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I had allergies for years but it was only allergies, until I hit peri-menopause, then I began getting the  shortness of breath. I do believe that my shortness of breath is related to anxiety a lot of times, although I've always had some anxiety, but my emotional state got really bad when my hormones changed. Can anxiety be the cause of chronic shortness of breath?

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I am not a doctor, but I think you’ve been suffering from generalized anxiety disorder. GAD causes chronic, exaggerated worrying and anxiety about everyday life; although everyone worries at times people with GAD can never relax and usually anticipate the worst. One of the Gad symptoms is shortness of breath, but symptoms of GAD usually build up slowly. So, People with this condition often have both psychological and physical symptoms of anxiety.
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I have a LONG history of GAD and panic and I also have shortness of breath all the time and heart palps when I exert myself. I saw a cardiologist and had a holter, ekg, shortness of breath bloodwork, chest x ray and echocardiogram and everything was beautiful and perfect with no problems. Still I worry!!!! the palps and shortness of breath went away on their own about 3 months but are back now. I have had A LOT of stressful things happening lately (long road trip, moving, getting pregnant, money worries, etc.) so I dunno. I am also iron deficient and that has symptoms of heart palps, shortness of breath and dizzyness among others. I am on supplements but it takes maybe a few months to get the iron back up. So I never know if it's my Generalized Anxiety Disorder and obsessiveness, my conversion disorder, my iron, or something else.
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Hi Lola
I have the same symptoms you have!!! I'm so glad I'm not alone in this. I'm constantly dizzy and get short of breath all the time. I have been worked up to no end. MRI of my head, CT of my head, 3 CT's of my chest maybe 4, PFT's, echo, dobutamine stress test, etc. etc. Everything came out normal. Now I a started seeing a psychiatrist because I'm beginning to realize maybe this is all from anxiety. I, too, recently had a baby and a few months before that my grandma (who was my hero) passed away. So lots of stress going on. I'm gonna start taking pills for anxiety and with the help of my family, God, and my own mind, I'm hoping all my sufferings will eventually go away. Good luck, God bless. Please let me know how you do.
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I have shortness of breath and also anxiety but had never connected these before. I am 85 but have friends my age who do not have this problem. My oxygen rate is about 93 but I am wondering if it goes down when I am stressed. I feel that oxygen would help. Do you know of a good anxiety pill?
Do you know of medicines that could be causing shortness of breath?
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I'm back! All my weird symptoms went away on Christmas day and only returned here and there through the year. Yesterday I started getting the out of breath weird fatigue feelings again, though. I had had abdominal tenderness for 2 mos straight and then saw my gastro who said it was just IBS, next day I felt completely FINE! After two straight months of having pain! So of course because now I am all better with the abdomen, my mind needs to bring back this fatigue/short of breath stuff. I had an EKG last night and it was normal. Just have these little "attacks" where I feel like I am exhausted and can't catch my breath or like my lungs are gonna smother me. But saw my primary today and she basically said it is time for Zoloft! It takes about 3 weeks to get a result from Zoloft but I have it here now so I guess I'll have to take it. I don't think I will beat my anxiety without help.
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Guest wrote:

I have shortness of breath and also anxiety but had never connected these before. I am 85 but have friends my age who do not have this problem. My oxygen rate is about 93 but I am wondering if it goes down when I am stressed. I feel that oxygen would help. Do you know of a good anxiety pill?
Do you know of medicines that could be causing shortness of breath?



IF you're looking for a good anxiety pill, you may want to look into Lexapro or Zoloft. They're both new generation SSRI's made to keep people calm, and control excess anxiety or panic.

As for the original poster, I would say there are only a handful of known things that could cause chronic shortness of breath, but you need to rule out most of them if possible because shortness of breath is a big deal (not like pain in joints,, low back, or muscles that can be ignored if you're stoic).

If you've been cleared with an echocardiogram and a stress test with a cardiologist, then saw a Pulmonologist with imaging of the lungs, you may want to rule out any obvious allergies, Athsma or COPD symptoms (shortness of breath accompanied by wheezing and coughing), and then look at thyroid and neck next. Thyroid hyperactivity can cause shortness of breath, and a tumor in the neck can be obstructive as well so it's good to see an Ear Nose Throat dock for that. The last thing that comes to mind would be neurological reasons. But you'd likely have other noticeable neurological symptoms along with the shortnes of breath to make that kind of diagnosis.

IF you have ruled out all of the above, there is little else that could cause this outside of anxiety, (which is good news for you btw)

I would mention that I'm not unlike the others here in that I'm on the last leg of seeing a litany of specialists to rule out my own periodic episodes of shortness of breath. I've seen the cardiologists for an echocardiogram, 24 hour halter, and stress test, I've seen a Pulmonologist and had chest X-Rays, I've ruled out food allergies on my own, I got a HEPA filter air cleaner and have Eco-sprayed for dust-mites and allergens, and just after seeing an Otolaryngologist (Ear Nose Throat Doctor) I'm slated for an ultrasound of my thyroid tomorrow to see if anything is abnormal.
If I'm clear on the thyroid imaging, I will likely see a head-shrink next, as I have no other neurological symptoms to indicate I would have ALS or a spondylitis that could lead to brreathing issues (those symptoms are visibly profound - eg: completely atrophied limbs or severe curvatures of spine).

