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Suddenly not inhaling automatically anymore.
Hello. My name is Aaron, I'm 26, and I've had a serious problem for the past three weeks. Around December 16th, over the course of 3 days, I developed an issue where my body is showing no natural impulse to inhale after I exhale. It started out as a sleep disturbance (waking up repeatedly in the middle of the night taking in a huge gulp of air, having my heart racing, and having a tingling in my chest and arms, like I had stopped breathing in my sleep), and during the daytime as a shortness-of-breath. By day 3 I was completely inhaling manually, and I couldn't get to sleep for 2 days without immediately being woken up due to not breathing. I currently have to focus on my breathing in order to force myself to inhale for each breath I take. I went to the emergency room and they gave me a sleep aid and an anti-anxiety med, thinking I was experiencing panic attacks at night (because I mentioned waking up with an increased heart rate, they assumed it was a nocturnal panic attack). I didn't take either drug, because one was a CNS depressant, and I didn't want my respiration to get depressed even more, fearing that I might stop breathing for TOO long when I sleep. The other one was known to interact poorly with St. John's wort, another drug I'm taking.

I went to the chest doctor in the hospital a week later, and him and the head of the clinic said that they've never heard of this happening to someone who hasn't had a stroke or a brain tumor, or who wasn't obese. One of them just said "I think it will probably just go away." I also had my blood drawn friday and had every test run on it, and had an chest X-ray done, and neither of these things showed any abnormalities. The chest doctors supported my decision to not take those two drugs, as well, saying that this was a problem STAYING asleep, not a problem falling asleep, as well as a respiratory problem at it's core, and they discontinued my prescription to them.

I have gotten about 21 hours of sleep in the past seven days. I can only get to sleep if I'm DEAD tired, and even then I only sleep for 2.5 - 3 hours. I find myself just lying down with my eyes closed and focusing on my breathing just to get some kind of rest. If I begin to fall asleep when I do this, my body will jerk me awake, or I'll just get woken up due to not breathing. Recently I have been able to fall asleep for about 20 minutes after about 1.5 hours of lying down. I often had headaches all day after a night of this, but these have reduced in intensity in the past few days.

In addition to this, now my heart rate seems to increase when I eat certain foods. Regular V8, bananas, avocados, and burritos so far make my heart jump up to 90 BPM. I also am experiencing muscular weakness (I can't clench my fist hard anymore, my legs start to shake if I bend them). I've also been experiencing a kind of dizziness (like you would if you were drunk: limbs running into doorways, dropping things, limbs sort of flailing farther than you intended them to). I've also been getting really forgetful, forgetting where I put things that I just set down a few seconds ago, searching all over for them to find them again.

So, as for what I did immediately preceding the onset of these symtoms on December 16th:
-I had chinese food 3 times in the week and a half preceding. All were from local vendors here in San Francisco (mom-and-pop shops). This was the first time I had chinese food here.
-I drank a bottle of liquor one night, then two bottles of wine the next day. This was the weekend where symptoms began to show up. I have not consumed any alcohol since then.
-I had been microwaving hotdogs and meatballs on a plastic plate that had increasingly begun to flake off parts of it's surface and probably melted into my food sometimes, and I likely consumed some of this plastic. I ceased doing this during the weekend when these symptoms started manifesting.

The hospital is pretty much done with me. The advice nurse over the phone and the ER seem to just want me to stop coming in, as they apparently cannot determine a cause. At this point I'm just googling my symptoms and trying to find a cause and a treatment, eating as healthy as I can, running and exercising daily, drinking bottled water instead of tap water (incase our water is toxic somehow), and trying to stay optimistic.

Any help, suggestions, or theories anyone can give will be appreciated, because this is probably the last place I'll find that can help me.

-Aaron
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180749 tn?1443598832
Your body is not absorbing all the nutrients from food.
1. Eat a pomegranate daily(discarding the hard seeds), to calm the colon. Eat fruit and raw vegetables. Drink warm water(at least 6 glasses a day) and avoid cold drinks/alcohol.
2 Daily routine.
a) Expel air from your nose, (as if you are blowing your nose gently), once a second, for 5 minutes.The breathing in will happen automatically.
followed by:
b) Do anulom vilom pranayam for 20 to 30 minutes,twice a day.

Follow this daily and let me know your progress after 4 weeks, or whenever you can.

