Respiratory Disorders Community
Can't take a deep breath without yawning.
About This Community:

This patient support community is for discussions relating to lung and respiratory issues, allergies, asthma, bronchitis, colds/flu, chronic cough, COPD, lung abscess, nasal polyps, pleurisy, pneumonia, sarcoidosis, and tuberculosis.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

Can't take a deep breath without yawning.

I have had this problem for years.  I sometimes can't take a deep breath without yawning.  I feel as if, even though a take a nice clean breath, that it's not deep enough, like I'm just missing a full complete breath.  After struggling to take a full breath I finally hold me head, arm, whatever, in the right position and yawn where I'm then able to take a complete full breath.  This feels wonderful for a couple of minutes, then the cycle starts over again, only able to take a full breath after yawning.  

Letely it's really bad, as I wake up in the middle of the night after three or four hours sleep and cannot get a deep breath unless I stand up.  Of course once I lay back down it all starts over again and I eventually just get up.  I'm now on 3-4 hours of sleep a night, and it's beyond awful.  

I tried to find out what was causing this, trying to remember what changes were aking place around me when the symptoms appear.  Was it allergies?  Did it only happen when something was in bloom?  Being around pets, etc.  I really couln't keep track of what it might be, as once the symptoms go away I stopped thinking about it.  I went to different sites like this one and was glad (in a way) to find that there were other people with the exact same problem.  This made a lot of the anxiety over this go away.  There were nights when I lay awake at night trying to take a deep breath wondering if this was my last few days on earth which made the terror of dying that much worse.  

One thing I was pretty sure of was that it was mostly, if not all psychological.  I say this because I was playing a board game once with my family and noticed that, until I actually thought of the breathing problem it went away.  If I was playing tennis and forgot about it, it went away, only to return the moment I said to myself, "Hey, I'm not doing that breathing thing."  Then it started.  Snag is, I don't think I have an anxiety problem.  And has anyone on here taken anti-axiety medication and had the problem go away?  Did it work for hem and hey, like me, forgot about it once it went away?  

So, since no one seems to know anything and is making lots of weird guesses as to what could be making this stuff happen, I would like to make all my dopey ideas to what I think is happening.  Maybe the answer is one of these, keeping in mind I don't really know what the hell I'm talking about.  These are in the order that I think is most likely the cause.

1.   Anxiety.  Stop thinking about it and it goes away.  Trouble is you CAN'T stop thinking about it.  Since humans adapt to get around things that bring hem displeasure, eventually it goes away.

2.   A slightly pulled muscle in your back.  If you pull a back muscle, sometimes you don't know it's pulled.  It takes awhile to heal and causes something to prevent you from taking a deep breath.  Not the kind of stinging back pain, but more the kind that happens when you injure a muscle and it's stopped sting but hasn't heled yet.  I say this because my latest bought started when I added back muscles to my workout routine.  I was taking the drug Androgel and figured that since I was taking testosterone I'd might as well work out, since it's like an anabolic steroid.  I got much bigger, even though from research I've done there's no way that it can have anabolic steroid effects.  This would explain why it goes away after awhile, as it takes about three weeks for a muscle that been pulled to heal.  This would also explain why I can take deep breath when I prop myself up with a pillow when sleeping but can't get a deep breath while on my side.  

3.  A lot of people mention research into not geting enough magnesium.  I started taking that now too.  

There's more of course, but just keep reading and you can try other things.  The main thing I'm wondering is this:  Is anyone out there doing tests or research on this?  Has anyone tried something that worked and hasn't bothered to come back here and tell us?  Do certain drugs work?  Hormonal imbalance?  Why am I able to take an instant deep breath once I step into cold outside air, or when I sand up to use the bathroom at night?   If anyone can put in links to sites that seem to have any relevence please do that.  Mostly it's just an endless stream of people describing the exact same problem with absolutely no answers.  Do health professionals or researchers read these posts?  If so can they refer us to someone that might know something?  It might be my imagination but it seems that a couple of times I've read posts like these and felt a lot better right away since so many mentioned how it might be psychological.  Once I stopped thinking that it wasn't some weird cancer eating my lungs up it went away.  

