Breathing difficulties

Question:
My stepmother has extreme breathing problems characterized by her inability to exhale enough to bring in adequate fresh air.  The exhaust air seems to get trapped so her breathing is very shallow. Any ideas of treatment, explanation, or similar accounts of this problem would be appreciated.  She has had every imaginable test performed including surgical biopsy and pathological study of the tissue. This is not emphysema or other common lung ailment.

Your description of your step-mother being unable to “exhale” is characteristic of obstructive pulmonary disease, like asthma,  so I’m perplexed that this diagnosis has eluded her.  In this type of respiratory disease, the airways become inflamed and reactive (spastic) and “traps” air in the lung tissue, or alveoli.  The brain receives a signal of distress and the person starts to hyperventilate, which aggravates the problem. Suggestions: Go to a Pulmonary specialist and get a complete work-up, Pulmonary Function Test, etc. Since the problem is getting air out, the objective is to prolong an expiratory phase by gently exhaling much longer than normally.  This can be achieved with practice, by inhaling through the nose and exhaling slowly, with pursed lips, gently blowing out over as long a time as possible. RAD, reactive airway diseases, are very common these days, and manifest in unusual ways.  While she does not appear to have emphysema, where the air sacs are bullous and non-elastic, therefore trapping air, I remain unconvinced that some form of asthma is not being recognized.  There are many useful treatments for asthma in medications and lifestyle. Good luck!   Ariel

Response:
LK My stepmother has extreme breathing problems characterized by her LK inability to exhale enough to bring in adequate fresh air.  The LK exhaust air seems to get trapped so her breathing is very shallow. LK Any ideas of treatment, explanation, or similar accounts of this LK problem would be appreciated.  She has had every imaginable test LK performed including surgical biopsy and pathological study of the LK tissue. This is not emphysema or other common lung ailment.     Would taking MSM and Vitamin C capsules help with your stepmother’s     lung problem? .. End  of  message ___ Blue Wave/386 v2.30 [NR]

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Response:
My stepmother has extreme breathing problems characterized by her inability to exhale enough to bring in adequate fresh air.  The exhaust air seems to get trapped so her breathing is very shallow. Any ideas of treatment, explanation, or similar accounts of this problem would be appreciated.  She has had every imaginable test performed including surgical biopsy and pathological study of the tissue. This is not emphysema or other common lung ailment.

I have been through this.  I am 46 female.  The other day I felt like I couldn’t breath.  I felt like my throat was closing up.  That day there was alot of things flying around in the air. I do have allergys, that I only take vitamin C 2000 mil a day some days, and it really does help. I have very bad allergys.  Anyway that day that I couldn’t breath, my daughter told me to take a benedril, because she gets it too, and it helped her. lo and behold, a little while later it was gone. I also go for vigourous walks every day to force the air deep into my lungs. The worst thing to do is lay around. Then it can turn into a mental thing, where your afraid to move around too much. I would say the main thing for her is to start walking no matter what.  I hope this helps her.

Response:
My stepmother has extreme breathing problems characterized by her inability to exhale enough to bring in adequate fresh air.  The exhaust air seems to get trapped so her breathing is very shallow. Any ideas of treatment, explanation, or similar accounts of this problem would be appreciated.  She has had every imaginable test performed including surgical biopsy and pathological study of the tissue. This is not emphysema or other common lung ailment.

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It definitely sounds like a COPD of some type (chronic asthma, emphysema, etc).  Tough to say with so little info.  I would get a second opinion. Steve

Response:
My stepmother has extreme breathing problems characterized by her inability to exhale enough to bring in adequate fresh air.  The exhaust air seems to get trapped so her breathing is very shallow. Any ideas of treatment, explanation, or similar accounts of this problem would be appreciated.  She has had every imaginable test performed including surgical biopsy and pathological study of the tissue. This is not emphysema or other common lung ailment.

Larry– If there is no discoverable medical reason for this problem, it may well be that your Grandmother has a hard time letting go psychologically. I write about this in my book, mentioned below. Breathing therapists also talk about the importance of this inability to let go enough, to exhale enough, to allow the inhalation to take place on its own. Exhalation, letting go into the unknown, is scary for many people. Very few of us are actually able to exhale completely (except, of course, for the air that must remain in the lungs to keep them from colapsing). Exhalation, especially when it is long and full, helps turn on our parasympathetic nervous system, our “relaxation response.” In general, the high level of stress in our lives keeps our parasympathetic nervous system turned on continually. You might want to subscribe to my free monthly email newsletter, “Breathing Exercises & Tips,” to see if there is anything there that might be useful for her–and, of course, for you. We can all improve when it comes to our awareness and fullness of breathing. You can subscribe at <http://www.breath.org/. With my best wishes, — Dennis Lewis Author of the book “The Tao of Natural Breathing,” and the audio program from Sounds True “Breathing as a Metaphor for Living.” —Share what you know. Learn what you don’t.—

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Response:
My stepmother has extreme breathing problems characterized by her inability to exhale enough to bring in adequate fresh air.  The exhaust air seems to get trapped so her breathing is very shallow. Any ideas of treatment, explanation, or similar accounts of this problem would be appreciated.  She has had every imaginable test performed including surgical biopsy and pathological study of the tissue. This is not emphysema or other common lung ailment.

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