Hi, I am a 30 year old male, ex smoker (5 months smoke free) and have not been able to breathe this year. I was constantly feeling like I had an acute lack of oxygen, I also had to sigh and yawn to force breath in. Salbutamol did not alleviate this, neither did quitting smoking. Nothing made the problem better, nothing really made it worse. The problem would often seem to go away for a short while if I went to the gym and really hit it hard, but then it would eventually come back. About 3 days ago, I was just sitting there, doing nothing, and I had the sharpest pain imaginable, it felt like someone was digging around in my stomach (just below my ribcage) with a spoon and it lasted for about a minute and got worse when I breathed in. The pain subsided and now my breathing is just perfect, well for 3 days it has been better than it has all year... only problem is as of this morning i'm starting to notice a return. I've had all sorts of tests lung function, blood oxygen, chest xrays, multiple blood tests, heart monitor and the results of all of those were not just adequate, they were off the scale good. According to all diagnostics i'm in tip top condition. My weight is stable 12.5 stone (ok, i may have put on a few pounds since january :) ) , appetites great. I have an abundance of energy and no other health problems woth noting.
Just what the hell could be the cause of this breathlessness ? ?
PS My GP does care about this problem, but after the barrage of tests I think he's settled on anxiety or some other non-descript problem. I personally think there is something the matter, nothing serious, but definitely not stress or anxiety.
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The symptoms could be exacerbation of the GERD or gastric reflux. It could also be hiatal hernia. Treatment is a combination of drugs to reduce the acid and lifestyle changes. You will need to take a combination of medications (under medical supervision) like a proton pump inhibitor such as omeprazole, lansoprazole or pantoprazole empty stomach in the morning and an antacid gel after meals for complete relief. Possibility of H pylori infection too should be looked into by a carbon urea breath test and a combination antibiotic tried. Many a times a persisting H pylori infection can be the cause behind acidity not responding to treatment.
Life style changes that will help include: Avoid heavy meals and eat frequent small meals. Avoid too much of caffeine, tea, smoking, fried food and drinks both alcoholic and non alcoholic fuzzy ones. Avoid heavy exercises within 4 hours of a heavy meal. Raise the head end of the bed by pillows to 30 degrees. Avoid lying down for least 2 hours after food. Maybe these tips will help you.
Apart from this cause of feeling of inadequate breath, it can be a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, acidosis, and even lung cancer. Yes, anxiety too could be a cause. Please discuss these possibilities with your GP. Take care!
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