Anulom Vilom pranayam –
Build up your timing gradually.If you feel tired or dizzy, stop and resume after one minute.
Close your right nostril with thumb and deep breath-in through left nostril  
then – close left nostril with two fingers and breath-out through right nostril  
then -keeping the left nostril closed  deep breath-in through right nostril
then - close your right nostril with thumb and breath-out through left nostril.
This is one cycle of anulom vilom.
Repeat this cycle for 15 to 30  minutes twice a day.
Children under 15 years – do 5 to 10 minutes twice a day.
You can do this before breakfast/lunch/dinner or before bedtime or in bed.Remember to take deep long breaths into the lungs.You can do this while sitting on floor or chair or lying in bed.
January 10 ,2012
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Have to make myself inhale &exhale or I stop breathing..
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I don't have the whole story but this is what it seems to me.  I am approaching the problem as an engineer and I consider the body as you would a car or a plane and the brain is the pilot.  Breathing is innate.  It just happens.  Just like our heart beating.  But breathing, like blinking your eyes can be easily changed by thinking about it.  The interesting thing is you are getting some sleep.  If your body wasn't automatically breathing you could not sleep for even 10 minutes.  People with sleep apnea stop breathing and the brain wakes you up.  It has to or you would die.  It is obvious you have developed an anxiety about breathing.  When you come out of your sleep cycles which are deepest at first you wake slightly and your conscious mind again takes over and so does your anxiety.  This is a form of OCD.  At some point for some reason you suddenly felt that you needed to be conscious of taking a breath in.  But your exhale is still on auto pilot.  Your body is still forcing you to take breaths in a very labored way, overcoming your anxiety.  You have lost trust in your body's ability to automatically breath and so feel compelled to make sure it happens.  So lack of trust in your automatic system causes you to overrule it and the strong belief that you are right causes you anxiety.  The first step therefore is to reestablish trust in your breathing.  Be aware you are breathing automatically when you are not conscious.  It still works.  Your body will not let you die, at least not from this. At this point I am beyond my capabilities to recommend treatment type.  I once lost the trust in the ability of jet planes to stay together in one piece because of the huge wings and weight that was unsupported in the air other than by air itself.  I continued to fly, I had to for my job.  I learned more about how the wings are supported and regained my trust.  So without any other experience I would study your internal automatic systems and how they work.  Realize this is not something very many people have and that should be a clue.  Also you are still alive and you still do breathe when you fall asleep.  I would start by not consciously taking a breath when you think you need to and let the body force you to breath.  Think about something else while waiting for the auto breath to occur.  At least give it a shot.
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Thank you for the strategies, hava. I will use all of them and give an update on my progress either here or to you, to let you know what effect they're having.

Last night, after a 2 mile run, I felt myself inhale automatically for the first time. It turns out that my respiration is VERY depressed, and that I hadn't been letting it get a chance to go to the very low point it needed to get to in order for automatic inhaling to happen. A few hours later, I went to have a sleep study done on me. Over the entire 9 hours I lied in the bed with the electrodes and monitors on me, I didn't sleep once. I would doze off, then wake back up almost immediately, by body jerking as I did. I tried breathing very shallowly to allow for automatic respiration, breathing in a "normal" way forcibly, taking deep breaths and relaxing, everything, and I still didn't sleep. I was hooked up to an APAP machine (assists with respiration by shooting air into your nose according to your own respiration), but on both settings it had and with all the pressures tried, it actually made breathing harder. They couldn't diagnose me with it (because I didn't sleep), but I'm currently suffering from central sleep apnea symptoms. I know the root of this, though, is my shallow respiration.

Inhaling automatically actually hurts at this point. I can't get to sleep because the sensation wakes me up. I will try your things, hava, and see what they do.
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Hello and hope you are doing well.

Your symptoms can be due to obstructive sleep apnea, wherein during sleep there is an obstruction to air flow due to laxity of the throat muscles during sleep and this could cause restlessness. It could also be due to central sleep apneas, which are caused due disorders or lesions in the brain. The peripheral system does not get the right impulses for respiration and hence the stoppage of respiration. As a result the person is aroused from sleep. The type of apnea can be diagnosed with a sleep study and therapy is given appropriately. So, you have to undergo a proper sleep study to diagnose these disorders.

