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Avatar universal

Constant Shortness Of Breath-Gerd-Constant Clearing of throat

Hi,im a 22 year old male and i've been dealing with this constant shortness of breath for over 6-7 years now. I written on a forum about this before but just hadd to write one again. Its hard to say but doctors have no idea what's wrong with me.I see so mnay people dealing with this problem and it seems like theres no diagnosis. It just strated outta the blue I went to take a deep breath and i couldnt get that last bit of hair to satisfy the breath and this whole vicious cycle started. After that for about 2 years i was constantly taking deep breaths and not able to get a satisfied breath. I WAS CONSTANTLY YAWNING>SIGNING AND TAKIN UNSATISFIED DEEP BREATH ALL DAY LONG. I had reached the point when i was staying home in my bed just hoping i would die so it would stop.  After 2 years or so it seemed to just go away. It then came back right after i smoked a cigarette . Ever since then its been an ongoing struggle. I feel as if i have no control of my life, and im constantly thinking of my breathing. I feel hopeless and feel as if no one understands what im going through or that i have this disease that doctors cant detect. My doctor has put me on xanax for anxiety and it seemed to cut the edge off a lil but its still there. Its not as bad as when i first got it but it still disrupts my life. I can only work 2 days, i don't go to school  and i don't have much of a happy life .I've gone to cardiologist, ent's, gi's, pulmonary doctors. I've gone through xrays, PFT, EKG, stress tests, endoscopy . Only thing i have is GERD/LPR with sinsation of lump in throat and a very small irregular heart beat. I also am constantly clearing my throat.I heard that can be because of the Gerd/LPR. I just took a new PFT test and my breathing is normal. i did have a deviated septum but got that fixed..My lung specialist says its just all in my head and that i have this because ive become aware of my breathing pattern. i've used advair, singular and breathing pumps for asthma with no results. when im sitting or laying down its seems to be fine but when i stand up or move it kicks in more. I'm losing hope on what's going on with me. Does anyone have this?If so can anyone recommend anything else i should look for? the only thing i really want to do is a MRI or CT scan but doctors say 99 percent sure nothing will show.Has anyone heard of chronic hyperventilation syndrome? or phrenic nerve damage?cant shortness of breath and gerd be related if anyone can be of help please email me or post a message?
29 Responses
212161 tn?1537898045
plz never give up, am so sorry your going throught this, i have short of breath when am in anxiety, and now they say i have asthmas, so there are times i really cant breath so i know how it is, its no fun , but the thing you need to remember is if you have had that long we both know its not going to kill you thats a great thing, but trying to live with it is bad, everyone likes to breath and when you feel like your not its very scarey, so sorry that your not living like you should your so young and have a lot of living to do,  glad your at least working some , i think its anxiety to ,you have had a full work over and thank GOD they have found you to healthy, i have gerd to and heart papations pac/pvs and they make me feel short of breath sometimes, when am scared its worse yesterday i had some asthma could not breath good so my anxiety kicked in and made it worse once i calmed down it got better . i hope you have some one to talk to when you feel like this and that they understand  and are there for you , but we are here for you to. so write when you need to. sorry am not much help but just wanted you to know we are here for you . hope you have a better day today and i will pray for you . Barbara
372680 tn?1228165210
I'm not entirely sure what you're dealing with, but make sure you don't have any family history of these symptoms.  With this set, it could really be any number of things so it will be hard to figure it out, but it sounds like your doctors are working very hard to help you.  My initial thought was an anxiety disorder, and if the drug for that seemed to take the edge off, then perhaps work with some other anti-anxiety medicines?  Also, if you haven't already, don't ever smoke a cigarette again and try not to spend too much tired around the smoke or smell.  :P
Avatar universal
    Just an idea but have you tried swimming to control your breathing pattern? I’m a qualified swimming Teacher/Coach and I have a number of younger swimmers you struggle with their breathing pattern.
    If you think swimming might be of some help to you please feel free to ask for more information if needed.

