Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by LindaJones, Mar 5, 2010.
breathing problems -- is it one of the symptoms of CFS
Yes, there can be breathing problems in CFS. What type of breathing problem do you mean?
Some people with CFS find that they have to remind themselves to breathe. I think the reason is that the carbon dioxide production is low in CFS because of the mitochondrial dysfunction that is present. The result is that the respiratory center in the brainstem slows and shallows the breathing in an effort to raise the CO2 level in the blood.
Some people with CFS find themselves short of breath. There are several possible causes of this, including heart-related issues.
Not often, but I do find that ocassionally I have breathing problems when I am first dropping off to sleep. I suddenly wake up and feel like I can't breath or swallow. This only lasts for a few seconds and only happens once during the night and usually within about 10 to 15 minutes of having fallen asleep. I can go for 6 or 7 months without it happening, and then it will happen several times over a few weeks, and then just as mysteriously stop again.
There are many many kinds of breathing problems, do you think you could explain more what you mean?
I have to remind my self to breathe. My breathing is very slow. How do you improve the mitochondria, which will improve breathing.
I have breathing problems, but it's more the opposite.
I have rapid shallow breaths that are very uncomfortable. I can't seem to slow it down to a more peaceful breathing rhythm. This breathing pattern started first before I developed all the other CFS symptoms.
If I force myself to take a deep breath, I feels really good for a moment and then I feel like I'm gasping for air and I go back to rapid breathing.
My breathing problems feel like "air hunger" (which I've read is common with CFS), in which I feel like I can't get a sufficient breath of air; like I can't get that satisfied deep breath or yawn. It almost feels like a mild panic attack.
Over the years, I have come to find out that a B vitamin deficiency caused my breathing problems. I take a B complex now, and have no more problems with breathing.
Also what helped me are deep breathing exercises; I was taught at Uchee Pines Health Institute to inhale for four seconds, hold it for seven seconds, and then breath out for nine seconds. This has a refreshing feeling benefit also.
Before I learned about the B vit., I tried probiotics, which seemed to help some too.
There's nothing more frustrating than trying to get enough air, and feeling like you can't!
... I said that I have no more breathing problems; I remembered tonight that when I have a CFIDS/FMS crash, I do tend to experience some of the same breathing problems, just to a much milder degree.
I'm in a crash again tonight, and I've had to do a couple of breathing exercises tonight...
Anyway, I hope this helps someone!
Thanks DeborahLynn for the breathing exercise. Is it uncomfortable for you to hold you breath for seven seconds? It is for me, but wonder if it's something that I should try to work through.
Did you feel immediately comfortable with the exercise or did it take some time for it to feel good?
I also always felt uncomfortable with holding my breath while doing breathing exercises. Then I heard somewhere that holding one's breath is a "natural" way to cause anxiety because....well, you're not breathing.
For those of us who are very sensitive to anxiety/stress, holding the breath is probably not a good idea. So I switched from those sort of exercises to what's called "the full yogic breath." That's breathing deeply through the nose into the lower lungs (so the abdomen rises), then the rib area, then up by the collar bone. Then slowly exhale. I do about 5 in a row. It has helped tremendously but I've been doing it for a couple of years and it took time to make a difference.
I tried to remember to do it 4x/day - before breakfast, lunch and dinner, and before going to sleep. I don't need to do it so regularly now because I've gotten into the habit of breathing deeply and slowly. It has been WONDERFUL to be free from that air hunger.
PS - I had all kinds of heart and lung tests to make sure there wasn't anything "wrong". Drs never found anything.
Sure thing; anything that might help I'm happy to pass along!
At first it was somewhat difficult, but as time went on it became easier. I'd say try it for shorter periods of time, and maybe work your way up... I don't know if there are any contra-indications for different diseases or conditions; I don't know if a person might need to check with their doctor first...
I noticed benefits fairly quickly. It sure helps the air-hunger I used to battle with. I noticed a big change with the B vit. complex, too.
Please let me know how it works for you!
for adding your post! It was good to learn more... Thanks!
Lyrica has been known to cause breathing problems, especially after you've been on it for a couple of months. This happened to me. It was helping the nerve pain, but dulling the nerves to the point of numbness. One day while walking into work, I couldn't catch my breath at all. Totally stopped breathing. Luckily there was a bench to sit on, and I've had many years of training holding my breath. I relaxed into it, and after about 1 - 2 minutes I could start breathing again. I somehow felt that the lyrica was responsible, and I stopped it immediately. The nerve pain came back and I lived with it for about 3 months with no problems. Then I thought I'd try Lyrica again. Helped for about 3 months, then had a repeat incident. Stopped immediately, and haven't had the least bit of problem in the last couple of years.
Narcotics can also slow breathing, but I tolerate them well. Just a heads up if anyone else is taking Lyrica and having breathing problems.
Yeah, I naturally have a very slow respiration rate, either from fm/cfs, or from all the training I've had. Really hard to say (respiration rate about 8-10 a minute, which is a little less than half my wife's) I do tend to get air hungy climbing stairs...
I think if you are having breathing problems, you should definitely mention it to your doctor on your next visit, or if you have them daily and have lasted for a few days, you should call your doctor now for an appointment.
Do not blame all of your problems on CFS. Always get them checked out, even if it later boils down to possibly being a result of your CFS.
I have a few breathing problems as well.... occasionally for no reason at all my heart rate will increase drastically which either makes me breath faster or become scared so I breath faster out of fear. It happens sometimes when I wake up or when I am driving, or while I am at the computer.
Also I burp all the time, honestly and no jokes ALL THE TIME, my doctor says it is because I am gulping in too much air.... but he hasn't told me how to stop that. Could this be a problem with how I am breathing? And is anyone else experiencing any of this???
Vicki, I was interested to read what you wrote about holding one's breath. I've done a lot with breathing over the years, and always found if I took a deep breath and held it, my heart would pound. This didn't seem to happen to anyone else that I knew. Your anxiety explanation makes sense!
I learned good abdominal/diaphragmatic breathing a long time ago, and always felt it was one of the best things I did for myself. So I was dismayed when breathing started getting difficult over a year ago. Definite air hunger, plus it feels as though the muscles involved in breathing have given up. All my tests came out normal, so I decided to live with it and assume it would get better on its own. But it hasn't. Now I'm wondering if candida could be involved.....
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