Air Hunger, a very aggravating CFS symptom, & what helped me...

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by DeborahLynn, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. DeborahLynn

    DeborahLynn Member

    Air hunger, the feeling like I can never get a satisfying breath of air, has been one of the most distressing symptoms of CFS for me. After years of struggling with this symptom, I found out that you can breathe in for four seconds, hold for seven seconds, and breathe out for nine seconds, and it would relieve that air hunger temporarily. If I did this breathing exercise, after a couple of times, I could usually finally "catch my breath," and the air hunger would temporarily subside.

    But, now I've found something that has helped me far more - vitamin B12! When I started supplementing my diet with nutritional yeast food flakes, which contain v. B12, very soon I began to be able to "catch my breath!" Only 2 tsp. a day gives the body the required amount of B12 needed. I still have to take deep breaths often - the frequent sighing that is a symptom of CFS- but now that air hunger is satisfied with each sigh! I am so relieved and happy about it!

    I am a vegetarian/vegan, and since v. B12 is found mainly in meat and fish, I wasn't getting enough. But at first, I shied away from taking the yeast flakes, since yeast overgrowth in the intestine is a frequent cause of IBS, fatigue, malabsorbtion, etc., and I didn't want to add to that problem. But so far, after having taken the nutritional yeast food flakes, I haven't experienced any of the symptoms of intestinal yeast overgrowth. I take a probiotic just in case, though.

    (A couple of my favorite ways to eat the nutritional yeast food flakes are to:sprinkle them over popcorn, and also to sprinkle them over toast and butter - yum yum! I sprinkle them over entrees, put them in the green drink I drink every meal, etc. There are recipes that use them, also. It is a great way to flavor many vegan or vegetarian dishes.)

    I am so blessed and relieved that the Lord brought me to this knowledge! I hope it will help someone else, too!

  2. Nanie46

    Nanie46 Moderator


    Just passing along some information.....

    Air hunger is a classic symptom of an infection called Babesiosis....caused by a protozoa, Babesia.

    It is an infection of red blood cells that is transmitted by tick bites.

    It is often found in patients with other tick borne illnesses like Borrelia burgdorferi (lyme) and Bartonella.

    Tests for Babesia are not always accurate since experts believe that there are at least 13 species of Babesia, perhaps as many as 24, and tests are currently available to detect only 2 species.

    Chronic infections such a Borellia burgdorferi, Bartonella and Babesiosis commonly cause Chronic fatigue syndromes and Fibromyalgia syndromes.

    Here is some info on tick borne infections such as Babesiosis:

    In the above paper, air hunger is discussed on page 26....Babesia is discussed at length on pages 22-24.

    A comprehensive symptom list for tick borne infections is on p 9-11......complete info on lyme, Bartonella, Babesia and Ehrlichia on p 22-27.

    I completely understand that your symptoms fit the description of CFS.....mine fit fibromyalgia.....however, we are told that there is "no known cause" of those illnesses.

    Everything has a cause, you just have to find it. It is likely that the cause of your CFS is infectious. It is very possible that you have tick-borne infections, just like many other people here, including me, have eventually discovered.

    Lyme should never be ruled out with just a lab test. That is a mistake that 99% of Dr's make every day.

    I'd be glad to help you in any way that I can.
    [This Message was Edited on 09/04/2009]
  3. DeborahLynn

    DeborahLynn Member

    I have talked with doctors about Lyme, and looked into getting the IGenx lyme tests, but they were just too expensive. I went to a lifestyle center for 18 days in Feb/March of this year, and on their program, I have gotten much better. I asked the doctors while there what would be the best way to combat lyme when a person doesn't have much money. They said the best thing to do is to eat as healthy as possible, get plenty of fresh air, drink plenty of water, rest, exercise to tolerance, get sunshine daily if possible, hydrotherapy treatments, and trust in God. I have kept on improving as I stick to this plan as close as I possibly can.