Avatar universal
thanks barbara for your response and very kind thoughts. i hope one day i will understand what is goin on with me-its really great that these forums exsist
Avatar universal
I have asthma cough (tickle cough) found when I swallow I cough but IF I hold myself not to swallow--I don't cough!

I have also discovered that while working out in the gym (weight resistance machines) after a  professional physical therapy person told me to do this, I blow OUT when I pull on muscles (like sit ups) and breathe in when I lay down (or lean back).

I have discovered that in the gym while exercising and concentrating on breathing out when pulling the muscles--I DO NOT COUGH!!

SO--swimming or other exercise where you watch and concentrate on your breathing might help!

Good luck!
212161 tn?1537898045
hi zam how have you been last few days , i wanted to check see if you been to dr or find out anything to help you . Barbara
Avatar universal
hi heartflutter, the last information i recieved from my doctor was that my Pulmonary Fuction Test was normal-im happy and sad at the same time receiving that result. I've actually been told that bidfeedback and accupunture should really help with whats goin on with me-so i guess my next step is trying something along those lines-thanks for the thoughts and god bless
Avatar universal
My 11 year has identical symptoms to yours she is treated for Asthma but the pediatrician seems to think it is Vocal Cord Dysfunction An unknown to much of the medical community. Look for a special pulmunologist who specializes in this Not an ENT. My daughter has been tested for GERD and we may do it again But their is a type of asthma according to our pulmunologist that is restriction of the small airways that causes the feeling of not being able to get air in . The only thing that has brought change for my daughter is Pulmicort daily 3 puffs and albuterol inhaler every 4 hours. and 6 inhales in an hour when symptoms are bad This has really helped Its not 100% cure but it is the best winter she has ever had She has heart racing too and this is definitely med related and anxiety related . There is a lot of fear that comes naturally when you feel you can not breathe Don't be so hard on yourself and go back to a special pulmunologist who has more knowledge and see if it is VCD Vocal cord dysfuntion or some special kind of asthma Another thing you should do is have a complete allergy testing done and log what you eat and when this is happening it could be an allergy to food or something in the environment. Good luck and keep looking for answers. You will find help You should print this and take with to your doctor visits
I'll keep you in my prayers . My daughter feels your same pain and feelings
Avatar universal
hi peanut and thanks for the infor-has your daughter been diagnosed with VCD or is she being treated for the asthma?-my doctors thought i had asthmas andbut me on a bunch of meds but none of them helped-my internist then sent me to a pulmonologist and sent me for a pulmonary fuction test and that came back 100 percent normal so im at a road block-have u found a pulmunologist who has knowlege of this? what makes the peditrician think its VCD? thanks and best regards
Avatar universal
I have had the same thing going on for the last few months. Severe shortness of breath and feeling like I cant get a good breath it is worse with just simply getting up and walking across the room. I too have GERD and irregular heart beat,pain in my throat and right ear, and sometimes a feeling of someone choking me while im eating . I have had every test you can imagine the past few months .All comming back normal. Then I was reading on the net that SEVERE  GERD can cause all these  symptoms , the acid irritates the vegas nerve in your thoat (which regulates your heart rate) thus causing irregular and fast heart beats. It can also cause asthma like symptoms with completely normal lung function test.  I have been taking 300 mg of zantac twice a day for the past 3 to 4 mts and has really helped a lot . I forgot my zantac one night and had  terrible acid reflux and all the symptoms were back the next day... throat pain , shortness of breath , heart skipping and beating fast upon any exertion.  Hope this helps .
Avatar universal
You have hyperventilation syndrome! Please look it up in a search engine! Everything you have mentioned above is exactly what I had. The doctors always miss it, or they purposely avoid using it as the diagnosis.

