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can't get a satisfying breath
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can't get a satisfying breath

My daughter is 16 years old.  She does not drink or smoke.  On Dec. 7, she told me that she felt like she couldn't get enough air, so she was yawning.  On Dec. 9, we were in the ER because she felt like  she couldn't breathe.   Tests were run.  X rays were taken.  The doc pronounced her okay.  She had been taking Birth control pills for 2 weeks.  We feared PE, but that was found to not be the case.  She was taking the hormones to regulate her cycle.  She had been having 2 periods a month for a couple of months.  Doc advised to take her off new medication.  

Followed up with PCP.  Did lung function test.  It was fine.  Did thyroid test.  It was also fine.  PCP suggested anxiety.  Put her on Atavan.  She took for 2 days, but side effects made her feel worse.  We reduced stressors in her life, but breathing is still not good.  She knows she is getting 100% oxygen, but she feels like she can't get a satisfying breath.  She wants help, but I don't know where to go.  She says that she doesn't feel anxious.  Breathing problem is all the time, in all places, under all conditions.  

I have asthma, but all docs have dismissed this due to x-rays and lung function tests.  She did have tonsillitis at the beginning of October.  Took antibiotic and had a steroid shot.  After that, periods became heavy and often.  Was also being treated for skin condition on fingers at about the same time.  Using Halobetasol Propionate Ointment nightly.

Uses Zyrtec nightly to control allergies and eczema.

Please help us.  We need to know where to turn.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am 13 years old and I have the same problem. My mom has taken my to the doctor's office multiple times and they have said that I seem to be fine. The thing is is that when I leave I still can't get a satisfying breath. I've had it on and off for about 5 or so years and it is only getting worse. If you happen to find any info on this please tell me too.
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Avatar_n_tn
Man, does that take me back! 10 years ago, my son, 6, said that he "couldn't yawn."  He spent the next 48 hrs in PICU for asthma problem, and was on an inhaler for a fair period.

I think it's asthma.
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Avatar_f_tn
I know exactly what it feels like not to be able to get a satisfying breath..I have been having the same problem for about two or more years. My doctor told me that he thought it was asthma..so we did some testing and he found out that I didn't have it. He also did a lot of other breathing tests, but nothing showed any abnormalities. I have recently talked to another individual who has been having these problems, and she found out that it was in fact something wrong with her lungs and the way that her brain communicates with her lungs. though she was getting plenty of oxygen, her lungs were not sending that signal to her brain. As I find out more, I will try to keep you posted, but good luck with getting her the care she needs.
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Avatar_m_tn
I've had this problem almost daily since I was 4-5.  I am now 63 so I kinow exactly what your daughter is going through.  I do have lung disease but I am positive the feelings of breathless are not related.  I am also confident the sensation is not related to oxygen levels.  I know this because I have had an oxometer and have learned the feeling of breathlessness is not related to oxygen levels.  However, over the years I have found a couple things that help (me).  
The most helpful (for me) is holding my breath.  I take a deep breath and hold it as long as I can then release it...I might have to do this 2-3 times in a row before the feeling of breathlessness will go away.  My hypothesis is that my brain is sensitive to CO2 levels and holding my breath increases the CO2 and ameliorates the feeling.  

Another thing that helps me (sometimes) is taking baking soda.  I'll take 1-3 teaspoons of baking soda in a glass of water over an hour or so.  I think the baking soda may  raise my blood ph level (becoming more base).  Feelings of breathlessness can result from a low (acidic) PH. Instead of taking baking soda you might try an alkaline diet, that is a diet high in fruits and vegitables and low in grains, cheese, meats and legumes.  

You might ask your doctor to check kidney function and ph levels.  

