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Something Weird---Involuntary Gasping
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Something Weird---Involuntary Gasping

For months now I've had problems with shortness of breath upon exertion. Have been thru a bunch of tests, with an echocardiogram coming up. Repeat pulmonary testing shows only that diffusion of oxygen from my lungs to blood is poor, 61% of normal for my age. Pulmonologist says this has nothing to do with MS.

Recently something new has started, and I don't know if there's a connection. Here and there, in the midst of regular breathing, I will do a soft but noticeable gasp. This is not like hiccups, as it's much slower and less jerky, and there's only one of them in an episode. Also, it seems a lot deeper. It is only in the past couple of days that I've been really conscious of this, but realize it's been happening more and more. It doesn't hurt at all and is no big deal, but it's so strange. Hence this post.

I've looked this up briefly, and the best description I could find is right here in MedHelp:
http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Respiratory-Disorders/Strange-Involuntary-Breath/show/14555

We've discussed respiratory issues here a number of times, but I don't recall seeing 'the gasp' in connection with MS? Can anyone shed some light on this?

ess
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739070_tn?1338607002
I only skimmed the recent posts by biowham and others concerning sighing. Not sure if this is similar to your symptom or not. I do know that things like yawning and perhaps sighing are due to your body needing more oxygen. Could be a connection given your low pulmonary function tests.

Either way, I hope this goes away soon.

Ren
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338416_tn?1260996698
Sometimes my breath shudders as I'm breathing in or out, rather like a sob.  I also get short of breath in the mornings, for no apparent reason.  When I'm short of breath, I'll take a deep breath, rather like a gasp, to eliminate the tight feeling at the bottom of my lungs.  However, when I'm working out, I don't notice any difference in my respiration.  

I'm going to see a pulmonologist about my shortness of breath in September.  I hope he's more helpful than yours was!
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Avatar_f_tn
This doesn't seem like sighing, as that's an exhale. It does sort of seem like a sob. Strictly involuntary, kind of right in the middle of a regular breath.

Jen, I too hope your pulm. has a good explanation for this, and I know you'll share with the forum what you find out.

ess
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195469_tn?1388326488
It must be scary for you, to be going through this.  Have you ever smoked?  Forgive me for asking, if you haven't...

I am under the firm belief that this breathing problem may indeed be from MS.  Especially is you have any unfound lesions on your brain stem.  The autonomic nervous system.  Have the doctors checked for any problems in that area?

If your oxygen levels are that low, I would think they would have you on supplemental oxygen.

I hope that you feel better soon, Ess.  This is a worrying symptom, especially since they have not found a cause.

Big Hugs and Many prayers,
Heather
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks, dear, for the kind words. But this isn't really scary. Next week I have a new 3T brain MRI, so that may tell a tale.

I was a smoker way back in my youth, but not for more than 30 years now. A small amount of fibrosis showed up during a CT angiogram recently, but it's clinically insignificant (thank heavens).

My blood oxygen level is not so low, but I don't know enough about this to clarify things. When the clip thingy is on my finger my level is basically normal. What's wrong shows up during those function tests where you do very exaggerated breathing with your mouth wrapped around a hose. Graphs of some sort miraculously emerge from a computer. (You can see how brilliant I am about pulmonology. NOT!)

The doctor attributes all this to my being out of shape, which I sure am, but I was in better shape when it started. Getting winded over next to nothing doesn't promote physical fitness. She doesn't seem to get this point. I'm to go back in 6 months.

Still, the odd gasping is strange. Not bothersome though.

Hugs,
ess
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293157_tn?1285877039
Hi..I've had shortness of breath for a few years now, and I was a smoker...for 30 years.. quit 5 years ago and my shortness of breath got worse when I quit (isn't that the way)... I went through all the pulmanary testing.. and the specialist said I have "Reactive Airway Disease"... this is one of the tests I have had while being UnDx.. and I use a puffer now when I get SOB...

let us know how it goes..
take care
wobbly
Dx'd
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987762_tn?1331031553
Hi ess,

Me too, i know just what your talking about and its weird, this was one of the new sx i picked up. I found something in the MS litrature about sighing, i'll go on a hunt and find it for you, its here some where in my collection of MS data. Its documented, not common from what i remember but still a recognised symptom of MS.

Cheers......JJ
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987762_tn?1331031553
Hi ess,

I just found this one on the About site:

http://ms.about.com/od/signssymptoms/a/respiratory_gen.htm

i'll find you some more

Cheers...JJ
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429700_tn?1308011423
I have this gasping problem and never had any idea of what causes it.  For me, it was very scary at first.  After having this problem for over a year now, I'm not so worried.  

When I get it, I'm not short of breath really.  I'm either sound asleep or almost asleep when I'm awakened to gasping for air.  This happens to me in clusters of time.  I've mentioned this to my neuro who brought up doing a sleep study; however, this is very intermittent.  I may not have another problem with this for months, so I declined the study.  

Are you ever awakened by gasping?  

Deb
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