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CamilleRN, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 4183
Experience:  Experience: 20 yrs experience in ER, ICU, Neuro, OR, Chemo,Cardiology, Dermatology and MORE.
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I am a physically active 29 year old man who goes to the gym

Customer Question

I am a physically active 29 year old man who goes to the gym to work out 4 times a week. My routines vary, but I do free weights, machines, and regular cardio on the bike and treadmill. I feel that I have good stamina and never have any problems with my work outs. I am able to walk up 4 floors to my office without breaking a sweat. I eat well and my doctor tells me that my cholesterol level is well below the average. My problem is that for the past year I have had some episodes of shortness of breath that appear to come out of the blue. It usually happens when I am up walking about, but I have also experienced it while sitting reading a magazine. During these spells, it really seems like I could use some extra air or oxygen like the football players get. I really have trouble catching my breath. After 10 or 15 minutes, my symptoms get better and I am back to my normal self. One of my co-workers suggested that my symptoms were like those he has when he has an asthma attack. However, I have never had asthma and never having any wheezing when I have these episodes. I have had about 8 spells over the past year. What do you think is happening with my breathing?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  CamilleRN replied 7 years ago.
HI and thank you for your question. You may be experiencing Anxiety. Do you have other symptoms? Nervousness, shakiness?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
No, I think that I am pretty stable. I have a good job and things are good at home. I think that I function very well with no real emotional problems. I definitely don't feel like I am anxious. I also don't get any chest pain.
Expert:  CamilleRN replied 7 years ago.
The shocking thing about Anxiety is that it can seem to come out of nowhere.. without a concrete cause. Anxiety can cause alterations in breathing patterns and it may be that you are holding your breath or breathing too rapidly which can cause the symptoms you are experiencing. The next time this happens there is something you can do...initiate proper breathing. You can help alleviate the feeling of shortness of breath secondary to incorrect breathing by changing your breathing pattern to abdominal breathing. To abdominal breathe ( which is a much more effective breathing technique) place one hand on your abdomen and one hand on your chest... watch to see which rises. It should be the abdomen, NOT the chest.Practice breathing using your abdominal muscles... (to breathe with chest muscles causes fatique and more shortness of breath) by taking in a deep breath through your nose.. making sure only the hand on your abdomen moves, slowly.. and exhale showly through the mouth.. your abdomen should flatten with exhalation. Do this three breaths at a time. Breathing correctly will immediately eliminate anxiety...., every time. If it comes back do it again. Definitely plan to get adequate sleep. Sleeping is so important for over all well being. I hope this information helps you. If I can help further just let me know