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Posted By : summer16 - 7/15/2012 10:41 AM
Has anyone had breathing problems and if so could you describe them.

Posted By : markus12 - 7/15/2012 12:50 PM
Yes, it was one of my main symptoms. Shortness of breath started one day upon waking and caused extreme anxiety for me which led to months of panic attacks. A few months later I started coughing a lot, which continued for months and became a series of violent coughing attacks with a lot of mucus. I was diagnosed with "allergy induced asthma", which I didn't buy at the time, but I really didn't know what else to think. Taking a deep breathe always felt difficult, ESPECIALLY in the morning. As I would go to inhale I would feel like I had already taken a breath and couldn't get any more air. It became an extreme anxiety for me, and there were weeks at a time when I was consciously aware of my breathing and felt as if my body couldn't preform it on its own anymore. I ended up taking singulair for a while, which I hated as I am very opposed to pharmaceutical drugs. I ended up seeing a therapist for a while to try to get rid of my "breathing anxiety." I bought a book on buteyko breathing exercises which was great, its really very simple and consists of breath holds after you exhale to increase the c02 concentration in your blood. These breathing excercise are simple and really help with any type of asthma, coughing, and breathing issues. Buteyko even claims that asthma itself is a result of hyperventilation and "over-breathing", which after researching a ton in college I found out is a very legitimate claim. I found strong evidence of individuals who had horrible asthma for years being actually cured using these simple breathing exercises, and the science behind this makes a lot of sense. The book is called "Close Your Mouth", if you do have breathing issues I highly suggest it. So anyway, the whole time this was all going on my friends and family were telling me it was all in my head. I knew that it wasn't, that I wasn't crazy, and did the breathing excises consistently every day and saw definite improvements. Eventually I decided one day to stop taking Singulair because I saw no improvement with it (started taking it after I started Buteyko). Within a week or so the coughing completely stopped. To this day I still have daily issues with breathing anxiety, although its totally tolerable at this point. I now know since being diagnosed with lyme that lyme is the cause of these issues, and I'm very much looking forward to the day when I am cured and my breathing is completely back to normal.

For me, anxiety caused by lyme is definitely a part of the breathing issues I have. Combined with the physical breathing issues of lyme, it makes for a nasty combination. You just have to be positive and not let the worries get to you. Do everything you can to naturally control your anxiety and breathing. Herbs, yoga, meditation, and talking to a therapist will really help if your issues are anything similar to mine. Good luck.


Posted By : summer16 - 7/15/2012 1:50 PM
Mark, everything you have just described is what I have been putting up with for 4 years.  I hyperventilated to 120 breaths per minute which has calmed down to almost a normal level.  I definately notice it worse during anxiety times.  Breathing exercises helped diffuse the situation only somwhat but I will look up buteyko.  The horrendous mucus production lasted 3 years and I still deal with mucus plugs in the throat which causes wheezing.  I refused to take an inhaler but did find that Astepro nasal inhalant reduced the sinus production.  And yes, it felt like I would imagine asthma feels like.  I still get air hungar but no longer have panic attacks.  I, too, have read a ton of info on over-breathing.  My breathing issues started after I had a toxic reaction to the antibiotic Levaquin.
A positive attitude is a must along with taking it minute by minute and day by day.  I am still trying to find a LLMD and will be calling a couple of them tomorrow.  The one LLMD that I liked is booked up for the time being.
Have you found that the Lyme treatment has helped with the breathing?  What regimine are you on?   Do you mind sharing what herbs you are taking right now?
Thanks so much for going into such detail.  You are the only one I have found that has/had the exact same debilitating symptoms as me.
Patty  xo

Posted By : summer16 - 7/15/2012 6:36 PM
WWJD20, thank you.  You have just reassured me.

Posted By : markus12 - 7/15/2012 8:57 PM
WWJD20, I'm definitely interested in the Himalayan sea salt, as I randomly saw an advertisement for that product earlier today and was wondering if I should try it.

Patty, I'm sorry to hear that you have been going through the same thing, it really is terrible and the worst part seems to be as much as you talk to friends and family about it, nobody can really comprehend what I'm going through. "What do you mean you have to consciously breathe?", etc. etc. As much as it sucks, I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one with these issues, I thought I was going crazy for a while.