Look it up, and all this suffering will end for you!

if you still need help, email me a hammerjang22 at yahoo.com
Avatar universal
Hi Zam, I have exactly, I mean EXACTLY what you're having!! I cant believe I found someone who has the same exact problem as mine. I've been having mine for about 2 years and am sad to say that it has not been cured. I'm 36 yrs old and I'm not giving up! I have done my research and I'm almost convinced that I have Hyperventilation syndrome which cause me to have GERD.. or the other way around, though I'm convinced it's the 1st one.

Anyway, I'm now trying some breathing exercises from breathing.com, about to take Yoga, and taking some GERD medicine from my doc. Will come back to you in 2 weeks, or you can email me at deby.vk at gmail.com

Hope we can be cured together, let's not loose hope!
1200240 tn?1289343287
I have Asthma and GERD and i understand whats happening to you. It can be confusing where shortness of breath is concerned. Only last week i was confused as to whether my Asthma was playing up as i was having trouble with my breathing. I took my peak flow and that seemed ok and then i realised it was GERD that was causing my problem, i to have had a lump in my throat before now that felt like i was being strangled which was most painful and is one of GERD symptoms. With any health condition its is best to try to stay calm.I have suffered Asthma since 1953 and find the breathing exercises do help, but you must stay calm and persivere with the breathing exercises, it even helps me to overcome GERD situations too. I have experienced pain ( as in throat) which fluctuates from throat to stomache to tummy area and back for over an hour, then it just disappeared as if nothing had happened, at the time it was really frightening and keeping calm and trying to do breathing exercises  is difficult at times like this, but it can help the situation...I hope this helps
Avatar universal
OMG....  I have been going through this for years...  I thought I was so alone, I hate this and don't know what is causing it...  I've had many tests done and everything comes back fine.  I do have gerd and also anxiety problems but to think that is the cause of not being able to breath just doesn't seem right to me.  When I read your post I had to call my husband in to read it too...  it was just as if I had written it...   I feel fine in the mornin when I get up but as soon as I start doing my things forget about it...  I smoked from like 77 until 92 so my husband thinks that's the reason for my problem but I think not....  so glad I found this site and now know I'm not alone.  xo
Avatar universal
I have the same symptoms and have had them for years.
I finially decided to try all of the over the counter meds for acid reflux.

Prilosec worked at first. Then I stopped because I was able to breathe again and then went back on it when the symptoms returned. This time, it didn't work at all (apparently, dont do that as it sometimes will NEVER work again if you stop)

Prevacid kinda worked but I had all of the side effects.

Now I am on Zantac 150 once a day. If that doesn't work, I will go to 300 mg/day (2 pills)

My next step is Pepcid, then Tagamet HB

I can still take Prilosec but it actually makes my voice sound like Don Corleone's (from the GodFather). When I go off it, my symptoms seem to clear up all together but then come back 3-5 days later.

Zantac 150 seems to be working.

Your issues are exactly like mine, A few things to help in the meantime:

Drink a glass of saltwater (1 tbsp of iodized table salt)

With arms at your side, inhale a good quick breath while you lift your arms quickly (still fully extended). By the time you finish that one quick inhale, your hands should be at shoulder height.

Sing...this helps me trmendously but feeling the effects of songing are delayed. You may need to sing for 20 minutes before feeling better. I believe this works because of when you are allowed to breathe (you know, between words and such)

In a sitting position with your hands on your thighs (arms extended in front of you), push down on your thighs with out bending your arms. Do this while taking a quick depp breathe.

I thought I was allergic to something I was eating - something common in foods. Turns out it is just GERD. I have a small beer gut and I recently lost 14 lbs which seemed to help alot. When my symptoms are real bad, i drink a soda, despite what the docs say. It seems to help *temporarily*.

