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Date of last update: 10/19/2017.

Forum Name: Chest symptoms

Question: Chest Discomfort and Difficulty in breathing

 Anonymous - Fri Jun 24, 2005 1:23 pm

I am 31 years old male. From last couple of years I am facing this problem.
It first started in August 2003. I was sleeping and suddenly I felt that I am out of breath and not getting enough air in my lungs.
I got panicked and woke up. But that feeling was there for 10-15 minutes, after which I started feeling ok and slept again. I went to ER and they took chest x-ray and did the blood work, which was normal. They suggested acute bronchitis and gave me albutrol inhaler. And told me to use the same when I have similar attack.
Same week I met my doctor and he told me that this might be because of seasonal allergy and gave me allegra and antibiotics, I didn't have the problem for next six month and during this time I was taking Allegra or Claritin continuously. After six months or so again, I had the similar attack early in the morning, with chest tightness and breathing difficulty. Again I visited same doctor and he performed EKG, Blood Test, which was normal. He suggested me to increase allegra doses to 2 tabs per day.
After three four months again I had the similar attack and this attack lasted few day with chest tightness and excessive difficulty in breathing, this time my doctor again took the EKG, which was normal and gave me a dry powder inhaler and suggested me to meet a pulmonary specialist.
My Pulm. Specialist sent me for a Methocoline Challenge Test, and it was normal.
Then he sent me for PFT, which was normal.
Then he sent me for full PFT, CT Scan, Stress Cardiolite test. All these test were normal and he told me that my lungs are absolutely normal and I do not have Asthma or any obtrusive disease.
Now from last five months I have this upper chest tightness and difficulty in breathing, quite consistently. Sometime I feel mild pain in the center of my chest. I used to get acidity quite frequently from last two three years, and I used to take zantac when needed.
Also on my doctor (Primary Physician) suggestion, I started taking Zantac twice a day, and I am not sure if it is helping me.
Also I would like to mention that I feel better while/after exercising and do not have any particular problem while exercising.
I was a active smoker for around 12 years with 1/2 pack a day and from last few months I am trying to quit and cut the habit to max three or four cigarettes a week.
Please suggest me, what should I do, I am very worried and don't know where to go for help. What kind of specialist I should go to. I have all these thoughts always in my mind that I have got some bad desease.
I am thinking of changing my Doctor to an Internal medicine doctor.
 Shannon Morgan, CMA - Sun Jun 26, 2005 8:28 am

User avatar With all pulmonary and cardiac conditions ruled out, it sounds like a classic panic attack. They tend to occur for no reason, just out of the blue, and they are also fairly common.

I know you do not want to hear this, but it happens to so many people, it feels like you are going to die, and they tend to make general anxiety worse, which brings them on more frequently.

Talk to your doctor about something to relieve them, and if what he gives you first is ineffective, try seeing a psychiatrist, they are MDs who specialize in diseases and disorders.

Remember it is not your fault, you didn't do anything for these to occur, they are physical in nature, just affecting the chemicals in the brain, that's all.

I hope this helps and you feel much better soon. :D


 ajo - Mon Jun 27, 2005 1:20 pm

Thanks for the quick reply. Although it is helpful to know that this is nothing serious and may be related with a panic attack, I am really feeling frustated. The thing which I am most worried about in last two years is that these symptoms are incrasing, first I got this attack for few miniutes and now after two years these symptoms are persistent and I can feel something in my chest continuously. I tried doing some breathing exercising like try to hold my breath as long as possible, and this helps. But I noticed that if I take fast deep breaths in and out then these symptoms increases, could they be related with the inflamation of Bronchii? If this may be the case, then couldn't this be identified in the tests, which I have gone through?
Can you suggest some breathing exercises? which can help me to reduce the chest tightness?

Thanks for the reply.
 Shannon Morgan, CMA - Mon Jun 27, 2005 5:11 pm

User avatar Ajo, the nature of panic disorder is you feel like you can't breathe and end up hyperventilating. It is not an inflammation or problem of anything in the lungs.

Regular, daily excercise, even for just 15-20 minutes can work wonders. It naturally reduces stress along with being better for the body. It probably won't take all your symptoms away, if your symptoms persist, talk to your doctor about adding something to the excercise to help. :)
 julsvern - Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:25 pm


My mother had your same symptoms and it took 6 hospital admitances until they finally diagnosed her with Esophageal Spasm. Have your doctor perform or issue a Barium swallow, a CT scan or even an ultrasound. This one is hard to find and even diagnose. Because of how your tests all came back normal yet you can't breath as you once were able to and it is intermittent i would really have your doctor check to see if you have this.

Good luck.
 rhoades69 - Sun Jul 25, 2010 2:14 am

yes Hello,

i am 24 years old and last night i started having a chest pain in my left part of my chest when i lay down it hurts some. now it has went into the center of my chest and it also hurts into my back. i walked alittle ways to the bathroom and back and when i layed back down i had shortness of breath. what could be wrong with me?

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