Breathing Problems and Fibromyalgia

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by dhcpolwnk, Sep 11, 2002.

  1. dhcpolwnk

    dhcpolwnk New Member

    Can anybody tell me about breathing problems associated with fibromyalgia? I have been having some mild asthma-like symptoms for the past year or so, and all of my tests--heart, lung, etc.--have come back negative (although I found out that I have a "minimal lung defect"). I had pretty much concluded that the "minimal lung defect" may have been the result of aspirating acid as a result of GERD, and that this could be causing the breathing problems. However, after being diagnosed with fibromyalgia and reading a little about it, I'm beginning to wonder if the fibro could be involved. I'd be grateful for any information you can share.

    Thank you.


  2. dhcpolwnk

    dhcpolwnk New Member

    Can anybody tell me about breathing problems associated with fibromyalgia? I have been having some mild asthma-like symptoms for the past year or so, and all of my tests--heart, lung, etc.--have come back negative (although I found out that I have a "minimal lung defect"). I had pretty much concluded that the "minimal lung defect" may have been the result of aspirating acid as a result of GERD, and that this could be causing the breathing problems. However, after being diagnosed with fibromyalgia and reading a little about it, I'm beginning to wonder if the fibro could be involved. I'd be grateful for any information you can share.

    Thank you.


  3. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    Laura, I have bronchitis, and it does cause breathing problems sometimes.

    I take a herbal formula called: 'Breathe Easy', its put out by 'Traditional Medicinals', can be bought in most health food stores and some supermarkets.

    I fix it with a little honey, and a plain Rose Hips tea bag too. It even tastes good this way.

    Its really great for breathing.

    Hope this helps. As you can see I am big on supplements and herbals!

    I don't do well with prescription drugs anymore.

    Shalom, Shirl
  4. Deonmc

    Deonmc New Member

    Hello Laura,

    When I am having a bad flare-up,my breathing is labored.As I begin to feel better,this goes away. I would like to know if others have this problem.

    Good Day To You

  5. BluEyes

    BluEyes New Member

    For quite some time (a year or more) I have had this nagging pain under my right ribs. I have to put my fingers slightly up and under my rib cage to be ab le to "touch" the pain. I find if I rest (for an hour or so... to a few days or so) it gets better and even goes away for a while. If I push myself, I find it just gets worse, to the point that it affects my breathing (I can only take shallow breaths). Also, the longer I try to fight it, the more pain I find myself in. The pain radiates up under my ribcage "inside" my chest cavity and up through my collar bone area. If I don't rest, it will continue to intensify until I am literally in tears.

    I don't know if this is the type of pain you are referring to, but this is the one that I have when I over-do it.

  6. dhcpolwnk

    dhcpolwnk New Member

    Deon mentioned having labored breathing during a flare-up. I'm so new to fibromyalgia, I'm not sure I can tell when I'm having a flareup of this condition--partly because I'm used to thinking about flarups in terms of my MS. Can anybody explain to me a little more specifically just what constitutes a fibromyalgia flareup?


    And by the way, thanks to all of you who have bee responing to all of my many questions about this condition. Both the information you have shared and, especially, your kindness and support are very much appreciated.


  7. contessa

    contessa New Member

    I can't breath in hot humid weather, cold damp weather brings on asthma-like symptoms. Lately, I can't even walk across my yard (approx 100 feet) without gasping for breath. I was on Salagen for dry mouth and Doc told me to stop talking it. Found out Salagen side affect can cause breathing problems. I'd gotten to the point where I couldn't get a full lung of air even when resting. That has gone away but the other continues. A walk around the neighborhood is impossible. I'm going to try and get heart stress test done to rule out other causes. But I never had this until a year or so ago.
  8. Dara

    Dara New Member

    I also have asthma like symptoms and chronic bronchitis. I know that when I am having an anxiety attack it is worse, feel like I'm not getting any air and am going to pass out. I also have extreme problems when it is sultry or humid out, feels like the air is too heavy to breathe.

  9. Annette2

    Annette2 New Member

    I have been having shortness of breath for a few years now. I finally went to my family dr. He checked my lungs, my heart, and I had a pulmonary function test and a treadmill-echocardiogram. They all came back normal. He thought it might be due to anxiety. I increased my medications and it is much better. I also get pains on the left side under my breast. My gastroenterologist told me it is a backup of (pardon the expression) feces. It occurs when I eat too much at one time. If that's where your pain is, try eating smaller meals. Isn't this fun??????

