Discussions By Condition: Repiratory conditions

Unable to get diagnosis....please help!

Posted In: Repiratory conditions 19 Replies
  • Posted By: Distressed1
  • February 21, 2007
  • 07:27 AM

Hi all,

I have been having a lot of discomfort with my breathing, feeling breathless/like its hard to breath or something along those lines...difficult to describe.

Im 30 years old
Yes, I have been a light smoker (maybe 4-5/day) off and on for last say 8-10years....am now trying to quit...considering asking dr to prescribe brupropion to help as I am having difficulty with stopping....ironically probably because Im so distressed about my breathing.

I have had numerous spirometry's which are apparently fine
I have had a stress test where u run on a treadmill and they monitor breathing, heart etc...apparently my breathing did improve somewhat during recovery.....and apparently I managed to continue excercising just past the point where u are producing more co2 than you are intaking oxygen..which apparently is a good sign.

Oxygen saturation is 97-98%

I have even had a bronchoscopy

I have tried symbicort and ventolin with no result

I have had a methacholine challenge test which went fine...even the largest vial of the stuff didnt get a reaction

The problem seems to get more difficult throughout the day and is worse by evening.

I have tried valium and other medications for anxiety/stress....little to no result except u feel drugged and dont fight the sensation as much.

THis problem started about 1-2 weeks after I had a tonsillectomy about 14months ago

I have since also developed chronic rhinitis and have recently had a septoplasty to repair a deviated septum and had inferior turbinate reduction to try to reduce swelling in my nose.

3 weeks post op and im still struggling with my nose.

Yes, I have had, and do still have some post nasal drip.

on one occasion I tried using cough medicine that contains bromhexine and I feel this helps a little to make my chest feel clearer and breathe easier.

I have aslo been through a trial of prednisolone and at 50mg/day I did feel improved after several days

I also seem to crave caffeine and anything else that has a stimulant effect....seems to help a little.....which is unusual for me...I normally drink tea or decaff coffee

The Doctors insist there is no respiratory disease or asthma...but I still feel breathless most of the time....so that's not much help!

I'd appreciate any thoughts or advice as after 14 months of being told I'm fine and jhust dealing with this with little or no relief it is becoming quite distressing for me.

Thanks....

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19 Replies:

  • Research Empty Nose Syndrome, usually happens after a tuburculate (sp?) reduction.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 25, 2007
    • 07:41 PM
    • 0
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  • Thanks....I have researched ENS...but this problem existed prior to the turbinate reduction...also ENS usually only occurs with turbinate removal.I appreciate the info.As follow up info my last spirometry did show some slight restriction....the FVC value was only about 76-79% of predicated.....all other numbers were fine....FEV1/FVC ratio was still a good 82-89% of predicated.My breathing has felt extremely restricted though....I am wondering if it is some kind of muscular restriction??Any more ideas anyone??
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 25, 2007
    • 11:41 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Had more followup testing...Spirometry all within normal rangesCT scans show no abnormalityCan nasal drip/rhinitis cause shortness of breath on a more or less constant basis?I feel like my throat is tightened.....I dont really have any kind of cough but sometime try to clear my throat but it doesnt achieve anything.Im still wondering about some kind of muscular restriction or similar....prednisone seems to help a little after about 4 days....but the drs are taking me off it again because it doesnt make any difference in terms of performance on spirometry...so by tommorrow I won't have that helping make it a little easier.Any ideas anyone??I have made an appointment to see a cardiologist to be sure....but apart from shortness of breath I don't actually have any cardiac symptoms so I doubt cardiac investigation will reveal anything.If you have any idea whats going on .....I'd really be very grateful for the knowledge....
    Distressed1 22 Replies Flag this Response
  • Why did you have the tonsilectomy? Do you have chronic sinusitus as well as the rhinitis? Do you have any digestion problems? Have you taken a lot of antibiotics this past year in addition to the steroids? You could have some candida concerns if yes to these questions. Google candida or visit www.wholeapproach.com or www.candidasupport.org for more info. Candida can cause leaky gut which in turn can cause all kinds of problems including asthma, sinusitis and shortness of breath. I suggest you get a neti pot, or try Dr. NeilMed's Sinus rinse to help clear out your nasal passages. This is excellent and helps with smoking and withdrawal symptoms from quitting. You can find the sinus rinse at most drug stores. It is an amazing product, but takes some getting use to. Keep at it and try to use it twice daily, just like brushing your teeth. Also, I recommend doing yogic breathing throughout the day: this is three part breathing from your lower abdomen, innercostal, and upper chest. Breath slowly and rhythmically for several breaths only at first (can cause lightheadedness if you aren't used to it). This type of breathing really helps send oxygen to all of your internal organs and cells. You can find a good tape or video at a library or on amazon to help you with this. If all your tests are normal, I would suggest you find an alternative practitioner to help get you back in balance. Steroidal use can really throw you off balance and a good acupuncturist can help with your shortness of breath and feelings of constriction in the chest. Visit www.acufinder.com to find a practitioner near you. Best wishes and try the sinus rinse!DOM
    acuann 3080 Replies Flag this Response
  • Thanks DOM Yeh the sinus rinse is a wonderful help and I've been using it for a while now. I had an adenoidectomy and tonsillectomy because I became unresponsive to antibiotics (but did have a bacterial infection), was running a fever and was hospitalised....apparently I was in danger of developing some kind of thing like rheumatic fever or something (can't remember the exact label).As far as Im aware after many visits to an ENT its only rhinitis...and not sinusitis. I do have GERD and am on a medication for it plus I have had a fundoplication (which if you dont know is an operation to repair the valve muscle at the top of the stomach...extremely painful!!!). I have had intensive gastro tests and such before and since and I am not aware of having anything like leaky gut....although I do suffer from eosophageal spasm from time to time. I agree about working on breathing pattern.....historically I have always been a very calm, even breather and in fact breathe from my diaphragm naturally. I almost never take antibiotics and avoid them like the plague...I had 5 days recently when I had a septoplasty....but thats about it.Steroids have only been used very sparingly...literally for 5 days to help lessen any inflammation....and I do intend to do everything I can to avoid them. Don't think Candida is part of the problem here...my only real symptom/problem is the shortness of breath...but I'll ask my ENT about it.If anyone has extra info about dealing with breathing patterns etc I'd appreciate it....I wonder if my muscles have just fallen into a kind of bad rythmn???
    Distressed1 22 Replies Flag this Response