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Avatar_f_tn
I know exactly what everyone is talking about here! I have had this problem for years and I'm 18 years old. Just 3 years ago it started to get worse and my parents really started to notice. It doesn't to seem to be as bad in the mornings but as the day progesses it gets worse and by the end of the day before i go to bed is living HELL! I at starving for a satisfy breath by that time. I'm already tired and then i have to struggle to get a breath, now that is SOOO VERYY FRUSTERATING. Everytime i fail to get a good satisfying breath it makes me so mad that i just end up breakingn down and crying, which only makes things worse because they say to calm down to take deep breathes, well you can't do that when you can't get a good deep breath! I have been to my hometown clinic numerous times just to have him refer me to other specialists. I've been to a pulmanary specialists who ran a number of tests that all came back normal. I have 2 different inhalers, alburteral and symbicort. Neither of them work. They have said i have anxiety, stress, and even may think its acid reflux, which i dont think it is that. The last time i went to the doctor the specialist told me it was a "teenage girl thing" really?! that mad me more mad.
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Avatar_f_tn
WOW! I'm not the only one experiencing this and its enlightening to know i'm not alone. Although i haven't experienced this for as many years and some of you, i have been struggling with the exact same thing for the past year. I went to the doctor and after some testing was told the same things, that its stress or anxiety. After no help at all I was sent packing. I struggle so much to get a satisfying breath that by the end of the day my chest hurts and i too just want to cry. I look forward to the end of the day when i can go to sleep so i don't have to struggle to breath. Very sad.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have the same problem. I went to the doctor, and what they did was test my heart, give me lung x-ray, and also tested me for asthma. Negative on all test, everything was OK. But I tend to wonder..if it is my birth control.
Not only have I been on it for a year, I really have had this problem starting last year as well. I just really don't know how to test if it is my birth control or not. I just think it seem so uncommon for BC to mess with my breathing. I just want it to be solved and I am glad to know I am not the only one!
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Avatar_n_tn
Same problem, feels like I am never caught up on my breaths.  I have to yawn to catch it and sometimes cant even do that.  Not a good feeling.....any suggestions???
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Avatar_f_tn
I have this problem. When I was younger I had really bad OCD and anxiety but got over it on my own. I had this problem then but it left with all the other symptoms. Then now about 10 years later I have te breathing thing again. I get one satisfying breath out of about 8 tries. It scares me to death. I thought I was dying. It causes my throat and chest to hurt and just wears me out. It makes it even worse when you have a cold. I have learned that I need to forget about it. If I see somethig that makes me worry I know the breathing issue will come. It might last a couple days but I know it will get better. Just ignore and forget. Do the things you love and move on. With it the anxiety will move on. Also. Stay away from worrisome situations. You don't need the stress in your life. I hope this helps
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Avatar_m_tn
I am 23, on birth control pills, and have the same symptoms. I have a theory- it's caused by a lack of iodine. I recently bought fancy pink salt without Iodine and my symptoms began a month later. The government has been mixing iodine with regular table salt sinse the 1950's for public health reasons. Iodine in small quantites is needed to prevent certain health problems some of which can lead to thyroid problems and other abnormalties.  That's why some people on this blog claim that eating salt helps them. For whatever reason I think some people are more suseptible to this type of reaction from lack of Iodine than others. LMK if this helps.
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Avatar_m_tn
OMG, I am not alone!!  This started for me when I was 20 and I am now 39. The episodes of not getting a satified full breathe come and go. I will go months with no issues and then it starts up again and each time it starts it seems to last longer and longer. It is extremely frustrating, painful at times and embarrassing when people notice and ask about it. I too have had tests and one doctor says asthma and another says no asthma. Nothing wrong with lungs or thyroid. One doctor said anxiety. I just don't know what to think or do anymore. The post about the brain not getting the right signals of full breathe from the lungs is interesting and I wonder if there is anything to that. Signals in our bodies are "mis-fired" all the time. Even if that is the case, I wonder if there is anything that can be done about it.  Thank you all for sharing, it means so much to me that I am not alone and not crazy!  :)
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Avatar_f_tn
I seem to have a lot of company.  I have trouble getting a satisfying breath, and I find myself yawning or trying to hold my body in just the right position until I get a "good" breath.  But as soon as I get it, if I can get it, it's time to seek another one...goes on and on and on.  Sometimes it's worse than others.  I don't think it's related to anxiey--doesn't feel like a panic attack at all.  I'm 50 and have had this as long as I remember.  I'm active and exercise regularly.  I wonder if my brain and my lungs aren't communicating--I read about this earler--sounds interesting and promising.