I was diagnosed with Lyme, no co-infections, about two weeks ago. I've suspected it for months to a year, and I estimate that Ive been infected for 2-5 years, however; I was originally tested by my family doctor upon my request, who told me I was negative and assured me that I didn't have Lyme. Months later with no improvement I knew better and found an LLMD. The antibiotic he prescribed my is cefdinir (omnicef) at 600mg, twice a day (four 300mg capsules / day), however my stomach couldnt handle that dosage so I'm not taking 300mg twice a day. Before finding out about lyme I became extremely interested in natural healing methods (ayurveda, traditional chinese medicine, folk medicine, etc) and did a lot of reading on the topic. Right now I'm taking vitamin C (2-10 grams / day), quercetin (500-1000mg day), resveratrol (100mg/day), potassium/magnesium aspartate complex (250mg each, 500mg total), lutein & bilberry, and fish oil at ~ 2.4g /day. Those are what I take consistently on a daily basis, depending on how I'm feeling symptomatically I will occasionally change doses slightly. As for anxiety specifically, I take herbs/supplements only as needed. I'm really into organic gardening and I grow a lot of herbs (rosemary, chamomile, sage, lemon balm, lavender, etc) which I drink as a tea on a near daily basis, which definitely helps with the anxiety. The following is my response from another thread that I wrote a few days ago about lyme and anxiety:

STAY AWAY FROM CAFFEINE AND ESPECIALLY ALCOHOL. STOP DRINKING. Anxiety and Panic attacks have been my main symptom the past few years, so I have a lot of experience dealing with this. I would also stay away from xanax, klonopin, etc, as these drugs typically are extremely powerful and tend to make you depressed afterwards. Spending time in nature is honestly one of the best solutions. Go to a park, go for a walk, spend time around trees and wildlife. It will help and the effects of nature and healing are well documented. From an herbal standpoint I highly recommend valerian root extract. Try a liquid extract and start with a low dose, maybe 250mg (7 drops), and see how that works for you. If its not enough go up to 500mg, then 1000mg (28 drops). The bottle will say to take 1ml (28 drops) three times daily - this is not necessary; Use it as you need it, you'll figure it out. Aside from valerian, try passion flower, l-theanine (highly recommended - try 100mg or 200mg once or twice a day - a tolerance might develop quickly. When/if this happens I suggest skipping a day or two), chamomile, and rhodiola rosea. Try these herbs one at a time to see how they work for you without the results influencing each other. When you know what you like and what helps you, try rotating them to blend the effects and prevent a tolerance buildup. I highly recommend you buy good quality herbs. It's worth the extra money for better quality herbs, it will save you time and money in the end. As for a source, try swanson vitamins. They have a great selection and the best prices around (check for interactions, some sources will say certain herbs interact, although with in-depth research I've found most herbs seem to be fine at proper doses. Also, make sure to exercise daily (try yoga), and when you're feeling more comfortable inside your own body, try some breathing exercises and meditation (zen meditation is simple and straightforward) Remember, close your mouth and always breath through your nose! Look into buteyko breathing exercises. Unintentional hyperventilation is a huge factor of anxiety. Good luck, email me or private message me if you need any help.

The only time I would personally reccommend benzodiazepines (xanax, klonopin, etc) is if the anxiety is extremely bad for a long period of time and you just need something to give you a little temporary mercy and break the cycle. I usually carry one of my prescription klonopin pills with my where ever I go strictly as an emergency pill, and I will only take a fraction of the pill once ever few months if I really feel I need it. Valerian root extract works in a similar way, and I highly recommend, although I can't say much on the effects of long term consistent use. I usually try to cycle different herbs to find the perfect combination for myself. One last thing: try to be positive on a daily basis. Specifically point out things throughout your day that you find interesting, things that are attractive, things that are amazing. If you see a cool tree or plant, point it out and try to appreciate it. I've found that if you can incorporate certain positive tactics into your daily basis, you can eventually develop a methodology for healing yourself. Or at least that interesting building might take your mind of your breathing for a few minutes.


