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Shortness Of Breath (the "sighs")?

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My GI said he didn't think it was related, but I'm not convinced. When I was 19 I started noticing that I was often having to take deep breaths to feel like I was getting any air. Now at 25 I feel it all the time, every day, and it's more like I have to sigh or yawn in order to feel like my lungs are getting what they need. I know that I'm not suffocating but it's not a comfortable feeling. It's not exactly a chest tightness but it's similar. I've had the pulmonary function and asthma tests, even went to a cardiologist for a while to rule out any heart conditions. Everyone says my lungs are working great but I still feel like it's not getting any better. I did smoke for a long time but I quit a little over 2 years ago (2 years, 9 weeks, 0 days, 14 hours and 12 mins and saved $3,410.79.. .but who's counting?) but doctors have ruled out complications from that. They almost all default to anxiety because I have a prescription for Xanax but I can tell you that it happens all the time, regardless of feeling anxious.

Sound familiar to anyone, or should I keep looking? I'm starting to wonder if another allergy might be the cause.

Hello

I had the same problem and had not yet been tested for Celiacs. The hard to breath feeling was accompanied by that extremely full feeling and heartburn. When they did my endoscopy (positive for celiac disease) they found Gastritis & esophagitis (sp) which are both inflammation of the stomach and esophagus. GI dr said it was most likely brought on by the celiacs and put me on presribed prilosec and the problem lessoned up and I am breathing much better!

Good Luck

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Well, I just got back from the ER, and like any odd medical symptom I get, I check it on here to see if I'm alone or it might be related to Celiac. Last night after dinner, I started to feel short of breath, exactly like some of you have said, in which it feels like I have to take constant big breaths just to feel like my lungs are getting the air. It felt like maybe a lung collapsed or something. I would have to breath out of my mouth to get enough air and almost be gasping, trying to find a deep breath, and manage to get one in and feel better for a nanosecond before starting all over. After not being able to sleep and worrying about it, I went to the ER. Doctor did a bunch of tests, blood, heart, chest x-ray, but everything seemed fine. He also said it might just be from anxiety (i don't think so). I asked him if it was possible that since I get that celiac belly- distended abdomen and expanded intestines, if it might just be that all of that was pushing against or getting in the way of my lungs or diaphragm. He said no. But I just don't trust doctors anymore....

And this has happened to me once before, a month or two ago, the SAME exact thing and it lasted like 2 days.

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This is the symptom thst made me want to find out if I had Celiac's again. The last few weeks I had been so tired and out of breath and just weak. Even talking would make me feel breathless. I went on one of these web md symptom checker websites and anemia was one of the possible diagnosis'. I stated taking an iron supplement that night and it started going away within hours. I haven't felt breathless since.

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Hi,

I've had this too. First in college, it was so bad, the lack of air, I couldn't even climb up three flights of stairs to my apartment without sitting down. I was young and thin, yet I felt completely out of shape. I went to the doctors and he said I was only using 30% of my lung capacity.

From that point on, I did exactly what you did - constantly grasped for air. I would do it over and over again until I felt like my lungs filled up. I begin thinking it was an OCD/anxiety thing, because I did it so often.

However, after going gluten-free this got significantly better. I just now realized after reading your post that I never do this anymore.

However, back in December I started realizing that I was often feeling out of breath again. My iron levels were low and since supplementing with iron, I don't get this feeling anymore either.

I think it's a combination of lack of vitamins/minerals and other food intolerances. I started taking a liquid vitamin that supposedly has a 93% absorption rate back in January, and maybe that's why the shortness of breath is now gone.

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I had that sudden, unconscious gasp for air also. I didn't realize it could be related until browsing this thread. I had forgotten about it, but now that I think about it, it hasn't happened since I went gluten free. About 6 years ago, right before I started high school, I went to this fitness program where they put me on a stationary bike and tested my oxygen levels. They kept asking whether I was getting enough air and I said I was fine. After the test, they told me I was using only a fraction of my lung-capacity. I went to asthma camps when I was little where they taught us how to "belly-breathe" and I was also a swimmer so I did okay with small breaths. I thought it was perfectly normal, but it always worried my mom when she wouldn't hear me taking breaths for a few minutes at a time and then hear me take a sudden gasp of air. That gluten does weird things.

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I too have suffered for many years with "shortness of breath", although it's more about not getting a satisfying breath. I've had my doctor run tests on my lungs as well as my heart and they have been ruled out. About a year ago I was told that it might be caused by acid reflux or GERD. So I went on proton-pump inhibitor medication which helped for a while. However, in the last couple months I've gotten worse than ever and I think I've built up a tolerance to the medications, if gerd was the proper diagnosis in the first place. I've just recently looked into Celiac disease and am shocked at how perfectly everyone has described their breathing issues and how similar it is to my symptom. I might try to go off glutin just to see if maybe my breathing gets better. It's been over 10 years I've been suffering with this without proper diagnosis or management and it doesn't seem like I'm alone. If you turn out to not have a glutin intolerance, maybe look into acid reflux or gerd as being the cause. It's amazing how uncomfortable and frustrating this symptom is and how many doctors just write you off or give you an inhaler. I'm going to try anything and everything I can because breathing is just about the most important and constant thing I do everyday and we all need to be able to do it comfortably. 

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It’s called air hunger. I used to get it all the time before I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. And I also had pvc’s (premature ventricular contraction) where it felt like my heart was fluttering. I was also anemic because my high tsh was causing me to have my period nonstop for a year. Once I started on synthroid the air hunger stopped - it took awhile to get the dosage right - but now I take brand name synthroid and it helps. I occasionally still get air hunger and I do struggle with anemia. My ferritin was very low and I felt terrible - I had two iron transfusions and started on Doterra vitality pack vitamins. I feel so so much better. But I used to get anxiety and panic attacks from the air hunger - now that I know what it’s from - thyroid issues plus the anemia most likely - I know it’s my normal and my synthroid needs to be adjusted. I still get pvc’s but they don’t bother me as much now that I know the cause. I went gluten free because I feel much much better without it - lots of issues won’t get into it - but the reason I landed here is because I was searching gluten and shortness of breath. If I’m glutened - the next day my chest feels tight and I feel slightly short of breath - I never used to have this but maybe because I stay away from it I’m more sensitive to my reactions. Anyway. Thought I’d chime in on the air hunger thing...I would get iron, ferritin, and thyroid tested. I got lucky at the time my thyroid was diagnosed anything over 2.5 was considered high. Mine was 3.5. Once treated my period went back to normal as well. Now the lab values at my clinic changed and go up to 5.5. I can’t even imagine how crappy I would feel at that level. Anything over 1.0 I have symptoms. Anyway good luck!

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