shortness of breath

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shortness of breath

Postby Kev » Wed Sep 10, 2008 4:30 am

I was diagnosed with RRMS about 9 years ago, and have had a pretty easy go of it. My concern relates to chronic persistent shortness of breath I've experienced for about a year now; it seems to be worsened while doing exercises involving changing my head elevation. For example, when I do squats in the gym with a moderate amount of weight, I feel very lightheaded, dizzy, and of course short of breath. I even get short of breath walking up a flight of stairs. I'd like to consider myself fit and exercise several times a week, have always had low-normal blood pressure, am not overweight, don't smoke and only occasionally drink alcohol. I've been to a pulmonary specialist who, after tests ranging from EKG to stress and breathing tests (all normal,) could find nothing wrong.

I had a bout of vertigo 4 years ago, which laid me up for about a month. My MS doctor doesn't think my shortness of breath is MS related.

Any ideas out there? My symptoms are their worst when I stress my leg muscles. I'd really like to be able to run more than a 1/2-mile without having to stop! Could this be circulation-related? Any insights are greatly appreciated.
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Postby jimmylegs » Wed Sep 10, 2008 6:09 am

when i couldn't breathe i went for a chest x-ray but it was clear. i supposed maybe my diaphragm wasn't functioning properly. i couldn't get a proper breath that would make my lungs feel stretched out. on the way out of the x-ray lab i stopped to talk with the pharmacist in the same building, and he listened to a bit of my story and my various complaints, and he advised me to take magnesium. it worked. i could breathe again. in case it was a coincidence, i stopped taking the magnesium and the troubles came back. i started it again, and they went away. one time since i have felt the shortness of breath come on, and loading up on magnesium fixed it once again. i don't know if my problem is exactly the same as yours, but you could try taking 600mg magnesium citrate each day to find out if it helps you. if you take any d3 it will monopolize the magnesium if you take it at the same time. make sure to get some of your daily mag intake separate from d3 so that it can get a chance at its other important interactions. high magnesium foods include nuts, seeds, and dark leafy greens. it's easier for your body to utilize the magnesium in foods compared to supplements. none of those foods were particularly high on my list prior to getting the pharmacist's advice, but i definitely try harder now.
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Postby MattB » Wed Sep 10, 2008 5:18 pm

Of all the things you've suggested magnesium for this is the first one I've actually decided to start taking it for. Since diagnosis I just feel like I can't fully fill my lungs with air but maybe once every 10-15 breaths. It gets to be very frustrating! Thanks for the tip.
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Postby jimmylegs » Wed Sep 10, 2008 5:52 pm

you're very welcome and i hope it works for you - please do let me know.

it's crazy how many different ways people on here are finding relief from magnesium - hopefully it helps you with more than just breathing :D keep us posted
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Postby jimmylegs » Wed Sep 10, 2008 6:02 pm

http://www.chemocare.com/managing/hypom ... nesium.asp

What Are Some Symptoms of Hypomagnesemia To Look For?

You may not have any symptoms, unless your blood test results show that your magnesium levels are significantly decreased.

Muscle weakness (ME), confusion (ME), and decreased reflexes with severely low blood magnesium levels. You may also notice "jerky" movements (ME), high blood pressure, and irregular heart rhythms (ME) with severely low blood magnesium levels.

When To Call Your Doctor or Health Care Provider About Hypomagnesemia:

* Feeling your heart beat rapidly (palpitations) (ME).
* Nausea that interferes with your ability to eat, and is unrelieved by any prescribed medications.
* Vomiting (vomiting more than 4-5 times in a 24 hour period).
* Diarrhea (greater than 5 stools per day).
* Muscle weakness (ME), or twitching (ME).
* Shortness of breath (ME), chest pain or discomfort (ME); swelling of your lips or throat (ME) should be evaluated immediately.

and all this after a "normal" test result for magnesium. i didn't know at the time that serum or plasma mag or whatever it is, was a useless test and that i should have asked for rbc magnesium. in fact i said to that pharmacist, 'but i've been taking magnesium the whole time, and my bloodwork was normal', but he was still right. i was taking my mag supp at the same time as 4000 IU d3 every day, and i wasn't eating any good food sources of mag.
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Postby MattB » Wed Sep 10, 2008 6:23 pm

I've been thinking about asking to have a full set of bloodwork run: looking for various illnesses, checking various levels of vitamins/minerals, whatever else they test for, etc. I'd be really interested to know if my healthy diet has me "quantitatively" healthier than the average person.
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Postby jimmylegs » Wed Sep 10, 2008 6:54 pm

that sounds like what i do matt! sniff out likely problems, order the tests - hopefully the right ones - pick apart the results, and fix the probs - even probs from "within the normal range". and then do more tests for followup and monitoring.
thing is though, you're only measuring your "after". it's better to measure yourself against yourself. many ms characteristic values for things are in the "normal" range, so on paper you won't likely appear any different than a "normal healthy person".
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Postby Kev » Fri Sep 26, 2008 10:40 am

Hey all,

I've tried magnesium citrate for about 3 weeks now with no change. I still get short of breath very easily.

