Thanks for taking the question. For about the past two weeks, I have gradually increasingly felt the need to take a deep breath. It seemed to start after a visit to the Dr's office. He was listening to my lung sounds and had me breathe in and out rapidly several times after which I became lightheaded. He remarked that this was probably due to "chronic hypervetilation" and stated that most people breathe far to shallowly especially with stressful lifestyles. After that I started paying much more attention to my breathing and tried to do "diaphragmatic breathing/deep breathing" more often. Is it possible that I stretched something out or did something wrong that is giving me this feeling? I have also noticed a lot of yawning or partial yawns. I have checked my pulse ox a few times and it normal. I have discomfort in my back around the lower rib cage area (this actually started before this need to take frequent deep breaths)as well as in my neck area (maybe from all the yawning). And I cannot always get the deep breath that I need. What could this be and what type of testing (if any) should I expect from a trip to the Dr. I am 35, non-smoking but was a closet smoker for about 15 yrs and my parents were both heavy smokers. I am otherwise healthy and within normal weight range. I appreciate the opinion as this seems to be getting worse daily and is becoming very annoying!
Usually hyperventilation is related to a condition called panic disorder. This unfortunately is a very bad name. People who suffer from it do not always experience panic-type feelings. In fact, we think that it is a disorder of the very deep part of your brain that controls your breathing. This leads to frightening, but not harmful,
"Chronic hyperventilation syndrome is characterized by a large variety of somatic symptoms induced by physiologically inappropriate hyperventilation and usually reproduced in whole or in part by voluntary hyperventilation.
The symptoms are however real and not imaginary as they are related to the biochemical and physiological changes associated with the fall in PaCO2.
The respiratory symptoms associated with this syndrome include shortness of breath, usually described as "air hunger" - a need to take a deep, satisfying breath, accompanied by a feeling of difficulty in inflating the lungs-, a small dry cough, the impression of a tickle in the throat. Most hyperventilators tend to sigh or yawn frequently and typically adopt a pattern of thoracic instead of diaphragmatic breathing."
Thanks Ellis! One of the reasons I did not run to the ER upon this feeling is because I had a hunch it was related to something like this. The problem is fixing it! I thought I was doing something to help when my Dr. told me I was "probably chronically hyperventilated". I tried to pay attention to my breathing and do more from the diaphagm. I am still going to check this out with a physician to make sure there isn't something more( ie. bronchospasm or something else??????)but I appreciate the link. I will check it out!
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