breathe. I immediately laid down and got my feet up. It took alot of calming down and patience but it eventually went away.

The only thing you really can do is try to relax, get your mind off of it. :unsure:

Hope it eases up for u! :D

Nicole

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Personally i have found that the muscles around my ribcage get tight causing me to breathe shallowly. I get massages of my ribcage (OUCH) and then suddenly i can breathe better!

If you get massages maybe its worth a shot, however very few really know how to massage the rib cage.

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I can't breathe ever. I have had shortness of breath since my POTS began -- it was my first and remains my worst symptom. I have given up on trying to figure it out because I test normally on pulmonary function and echo. I totally understand how crappy this is, believe me!

Amy

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Difficulty breathing was my first and worst symptom for a long time. It felt as though I couldn't take in a full breath, and sometimes it feels like I'm breathing through a straw.

My MIp and MEP (maximum inspiratory and expiratory pressures) are abnormally low. My pulmonologist thinks that the nerves to the breathing muscles are damaged. Have you had your MIP and MEP checked?

It has gotten better over this past year, but when I'm vertical, it is still a problem. However, I don't feel panicked by it. Just FRUSTRATED!

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In the beginning, I had this a lot. I learned that smaller meals digested faster, freeing the diaphragm from pressure and allowing breathing to normalize sooner. Also, salads and roughage let me breathe more deeply than more concentrated meals -- I guess because they moved along faster.

I know many of you cannot tolerate heat at all, but I found a mini-hot water bottle which I put just under the rib cage in front when it is tight and it is very soothing and relaxes the breath.

I also found massages help. But I cannot lie down flat because my heart palpitations make me nuts (even if it is slow) so I get a chair massage where the massage therapist works just on the spine, ribs and neck. I had such dramatic relief the first time I did it that I told my chiropractor to work more on the lower ribs. Chair massages in LA are a dollar a minute and sometimes a short, directed massage gets right to the ribs to loosen them.

Good luck.

LL

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