Anxiety - I know all about it. All I can tell you is quit looking in the rear view mirror and start paying attention to the "right now"

Avatar universal
I have a 10 year old daughter that experiences shortness of breath all day, she is afraid to eat solids as she says they get stuck in her throut. She has lost 8lbs in 2 months due to not eating. I feed her ensure, boost and lots of whey protein shakes. My daughter also has a barking cough and brings up green phlem. She has also had a history of Iron deficiency and constipation. She has low hemoglobin, hemocrit and RBC counts. I have done quite a bit of research on these issues, trying to put them together. I think my daughter has anemia. She is currently being tested for this. Shortness of breath can be caused by anemia. Over time, so can difficulty swallowing. If it is chronic anemia deficiency (currently being tested for) This could explain the phlem and the barking cough. She is also being tested for alergies that could be causing this. I posted my experience, because I wonder if some others with shortness of breath could be iron deficient or anemic and not realize it?
Avatar universal
I'll briefly explain. It is caused by over breathing which messes up the balance of carbon dioxide and oxygen. Everyone on this post has chronic hyperventilation I am sure of it. Your blood HAS to have the proper amount of carbon dioxide to be able to deliver the oxygen to the cells including the brain cells. Over breathing blows off to much carbon dioxide and the oxygen just rides around in the blood but can't make the exchange to the cells due to the low carbon dioxide. The result you feel out of breath because you are. Your cells are not getting enough oxygen. It is a cycle that you get caught in and it is difficult to break because when you feel out of breath you want to breath more but actually you need to breath less so that your carbon dioxide will build back up. If you've been this way for a long time it could take months to fully recover but you will. When there is no proper balance in oxygen and carbon dioxide it is called respiratory alkalosis. Your cells are starving for oxygen that is why you feel the way you do!

Do this: Keep you mouth closed and always breath through your nose: first point. Next expel all of your breath from your lungs through your nose and hold your breath as long as you can with your lungs empty. When you can't hold any longer slowly draw in air through your nose. Pause then let it out slowly again and hold your breath again with your lungs empty. Do this for no less than twice a day for 30 minutes. It may be hard but you HAVE TO build up your carbon dioxide. I promise you the CO is totally to low from gasping for air all the time and your respiratory center in your brain has now been conditioned to NOT allow enough carbon dioxide. That is why you and everyone on this post is stuck! Breathing less is the ONLY way to reverse it!
Avatar universal
You do not have GERD, GERD is just a name assigned to a set of symtoms you have in order to sell you pills.   If you believe you have a disease, then you also believe you have no power to fix it and are dependent on pills to supress the symptoms and will never be cured.    

You are overbreathing and need to reduce your breathing rate.  Inhale slow, and shallow for 3-4 seconds and exhale slowly for 8 seconds. Do not inhale deeply, I know you feel that you are not getting a deep enough breath but it is because you are breathing too much you are having this sensation and actually need to inhale less.   This should be your normal breathing pattern.  No more than 4-5 breaths per minute.  The more you conciously reduce your breathing, your mind will be programmed to maintain that rate unconciously.  When you overbreathe, usually due to stress, you expell CO2 quickly and your Sympathetic Nervous system is activated.  In this state, the smooth muscle(LES) at the GI junction will not function and you will develop GERD like symptoms, bloating, IBS, Chronic Fatigue, and a whole host of problems.  The longer you can hold your breath, the healthier you will be.  Look into the breathing aspects of yoga and you will see that holding your breath is key.  Your doctor will not diagnose you with this as it does not benefit him.
Avatar universal
My situation is very similar to many of yours. After 10 months of being out of work, seeing many doctors, having many tests (all normal), and living with a restricted level of activity so not to trigger my symptoms, I was finally sent to an ENT doctor for suspected vocal cord dysfunction (also called paradoxical vocal fold motion). I found many similarities between my situation and what is written in the literature.

I just started working with a Speech-Language Pathologist for respiratory retraining and  she said she sees quite a lot of this, especially in females and young athletes-quite often swimmers.

Anyways, I'm not saying this is what you have but I wanted to add this information just in case. Here are some sites to check out for more information.




I wish you all good health!