Post Edited (markus12) : 7/15/2012 9:02:12 PM (GMT-6)

Posted By : summer16 - 7/17/2012 4:41 PM
Mark, thank you so much for all the info and I am sorry it took so long to get back to you.
I have been keeping my mouth closed and it seems to really help with the breathing.  How many seconds could you hold your breath in the beginning?  I can only do about 12 seconds which doesn't sound very good.  And, how many of those exercises do you do in a row?
During the worst of my breathing problems it was impossible to take 10 steps without getting air hungar....I just couldn't get any air into my lungs.  I would bend over and really have to relax in order to get a breath.  I eventually learned that I wasn't going to pass out and that my breath would come.  It was not a panic attack.  To this day, if I get up quickly in the morning I am unable to get a breath for about 20 seconds.  Have you noticed a tightening of the diaphragm?  I sometimes concentrate on abdominal breathing and I do noticed that the diaphragm is tender.
The mucous problem was horrendous.  Did you have sinus problems?  My sinuses would cause dripping into the bronchials.  It was hard to distinguish if it was all a sinus problem or a bronchial problem.  I am sure it was both.  I would sleep with pillows in my lap to help prevent coughing.  Needless to say, sleep was very elusive.  I was even diagnosed with emphysema because I failed the PFT test.  My CT scans show my lungs are fine.  I even argued with the pulmonogist to think outside of the box.  He dismissed me and told me not to come back until the mucous had cleared up.  A recent ct of the lungs was also great.
Taking a benzo ONCE IN AWHILE is OK.  One can have problems getting off them if taken everyday after 2 weeks.  Valerian root is pretty well tolerated but again not on a consistent basis.
Again, thanks Mark.
Patty  xo

Posted By : Razzle - 7/17/2012 10:48 PM
Shortness of breath and air hunger can also be caused by some of the Lyme coinfections, especially Babesia, and to a lesser extent, Bartonella.

For anxiety, I have found homeopathic Aurum Arsenicum or homeopathic Arsenicum Alb. to be tremendously effective.

GABA also is great for anxiety (and sleep)...
Chronic Lyme, Bart., Gluten & Sulfite Sensitivity, Many Food/Inhalant/Medication/Chemical Allergies & Intolerances, Asthma, Gut dysmotility & non-specific inflammation, Lupus, Osteoporosis, etc.; G-Tube
Meds: Flagyl, Domperidone, Claritin, Singulair, Andrographis & other herbs, homeopathy, supplements, etc.

Posted By : markus12 - 7/18/2012 11:25 AM
Patty, when I got a copy of the book and started the breath hold exercises, my breath hold was about 18 seconds. I did a combination of the breathing exercises in the book throughout my day (walking to class, sitting in class, whenever I had some time) and I tried to do about 60-90 minutes worth a day, although less is still helpful to a certain degree. I would mainly do the walking breath holds (which I should point out are definitely harder than exercises while sitting), and then just short breath holds that were repetitive. I would breath a normal breathe through my nose, exhale, hold me breath for say 5-10 seconds, then breathe normally through the nose again for 15 seconds. This is a slight variation of one of the exercises in the book which if I recall correctly is supposed to be a 5 second breath hold. Just feel it out, see what seems appropriate to you. You just want to make sure that after the breath hold your'e getting enough oxygen before you start the breath hold again. The idea is "air hunger". You should NEVER even be close to starving for air. If after a breath hold you find yourself gasping for air, you held it too long. The idea is that you should be able to exhale, hold the breath, and then when you begin inhaling again breathe at the same speed as before you started the breath hold. After 20 or so mintues of these exercises you'll start to notice that breathing is less labored, and that you have a kind of "warm awareness" from the increase in co2 in your blood.

You will notice results after a few days in your breath hold time, and each week it will increase. I don't remember exactly because I don't have my little log book on hand but I would say that after maybe 2 weeks I increased from 18 seconds to about 25-28 seconds, and after about weeks I was in the high 30s. Today, I haven't been keeping up with the exercises, even though I should be, but even after not practicing for maybe 4-5 months my breath hold is still consistently in the 40-50 second range. Interestingly, it hasn't really dropped from not keeping up with the exercises.