Hope this helped and do keep us posted.
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Did you recover?  If so, how?  I have this problem now.
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Sounds like dysaunotomia or adrenal fatigue. Same problems. The less you sleep, the worse it gets. This is secondary as a condition. Maybe due to stress (physical or emotional).  Your lungs are likely filled with air. Exhale to empty them (5 seconds out, hold, 5 in, hold, then 10 out, hold, 5 in, hold, 10 out) for a minute. Put legs up the walk for 5 minutes to return blood flow to heart and organs.  Also, strengthen respiratory muscles by giving resistance on inhales, it helps in water. Look up ways to engage parasympathetic nervous system.  The goal is to quiet the autonomic system. You may have your airways inflamed and need a steroid inhaler and nasal spray. If you go to ER. Lie and tell them you were diagnosed years ago with an episode of dysaunotomia while traveling and it hasn't been back since. It's a tough diagnosis and they will give you things to kill you if they don't check your airways. You really need an epi injection at that point.  It will be okay. I went through it for a month after physical pain that caused too much stress. Listen to Tibetan singing bowls meditations while sleeping( or trying). Drink a lot of tilo tea. Try yoga and reiki. Be well. Trust your body, be thankful, practice mediation.
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I feel the same way. I didn't sleep that much last night. I would wake up suddenly and feel like I stopped breathing while I was trying to sleep. My heart was racing when I woke up and I was afraid to go back to sleep. I did sleep after that because I remember having a dream. I'm concentrating on my breathing now. I don't know what to do. My bf won't take me to the hospital, he says it is anxiety. I told him I had anxiety for 9 years, I never felt this way with it before. I had 4 EKGs done cause I would get pain in my chest and hard to breath. I also had blood work done 3 times and chest x-rays done, everything came back normal. If you find out some way to breath without concentrating let me know. I need help. I feel like fainting every day, I can't take it.
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Hello Aron!!! When you went to see your Doctors did you feel like strangling the doctor and tell him that is exactly how you felt?  well you dont have to do that....I have the best of the best solutions that will definetly work for you and these symptoms i have also experienced. You may or may not believe me I've had exactly same issue with whilst asleep id wake up shaken and grasping for air like i am drawning or having a heart attack and throat feels extremely blocked and after waking up feels like i dont want to sleep again because i am scared to die in my sleep. My whole body feels like pins and needles and feel as  if my automatic pulsing in the brain is actually stopped. I have been to A&E BUT did you see the face they gave you like its not a problem but inside you, you knew what they are telling you was just to direct the issue to Anxiety even though you know your not anxious especially those times about anything else but since the problem arose you are anxious. I may not quite be a doctor but I am a scientist in my own worlds with no barries and I can give this solution if youd request it.  dont take the chance of leaving it to grow inside you
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Hello Aron!!! When you went to see your Doctors did you feel like strangling the doctor and tell him that is exactly how you felt?  well you dont have to do that....I have the best of the best solutions that will definetly work for you and these symptoms i have also experienced. You may or may not believe me I've had exactly same issue with whilst asleep id wake up shaken and grasping for air like i am drawning or having a heart attack and throat feels extremely blocked and after waking up feels like i dont want to sleep again because i am scared to die in my sleep. My whole body feels like pins and needles and feel as  if my automatic pulsing in the brain is actually stopped. I have been to A&E BUT did you see the face they gave you like its not a problem but inside you, you knew what they are telling you was just to direct the issue to Anxiety even though you know your not anxious especially those times about anything else but since the problem arose you are anxious. I may not quite be a doctor but I am a scientist in my own worlds with no barries and I can give this solution if youd request it.  dont take the chance of leaving it to grow inside you
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Hello Aron!!! When you went to see your Doctors did you feel like strangling the doctor and tell him that is exactly how you felt?  well you dont have to do that....I have the best of the best solutions that will definetly work for you and these symptoms i have also experienced. You may or may not believe me I've had exactly same issue with whilst asleep id wake up shaken and grasping for air like i am drawning and throat feels extremely blocked and after waking up feels like i dont want to sleep again because i am scared to die in my sleep. My whole body feels like pins and needles and feel as  if my automatic pulsing in the brain is actually stopped. I have been to A&E BUT did you see the face they gave you like its not a problem but inside you, you knew what they are telling you was just to direct the issue to Anxiety even though you know your not anxious especially those times about anything else but since the problem arose you are anxious. I may not quite be a doctor but I am a scientist in my own worlds with no barries and I can give this solution if youd request it.
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180749 tn?1443598832
Follow the Anulom vilom pranayam described in my post dated Jan 10 ,2012
Come back and post your feedback - to help others.
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I have this 'not breathing automatically' thing and it turns out to be Phrenic Nerve Palsy.  The Phrenic nerve stimulates your diaphragm to rise up and expel air from the lungs -  there are two that split right and left from the cervical vertebrae C3-C4 and any damage here can affect them.  It can be one side or both and after tests they can simply implant a little pacemaker to stimulate breathing for you.  To diagnose it they look at your diaphragm on ultrasound and see the movement or lack of it.  They also get you to sniff and see how your diaphragm responds.  All very electro-mechanical - they just need to look!
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Yes I know how you feel. Recently I have been awakened from my state of sleep in a dire panic. As if my heart has stopped as well as my breathing. I've been to the emergency room and even checked in for the Million dollar work up. Nothing, thats what the Doctors have found. They tell me its anxiety, I have recently stop smoking in the last 5 months and I also have been looking for work after being laid off. I must say I do worry a lot at this point, any one would.I've started walking a couple of miles a day and this seems to help but it's not a cure. I do eat healthy but I could let up on the martinis a little. I notice the more it happens the more I focus on it and the more I have a feeling of impending doom. I'm not crazy but at this point it's becoming more and more stressful to get ready for bed, I find it better to stay up two days and be so exhausted that I wouldn't notice these symptoms because I would be to sleepy to wake up.Thats what I did yesterday 4-24-15 and it worked. I will see my Cardiologist on May 7,hopefully he'll get me into a sleep study and I can get some additional answers.Hope this can at least give You some hope and let You know tour not alone.
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PLEASE TELL ME HAVE YOU FOUND YOUR CURE???
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Are your nasal passages blocked or inflamed? I'm having the same issue now and thinking it might be because my nasal passages are blocked and I'm not opening my mouth to breath. I hope it's not something more serious...
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Ok so I am having the same expwrienve as im writing this.  My eyes are bloodshot im so tired from this im scared to sleep.  I think thaws part of the issue.  Of course anxiety is the easiest diagnpsia but in complete honestly when I do take the xanax before bed i gall asleep fine and it doeant happen and no i never stop breathing.  Think of it this way, if you were going to stop breathing it probably wpuldve happened already.  Your body is also so tired so it is breaking down lot.e by little.  Are you focusing on your breathing and heart rate as you fall asleep?  That's what I do and our body is reacting to this with the anxiety.  Your body naturally slows down as you fall asleep its just that most people dolt pay attention to it.  That why its waking you up.  I wee constantly taking Mt pulse at least 40 it.es a day and it was always fine.  If you were having breathing iasuea your pulse would be weak AMD drop wouldn't you think?  I dolt kmlw im not a doctor but they is what helps .e rationalize the situation.  Imagine people who abuse xanax and other barbituatea take them in great access for their nreathing to stop.  Im taking .25mg kg xanax and 50mg of butakb.  My doctor said it was fine as long as you take as prescribed.  You need to trust in your body.  It may be the lack of control that is cauainf your anxiety and toy don't have to ne worried anpit something for anxiety to start.  Even if you thoufjt about it once, its in the back of your mind and can surface anytime.
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Stop thinking about it and i bet you keep breathing. Even if its for a .minute that you forget,  I bet you keep breathing AMD therefore you arwnt controlling it like you thought
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Try going to Santa Rosa California. There they have the True North Health Center. I had this just happen to me recently it feels like. And I have the weird jerks in the body along with muscle weakness. It could be Parkisons or MS even. Medicine says they cant doing anything to cure these. Thats why I'm letting you know about True North .   Try them :)
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Look into Chiari 1 Malformation. Read about it and see if this sounds like you. I was just diagnosed and those are many of the symptoms. It's hard to find a doctor that has heard of it or remembers it from medical school. But look into it...
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Glad to see there are others experiencing this. I'm definitely dealing with anxiety, feeling depressed and ready for death, dealing with post-alcoholic regret and my degestion has stopped working properly.