  • Please do not listen to anything Shula or Acuann tell you. My sister just passed away because Shula and Acuann told her that her doctor was wrong and she did not have a serious condition. Acuann even told her to get acupuncture to get healed. These people are going to be investigated for practicing medicine without a license. Shula and Acuann are specifically wanted in connection with my sisters homocide. Thats right homocide. If she would have listened to her doctor instead of these internet quacks she would still be here today. Rest assured I will do everything in my power to put these two behind bars and shut this website down for good.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I know this is several months late in responding but I just found this site. I suffer from pretty much the same symptoms as you have described. I am 49. I have become quite anxious at times in feeling like I am not getting enough oxygen. With me it seems to occur at night when I try to sleep. From my experience, I too think it may have to do with post nasal drip and GERD. I suspect with me what is happening is when I lay down to sleep at night I start to breath through my mouth because my sinus seems to become restricted. I have nocturnal reflux, in which the lower spincher of the esophagus relaxes at night, opening slightly which allows the acid from my stomach to back up if I eat too close to the time I go to bed. But I don't think it is the reflux itself that is the problem, but rather the relaxed spincher. My sinus starts to congest when I lay down and then drain all through the night. This results in a continuous swallowing while I sleep. With the lower spincher relaxed I find I will start to bloat slightly as I am swallowing air as I swallow phlegm from the post nasal drip. This causes my stomach to start to bloat...this causes the diaphragm not to work properly, so I cannot exhale as deeply as I need to, which results in a reduction of fresh oxygen entering in my lungs. Even though I feel like I am taking a deep breath, I am actually somewhat breathing shallow breaths. To explain what I am talking about... extend your belly like you are trying out for the part of Santa Claus..while keeping it extended try and take deep breaths. You will find you can take what appears to be deep breaths but they volume of air is significantly reduced. After a few hours of sleep I wake up feeling like I can't get enough oxygen. I suspect because of the reduced number of breaths as a result of being asleep, combined with the reduction in volume because of the diaphragm/bloating, the oxygen level drops in my body and I will wake up feeling like I are suffering from sleep apnea. The thing with sleep apnea, is after you are awakened, you can sit up take a few deep breaths and almost instantly get your oxygen level back up to where it should be and the shortness of breath goes away. But in my case it takes a while as I have to get the air out of my digestive tract so my diaphragm starts working properly. I sit on the toilet and try to pass any gas. But it is usually not that far down to be of much help. I found I can after a normal exhale, force my diaphragm by way of stomach muscles to force more air out of my lungs when breathing and this starts to get rid of the bloat, allowing proper operation of the diaphragm. I found sometimes that I have to force myself to gag and that will help equalize the air in my stomach and help clear my lungs of any phlegm as result of my sinus draining. Anyhow once I discovered what was going on, I found a way to prevent it. I found if don't eat 3 hours before I lay down and take Prilosec for my reflux it helps out with the spincher...I use a nasal spray for my sinus drainage and wear a breath right strip at night. This has been 99% effective for me in dealing with this. As it allows me to breath through my nose at night so I no longer swallow air. I have recently gone two months with no symptoms until I stopped the regime to see if they would reoccur. I found that I will develop the symptoms in about a week and they will continue until I start back on the regiment. Now the remaining info is... why am I experiencing this now? I used to have IBS where this bloating would be low enough in my system not to effect my diaphragm/breathing. Every morning I would hack out a cup of phlegm and have an explosive time on the toilet. But this all changed when I developed a very painful back problem. The side effect of the pain meds can be constipation... but for me it took care of the IBS. I think this relocated the swallowed air from my colon to that of my stomach and upper intestines which resulted in a restrictive operation of the diaphragm. Because of how painful it is on my back to hack each morning, I started to forcefully suppress that morning ritual. Thus the breathing difficulty started. To some this may not make any sense and to some they may find some similarities and some answers. I do know that not knowing what is happening to you and why... adds anxiety to the equation and makes the symptoms worse. I hope everyone finds a resolution to their problems.
    DanTampa 2 Replies Flag this Response
