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Trouble Exhaling Properly


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#1 kiwimum03

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 03:55 PM

Okay, well I seem to be posting like a manic lately. too many problems so little time!

anyway, I have been seeing my Hyperventilation physio and I saw her again on Monday and she said my breathing had gotten worse in two weeks.
I have been doing my exercises she gave me. Practicing breathing through my nose and not my mouth, but I am still short of breath.
But its not that I can't get enough air it, its that I can't breathe out long enough, so in turn I have too much carbon dioxide, which in turn makes me crave oxygen so I breathe in again.......I hope you can follow that.

I am mean't to breathe in for 2 and out for 3, but only make it to 2 seconds on the output.
Some times above my upper lips is slightly bluish, so she check my oxygen levels and they are fine.

Since I have been reducing the Prednisone my shortness of breath (or my trouble breathing out enough) has gotten worse. and she is wondering if the Prednisone was masking some breathing problems.
We are going to wait for 2 more weeks until I have lowered the Prednisone some more, and see what my breathing is like.

I was just curious if anyone else was gulping for air like I am. You are supposed to breathe out longer than you breathe in I find that really hard, its like I run out of air to breath out every quickly, it kind of makes me think my lungs just can't do it.
I think she is going to send me to a pulmonary doctor if it gets worse.

I don't get SOB all the time, just at odd times during the day, and not necessarily when I have been doing anything, sometimes I am just lying down!

okay, I have rambled on long enough, sorry if this is a jumble, my mind is mush today.

Hugs,
Irene

#2 Guest_Sherrill_*

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 06:28 PM

Irene,

There's one thing springs to my mind after reading your post. Some years ago my husband and I took a first aid course, where the instructor was a paramedic with the ambulance service. He was very experienced too.

One subject was asthma, and he explained in true asthma the patient has bad trouble EXHALING, not inhaling. He said that if we had occasion to find someone in this sort of trouble to hug them from the back to help them exhale. He said that you'd often find them over the back of a chair trying to exhale with the help of the chair back!

When I was about 12 my family was friendly with another family, where the mother had extremely bad asthma, and her son did also. Her husband would often wake up in the night to find her hanging out the window trying to exhale!

I had a stay in hospital a few years ago where I was on a 6 bed ward. A woman had been brought in with sudden onset asthma, and she was in a bad way. When she had an attack she was given oxygen with prednisone in the mask, which always calmed her down. Your mention of the prednisone makes me wonder..........!

Perhaps it IS time for you to see a pulmonary doctor.

Warm hugs,

#3 bookworm

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 09:03 PM

Hi, Irene,

Prednisone is often given for shortness of breath, among other things. It reduces swelling, so it can be given to reduce any sort of inflamation. If you are given Prednisone for arthritis and you happen to have inflamation in the lung, too, the Prednisone will probably help them both!

I definitely would see a pulmonologist. If you have a lung infection or asthma or whatever, the sooner you know and start treating it, the better.



Mary in Texas

#4 kiwimum03

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 12:59 AM

Thanks Mary and Sherrill,

I had been wondering about asthma also. I have actually used an inhaler on 2 separate occassions.

Firstly in my teens when I got chronic bronchitis, then also after a trip to Canada, where it was freezing, minus 40 and I was stuck in a room with people smoking, which brought my symptoms on quite badly and quickly.
When I got back from my trip I still had problems breathing and used an inhaler for about a month before I got back to normal.
They never said that it was 'asthma' though.
I also find it very hard to breathe in very cold temperatures, I found this when I was in Switzerland, but I also think the altitude paid a huge part in that.
Also cold air from the car air-conditioner causes me some shortness of breath sometimes.
Isn't it funny that once you start thinking, you think of heaps of examples.

My best friends husband has bad asthma, and he was on a short dose of Prednisone after an attack to open up his airways..............definately time for some investigating to be done.
I guess a Pulmonologist is the way to go?

Thanks for your advice,
Hugs,
Irene

#5 susie54

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 02:27 AM

Hi Irene,

Boy, I know this one. It is a horrible feeling and a vicious cycle once started. I am having a little trouble the last few days. What happens is the gas transfer system is not working well and the CO2 starts building up so by breathing out more than you bring in starts making you feel better. It just starts happening to me. The one thing I notice is that my oxygen is fine too (I have an oximeter) and I sleep good at night. So I know it is just a cycle I get into in the day. I am in one now. Things that help me are blowing a baloon up (big birthday baloons) and singing (can't say this is the best either) . My DLCO has lowered these past two years and these spells come for no reason. Hope yours gets better too.

One respiratory therapist suggested deep breaths laying down , breathing in with my hands on the bottom of my ribs and push them out as I breath in , then breath out slowly. Do this three times a day. Susie54

#6 Sweet

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 04:42 AM

Hi Irene,

I found myself breathing deeper just reading your post! I'm sorry you are having a problem with this. I have off and on felt like I don't get enough air. Sometimes I have to just stop what I'm doing and concentrate on taking a few deep breaths. Not having proper air exchange is not good. Sounds like it would be beneficial to check this out further with a pulmonologist. Lungs are nothing to mess with!
Warm and gentle hugs,

Pamela
ISN Support Specialist
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

#7 peanut

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 06:44 AM

Irene,
I have lung complications and went to an allergy specialist (one of the best in the state) and he said that asthma is a problem of getting air in. I thought I had asthma too and I do have a touch but he said my main problem is getting air out and that's not asthma. He referred me to a pulmonologist.