Thinking exercise might help. If anyone finds they worked out how to get past it, maybe write what worked for you so the next people reading have some light :)
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Well, you all suffer from ansiety and panic attacks. In my case I went thru the same, and Clonazepan help me deal with it. My ansiety levels were so high, that I stop sleeping properly. So my body start showing symptoms. Like all you guys describe, from the suddenly feeling of waKing up cause I think I'm not breathing or my heart stopped to been awake for days with fear of dying. You are not gonna stop breathing, cause that's an automatic response and you don't need to tell you body to do it, it does it by its own. So, either find professional help or look for things that might help you deal with your ansiety, like exercise or maybe some kind of hobby. Don't be scared, I'm pretty sure it's ansiety.
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I have this problem, as well. I was recently diagnosed with a chiari 1 malformation. It's a uncommon diagnosis that is often overlooked. It can be detected with an MRI. With this malformation, the cerebellum tonsils are compressed and it produces a wide range of symptoms. I think breathing is something that can be affected by chiari. If you can't find any answers, you might look into that.
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Chiari Malformation is actually very common. 1 in every 1000 person is born with it.  Some just don't have the same progression as others.  Or it becomes more noticeable after a head trauma in adolescents and adults.  I also have chiari and was diagnosed and had multiple brain surgeries back in 2010.  Sleep apnea is very common in people with Chiari.  A sleep study would be a wise idea and wouldn't hurt to ask for one.
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Im having the same problem
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However my body isnt showing no natural impulse to inhale or exhale i have to do it all on my own its been like this for a month now
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PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF ANYONE HAS FOUND A CURE I FEEL LIKE I AM SUFFOCATING AND HAVENT SLEPT IN A WEEK I KEEP JERKING AWAKE AND FEELING LIKE IM HAVING TO FORCE MYSELF TO BREATHE
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Is your body breathing automatically?
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I had this! I also had issues where I couldn't get a full breath in very easily. I called it "air hunger". I would constantly yawn to try and get a good breath and even then it was very hard. I would sit there and just think about breathing all day long. I also know it was NOT anxiety induced, but it started to make me anxious - so that was the effect, not the cause. It was msotly very frustrating. I was testing for asthma, had blood work done, and ultrasounds, etc. I learned doctor's are very limited in what they can actually help with..
It FINALLY went away after I started working out 3-4 times a week. I'm 5'5" and was 115 lbs, so I wasn't very motivated to work out, but I ended up having to start working out for a competition I was entering, and I quickly realized my breathing issue went away. It was very strange. So maybe even if a person is not overweight, they can be out of shape and slowly break down if they aren't getting enough exercise. (For context, I was an athlete in high school but stopped in college, and the breathing issues started my junior year of college.)

