Trouble taking a full "satisfying" breath

goodfriendbob

New Member
Hi there, I could really use some help. I have been on 38 mg Test Cyp EOD for around a year now and recently have begun having an extremely troublesome problem. I donated blood twice for a work function recently (both donations were 56 days apart). The last donation was around 4 weeks ago. Two weeks ago, I began having trouble breathing in that only every few breaths I took were "satisfying". I began sighing a lot, yawning a lot, and it progressed to where it felt like I could not take a full breath. It got extremely bad one night and I considering going to the hospital, but I am a paramedic student so I ran an ekg and vitals on myself at work and everything checked out. I ran an iron panel and my iron came back in the upper range, however my ferritin came in low at 22 (lowest on the range was 30). The breathing issue abated the next day and I felt like I could breath again. However, three days ago this problem came back and its driving me INSANE. I am now constantly hyper focused on my breath and the fact that I can't seem to get enough of it. Every 8 breaths or so I finally take a breath that feels normal but then I just go right back to struggling. There is intermittent chest pain that accompanies this problem.

Is there anything else I need to evaluate here? I have had anxiety plenty of times in my life but clonazepam doesn't seem to touch this. I struggle through school and work, and running stressful calls feeling like I can't breath is just about unbearable. It makes it impossible for me to focus on anything else.

Any suggestions on where to go from here or any input from someone who has had the same problem would be very much appreciated
 

Systemlord

Member
Is there anything else I need to evaluate here? I have had anxiety plenty of times in my life but clonazepam doesn't seem to touch this.
These medicines are a trap forcing you to increase the dosage with time as it loses its effectiveness as your body builds tolerance. That's why these types of drugs are normally prescribed for limited amounts of time.

The low ferritin isn't good, I have to supplement 112mg of iron daily on TRT and if I don't it falls rapidly.

Are you taking anything to lower estrogen, like an AI?
 

goodfriendbob

New Member
These medicines are a trap forcing you to increase the dosage with time as it loses its effectiveness as your body builds tolerance. That's why these types of drugs are normally prescribed for limited amounts of time.
Absolutely, my prescription for 30 of them has lasted me close to two years now and I still have about 20 left. I take them very sparingly
 

sammmy

Active Member
I am NOT on TRT and you are describing exactly what I have, literally using the same words I describe it - it's uncanny, I thought I wrote the thread title! That doesn't guarantee it's the same thing though.

I have been having that "asthma" issue since 2018. It's not 'triggered' by anything - it starts the moment I get up in the morning with varying intensity during the day and during the week. In my case TRT is not the issue since I am not on it - I have a low normal free T with a high SHBG. I also have sinus /back of head pressures and headaches everyday, starting at noon, and fatigue when these are very pronounced. Sometimes these lead to getting a cold sore so I suspect a viral reactivation (like HSV1), or weirdly weak immune system (autoimmunity or cancer).

I am doing a CT scan of the chest next week - the chest xrays didn't show anything. The autoimmunity blood tests did not show any elevated inflammatory markers.

In my case, I can get deeper more satisfying breaths with a mild beta agonist - I use 100mg p-synephrine, since I don't have a prescription for "asthma".
 

goodfriendbob

New Member
These medicines are a trap forcing you to increase the dosage with time as it loses its effectiveness as your body builds tolerance. That's why these types of drugs are normally prescribed for limited amounts of time.

The low ferritin isn't good, I have to supplement 112mg of iron daily on TRT and if I don't it falls rapidly.

Are you taking anything to lower estrogen, like an AI?
Sorry I just saw the bottom half of this- I have started taking some beef spleen supplements because I hear the heme iron will help raise my ferritin but I have only taken them intermittently. My iron is probably close to the top quarter of the range (although i had taken an iron supplement the night before and heard that this can artificially inflate results) so I am leery about taking more iron. Maybe the higher iron will start converting to ferritin but I am unsure.

I am not taking any AI, my last blood test had my free t slightly above range, TT at 860 and e2 sensitive at 43. I have had estrogen much higher before without this system for what it's worth
 

goodfriendbob

New Member
I am NOT on TRT and you are describing exactly what I have, literally using the same words I describe it - it's uncanny, I thought I wrote the thread title! That doesn't guarantee it's the same thing though.

I have been having that "asthma" issue since 2018. It's not 'triggered' by anything - it starts the moment I get up in the morning with varying intensity during the day and during the week. In my case TRT is not the issue since I am not on it - I have a low normal free T with a high SHBG. I also have sinus /back of head pressures and headaches everyday, starting at noon, and fatigue when these are very pronounced. Sometimes these lead to getting a cold sore so I suspect a viral reactivation (like HSV1), or weirdly weak immune system (autoimmunity or cancer).

I am doing a CT scan of the chest next week - the chest xrays didn't show anything. The autoimmunity blood tests did not show any elevated inflammatory markers.

In my case, I can get deeper more satisfying breaths with a mild beta agonist - I use 100mg p-synephrine, since I don't have a prescription for "asthma".
Thank you for that advice, I may have to try the synephrine, and I hope you can figure this out for yourself as well. I am not sure how well you handle it but its terrible for me- I can't seem to get it off of my mind and it has made daily life and work extremely difficult lately.
 

sammmy

Active Member
Just make sure it is p-synephrine not m-synephrine. I got mine from LiftMode. It's a very mild stimulant - does not affect heart rate of blood pressure at those doses at all.

Thank you for posting about the ferritin. I went over the symptoms of iron defficiency and I have many of them so I will have to do blood tests. I don't know why my pulmonologist did not think of that.
 

Fortunate

Active Member
Not getting a satisfying breath can be from a lot of things, including asthma, allergies, bronchospasm, laryngeal dysfunction, anxiety, pulmonary embolism, congestive heart failure. The list goes on and on. I would see a doctor about this.
 

Systemlord

Member
Absolutely, my prescription for 30 of them has lasted me close to two years now and I still have about 20 left. I take them very sparingly
I was on clonazepam for 30 years and after I came off, suddenly have low-T and diabetes neither of which I had prior to coming off.

The withdrawal was pure hell!
 

Mark Saur

Active Member
Hi there, I could really use some help. I have been on 38 mg Test Cyp EOD for around a year now and recently have begun having an extremely troublesome problem. I donated blood twice for a work function recently (both donations were 56 days apart). The last donation was around 4 weeks ago. Two weeks ago, I began having trouble breathing in that only every few breaths I took were "satisfying". I began sighing a lot, yawning a lot, and it progressed to where it felt like I could not take a full breath. It got extremely bad one night and I considering going to the hospital, but I am a paramedic student so I ran an ekg and vitals on myself at work and everything checked out. I ran an iron panel and my iron came back in the upper range, however my ferritin came in low at 22 (lowest on the range was 30). The breathing issue abated the next day and I felt like I could breath again. However, three days ago this problem came back and its driving me INSANE. I am now constantly hyper focused on my breath and the fact that I can't seem to get enough of it. Every 8 breaths or so I finally take a breath that feels normal but then I just go right back to struggling. There is intermittent chest pain that accompanies this problem.

Is there anything else I need to evaluate here? I have had anxiety plenty of times in my life but clonazepam doesn't seem to touch this. I struggle through school and work, and running stressful calls feeling like I can't breath is just about unbearable. It makes it impossible for me to focus on anything else.

Any suggestions on where to go from here or any input from someone who has had the same problem would be very much appreciated
Sounds like you might have a Iron problem.
 

DorianGray

Active Member
I have experienced the same thing to a mild degree. Exactly as you describe. Take a regular or deep breath and it's like there wasn't enough oxygen in it for the same amount of volume inhaled before (TRT). Same here normal iron, low (26) ferritin. However, the more focused you are on it, the more exaggerated it gets. I don't dwell on it and it doesn't bother me. But, the low ferritin, I need to resolve.
 
Was listening to this podcast earlier and was reminded of this thread. Skip to the 43:40 mark for the part relevant to this thread(though the whole thing is pretty interesting).



talks about the importance of breathing for hormone levels and how different hormone levels can actually affect breathing.
 

sammmy

Active Member
The video is talking about sleep apnea, which has nothing to do with the symptoms described in this thread - the "unsatisfying breaths" in daytime.

Also, the human biochemistry is gazillion times more complicated than just bunch of hormones, so I don't buy into videos that "explain" everything with hormones according to some bad "studies", mostly correlations not causations.
 
The video is talking about sleep apnea, which has nothing to do with the symptoms described in this thread - the "unsatisfying breaths" in daytime.

Also, the human biochemistry is gazillion times more complicated than just bunch of hormones, so I don't buy into videos that "explain" everything with hormones according to some bad "studies", mostly correlations not causations.
He talks about both apnea and sleep apnea, and how poor breathing techniques are responsible for a lot of problems. And he didn’t try to explain any particular phenomenon by attributing anything solely to hormones, simply pointed out how different processes in the body affect each other. Also, he gave lots of tips on how to improve breathing and get better at oxygenating your blood which I thought may help some of the people in this thread.
 

UCFguy01

Active Member
To me, it sounds like anxiety may be causing this. It might not be your normal panicky type of anxiety. I get anxiety too and I take xanax(30 pills last me a year). I personally get different types of anxiety. Sometimes it's a depression type of anxiety(T helped alot with fixing this), sometimes it's stress/deadline type of anxiety, sometimes it's a public speaking type of anxiety, and sometimes if I'm somewhere and don't feel safe type of anxiety. Anyway, I get that urge to take a deep breath too at times. I believe they call it "air hunger". It's usually when I'm overthinking something or under some form of stress. It comes and goes occassionally. A good way I've found to fix it is to slowly take a deep breath(count 8 seconds), then hold it(count 8 seconds), then slowly let it out(count 8 seconds). Do this 5 or 6 times and see if it helps.
 