  10. ohmyaching

    ohmyaching New Member

    Have you been to see a doctor about your pain. Don't assume all symptoms are CFS or FM. I've been having pain just up under my ribcage and thought it might be my gallbladder. I had a sonogram done and the doctor said possibly it was my gallbladder. Pain under the ribcage on the right side where your gallbladder is located is very common with gallstones. I've been trying to do gallbladder flushes to prevent having to remove my gallbladder. (I can't recommend the flushes because there is the possiblity of serious complication and to recommend them without mentioning this risk doesn't seem right.) You should see a doctor, not only could they check you for possible gallstones, but also for other things such as ulcers. No sense suffering if it turns out to be something treatable.
  11. ohmyaching

    ohmyaching New Member

    I have the same problem you have. It started out just a little and each year has gotten worse to the point where I can't breathe at all when it gets cold. I'm seriously considering going to Florida this winter just so I can breathe. The doctor wants me to take cortisone inhalers. I want to avoid cortisone. The last time I showed up in her office gasping and choking and wheezing and unable to breathe she gave me the prescription for cortisone. I took it and then went home and proceeded to follow a strict nonsugar diet for that of candida. Because I had been so bad off she couldn't believe when I came back appearing to be so much better without using her prescription. I know from experience that an anticandida diet will help, but even though I showed her living proof that treating candida helps me I still can't persuade her to give me nystatin and do a regular program for candida eradication. Actually having had endometriosis I'd like to try the Endometriosis Assoc. recommendation for treating immune disease by treating candida, monitoring hormone levels and treating allergies by desensitization. For now, until I can find an "enlightened" doctor, I use an Intal inhaler and consider moving someplace warm.
    <br>[<i>This Message was Edited on 09/12/2002</i>]
  12. dlizard

    dlizard New Member

    I have very thick secretions... and cough alot and seem to get choked easily. I frequently have bronchitis. I get this "tired achy" feeling in the bottom of my left lung sometimes and have for many many years.... only rest makes it better. Drinking lots of water helps with secretions... or phelgm. Good luck!
  13. domesticgoddess

    domesticgoddess New Member

    Hi Laura

    I was dx in 90 with FMS. About three years ago, I was so sick from not being able to breath- had the wheezing sound -MIL took me to the Doctor. He immediately called ER & I was went directy to hospital. I was having Severe Asthma.
    After going thru Admissions (Gawd seemed like forever) I was put in a wheelchair & placed in the elavator to go to the third floor. While in that elevator, I began having a Severe Attack - I Coulnt Breathe!

    Never had dx of Asthma before; however, my son (29 now) was dx with it when he was about 8 yrs old.

    I've had Peptic Ulcers before; but, I'm not sure if this was Fibro and/or Ulcer related?

  14. Josiebe11e

    Josiebe11e New Member

    Hello, thought I would weigh in on this one.....I have some breathing difficulty at times, where the bronchial tubes seem to fill with mucas and tighten and it tickles sorta to inhale, and the cough reflex is almost overwhelming. I refer to these "spells" as "breathy things". I think it is (in my case) an allergy response, and the herbal tea Breath Easy has helped me, though it takes awhile. Don't make it so hot that it burns your tongue. Breath Easy contains pseudoephedrine .5mg per cup ,so be careful if you are using other anti-histamines or any other stimulants(caffeine). I've also noticed that very cold drinks can trigger these attacks, or worsen them if they are already underway. I also use Prilosec daily for gastric reflux, which has been associated with asthma. Talk to your doctor, I will be talking to mine at my next appointment as my last attack was pretty scary, I could barely inhale and there was a definite wheeze along with the coughing. I brewed up a cup of Breath Easy and finally it did help. Pseudoephedrine is a bronchio-dialator, and is the active ingredient of Sudephed. I keep some (Sudaphed) on hand, but I only take 1/2 the dose, as I am very sensitive to it, too much causes me to feel very hyper. It will also raise blood pressure. Mine is already a little on the high side. Do not take any breathing problem lightly, there are too many unknowns to ignore the problem or explain it away as stress or your FMS. Love to all of you, Josiebelle
  15. Magnolia

    Magnolia New Member

    Following is some information which everyone should read. I have authored part of if in response to a question about pneumonia asked by KYRock and part of it is some copying and pasting I did on some posts by another member.

    It is all very good information and should be read and not left buried in the archives.

    I hope someone finds something of use in this reply.

