fibro and breathing difficulties

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New Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 11/7/2009 3:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Has anyone had difficulty breathing with fibro? I have incredible tightness in my shoulders and upper back and that's been one of the worst areas for me since I was diagnosed. In the past two months this feeling of not getting a full breath has escalated to the point where it's affecting everything I do. Sleep is disturbed, eating is affected. I went to my doctor with it, she did an ekg which showed irregular heart beat and sent me to the er in an ambulance. I passed the stress test the next day with no trouble. They sent me home saying it could be musculal/skeletal but physical therapy only seems to give temporary relief.
Does anyone know if this could be related to a thyroid problem? I saw that on a couple of web sites but would love to hear from someone who has experienced this problem. Thank you for your time.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6067
   Posted 11/8/2009 8:19 AM (GMT -7)   
There are times when it seems I can't take a deep breath but I usually blame it onto anxiety. Perhaps it is a part of fibro. We will see what others say.
luv and hugs
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Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 11/8/2009 9:54 AM (GMT -7)   
I have this from time to time. Don't know if it's related to the fms or not.
snowberry (who thanks Jesus for His peace)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 439
   Posted 11/8/2009 10:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Yes it is. The Pulmonary specialist told me that tissues in the lungs are affected by Fibro. They did several lung tests on me and found that my carbon dioxide/oxygen exchange isn't at maximum. Some things that will help you is to try not to do too much physical activity (climbing stairs was the worst on me), try not to be around anyone who's smoking (I can handle smoke in an open area, but inside a closed building or in a car with the windows up I cannot handle it), and if you feel short of breath, sit and take a rest and sip some water.

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 11/8/2009 12:16 PM (GMT -7)   
The carbon dioxide/oxygen thing sounds right to me. I find myself yawning a lot which< I believe, is an attempt to get rid of the co2 buildup. I still think, though, that the muscles are involved because if I can get someone to press on a few points around my shoulder blades something seems to "let go" and I can get a full breath. This week has been pretty rough because I had a cold (flu?) that turned into bronchitis.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 4796
   Posted 11/8/2009 12:58 PM (GMT -7)   
I have had problems breathing when I have been extremely fatigued while flaring and
when I had my bronchial / lung infection last month. Definately have your bronchitis
checked out and treated. You don't want it to progress.

Good Luck to you!

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 Disc Disease, Hypertension, Migraines and Pseudothrombocytopenia MEDS: Methotrexate, Savella,Flexeril,Diltiazem, Boniva, Vitamins 

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 111
   Posted 11/9/2009 12:32 PM (GMT -7)   
I've had problems with getting a full breath since I first developed symptoms of fibro. I can't seem to do any kind of physical activity without getting short of breath. Walking from my apartment to class wears me out completely, and I can't even walk back anymore because it's uphill, I have to drive. Just taking a walk makes me need a nap.

It feels mostly like I just don't get enough oxygen, so I would easily believe that there's something going on in my lungs. My rheumy is convinced that it's lung capacity and if I exercised more it would get better, but I think I'll talk to my primary about it when I see again.

Diagnosed with fibromyalgia February 2008, dysthymia January 2009.
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Provigil and Temazepam when I need them.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 686
   Posted 11/9/2009 2:31 PM (GMT -7)   
My doctor told me I should be doing breathing exercises because fibro causes us to breathe very shallow. When sitting, try taking deep breaths into your lungs (not diaphragm). Your stomach should not move. I hold on to my stomach when I do this. It does help my breathing and reminds me not to breathe so shallowly. I have lots of trouble with rib cage pain since getting fibro.
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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/9/2009 3:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Selkie,  I have had this problem for a while.  Since I have to have my bed raised in order to breathe comfortably.  I sometimes have to yawn to catch my breath.  My doctor thinks I am experiencing anxiety, so I have begun meditation to calm down.  I too cannot sleep because of it.  I have to talk to myself when I feel it coming on.  I have been checked physically for problems with my heart and I do not have any.  I do have hyperthyroidism.  I have had this illness since I was very young.  Do not get fearful, just try to relax and talk to yourself until you feel better.  I hope this helps. It has helped me to relax.
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