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Avatar_m_tn
all the posts in this thread sound related to what i am going through, i have had this problem for about 3 years... the feeling of not being able to breath is frustating, i have it all year long, non stop, i just gets worse at times, i went to the doctor once and he sent me to the ER to get my heart checked... everything came out be normal, i have done my reaserch and found out it could be anxiety.. i do think i have a axiety because worrying situations trigger the breathing problem, but what makes me wonder if its anxiety or not is that i also have constatnt phlegm in my throat.. clear phlegm.. and sometimes feel my chest congested on my throat tight, feels like asthma... i read about the holding your breath for a couple of seconds for your body to have time to get more oxygen for every breath and that seemed to help a little, unlike you guys i am not happy that am not the only one, this thing *****, and i wish nobody had it, hope we all find a solution for this problem.
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Avatar_m_tn
using a vicks vaporizer at night helps me breath better for a little, that makes me think i might have an allergy, or infection in my respiratory airways.. since for a couple of months i had constant tonsil stones coming from the back of my throat..
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Avatar_m_tn
something the doctor told me, and was the reason he sent me to the ER, is that my heart beats are too slow, and when i was in the ER the wouldnt let me fall asleep cuz they said when i fall asleep my heart beat speed decreases even more. i do have noticed that when i realx my breaths are very shallow, i wonder if my heart beats being slow, have something to do with my breathing problems... has anybody else have this heart beats thing?
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Avatar_m_tn
Occasionally can't get a deep breath, always while in bed when trying to sleep. May be related to my sleep apnea or asthma. Lung test indicated no problem there; heart okay. Possibly TB or emphysema related? Also feels like I have "tight" cold congestion, but no mucus appears. When I do cough (moderately), it feels like I need to cough harder, but am afraid to. And afterwards it's sometimes hard to breath. At times just feels like there's something in my chest (could be tense muscles or from actual asthma condition). And at times when I eat feels like I'm swallowing mucus with the food. Have experienced these symptoms for about two years now.
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Avatar_m_tn
Agreed on basically all accounts.  I can't get a satisfying breath either.  I think it could be anxiety related but it's hard to tell.  I do think that when I'm focused on something, my breathing seems better, espeically when it's something positive, but I have no idea what causes my lack of being able to get a satisfying breath.  It started for me about 5 years ago and I'm not sure what caused it.  Not to promote drinking, but the times I do get a little buzzed or even a bit drunk, I feel my breathing is better.  Maybe it's due to feeling relaxed, or not worrying about things as much, but that's obviously not a solution, but maybe it has something to do with effects on blood, oxygen, etc.  I don't know all the body chemistry that goes along with drinking, I just know I seem to typically breath better.  Also, I've found that on days when I'm a little hungover/dazed, my breathing is better as well.  Again, maybe has something to do with not worrying about anything at that particular moment.  I'm not sure, but just thought I'd relay that in case someone can make a correlation between that and finding a solution.  (Again, I don't think drinking is the solution).  
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Avatar_f_tn
I've got the same issue. I am on zoloft now. I work a stressful job with FedEx and so I'm on adrenalin most of the day. Since this problem started I have had to be on something for it otherwise I feel like I'm going to hyperventilate when I'm under pressure. It *****. It's taken over my life in so many ways and led to depression and anxiety. it could be several things really, stress induced asthma, kidney issues (I donated one to my late brother), adrenal fatigue or just plain anxiety. It could also simply be something that is caused by overly thinking about breathing. I have recently heard that if you consciously ignore the urge to take a deep breath, it will eventually go away. Your brain was traumatized in a way when u first began fixating on breathing that it now expects a deep breath about every 10 minutes or so. Good luck all!!
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Avatar_f_tn
I have this also and tonight is the first night I have googled it, so surprised to see there are other people with the same symptoms. I was about 10 when the quest for a satisfying breath started, and like many people here it has come and gone over the years. I am 34 now. I have it now again and it makes me feel panicky sometimes because I feel like I can't breath at all, like I am drowning or something. Like others here, I am anxious by nature but am unsure if this is related, as I recently had a stressful period and didn't have this, and now things are more settled and I do have it. Two things I wonder about-when I was at school I had a reaction to the TB jab and was told I must have had TB,which I haven't. Secondly I have never tracked a correlation however I wonder if it is related to hayfever? I have never seen a doctor about it as I only recently managed to put the feeling into words. I wish I could know what it is. I don't think it can be related to my birth control as I was not taking it at 10!!!
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