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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Exp 50 years

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Can stress or anxiety cause shortness of breath?

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Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar

Pulmonologist

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 14308 Questions

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Posted on Thu, 5 Nov 2015 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Question: Hi I am a 39 year old female I was diagnosed as having asthma when I was 30 years old rarely use my inhaler for the past two months feels like I can't take a deep fulfilling breath went to pulmonologist gave me pulmicort ran a pft results were fine he feels like it's a bout of mild asthma went to allergist ran allergy panel am allergic to dust mites ran another pft he said the results were great and he feels like I have been misdiagnosed and from my medical history may have vocal cord dysfunction since asthma medications fails to relieve breathing issues also there is no wheezing and lungs sound clear my gp feels most of my breathing issues are related to my anxiety which I have GAD which I am currently addressing do not have any problems while sleeping do not know who to believe very frustrating would like an opinion
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Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar 4 hours later
Brief Answer:
If PFT is normal and you are not having wheezing, then asthma is unlikely.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your question on Health Care Magic.
I can understand your concern.
Asthma is chronic allergic inflammatory disease of airways.
It causes bronchospasm. This bronchospasm causes wheezing and breathlessness.
It will also reflect in PFT (Pulmonary Function Test) as obstructive airway defect.
Since you had normal PFT s twice, possibility of asthma is unlikely in your case.
Uncontrolled stress and anxiety can cause similar symptoms.
So better to consult psychiatrist and get done counseling sessions.
Try to identify stressor in your life and start working on its solution.
Don't worry, you will be alright.
Avoid stress and tension, be relax and calm.
No need to worry for asthma in your case.
Hope I have solved your query.
I will be happy to help you further. Wish you good health. Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar 11 minutes later
Should I disconrinue the pulmicort the allergist said that it wouldn't hurt but i feel less medicine is more and can anxiety affect vocal cord dysfunction thanks once again for your help
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar 6 hours later
Brief Answer:
Yes, you should stop pulmicort.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your follow up question on HCM.
I can understand your concern.
Yes, you should definitely stop pulmicort because you are not having abnormal PFT and wheezing.
Causes for vocal cord dysfunction are GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), stress, anxiety, environmental allergens like dust, pollens, animal fur, pollution, mites etc.
So in your case probable causes are stress, anxiety and environmental allergens.
So avoid stress and tension, be relax and calm.
Avoid allergens like dust, pollens, mites etc.
If you have GERD than start proton pump inhibitors. Avoid hot and spicy food. Avoid large meals, instead take frequent small meals.
Don't worry, you will be alright.
Hope I have solved your query.
If you are not having further queries, then please close the conversation and rate my answer.
You can ask me directly on XXXX
Wish you good health. Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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