Related Discussions
6 Comments Post a Comment
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Well, it got so bad I went to the doctor.  I was laying awake at night and sleeping 3-4 hours a night.  I walkd around like a zombie from lack of sleep and wasn't really myself.  I explained to the doctor everything I said above, in my post.  He had a nurse bring in a cart to check my heart.  She hooked up a bunch of electrode type things to my chest and legs.  That came out fine.  He then told me it was almost certainly anxiety and stress and asked me what was going on in my life to cause it.  My answer was ruthful- nothing.  Work is fine, I'm exercising, nothing major going on.  Bottom line is he gave me a prescription for Xanax.  I'm one of those people that rails against the way that doctors give out pills willy-nilly for anyone that comes in feeling anything but perfect.  

Here's the snag:  I took one that night and slept like a baby.  I felt absolutley no side effects what so ever.  The only effect it has is making my anxiety go away so I don't have these mini panic attacks, or whatever they are.  I didn't want to end up like certain coworkers I work with that seemed to be zombied out with glassy eyes all the time on thier happy pills, but I guess they take Prozac or something, but these things don't seem to have any affect on me at all other than making the weird breathing thing I do go away.  

I don't want to get addicted to these things, so last night I didn't take one to see if it would all go away.  I felt MUCH better and said to myself how silly the whole thing was and how it's strange how this was all in my mind (which I suspected) and not some allergy or moon phase, or something.  During the last three days I've felt absolutely wonderful.  Well, I woke up at three o'clock in the morning to pee and went back to bed where the whole thing started again.  Now I don't know what to do.  I'm going to experiment with taking them for two weeks and see if that sets a pattern where it'll get my body used to sleeping all night.  Frankly I wouldn't mind being addicted to them if it'll make the (what I guess must be unconsious) stress.  I mean, it's only eight dollars a bottle.  I'm also going to try to learn transcendental meditation to see if that helps, and I'm taking magnesium every day on the off chance that that does anything.  
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I've had the same problem since I was very young. I never feel like I can take a deep enough breath, it feels as if my throat is swollen shut, and I yawn constantly (on purpose) because it makes the feeling go away momentarily. I actually went to the emergency years ago because I felt that the breathing problem was so severe that I couldn't handle it and I was going to die. I was diagnosed with anxiety and put on Xanax. I've been on the medication for over 7 years and to tell the truth, it has helped, and I don't have any major side effects or feel the need to increase my dosage. I've tried to wean myself off and I take magnesium supplements also. It does not help. If I stop taking the medications, the symptoms come back. Lately, I've been experiencing the same breathing problems (still on Xanax), but I just don't know why. I am not stressed unless it is subconscious, like you said. I don't feel like it's an anxiety problem. Wish there were more answers out there.
Blank
5617861_tn?1371209760
I have the same problem as earnestbunbury has and its happening to me from 2 months and it really make me worried . whenever i share it with my friend or any family member he says that its your Doubt but when it really started irritating me so i have joined this website and i come to know my problems seems like the symptoms of sleep Apnea or maybe its something else can anyone please tell me what is it Exactly happening ?
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
STOP WASTING MONEY GOING TO THE DOCTORS .    Had this for 2 years after food poisoining in Iraq . It feels like you need to take a full breath , but you just cant .Also it  WAS hard to yawn and heart burn. It felt like I had a knot in my chest that wouldnt let me take a full breath . Sometimes I had to bend down to take a full breath it was hoorrible I spent 2 years gointo different doctors . Taking all kind of meds from like Nexium ,Zyrtec medicataion for astma . Finnaly one doctor gave me samples of Prilosec and all these symptoms disappered in 3 hours I keept taking prilosec for 2 weeks and I dont have the symptoms to these days (its been 8 Years ) - See more at: http://www.*************.com/heart-disease/c/37627/40767/unable-deep/#sthash.cgMcFus3.dpuf
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I have had this same problem for years and I finally found out what was going on. I (and I imagine everyone in this discussion) have something called "Hyperventilation Syndrome." Basically, over the years, we have learned to stop breathing deep in our bellies, as all newborns do, and learned to breathe in our chest's. Most of the time this is completely unconscious. Anxiety CAN exacerbate this, but most likely would go completely unnoticed.