I agree with Sweet. Lungs are not something to mess with. I too am on prednisone and a prednisone inhaler. When they lower my prednisone too low I get SOB so we up it again and I'm back to normal. I know prednisone isn't fun - I've had many of the side effects - but it keeps me breathing and for that I'm grateful.

peanut

You can deprive the body but the soul needs chocolate
my HMO makes me wear a helmet...

#8 CraigR

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 08:17 AM

I agree with the others that you should see the pulmonologist.

I had some lung trouble (not asthma) that was improperly diagnosed until I saw the specialist (pulmonologist), so this is an area where I have little confidence in anyone but the specialist.

Some years ago I took up swimming - vigorously, for about 45 minutes 5 nights a week - and at my ideal weight. After about 6 months I could no longer understand why I needed to stop periodically to catch my breath, as people in much worse shape kept swimming. My primary care physician did some simple lung tests and said nothing was wrong - I was simply "Out of Shape" (after all that exercise???!!!!). Needless to say, the Pulmonologist diagnosed some mild lung fibrosis related to CREST.

Good luck with the specialist,

Craig

#9 Piper

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 08:29 AM

Hi Irene, I'm not diagnosed but I have been having the same type of breathing problems that you have. Mine happens in bed at night or sometimes when I'm walking too. I find myself gulping air and having a weird feeling of needing to yawn to get air. I can get it in but then it dissappears, there's nothing in there to come out. I had never thought of asthma but since my children have it, it would make sense that I could also have it. Mine just comes on out of the blue. I also have trouble breathing when I lie on my right side in bed. I mentioned it to my Dr. and he listened intently to my lungs but I guess he couldn't hear a problem because he never said anything. I do sometimes hear a wheeze when I exhale.
Take care,
Hugs, Piper

#10 kiwimum03

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 11:35 AM

Thanks for all the replies! This seems to be a common problem with some people.

Its funny you mentioned the balloon Susie, as I was trying to blow one up the other day, and I just couldn't. One breath out into the balloon and I was dizzy, this is one of the reasons I also mentioned it all to my Hyperventilation specialist.
she told me not to blow up balloons, I am not sure why, but it is interesting that it helps you.

the exercises she gave me, were for 20mins each day, to lie down on my back, and put a little bean bag on my tummy or my hands, and breath in and out through my nose, concentrating on pushing my tummy up as I breathe in and down as I breathe out, but I am STILL having trouble breathing out.
Even when I get an episode during the day where I feel like I am not getting enough air. I stop and do this, but it doesn't seem to help, until it just kind of 'passes' eventually.

Craig, you also mentioned swimming. I love swimming, and over the last year I have found I just can't breathe if I am doing lengths of the pool, like swimming with my head under and then up for a breathe, I am just running out of air!

Thanks for all your experiences, I will let you know how I get on.

Big hugs,
Irene

#11 Bunky

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 02:28 PM

Hi Irene!
I have the exact same symptoms with shortness of breath and breathing out! Reading your post was like deja vu!
I have been treated for asthma for the last five years, but never have had wheezing, just shortness of breath, sometimes when I'm "just laying down" other times when I'm walking up stairs, or just all day and night long, and the doctor's have always told me I have trouble exhaling, but I overbreathe a lot, and don't have low oxygen saturation. Using inhalers sometimes relieve the tight feeling I sometimes get, but they don't help the sob.
Yesterday I went to my first pulmonology dr. My husband and I were really hoping he'd tell it is asthma, but unfortunately he doesn't think I have asthma. :( I will have to have several lung function tests next week, and that will tell us more. The good news is the lung dr. says if I have lung complications of scleroderma, it is still very mild.
I really hope you have some answers soon!
Beth

#12 Guest_Sherrill_*

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 02:53 PM

Here's a webpage from Medline Plus which deals with Asthma

Among additional symptoms that may be associated with this disease:

Chest pain
Tightness in the chest
Abnormal breathing pattern --breathing out takes more than twice as long as breathing in


Warm hugs,

#13 susie54

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 08:15 AM

Hi Irene,

Sorry the baloon didn't help you. Maybe your problem deals more with relaxation of the respiratory muscles . I hope your feeling passes soon. I only blow baloons when I feel I am overbreathing. But you have to find what works for you. Maybe a pulmonologist could run pulmonary function tests on you and that could help explain your problem. Susie54

#14 kiwimum03

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 11:28 AM

Thanks for the link Sherrill, it was really interesting.

Susie, it kind of makes sense to blow up a balloon when you overbreathe, which is what I thought I was doing........maybe I am underbreathing! :lol:

Hopefully I can sort it out soon.

Hugs,
Irene