Breathing with Fibro

longtimer

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Hi - in the last 6 months I've had problems with my breathing - my breaths feel shallow and sometimes its hard to catch my breath especially going up stairs or bending over. My doctor has sent me for lung tests and a chest xray and they've come back clear and normal. I am still to have a heart stress test... does anyone else have this issue? is it related to Fibro?
 

sweetkamie20

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Hi, Longtimer :). If I recall, I stumbled across someone else mentioning difficulty breathing with fibromyalgia. I rarely have difficulty and when I do it is very short-lived but this other person had particular concerns. I searched the forum (there is a search button to the right at top) and see that there are definitely posts where other people mention troubles with breathing.

Hopefully something there gives you some ideas what could be going on.

Let us know what you find if you want :)
 

sunkacola

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Hi Longtimer,
I strongly recommend that you go as soon as possible to a doctor for this, as it could be something life-threatening. It is not necessarily a symptom of fibro. Often, those of us with fibro tend to think or even assume that any new problem is related to fibro, but each new symptom needs to be checked out because it might not be. In this case, anything that is affecting your breathing needs to be seen by a doctor immediately!
 

JayCS

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Hi longtimer - I'm one of the ones who actually often has short breath, and I've often mentioned it, and altho I'm never keen to do so I actually "blame it on the fibro". Going up stairs, bending over, yes, both, but also anything I do with my arms up, like window cleaning can cause severe bouts of this.

I think it has to do with energy and muscles, incl. arms & ribcage (arms up).

Surprisingly, my main treatment for a severe bout is pressing acupressure points left and right of my sternum. It works for me inside of about 1 minute. I learnt it from the video AWAKEN YOUR LUNGS IN 30 SECONDS - Dr Alan Mandell, DC, and he's generally quite good too, there are other acupressure points on your hand in other videos, as we're all different.

Another general help is doing various breathing exercises, like yoga (pranayama), or Wim Hof's breathing technique, which I've often found very helpful for a variety of breath, but also energy and other problems.
 

longtimer

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Hi Thanks to all of you for commenting.

I practice yoga - and find that I have trouble breathing through it - my lungs feel constrained and I cannot fill them. I downloaded a breathing app that helps me practice after reading a book devoted to breathing. I am under a doctor's care and so far after testing, my lungs seem to be healthy - I am suspecting that its related to a cervical fusion I had about 4 years ago - the particular nerve that runs through C4-5 can affect the diaphragm apparently - but we'll see. I was wondering if it was fibro as there is no test to show it is, just anecdotes from fellow sufferers. So thank you to JacCS for your particular comments.
 

JayCS

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I practice yoga - and find that I have trouble breathing through it
Now I'm curious: Do you mean specifically pranayama or 'normal' yoga exercises?
Does the breathing app help? Is it possible for you to do the Wim Hof technique? is it all the time? 🧐
 

longtimer

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I do a "normal" yoga practice (through DownDog) and have trouble filling my lungs in most poses. I have the app Paced Breathing and I read the book Breath by James Nestor which has alot of information in it about building lung capacity. I have been doing breath exercises and relaxation exercises with guided breath for at least 20 years. The Fibro diagnosis was about 2 years ago.
 

JayCS

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I do a "normal" yoga practice (through DownDog) and have trouble filling my lungs in most poses.
Same for me when doing 'normal' yoga. Since fibro, and not before.
But how you say it now sounds as if you don't have this all the time....
If I understand you correctly, your old breathing exercises and app don't help.
So I'd still be interested what happens if you try the Wim Hof breathing technique, as it's different.
Have you seen James Nestor's recommendation of it on youtube?
(The Power of Wim Hof Breathing | James Nestor)
There he says that it is the next rung up from the normal gentle sorts they'd been talking about, so I I'm not sure if he mentions it in his book.
Also at the end of that video what he calls the "physiological sigh" helps me, I also sometimes breathe in about 8 to 10 times instead of just twice, so that that sort of shakes my torso (out once).
 
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longtimer

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Thank you JacCS - I will look this technique up. And yes, I've only been having breathing problems for the last 6 months - that's why a friend suggested the book to me and why I downloaded the breathing app (suggested in the book).
 

Shadow07

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Hi, not long been diagnosed with fibromyalgia but been in pain for quite a few year but tests and xrays, scans and that come back clear so couldn't understand why I was in pain and feeling tired all the time, I thought I'd look up as well if anybody had problems with there breathing when I walk I can have trouble with loosing my breath andI can loose my breath with the simplest thing.ive had chest xray come back all clear so got to be down to the fibromyalgia.
 

sunkacola

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ive had chest xray come back all clear so got to be down to the fibromyalgia.
Hi Shadow, While a chest X-ray can show certain things, the fact that nothing showed up on the chest X-ray doesn't prove that your shortness of breath is caused by the fibromyalgia; there are many things that can cause it.
At the same time, it is true that for those of us with chronic pain it often takes more energy and effort to do things we used to do with ease, and that can sometimes cause us to get winded.
I would recommend that you make sure you have explored all of the possibilities for the source of the short breath, though. We have a tendency to attribute everything that is wrong or starts happening to fibromyalgia, which is understandable because it is so widely varied in symptoms. but not everything that goes on is a part of fibro.
 

cookiebaker

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Hi, not long been diagnosed with fibromyalgia but been in pain for quite a few year but tests and xrays, scans and that come back clear so couldn't understand why I was in pain and feeling tired all the time, I thought I'd look up as well if anybody had problems with there breathing when I walk I can have trouble with loosing my breath andI can loose my breath with the simplest thing.ive had chest xray come back all clear so got to be down to the fibromyalgia.
sounds very similar to me.. but I also have COPD, which also makes it hard to breathe at times.. and I get winded quite easily..
Chest x-rays usually come back pretty good, no major issues noted on them (aside from a couple of healed cracked ribs)
COPD makes it hard to breathe because the tissues are not as flexible as they should be.. and it can be caused by a variety of things, including chronic bronchitis, smoking (or 2nd hand smoke), air pollution (both indoors or out) - breathing a lot of dust can contribute too

have you had any pulmonary testing (breathing tests)? If not, you may want to ask about that if the shortness of breath is that bothersome.
they do make some very good inhaler meds for breathing problems.
 

xxcazzyxx

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I'm so glad I came across this thread. I had a chest x ray yesterday, because I asked my doctor if breathing, well shortness of breathe, I walk less than well let's say 20 houses down my road, and I'm breathing like I've just ran a marathon. Doctor said to me this is nothing to do with fibromyalgia and sent me for x Ray's. I personally thought it is my fitness levels, as beginning of year I was going to gym about 3 or 4 times a week and walking every night for an hour or so. I've not been able to do this for months. I shall wait and see what results show. Thank you for sharing your story 💞
 
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