  • I know this is several months late in responding but I just found this site. I suffer from pretty much the same symptoms as you have described. I am 49. I have become quite anxious at times in feeling like I am not getting enough oxygen. With me it seems to occur at night when I try to sleep. From my experience, I too think it may have to do with post nasal drip and GERD. I suspect with me what is happening is when I lay down to sleep at night I start to breath through my mouth because my sinus seems to become restricted. I have nocturnal reflux, in which the lower spincher of the esophagus relaxes at night, opening slightly which allows the acid from my stomach to back up if I eat too close to the time I go to bed. But I don't think it is the reflux itself that is the problem, but rather the relaxed spincher. My sinus starts to congest when I lay down and then drain all through the night. This results in a continuous swallowing while I sleep. With the lower spincher relaxed I find I will start to bloat slightly as I am swallowing air as I swallow phlegm from the post nasal drip. This causes my stomach to start to bloat...this causes the diaphragm not to work properly, so I cannot exhale as deeply as I need to, which results in a reduction of fresh oxygen entering in my lungs. Even though I feel like I am taking a deep breath, I am actually somewhat breathing shallow breaths. To explain what I am talking about... extend your belly like you are trying out for the part of Santa Claus..while keeping it extended try and take deep breaths. You will find you can take what appears to be deep breaths but they volume of air is significantly reduced. After a few hours of sleep I wake up feeling like I can't get enough oxygen. I suspect because of the reduced number of breaths as a result of being asleep, combined with the reduction in volume because of the diaphragm/bloating, the oxygen level drops in my body and I will wake up feeling like I are suffering from sleep apnea. The thing with sleep apnea, is after you are awakened, you can sit up take a few deep breaths and almost instantly get your oxygen level back up to where it should be and the shortness of breath goes away. But in my case it takes a while as I have to get the air out of my digestive tract so my diaphragm starts working properly. I sit on the toilet and try to pass any gas. But it is usually not that far down to be of much help. I found I can after a normal exhale, force my diaphragm by way of stomach muscles to force more air out of my lungs when breathing and this starts to get rid of the bloat, allowing proper operation of the diaphragm. I found sometimes that I have to force myself to gag and that will help equalize the air in my stomach and help clear my lungs of any phlegm as result of my sinus draining. Anyhow once I discovered what was going on, I found a way to prevent it. I found if don't eat 3 hours before I lay down and take Prilosec for my reflux it helps out with the spincher...I use a nasal spray for my sinus drainage and wear a breath right strip at night. This has been 99% effective for me in dealing with this. As it allows me to breath through my nose at night so I no longer swallow air. I have recently gone two months with no symptoms until I stopped the regime to see if they would reoccur. I found that I will develop the symptoms in about a week and they will continue until I start back on the regiment. Now the remaining info is... why am I experiencing this now? I used to have IBS where this bloating would be low enough in my system not to effect my diaphragm/breathing. Every morning I would hack out a cup of phlegm and have an explosive time on the toilet. But this all changed when I developed a very painful back problem. The side effect of the pain meds can be constipation... but for me it took care of the IBS. I think this relocated the swallowed air from my colon to that of my stomach and upper intestines which resulted in a restrictive operation of the diaphragm. Because of how painful it is on my back to hack each morning, I started to forcefully suppress that morning ritual. Thus the breathing difficulty started. To some this may not make any sense and to some they may find some similarities and some answers. I do know that not knowing what is happening to you and why... adds anxiety to the equation and makes the symptoms worse. I hope everyone finds a resolution to their problems.
    DanTampa 2 Replies Flag this Response
  • Do you have fibroid tumors?
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Do you have fibroid tumors? I am assuming that they would show in an xray or ct scan. All my tests have been normal I have even had an alpha 1 antitrypsin test which was exactly normal At this point I am strongly leaning in the direction of allergies, particularly as an allergic reaction on skin test to fungus/mold is the only positive pathology result i have had. I have tried some naturopathic stuff like acupuncture and various supplements with no luck. All the respiratory drugs I have tried have been no help.
    Distressed1 22 Replies Flag this Response
  • Distressed,How long did you take acupuncture treatments? Just wondering. Are you still smoking? You may be allergic to tobacco. Have you thought about trying NAET to treat your allergies? NAET (Nambudripad Allergy Elimination Technique) or BioSet (an offshoot of NAET) is the only treatment I am aware of that can actually eliminate a known allergy. It is revolutionary and has changed my life. Please just look into it.Best wishesDOM
    acuann 3080 Replies Flag this Response
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  • Check out B12 deficiency and Iron defiency. And by all means cut the cigs before you get copd. Good luck.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • No, Im not still smoking...havent since february... I'm allergic to several types of fungus/mold I have looked into a wide range of naturopathic and holistic treatments. Acupuncture set off my nervous system and caused me a great deal of pain(I do have some nerve damage from surgery)....a few sessions was all I could stand. I am now considering trying phenolics.....its one of the only natural treatments i haven't tried. Physiotherapy like the acupunture caused a great deal of problems. I have been doing breathing excercises but they have done nothing to help....ironically i actually have a slow breathing rate and the volumes are all good. Singulair has helped a little bit......but i have only been on it a week. My symptoms are continuing to plague me...in fact my nasal symptoms are getting worse despite sinus rinses and various nasal oils and gels....my nose is now bleeding off and on...if it continues i will be forced to have it cauterised. The only thing that actually does really help is oral steroids which for obvious reasons I am trying to avoid. The Drs are uncertain whether it is allergies or some kind of nerve problem.