Could this be a circulatory problem?
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Postby cheerleader » Fri Sep 26, 2008 12:29 pm

Hey Kev-
Sorry this is a problem...not fun. First, make sure this isn't a low blood pressure/circulation issue. It could be MS respiration. My husband is a brass player, and has had difficulty getting adequate air intake. He forces down his diaphragm by pushing out his stomach muscles to allow for space to fill his lungs. He has to consciously fill his lungs for several breaths to regain good air pressure. Respiratory problems affect 20% of MSers...here's a really good article on it. You are not alone-

"It has long been thought that respiratory problems occur later in the disease process. However, recent studies fail to correlate these symptoms with duration of MS. Rather it is the severity of MS (disability levels) that is a good indication of how severe the breathing difficulties will be. Breathing difficulties in MS can be caused by one or more of the following factors:
Sensory Problems It is now thought that these symptoms may be the result of abnormal respiratory sensory information.
Muscle Weakness: Many people with MS score low on measures of respiratory muscle strength, such as mouth pressure tests (see below).
Side Effect of Medications: Some drugs prescribed to help with MS-related pain or spasticity can cause breathing to be slower and shallower. These include muscle relaxants, tranquilizers and opioid-based pain medications.
Aspiration Pneumonia: This is caused when food particles, liquid or mucus enters the lungs. This can be a cause of breathing difficulties in people with MS, due to MS-related swallowing difficulties or inability to clear mucus from nose or throat."

http://ms.about.com/od/signssymptoms/a/ ... ry_gen.htm

AC
Husband dx RRMS 3/07
dx dual jugular vein stenosis (CCSVI) 4/09
http://ccsviinms.blogspot.com
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Postby jimmylegs » Fri Sep 26, 2008 12:50 pm

kev sorry it didn't help so far. i forget if you're taking d3 simultaneously or not? magnesium really helped me but only when i backed off on the d3 for a bit. on the other hand my breathing probs that were helped with magnesium could have totally different origins than yours and mattb's... puzzling.
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Postby Kev » Fri Sep 26, 2008 1:22 pm

Wow. Thanks to both of you. Mr. Jimmylegs, in response to your question, I'm not on any Vitamin D therapies. And, I also don't think its related to my taking Tysabri, since the problem started long before this therapy was begun.

Ms. Cheerleader: I'm interested in that article you quoted from, specifically the condition of Aspiration Pneumonia. Think I'll read the whole article tonight, thanks!
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Postby jimmylegs » Fri Sep 26, 2008 2:40 pm

ugh i don't want to read about asp pneu right now :S sorry cheer hehehe!
my throat still isn't 100% and i feel like spit is getting into my lungs all the time. i have a cold too so the lungs are worse right now.. i worked on thurs and had to pass off my students to another leader because i was coughing so hard - a parent chaperone said she had symptoms like mine that turned out to be walking pneumonia in 2 lungs, i don't have time for this hehe
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Postby cheerleader » Fri Sep 26, 2008 3:03 pm

Jimmy....
Take care of yourself, girl. Extra C, chicken soup and lots of rest. Don't let that cough get worse!

Kev...Jimmy is (despite her name and scary avatar) not a mister, but a lovely Canadian gal. You're not the first to be confused.
I hope you get some answers to your breathing issues.
best,
AC
Husband dx RRMS 3/07
dx dual jugular vein stenosis (CCSVI) 4/09
http://ccsviinms.blogspot.com
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Postby NRaye1960 » Wed Aug 05, 2009 4:20 pm

I'm new to this site...what is the d3 you are referring to?


jimmylegs wrote:http://www.chemocare.com/managing/hypomagnesemia-low-magnesium.asp

What Are Some Symptoms of Hypomagnesemia To Look For?

You may not have any symptoms, unless your blood test results show that your magnesium levels are significantly decreased.

Muscle weakness (ME), confusion (ME), and decreased reflexes with severely low blood magnesium levels. You may also notice "jerky" movements (ME), high blood pressure, and irregular heart rhythms (ME) with severely low blood magnesium levels.

When To Call Your Doctor or Health Care Provider About Hypomagnesemia:

* Feeling your heart beat rapidly (palpitations) (ME).
* Nausea that interferes with your ability to eat, and is unrelieved by any prescribed medications.
* Vomiting (vomiting more than 4-5 times in a 24 hour period).
* Diarrhea (greater than 5 stools per day).
* Muscle weakness (ME), or twitching (ME).
* Shortness of breath (ME), chest pain or discomfort (ME); swelling of your lips or throat (ME) should be evaluated immediately.

and all this after a "normal" test result for magnesium. i didn't know at the time that serum or plasma mag or whatever it is, was a useless test and that i should have asked for rbc magnesium. in fact i said to that pharmacist, 'but i've been taking magnesium the whole time, and my bloodwork was normal', but he was still right. i was taking my mag supp at the same time as 4000 IU d3 every day, and i wasn't eating any good food sources of mag.
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Postby peekaboo » Wed Aug 05, 2009 4:50 pm

Late to the post but...

JL wrote:
when i couldn't breathe i went for a chest x-ray but it was clear. i supposed maybe my diaphragm wasn't functioning properly. i couldn't get a proper breath that would make my lungs feel stretched...


For me I have the same problems which I attribute to the MS hug syndrom. The lack of nerve communication in the lower thorasic area of the spine is the culprit. During one of my recent GP appts., he asked me to take deep breaths and he said"is that all U can do? My GP is also a pulminary specialist and he new my lungs were/are clear.

Do you thing that you may have the dreaded Hug? do you feel like yo have a girdle on your mid-section?
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