    If anyone would like to ask a specific question, my name is Magnolia and I would be glad to answer any questions directed to me.



    The answer to "what's up" isn't one that any of us can answer for sure. There are several possibilities: lack of complete clearing of the first pneumonia; re-infection from same or different bacterium or virus; poor breathing technique accompanied by poor hydration, etc.

    What can you do to help clear it? Suggestions: Be sure to hydrate the air. (A cool mist humidifier/vaporizer while you sleep is an excellent means of doing this. Do not use any "medication" such as Vicks Vapo-Rub or Mentholatum, etc.) Be sure to do deep breathing exercises at least three times a day. Increase your fluid intake (a gallon of water a day if you can manage to get it down).

    I hope this helps.

    P.S. Here is a copy of an earlier post which may help you and others who are interested.

    ***Ms Dee's Breathing Class.... 08/05/02 04:19 PM***

    ...this is not to say that anything said so far is incorrect or incomplete...but...sometimes, hearing the same thing said by several different people is helpful...we may pick up a different important point from all who speak on the subject. So here's Ms Dee's 15-cents worth (inflation, you know.)

    As already stated, diaphragmatic breathing is the way we were created to breathe. If you will watch a baby sleeping on his back, you will see his tummy rise and fall with each respiration...rarely will you see his chest do much of anything...and, if so, there is minimal movement.

    As already mentioned, a good way to train yourself is to lie on your back and place a small weight on your abdomen...on, and slightly above, your bellybutton. If you're not concerned about strengthening the muscles of respiration...just remembering to use them... your two hands with fingers laced across your abdomen will be sufficient resistance.

    The aim of this exercise is to learn to fill your lungs FROM the bottom and to empty them completely all the way down TO the bottom.

    Breathe in slowly through your nose being sure that your tummy rises the first thing and that you continue to breathe in slowly until there is no more room for air.

    Breathe out slowly through "pursed lips" (formed as if you are going to whistle)...the parts of you which expanded when you breathed in should flatten out in reverse order...chest falls first and then abdomen.

    Once you have learned to use your diaphragm for breathing instead of your chest and shoulders, you should continue to do this exercise daily. You should be in a standing position or an erect sitting position. If you are likely to become "dizzy", you should, by all means, do this while seated.

    If done correctly, you will not hyperventilate from doing this exercise for only five breaths in and then out.

    The most important thing about breathing properly is not only how much air you get in...equally important, is how much air you get out.

    When you exhale, do so completely before you take your next inhalation.

    When people are in pain, upset, afraid, or in a state of panic, they often reach a point wherein they feel they are "smothering" or "can't get any air in" and this feeling causes more fear and panic and the situation gets worse and worse until someone intervenes to help the victim get out of the situation into which they have actually put themselves.

    This phenomenon is the result of "breath stacking" is a matter of not being able to get any air in BUT the reason for no air going in is the fact that there's no room in the lungs for it occupy. The lungs are already quite FULL with the air that has not been breathed out properly.

    For one to breathe to maximum benefit, the air must go into the lungs in a smooth flow...not bouncing around the airways causing bronchospasams and must go to the lower and outer areas of the lungs to give any benefit at all. This is the reason for the slow breath in and for taking that breath through the nose.

    To exhale to maximum benefit, the airways must remain open and not collapse due to bronchospasm and the lungs must be emptied as completely as is reasonably possible. This is the reason for the COMPLETE exhalation through "pursed lips" (the pursed lips create a "back-pressure" which keeps the airway at least partially open and functional even in the case of an asthma attack).

    But, assuming that you will never have any "emergency" or reason for concern about your ability to continue breathing, these instructions are vital to proper respiration.

    If these deep breaths are made a part of your daily life, you will be able to reap many benefits. Your tissues will be better oxygenated, the carbon dioxide which is the waste product of our use of oxygen will be eliminated more efficiently and you will feel much better.

    Try doing this exercise at LEAST once a day (5 complete breath cycles)...but, don't forget to do it when you just "don't feel good" it when you are having to exert yourself unduly (and, for some of us this includes the simple act of walking) it when you are feeling it first thing in the morning while sitting on the side of the bed upon it sitting on the side of the bed just before lying down for the night.

    Use it for "everything" just like the Snake Oil Salesmen told their customers to use their products in the olden days...but...unlike the Snake Oil, this WILL help you.