Morning is definitely the worst and I completely understand that as I still deal with this on a daily basis, although it is better. Try to keep a daily log, if you don't you might not notice the subtle changes.

My mucus was bad about a year ago, I was coughing it up all day. You HAVE TO FIGHT THE COUGHING. when you feel a cough coming, close your mouth. Cough with your mouth closed, gently, if you have to, and immediately do breath holds. The increase in c02 should help the coughing. Coughing attacks are a vicious cycle, the more you cough, the worse the mucus gets, the more you cough. You have to try to stop your coughing. I had CT scans of my lungs, chest xray, etc, and there was nothing wrong with me. I was told my lungs are producing mucus but they dont know why. So they told me I had asthma. I've now been cough free for months.

I did also have sinus problems, which might have been the first real symptom of lyme that I ever had. This was maybe 3 years ago now. I started getting constant sinus headaches every day out of nowhere. Bad headaches. Bad pressure in the head and ears. Ended up having surgery for a deviated septum, which helped the headaches, however it just switched me to a new problem. Pressure in the ears and tinnitus, which I still have to this day and which I directly contribute to Lyme.

Posted By : Gondore - 3/17/2017 6:44 PM
markus11 can you please respond to me. I would really like to know how you are doing these days!

Post Edited By Moderator (Girlie) : 3/17/2017 6:55:39 PM (GMT-6)

Posted By : Krimpet 🍔 - 3/17/2017 6:56 PM
Gondore you may not get a response. They haven't posted since 2012.
Lyme Moderator

Current treatment: Samento, Cumanda, Banderol, Pinella, Burbur, Beyond Balance-tox ease gl, BB-1, EN-MC, lomatium, cats claw, cordyceps, licorice root, Hawthorne, milk thistle, burdock root, oregano oil, gse, adrenal homeopathy, adrenal cortex, EBV homeopathy, past injury homeopathy, host of vitamins, organic foods
"When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” ~Harriet Beecher Stowe

Posted By : Girlie - 3/17/2017 6:56 PM
Gondore - I edited your post to remove your email information. You can enable your email option through "My Profile" which allows form members only access to it.

Also wanted to let you know that markus11 hasn't been on the forum since 2012
Moderator, Lyme Forum
Symp started April/2013; Buhner's Lyme May 15-July24/14; Igenex pos. July 3/14
Doxy: July 4-Aug.24/14;Zithro July26-Aug24/14; Amox + Proben. Aug. 29/14;
added biaxin Sept. 26/14
Disc. amox,added Ceftin Nov. 20th.;
Disc. biaxin added Buhner bart herbs Dec/14;Jan/15 pulsing Tinda (w/ Ceftin);
Abx/herb break Apr-July/15; July-mino; Aug. added Rif;
Nov./15 mino - to biaxi

Posted By : julymorning - 3/17/2017 7:10 PM
Summer, I'm glad this method helped you! I do want to say that hyper overbreathing isn't the situation with everyone. Some people do have COPD for various reasons.

My Mom died of complications of it. I don't know the direct cause other than she smoked and lived with smokers. Her death certificate mentioned arteriosclerosis - I believe is plaque in the arteries.

I don't know where mine came from, my life style is not like hers, I do not smoke and can't be near people who smoke if it's on their clothes.

My heart diagnostics a year ago showed one of the lobes is weak. Forgive me for not knowing the tech terms, my Dr. has a strong accent and I barely pick up half....something about a weak lobe not expelling the carbon dioxide enough to allow oxygen to enter.

I have never hyperventilated. I do pursed lip exhalation as often as I can, but I have to be sitting down not trying to walk at the same time.

It is possible for tick borne diseases, especially RMSF, to damage your pumonary system, and in fact, any part of your system.
Moderator, Lyme Forum

Fibro diagnosed '85 Lyme (false?)positive '92,Osteoporosis, COPD, Hypertension, degen. disc disease, RMSF pos. Spring 2015, CHF, osteoarthritis. No LLMD. Used Doxy, Zithro and Flagyl since June '15, mono each time. Useless. Current treatment JK, Milk Thistle, kudzu for head fullness/pressure, avena sativa for nerves. Bragg's ACV, lemon water, Herbal de-tox tea.

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