    Distressed1 22 Replies Flag this Response
  • Check out B12 deficiency and Iron defiency. And by all means cut the cigs before you get copd. Good luck. Nup not vitamin/mineral deficiencies....and for goodness sake...whoever is the next to respond....I HAVE STOPPED SMOKING...so stop telling me to stop!...sorry but its kinda irritating
    Distressed1 22 Replies Flag this Response
  • Congrats on being smoke free!:D DOM
    acuann 3080 Replies Flag this Response
  • Dom, Do you know anything about Phenolics??? can you give me any recommendations in that regard? I understand its not traditional medicine and not naturopthic medicine but something else?? Any recommendation if u have experience it would be great so I know where to start.
    Distressed1 22 Replies Flag this Response
  • I am curious about your comment with you stating your throat feels tight. I have had breathing problems for 3 1/2 years now. One diagnosis I received is Vocal fold dysfunction. It is when your vocal cords close when they should be open. I am able to pretty much control this now. I was diagnosed in one visit to a speech pathologist. He used a camera to look at my cords to see that they closed abnormally.You said your CT was normal. I assume there is no fibrosis (scarring) in your lungs. Best of luck, I know it is very frustrating. My Pulmonary Doc. put me out of work this week due to the severity of my issues & I have been on prednisone 60mg since 08/29/07 & today is 11/03/07. Prior to 08/29/07, my daily maintenance dose for a year was 30mg. Prior to this my maintenance dose was 20mg.My Doc is wondering if my lung issues are the result of Prednisone use. My airways are controlled at this point, however he sees me struggling. In a few hours I will start to decrease prednisone. If I continue to have problems, they will hospitalize me to try & decrease prednisone so they can monitor my breathing. Take care & please check out vocal fold dysfunction.Sincerely,Pat
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 3, 2007
    • 04:49 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I would look for a lyme literate doctor and get checked for lyme disease. Ilads.org is a good website to check out for info on lyme. It is important to get a lyme literate doctor though, so you testing will be interpreted appropriately.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 17, 2008
    • 06:04 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Hi , you may be allergic to tea ? Hi all,I have been having a lot of discomfort with my breathing, feeling breathless/like its hard to breath or something along those lines...difficult to describe.Im 30 years oldYes, I have been a light smoker (maybe 4-5/day) off and on for last say 8-10years....am now trying to quit...considering asking dr to prescribe brupropion to help as I am having difficulty with stopping....ironically probably because Im so distressed about my breathing.I have had numerous spirometry's which are apparently fineI have had a stress test where u run on a treadmill and they monitor breathing, heart etc...apparently my breathing did improve somewhat during recovery.....and apparently I managed to continue excercising just past the point where u are producing more co2 than you are intaking oxygen..which apparently is a good sign.Oxygen saturation is 97-98%I have even had a bronchoscopyI have tried symbicort and ventolin with no resultI have had a methacholine challenge test which went fine...even the largest vial of the stuff didnt get a reactionThe problem seems to get more difficult throughout the day and is worse by evening.I have tried valium and other medications for anxiety/stress....little to no result except u feel drugged and dont fight the sensation as much.THis problem started about 1-2 weeks after I had a tonsillectomy about 14months agoI have since also developed chronic rhinitis and have recently had a septoplasty to repair a deviated septum and had inferior turbinate reduction to try to reduce swelling in my nose.3 weeks post op and im still struggling with my nose.Yes, I have had, and do still have some post nasal drip.on one occasion I tried using cough medicine that contains bromhexine and I feel this helps a little to make my chest feel clearer and breathe easier.I have aslo been through a trial of prednisolone and at 50mg/day I did feel improved after several daysI also seem to crave caffeine and anything else that has a stimulant effect....seems to help a little.....which is unusual for me...I normally drink tea or decaff coffeeThe Doctors insist there is no respiratory disease or asthma...but I still feel breathless most of the time....so that's not much help!I'd appreciate any thoughts or advice as after 14 months of being told I'm fine and jhust dealing with this with little or no relief it is becoming quite distressing for me.Thanks....
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
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