Before you say "Its not anxiety! I've tried every antidepressant and gotten all of the tests and nothing came back!" I would tell you that I did the same thing, and it all came back clear. Not being able to breathe and not knowing why is probably one of the most terrifying feelings there is and there have been many times where I have just wanted to take a swan dive over a high bridge. But believe me, there is a solution. First of all, realize that you absoloutely are getting enough air. That is not the problem. You will not die from this. The reason you feel like you are constantly out of breathe is because you are expelling too much carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is essential for maintaining oxygen levels; so when you don't have enought CO2, your brain realizes this, and attempts to take in more air, giving you that "air hunger" feeling. All you have to do to cure yourself of this is to relearn how to do belly-breathing. Google "Buteyko Method". It is excellent. Also check out the book Hyperventilation Syndrome by Dinah Bradley. Believe me when I tell you that it works and once you learn how to do this you will be fine. Sorry to everyone who is going through this horrible feeling. When it was at its worst, I literally felt like I was suffocating. If you find yourself panicking, just remember - you're expelling too much CO2. The best way to fix this is to breathe "low and slow". Lie on your back and breathe deep into your belly, as slowly as you can. Your chest shouldn't move at all. At first, it will feel very incomfortable; this is because your brain still feels like it needs more air. But what you are doing is slowly restoring the CO2, which will in turn modulate your oxygen. As I am writing this it sounds like a bunch of mumbo jumbo, but believe me it works. If you can't trust some random dude posting on this forum, and who would blame you if you couldn't, then just google "Hyperventilation syndrome" and try the deep belly breathing. You should also go for brisk walks and ONLY breathe through your nose. Never your mouth. Every time you breathe through your mouth you are expelling more CO2 and thus receiving less oxygen. I hope this works. It did for me.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I have had this same problem for years and I finally found out what was going on. I (and I imagine everyone in this discussion) have something called "Hyperventilation Syndrome." Basically, over the years, we have learned to stop breathing deep in our bellies, as all newborns do, and learned to breathe in our chest's. Most of the time this is completely unconscious. Anxiety CAN exacerbate this, but most likely would go completely unnoticed.

Before you say "Its not anxiety! I've tried every antidepressant and gotten all of the tests and nothing came back!" I would tell you that I did the same thing, and it all came back clear. Not being able to breathe and not knowing why is probably one of the most terrifying feelings there is and there have been many times where I have just wanted to take a swan dive over a high bridge. But believe me, there is a solution. First of all, realize that you absoloutely are getting enough air. That is not the problem. You will not die from this. The reason you feel like you are constantly out of breathe is because you are expelling too much carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is essential for maintaining oxygen levels; so when you don't have enought CO2, your brain realizes this, and attempts to take in more air, giving you that "air hunger" feeling. All you have to do to cure yourself of this is to relearn how to do belly-breathing. Google "Buteyko Method". It is excellent. Also check out the book Hyperventilation Syndrome by Dinah Bradley. Believe me when I tell you that it works and once you learn how to do this you will be fine. Sorry to everyone who is going through this horrible feeling. When it was at its worst, I literally felt like I was suffocating. If you find yourself panicking, just remember - you're expelling too much CO2. The best way to fix this is to breathe "low and slow". Lie on your back and breathe deep into your belly, as slowly as you can. Your chest shouldn't move at all. At first, it will feel very incomfortable; this is because your brain still feels like it needs more air. But what you are doing is slowly restoring the CO2, which will in turn modulate your oxygen. As I am writing this it sounds like a bunch of mumbo jumbo, but believe me it works. If you can't trust some random dude posting on this forum, and who would blame you if you couldn't, then just google "Hyperventilation syndrome" and try the deep belly breathing. You should also go for brisk walks and ONLY breathe through your nose. Never your mouth. Every time you breathe through your mouth you are expelling more CO2 and thus receiving less oxygen. I hope this works. It did for me.
Blank
Post a Comment
To
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Respiratory Disorders Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
469720_tn?1388149949
Blank
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm-treatable... Blank
Oct 04 by Lee Kirksey, MDBlank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
The 3 Essentials to Ending Emotiona...
Sep 18 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Control Emotional Eating with this ...
Sep 04 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank