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Tightening of airways/pain in spine - What is this?
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Tightening of airways/pain in spine - What is this?

I am 14 years old, have never smoked (I had to state that, despite my age; Messed-up world!), have never had any history of asthma or breathing disorders, and have no other conditions relevant to my problem:

I sometimes feel like my airways are being squeezed. I've had this for as long as I can remember, but it happens very randomly and very rarely; on average 5 times a year, though sometimes I'll have 2 every month. I've had these for so long, that I've been able to note every specific of these 'attacks'.

They always start the same: A small tightening feeling in my throat, like someone's clenching my airways and not letting go. It gets tighter and tighter over time, but still open enough for me to breath (just barely), and it also becomes painful. It's a lasting, steady, somewhat dull but still painful feeling that is always a sure sign to me that I'm having an 'attack'. The tightening feeling travels downwards slowly, reaching my chest. My breathing is constricted even more, but I can still breath. (which is more painful then NOT being able to breath, I've noticed). From here, the pain spreads again, this time to my back. I get an odd (and painful) feeling of pressure against my spine (which doesn't make sense! I can hardly breathe- what does that have to do with my spine?!) I start to make much more saliva than usual, and I soon have to pant and gasp to breathe. Lying down doesn't help. Neither does sitting up or in any other position.

These attacks last anywhere from one to two and a half hours. They usually occur in the evening or at night, so I sometimes fall asleep before I can no whether or not the feeling is gone. Though sometimes, they happen during the day. I have yet to notice any food that triggers these. My parents first thought it was an allergic reaction to walnuts, since I was having more frequent attacks and it was the holiday season, and I was eating dozens of walnuts a day. So I stopped eating walnuts. I was convinced though, it had nothing to do with walnuts. So one day I managed to sneak a few walnuts out of the kitchen. Nothing happened. I didn't again- same result. Today, I eat walnuts freely, and have no attacks. It's NOT a food allergy.

My doctor has been trying to make an appointment for me to have an upper GI. She suspects acid reflux. I disagree. I have no acidic taste in my mouth during these attacks, and there's no burning sensation or whatever. the only thing in my mouth is saliva. I know it's not acid reflux, but I'll have the upper GI anyway, just incase something else might show up, other than acid reflux.

Until then, I've been searching for an alternate answer. I've seen many cases like mine on the forums her, but they're all by people who have smoked for 5 or more years, except for this one (http://www.medhelp.org/posts/show/222148) which fits, except for the stomach virus part.

Please answer this if you have any knowlageof what this might be. No matter how rare as these attacks are, they ARE scary, and they ARE serious (as with anything that causes you to have trouble breathing!). I made this post as detailed as I could, and I hope that helps.

-Meghan
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