    In friendship and a desire to help others.....MsDee

    And, another one:

    ***07/02/02 12:17 PM***

    Those who have been around smokers for any length of time could have been smoking their own cigarettes with NO MORE harm than they have received from the cigarettes of others.
    Actually, if they had not been inhaling their own "second-hand" smoke (the smoke which comes from a burning cigarette whether anyone is puffing or no), they wouldn't have as MUCH damage. The smoke which comes from the end of the cigarette is much more destructive because it has not passed through the filter.

    Also, just walking outside and breathing the nasty substance which is presented as "fresh air" is extremely destructive in many cases...the level of "destruction" depends upon WHERE one is breathing it. (Elevated level of toxins in manufacturing areas, areas of high traffic flow, etc.) promote better Respiratory Health and to do other wonderful things for your body-as-a-whole, there are breathing exercises.

    This is one I recommend (I "invented" it at the same time Dr. Cheney was "inventing" it, I guess...'cause we both know it and neither one of us told the other about it.).

    1) Stand or sit erect.

    2) Inhale DEEPLY (and reasonably slowly) through your NOSE.

    3) When there is room for no more air, purse your lips
    (in the EXACT manner you would use for whistling) and
    exhale slowly and COMPLETELY through your mouth.

    4) Repeat this process for a total of at least 5 complete
    breaths in-and-out.

    5) This should be done at least once a day...and can be
    done as many times a day as you desire without harm to
    you. Each time you do it, concentrate on the two words
    "slowly" and "completely".

    Not only is this an excellent thing to do for your airways, it something that your WHOLE BODY will love you for. Each time you do this, you're giving all your tissues an extra "snack" by increasing your blood's oxygen content.

    I hope that together Jackie, Mikie and I have been of assistance...and...I will be quite happy to give you any answers I may have at any time you ask for them.

    In friendship and with a real desire to help you.....MsDee


    Addendum from Magnolia: Those who take the time to read this reply should note that the answers to several problems mentioned in this thread are included.

  16. ssMarilyn

    ssMarilyn New Member

    Be sure you are taking a magnesium supplement. Magnesium is injected intraveniously for people in the ER with asthma attacks. It relaxes the airways and allows you to breathe properly. Also be sure you are drinking plenty of water, (NOT pop or coffee) this too will help open up airways. I have problems breathing at times and it worsens in humidity, which we have alot of. My lungs are fine, so I chalk it up to anxiety, which I also suffer from. When I think I can't get a full breath, I inhale as deeply as I can and then exhale. I'm able to inhale as deeply as anybody else, so know it's just anxiety making me THINK I can't breathe. Anxiety can really mess up your mind.

    Marilyn :)
  17. epicurean

    epicurean New Member

    If I have a lot of pain sometimes that efects my breathing.Then I take my vicoprofen ,which works on cns,that makes my breathing more shallow.Try to watch when it is worse-something you're taking could be causing it.
  18. contessa

    contessa New Member

    They ran and EKG on me because I had high blood pressure (160/105) for past 5 years and nothing would bring it down. Been taking TBSP Flax seed oil daily for past four months. Within first 3 weeks my PB was down to 110/70!! They are finding it hard to believe I may have cured this myself. Anyway, EKG shows my heartbeat is way to slow now, and I'm skipping beats. Doc thinks breathing prob may be due to BP not getting up there in time when I need it for exertion. Sounds like may be part of answer. Keep trying - it's taken 10 years to get my heart tested!!
  19. garyandkim

    garyandkim New Member

    spasums that contract around your chest like a pithon (snake). Also, I have mucus problems and take Tussy perscription. It is scarry and I get so dissy. I went to the PCP 2 weeks ago because he wanted to check my blood oxigyn leve with I thin its call a pulsacks thing. The put it on your middle finger and mine was 99 out of 100. 95 and up is normal. I to went to cardiologist etc and they all said FMS. I also went for palipitaions and rythum change. They all said FMS. Our area is finnally getting docs that believe this FMS. We also have GERD. Just anpther one of those symtoms to add to the list.

    Good luck, Kim and Gary
  20. Harmony

    Harmony New Member

    I have breathing problems, esp. in the mornings. But I don't have asthma or congestion, wheezing. My breathing is very shallow when I first wake up. I have had heart tests and nothing shows up. So I'm trying to figure this out and wander if it has anything to do with Fibro or arthritis since it is when I am esp. stiff and out of whack. I was wandering if others feel this way with the breathing that don't have asthma or congestion. As my body recuperates a little from the morning it gets better, but still not what it should be.