    I guess if you can give your body what it needs, it can better fight off infection and viruses, etc. It's the best thing I can do for right now. If the symptoms grow worse, and if I have the $$ in the future, I will look into getting the lyme testing done.

    Thanks for your replies; have a great weekend!

  4. Nanie46

    Nanie46 Moderator


    I empathize with you and many others who are unable to seek proper diagnosis and treatment for lyme and associated coinfection because the IDSA denies the existance of chronic lyme and insurance co's believe them so they don't have to pay.

    Hopefully ILADS has exposed enough evidence at the recent IDSA review hearing in July and the guidelines will be changed. I'm probably being too hopeful about that though, since the IDSA panel members are the ones ultimately making the decisions about what gets changed and what doesn't.

    Here is a link that explains the 2 views on treating lyme.....

    There is a supplement that is an antiparasitic agent that patients with Babesia often take.

    It is called Artemisia. It also comes in a form called artimisinin.

    Sometimes people with Babesia herx hard on it.

    I take Artemisia along with my meds.

    I am glad you have felt better following the diet/exercise/rest/sunshine/faith regime.

    I agree that it does help to do those things. For me, eating sugar or processed foods with sugar or corn syrup is suicide.

    The Lyme bacteria thrives on sugar.

    All the best to you for continued healing.
  5. jole

    jole Member

    I was diagnosed with FM 6 years ago, having had it much longer than that, but approximately 6 years ago became "overnight" so ill I could not function. After all these years of searching and trying so many different docs and meds, I don't feel I've gotten much better. I have taken the B complex and haven't noticed any difference.

    Through it all, I too have had the problems with getting a good breath...shallow breathing, to the point of actually having to remind myself to breathe at times.

    A year ago, while seeing a very controversial doctor, he stated he didn't feel I had FM at all, but rather felt it was Lyme. As with others, I could not afford the tests, but he said all the signs were there. However, he wouldn't treat me for it, and there are no LLMDs in this area.

    I do know sugar causes my pain to esculate terribly, and I try to avoid it, but oh my do I have terrible cravings. I went on the Atkins Diet shortly after being diagnosed and couldn't really tell any difference at that time. Maybe I'll try it again.

    Nanie46, where did you get the Artemisia? Is it a prescription drug? I really need to try something. I do take quite a few supplements along with my meds, but seem to fluctuate between no sleep and too much sleep, very shallow breathing with oxygen hunger, constantly cold, fibro fog and of course the pain. Those are my main symptoms..with depression, anxiety/panic attacks,swollen glands, sore throats, etc.

    Will check out the sites you mentioned for any additional info. Thanks.....Jole

    [This Message was Edited on 09/04/2009]
  6. Nanie46

    Nanie46 Moderator


    Artemisia is not a prescription drug. It is a supplement.

    I buy the Nutricology brand. Another brand that I'm told is really good is Allergy Research Group.

    Your symptoms sound like Lyme, babesia and bartonella..........
  7. Nanie46

    Nanie46 Moderator


    Here are links to Babesia info from a blog written by a Lyme literate MD. Every one of his entries about tick borne diseases is fascinating.......

    (you can learn alot about lyme patient's symptoms, bartonella, fibromyalgia, how patients can present looking like they have parkinson's, MS, lupus etc from reading his other entries)
  8. Bluebottle

    Bluebottle New Member

    I had this for ages & my family doctor just sneered that it was because I 'refused to exercise' (i use a wheelchair when out).

    From private live blood microscopy I was diagnosed with the parasitic lung worm cryptostrongylus pulmoni & prescribed Ivermectin.

    The ME/CFS/fibro/Lyme hasn't gone, but the breathlessness has. It seems to me that our bodies are unable to rid themselves of the pathogens that 'normal' peoples bodies can, & that we are infected by perhaps many more than one.
  9. DeborahLynn

    DeborahLynn Member

    Thanks, everyone, for your replies! I want to know what helps others! Gotta go pick up my daughter - I'll check back later.

    Thanks again! Deb