I'm crossing my finger it's just anxiety, because that's much easier to treat than the above mentioned.
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I've had constant shortness of breath for six months, and it drives me crazy.
I had a heart test and xrays, and nothing showed up -- I started thinking that the doctors weren't seeing something. They all said they thought it was anxiety. I still worry about it, but I really am starting to believe it is anxiety now.
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I just had shortness of breath so serious it sent me to the ER twice - but the ER said my oxygen level was 100%. My iron levels had been checked previous to this and were on the very low side of normal. Since adding some iron to the diet by way of fortified bran cereal, I have improved greatly. Also we found mold in the basement, so be on the lookout for allergens that could be a cause. You might want to get allergy testing.
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How's everybody doing with their SOB lately?
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I have been having SOB lately also. not so much that I can't breath just can't draw a really good deep breath from my lungs at times (is it sigh reflect?). Other times it is fine. I also had an inferior heart attack 7 months ago at the age of 34. :-( . They had to put in a stent. My heart is fine now (except some muscle damage), I get an ECG every three months and had strees ecg and strees echocardigram which showed nothing concerning. So I am beginning to think it is either my lungs playing up or anxiety. My oxygen saturation levels are high (98%) and the chest is clear. I could not do a lungs exercise test the other day because they could not organise a cardiologist to be present. If it is anxiety i don't know how I can beat. I mean I am not crazy about my job and I do get pumped at work at times a bit but who doesn't right? I don't know I f I am ready to go on the anxiety pills either. I have been doing yoga and light exercise, walking, bike riding. Any advise what I should eat or how i could change my lifestyle? Thanks, pete
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I have anxiety disorder, and for years it manifested as rapid heart beats, not being able to catch my breath, numbness and tingling. A sense of derealization, and sometimes upset stomach. The past year or two the disorder is the same, but the symptoms have changed a little bit. I almost always feel short of breath, but no racing heart anymore, I always am taking deep breaths and yawning and sighing. I get hot flashes with the shortness of breath as well. Sometimes I start shaking all over and cant stop no matter how I try. I have a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep.. SOmetimes I also get little chest pains as well.....I was on PAXIL for years, initially it seemed to help, but over time it lost its effectivenesss. ANd when I quit taking it I had a panic attack for like a month straight. Now I try to steer clear of the drugs, I will take a xanax or two if my panic attack starts to go bad.. Also, POMEGRANATE juice is the only fruit PROVEN to reduce plaque build up in the arteries... Check out POMWONDERFUL website for the study results
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Ok,

please comment. I have had this annoying "cannot breath, have to think about every breath" problem on and off for 9 months.
I have been to the dr numerous times. They say my oxygen level is perfect, my lung function is fine, blood work is fine.
Is this anxiety and stress?, I have not believed what they told me, they say I am fine.
This even bothers me at night. It is exhausting!
I am starting to accept that I have totaly screwed up my breathing and had better deal with the stress that is going on in my life.
Honestly, I need some comments on this.
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I read all of these posts with great interest, as I experience daily bouts of severe shortness of breathe, especially in the evenings. 18 months ago, my girlfriend was killed in an awful crash on her Vespa right by our house in Lake Tahoe and I found her body 15 minutes later with friends who were over for dinner. One of our visitors was a doctor and she tried to save her life while I held her, but she died while I held her. Lifeflight, paramedics all came, but to no avail. I wanted to die; she was the love of my life an angel. 30 days later, when the stock market crashed in Oct 08, I lost my job as general manager of the company we had both worked for and with our dream over, I moved back to Scottsdale, AZ. I tried to lose myself in the mountains, spending days hiking and climbing by myself. I got very sick and discovered I had caught Valley Fever, a fungus that lives in the soil of Arizona and was on a sulphur medication for months. My sister helped bring me back to health, but during the entire time I was taking Xanax. If I didn't take it, I would struggle and fight to breathe. I saw a pulminory specialist who ran all the tests they could and he finally told me that my symptoms were due to emotional issues. I had my heart checked, everything I could think of, but nothing else helped.

I finally landed a new job and moved to Newport Beach, CA to become the General Manager of a private club and although I can function at work, the only relief I get from my breathing problems is either by having an alcoholic drink or by taking Xanax. I don't understand what the problem is. The doctors keep trying to put me on anti depression drugs like Paxal, Prozac, etc., but those drugs mess up my mind and I can't think straight to do my job. Does anyone have any ideas on what I should do? I am getting desparate and don't know how much longer I can handle this very stressful job. I also sleep terribly and am also dealing with the emotional loss of two wonderful children who don't want to have anything to do with their dad, (20,23) as they are with their mom who has turned them against me. I really need help; no relationship since my girlfriend died 18 months ago, and it is so hard to live by myself.
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Oh, I forgot to add that exercise makes the breathing worse. I can walk, but the more I do, the harder it is to breathe. The weird thing is that if I take a Xanax, then I can breathe ok. Does this make sense to anyone??
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