Avatar universal
I have also had very similar experiences, but less severe, I think. I sense that I am not getting enough oxygen no matter how deeply I inhale. The bits I read on here about overbreathing are interesting. That's the first time I've read that and I believe it is true. I also do think it is very mental. I have previously been on anti-depressants for anxiety, and my breathing problems were the worst when I was anxious, although, currently, I am experiencing this again (haven't in a year or two) and I don't think I am particularly anxious, but then again, maybe I am. For me the shortness of breath always begins or is exacerbated when I have my period (and maybe when I don't get a full night's sleep). And of course, being conscious of it only makes it SO much worse. I would not think it is a disease, though, am only speculating. I think it is probably a combination of anxiety (being overly aware of the problem) and fatigue. I would think that meditating is probably the number one best solution, which of course takes lots and lots of practice, and, I think, is extremely difficult at first, especially if you can't stop thinking about you're breathing. We all need to find ways to relax.
Have you tried massage?
1991423 tn?1326896205
well i also go through the same thing but i was given a remedy for a month and it works. This remedy is to use lemons. You should do this for one month. Day 1 squeeze one lemon and drink it. Day 2 squeeze two lemons and drink it. Day 3 squeeze 3 lemons and drink it, until you reach 30 lemons you squeeze them and drink them.

You find that in most cases you can thin blood vessels and as such you are not suppose to drink cold drinks and cold water. If you can afford drink a glass of red win every day which is good for digestion and your heart.

This has worked for me. Check the fat in your blood aswell. Wish you all the best.
Avatar universal
I have exactly what you have and could relate completely
I've seen cardio, respiratory, gastro and was told the same thing it's gerd atypical and take pills but it doesn't help. I've only been dealing w it however for the last 2 years and it's debilitating. My next step is naturopath, alcat and alternative medicine. I've also decided to go off wheat, gluten for a few months to see if there is relief. Hang in there you are not alone.
Avatar universal
Have you tried the Buteyko breathing method to cure your asthma and GERD?  It has helped me tremendously and I have some of the symptoms you are describing...please try it out or contact me and I will try to help you by phone.  Robert
Avatar universal
Have you tried the Buteyko breathing method to cure your asthma and GERD?  It has helped me tremendously and I have some of the symptoms you are describing...please try it out or contact me and I will try to help you by phone.  Robert
Avatar universal
Please look up the "Buteyko Breathing Method" for asthma...it will cure asthma and help with GERD also.
Avatar universal
I feel like this threat was all written by me. The symptoms are EXACTLY what I deal with on a day-to-day basis and I feel relief just knowing there are people out there feeling the same way. I am pretty functional and go to work every day, but it's a struggle not to have a day without real panic at different points in the day. I have been diagnosed with BOTH Anxiety and Gerd (like many of you). I used to take pepcid for the GERD which was semi helpful, then tried nexium which gave me side effects that I hated so I stopped. I was not perscribed Zantac 150 mg twice a day, which I plan on starting in the next few days. I have severe inability to clear my throat, feels like I constantly am clearing away mucus, and when I breath it feels like the breath isnt going in easily and I can't get the full breath, like many of you are describing. It is awful and I hate living this way. In addition to the Zantac, I am seeing a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner on Monday to talk about trying an anti anxiety med again (hated side effects the first time) I am extremely sensitive to meds ( either in my head or I just feel every side effect) but I do not want to suffer anymore so I am being more proactive. I also just had a physical this week so I am looking forward to getting all my blood work back and making sure all else is normal. I was also told to try an allergy med for my mucusy through (antihistamine) to try to dry out some of what feels almost like a drip, and to possibly see an ENT if this is actually helpful. I almost want to go see a pulmanologist after reading all of these threads just to make sure everything is okay with my lung function. I'm sure everyone I know will just think its me being a hypocondriac again, but I like to rule everything out. Thank you everyone for making me not feel alone!!!
Avatar universal
It can be confusing where shortness of breath is concerned. Not every time you are out of breath or having trouble in breathing does it mean that your asthma is playing. With any health condition, it is best to stay calm and analyze your situation. Try to perform your breathing exercise.
20796814 tn?1510187216
Have you tried massage?
Avatar universal
Have you tried being tested for allergies?
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