Blackhawk

Member
To me, it sounds like anxiety may be causing this. It might not be your normal panicky type of anxiety. I get anxiety too and I take xanax(30 pills last me a year). I personally get different types of anxiety. Sometimes it's a depression type of anxiety(T helped alot with fixing this), sometimes it's stress/deadline type of anxiety, sometimes it's a public speaking type of anxiety, and sometimes if I'm somewhere and don't feel safe type of anxiety. Anyway, I get that urge to take a deep breath too at times. I believe they call it "air hunger". It's usually when I'm overthinking something or under some form of stress. It comes and goes occassionally. A good way I've found to fix it is to slowly take a deep breath(count 8 seconds), then hold it(count 8 seconds), then slowly let it out(count 8 seconds). Do this 5 or 6 times and see if it helps.


I too had this related to PTSD from working as a medic, exactly as described by the OP. However, any attempt at breathing control only made it worse, only increasing the sensations of breathing distress in my chest. Some years after having PTSD and not realizing it, I saw a psychologist who specialized in capnometry and biofeedback. Every session I was hooked up to CO2, and heart rate variability equipment. He showed me graphically where this air hunger phenomenon came from. It was increadibly subtle hyperventilation (including the yawning which can be a stress based phenomenon) leading to alkalosis, remaining very much sub-panic. It could actually go on for days. When this happened physiologically it created a vicious cycle, the amygdala reacted to the bad sensations of feeling air hunger, and that stress compounded the subtle over-breathing. It took several years to work this out and become free of it through therapy, a very specific progression of meditation techniques, learning triggers, defusing some, avoiding others, some CBT etc...

I would however try to rule out other causes, and not just focus on the psychological, but it may be entirely psycho-physiological.
 

sammmy

Active Member
Mine is not anxiety or depression. The lack of sufficient oxygen is felt at maximum inhale volume - I even overstretch the lungs. Breathing exercises will not achieve anything in a problem of such magnitude, similar to how any "internet advise" does not work for true insomniacs. Internet is full of such gibberish propagated by sites and "experts".
 

UCFguy01

Active Member
I too had this related to PTSD from working as a medic, exactly as described by the OP. However, any attempt at breathing control only made it worse, only increasing the sensations of breathing distress in my chest. Some years after having PTSD and not realizing it, I saw a psychologist who specialized in capnometry and biofeedback. Every session I was hooked up to CO2, and heart rate variability equipment. He showed me graphically where this air hunger phenomenon came from. It was increadibly subtle hyperventilation (including the yawning which can be a stress based phenomenon) leading to alkalosis, remaining very much sub-panic. It could actually go on for days. When this happened physiologically it created a vicious cycle, the amygdala reacted to the bad sensations of feeling air hunger, and that stress compounded the subtle over-breathing. It took several years to work this out and become free of it through therapy, a very specific progression of meditation techniques, learning triggers, defusing some, avoiding others, some CBT etc...

I would however try to rule out other causes, and not just focus on the psychological, but it may be entirely psycho-physiological.
I would totally agree with this too. The subtle hyperventilation makes total sense.
 

Cataceous

Super Moderator
Highlighting the many possible underlying causes: I had these symptoms and eventually linked them to electrolyte and fluid imbalances. I do a lot of cycling, and every summer I used to develop this "air hunger", which would worsen until fall. Over time I discovered that I could prevent the symptoms by consuming relatively large amounts of salt. After I started TRT I soon realized that I no longer needed the extra salt. The natural excess fluid retention from TRT had the same effect, and was beneficial to my cycling.
 

MMarvel

New Member
I am NOT on TRT and you are describing exactly what I have, literally using the same words I describe it - it's uncanny, I thought I wrote the thread title! That doesn't guarantee it's the same thing though.

I have been having that "asthma" issue since 2018. It's not 'triggered' by anything - it starts the moment I get up in the morning with varying intensity during the day and during the week. In my case TRT is not the issue since I am not on it - I have a low normal free T with a high SHBG. I also have sinus /back of head pressures and headaches everyday, starting at noon, and fatigue when these are very pronounced. Sometimes these lead to getting a cold sore so I suspect a viral reactivation (like HSV1), or weirdly weak immune system (autoimmunity or cancer).

I am doing a CT scan of the chest next week - the chest xrays didn't show anything. The autoimmunity blood tests did not show any elevated inflammatory markers.

In my case, I can get deeper more satisfying breaths with a mild beta agonist - I use 100mg p-synephrine, since I don't have a prescription for "asthma".
This also describes me. I've been dealing with this for 20 years. One thing that's recently helped me is regular low-intensity steady-state cardio 4-5 days per week. I do a rowing machine for 30 minutes, and try to keep my heartrate in the low-intensity zone. I notice when I over-exercise, or do HIIT, it exacerbates this problem. But low-intensity exercise seems to help it. FWIW.
 

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