Extra fun fact, my brother went through almost the exact same thing and went as far as using inhalers (even though he also was tested for asthma and result's were negative). He was very average weight and pretty healthy. He ALSO was cured as soon as he started to work out.
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I had this! I also had issues where I couldn't get a full breath in very easily. I called it "air hunger". I would constantly yawn to try and get a good breath and even then it was very hard. I would sit there and just think about breathing all day long. I also know it was NOT anxiety induced, but it started to make me anxious - so that was the effect, not the cause. It was msotly very frustrating. I was testing for asthma, had blood work done, and ultrasounds, etc. I learned doctor's are very limited in what they can actually help with..
It FINALLY went away after I started working out 3-4 times a week. I'm 5'5" and was 115 lbs, so I wasn't very motivated to work out, but I ended up having to start working out for a competition I was entering, and I quickly realized my breathing issue went away. It was very strange. So maybe even if a person is not overweight, they can be out of shape and slowly break down if they aren't getting enough exercise. (For context, I was an athlete in high school but stopped in college, and the breathing issues started my junior year of college.)

Extra fun fact, my brother went through almost the exact same thing and went as far as using inhalers (even though he also was tested for asthma and result's were negative). He was very average weight and pretty healthy. He ALSO was cured as soon as he started to work out.
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I have had this problem for years.  I do believe it is anxiety, and many of your other symptoms are the result of sleep deprivation.  However, my endocrinologist isn't convinced I don't have an adrenal problem.  Sometimes my bloodwork is fine (almost always in fact), but sometimes it is not.  I would suggest having the bloodwork re-run, and maybe re-run again soon after that.  Bloodwork is like taking a quick peek into what is going on inside, but sometimes it takes more than a quick peek to catch an issue.  I do hope it is just anxiety, but I sleep just fine most nights and yet my neurological symptoms and extreme fatigue continue.  It's possible that I am not away that I don't sleep soundly and these are the affects of sleep deprivation.  So many possibilities...  Wishing you well~  
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How many years have you been dealing with this? My problem is that my body isn't automatically inhaling and exhaling. Do you just have a problem with inhaling ?  
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