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Air Hunger
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Air Hunger

I have had symtom's of air hunger since I was eighteen, I'm now 54. Do Doctor's not recognize this condition. I have never heard of the term air hunger until 4/25/2008, I read about it in the newspaper.


This discussion is related to Air hunger - is this asthma or anxiety?.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am 22 and I recall experiencing "Air hunger" before in my life, but right now it's getting really bad.
So far I have seen 3 doctors for it. They all put me on Asthma meds. The meds seemed to work ok at first, but now they're not working anymore and it seems worse than ever. I usually have the most trouble with it at night when I'm about to go to sleep and then when I'm trying to go to sleep. That is actually why I'm here right now, I have been trying to sleep for the past 4 and a half hours and cannot.
Each of the doctors I have seen were extremely unhelpful, and made me feel like I was just making symptoms up. It is very possible that this may be stress, seeing as how I am about to graduate college and trying to apply for grad schools and working and doing research and hoping that my boyfriend and I get accepted to places close to each other, preferably where we could still live together. It's all very overwhelming, and this breathing problem is not helping.
I just hope that there is something they can do about it for me. Put me on some kind of meds or something. I've always been so against taking any kind of meds for anxiety, but at this point, it's hurting me in a lot of ways. I have class in 4 hours and have not slept a wink all night. After class I have research to work on and homework etc. Today I had to take off from work because I just couldn't muster up the strength to go in.
I just hate the way the doctors act like I'm doing this on purpose or something, or wasting their time with it. My last doctor even said "Sounds voluntary to me." I was like "Voluntary? you think I WANT to not be able to breathe?" this is probably the worst time for this to be happening to me.
Like alot of these accounts have said, my throat and lungs feel like they hurt so bad. I keep trying to yawn but it doens't work. It feels worse when I'm laying down, but I don't know if that's just because it's worse at night or what. UGH! This is so beyond frusterating!
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Avatar_f_tn
I had it a couple years ago when my father came down with lung cancer and Dana Reeves died of it that same year.

Suddenly I had "air hunger". I had my lungs ex-rayed and low and behold they found a suspicious shadow. Additional tests needed to be performed...all turned out negative. But it took a long time for "air hunger" to subside and eventually one day went away altogether.

Unfortunately, I have sleep apnea I believe and it can aggravate it.

As for the smokers who suffer from this, i'm not at all surprised. Since it seems to be related to stress (possibility anyway), and smoking has a calming effect, then the breathless feeling could result upon quitting.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,

I am also having this air hunger thing, since a few weeks. I do believe it is related to stress, but in several ways. My problems started soon after I lost someone in my family. At the begining there was just the air hunger, but then my stomach also started to hurt a bit and sometimes I am also wheezing like in asthma, altough I don't think I have asthma. It definitely gest worse when I am upset, nervous or agitated, but also after meals.

The first time I went to emergencies for the air hunger they said my stomach is inflammed and pushing on the diafragm making breathing difficult. That's because EKG and bood pressure were normal. They listen to my lungs and all sounded fine. So they concluded on the stomach issue and put me on omeprazole (stomach acid reducing drug). I took that for more then 3 weeks and I am not much better
(I am still under stress as well so...). I think acid reflux(or GERD) is at least part of the explanation though. Acid can spill into the esophagus and gets aspirated into the lungs causing wheezing and shortness of breath. For some people is worse at night because of the position(should sleep with many pillows) and it's especially bad after a big meal. Bloating and belching are also common with stomach disorders. Gluten intolerance might have a word in this, but in any case carbohydrates are more difficult to digest then proteins for instance and they also cause a rush a insulin which brings on the adrenaline as well...everything is somehow related. So things to consider : eat smaller meals(more often if necessary); do not eat 2-3 hours before sleep; go for a diet low in carbohydrates and fat, this will give a rest to your stomach, but also to your adrenal glands and will  not trigger stress reactions; avoid stress as much as possible; ask your doctor about GERD and hiatal hernias tests. I plan to start some B complex supplements, I think this might help in many ways. Enzymes supplements might also give a rest to a tired body. I am also quite sure that if I mange my stress levels things will get on the right path quite fast. Stress can affect breathing directly, but also by enhancing production of stomach acid, by affecting digestion (can't really digest well when too tired or upset), by leading to lack of enzymes and by unbalancing hormones. Bad digestion leads to an whole array of problems, form inflamation (inflammation) in the body to malabsorption of important nutrients. In the end many conditions lead to hunger for air and many of them are related (chiken egg problem), but if standard tests came out fine then the one thing that can cause all this is stress or lack of some vitamin/minerals (this is also something to look into).

Good luck to everyone!
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