Why am I finding hard to take deep breath when suffering from anxiety?
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Good Morning, Just a quick query, I have had an issue with my breathing recently, in this, I find it hard to take a full, deep, breath. I have been tested for anaemia in the past whilst having this problem, and my blood iron levels are always perfect, my blood pressure is also always perfect, as are my SP02 levels. I have found that this problem (which I can only describe as dyspepsia) is often worsened by alcohol. I drink frequently, but generally nothing stronger than Lager (which at most is 4% against my usual lager that is just 3.8%) I have found that meditation and relaxation techniques make the problem easier, but nothing seems to cure it completely. This is an issue that started literally overnight several months ago, and it is driving me crazy :( I have been told that it is anxiety, but this started before I suffered with anxiety, and is not cured by any anti anxiety medication... I think, I just want to know what it is, and how to make it go away. Kind Regards, XXXX
Posted Sat, 8 Feb 2014 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 1 hour later
Brief Answer: Panic attacks or GERD possible causes Detailed Answer: Hello XXXXXXX and welcome. Thank you for writing to us. There are two major contributing aspects of your query, that help me in listing two possible conditions for the unfortunate presentation you are experiencing. I shall explain both these aspects and the possible cause we should suspect along with them: 1. Panic attacks: When an individual suffers with difficulty to breath or is gasping for breath, and has a normal SPO2, the cause for such a presentation is either anxiety, depression or a panic attack. Treating anxiety may not be sufficient, as there are 2 other conditions that can also cause this. So in my opinion, we will have to address possible depression and panic attacks as well. Even with dyspepsia, the SPO2 levels can drop 2. GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease): The fact that alcohol consumption makes your presentation worse points towards GERD. This condition occurs due to the dysfunction of the upper esophageal sphincter (UES) and a hyperacidity. This condition can result in difficulty with breathing, but in majority of cases shows a drop in SPO2 levels, although a normal level is also possible. Treating this condition with lifestyle (includes the reduction or complete absence of alcohol from your life) and diet changes, along with medication to neutralize the acid levels in the stomach result in almost complete relief from this presentation. Please discuss these 2 conditions only, and address both the possibilities, treating them accurately. I hope you find my response both helpful and informative. Please feel free to write back to me for any further clarifications, I would be more than happy to help you. Best wishes.
Follow-up: Why am I finding hard to take deep breath when suffering from anxiety? 7 minutes later
Dear Doctor Shoaib XXXXXXX A Very Happy New Year to you. Thank you so much for your reply, that does make sense. I had become confused and concerned when it was simply given as anxiety by my GP, even when I took Heartburn Medication alone, nothing changed... However, the idea of challenging the issues simultaneously is something that I had never considered. If I may, I would like to print these emails and take them to my GP and see if there is a course of action that can be taken in which we can fight off 'Depression, Anxiety, and GERD' all at once in way of combating and eliminating this presentation of symptoms. Again, Thank you so much, your reply today has given me both a new perspective and a new hope that this condition will not be something I have to live with for the rest of my life... I already feel more relaxed and actually have managed to give a good, deep, XXXXXXX of relief... I just wish that you were me GP. God Bless. XXXX
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 6 minutes later
Brief Answer: Your kind words and prayer are my reward Detailed Answer: Hello once again XXXXXXX my friend. Thank you so much for your kind words and a very happy New Year to you and your family too. Well of course you make print these emails and share it with your doctor or anyone else who may be able to help you. What we discuss here, is all for you and your well being. You may do as you please to with this information. Yes, I am sure we can simultaneously combat these conditions, and monitor your response so we can confirm the diagnosis and then be able to pin point the exact cause, and accordingly concentrate more on addressing it. I am sure your GP is capable enough, and will surely guide you to good health with God's help. Please also feel free to keep in touch with me, and write to me anytime you require any assistance, or even just some one to talk to. My best wishes are always with you. God bless you too.