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Menopause Matters magazine ISSUE 60 out now. (June 2020)

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Author Topic: Shortness of breath and possible post nasal drip (and health anxiety)  (Read 1707 times)

Lynda07

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Morning ladies

I am trying to stay calm but am at the end of my tether.

I've had on/off  ?air hunger? for a while but put it down to anxiety. I have been extremely anxious since childhood and the menopause has done this and my dreadful health anxiety no favours.

Last Thursday all was good, I did a power walk in the morning and felt ok until early evening when I started to feel I couldn't get enough breath, trying to do a full yawn etc. My chest felt heavy. It lasted an hour then eased.

It was back again on Friday morning so I called the Dr (something I would never had done had I not been terrified).

Long story short a lovely Nurse Practitioner saw me. Oxygen was 100%. ECG was fine. I mentioned that I often have post nasal drip, I assume it is sinus related. She mentioned silent reflux which I hadn't really heard of. It was decided this episode was down to anxiety,.

The problem is although I am anxious I feel the problem (scary shortness of breath) is caused by something and that in turn the whole thing is making me anxious. it's not gone away and I either can't get to sleep or wake early morning with this mucus feeling in my throat and a need to try and do a full yawn.

My gut feeling is it could be allergy related and that the drip is sinus/nasal. But I don't see how it can give the shortness of breath feeling.

Stream inhalation gives some slight, temporary relief.

Has anyone had similar? I have a follow up telephone appointment with the GP tomorrow and will explain all of this to her but it would be so helpful  to hear of similar experiences.

I can't concentrate on anything other than HA at the best of times, I feel so low with it all.

Thanks

Lynda
« Last Edit: May 11, 2020, 10:02:40 AM by Lynda07 »
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Donnadoobie

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I have something similar.  I feel the breathing thing is anxiety, as I only have issues when I become aware of my breathing, take deep breaths and yes, the yawn thing.  I can run 5k so there cannot be an issue with breathing, logically

I also have a post nasal drip, which has given me throat problems since January, medication for reflux and nasal sprays have not helped, so not sure what is causing it, although I have read an article which links it to the menopause.  See if you can find the thread Menopausal phlegm in other health issues
« Last Edit: May 11, 2020, 09:54:15 AM by Donnadoobie »
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Lynda07

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Thank you for replying Donnadoobie. I have just read your post and am sorry you are suffering too.

I do think anxiety is a credible reason for this but I've never had the shortness of breath for so long/waking me up and of course that makes me panic more. I will look for the article that you have mentioned.

Lynda
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Dorothy

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It's a regular anxiety symptom for me - I also get chest pain.  the muscle across my chest spasms, which creates pain and shortness of breath.  My mother has exactly the same problem, so I guess I've inherited it.

I've had my heart checked out several times and it's fine - but it does feel very scary when it happens.

I'm more or less permanently short of breath these days.  Another thing that doesn't help is that I have very mild hay fever - the hawthorn blossom is out now, and that makes my chest a bit tight too.  Do you think this could be your problem, especially bearing in mind the nasal drip?  I never had hayfever until about 4 years ago.

If you've been checked out, I think all you can do is just keep reminding yourself that there is nothing physically wrong and this is just stress.
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Some days I have mood swings; other days, I have the whole mood playground.

Mary G

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I had similar symptoms and it turned out to be allergies and post nasal drip.  It's scary at first because it feels like asthma.  I found that a nasal spray worked well.

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CLKD

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Also try to remember that not many people breath properly anyway  ::).  My singing teacher told me when I was 9 ish that singing, or playing a wind instrument, enables people to fill the lungs fully .......... I slump when sitting so on my daily walk I find that I am unable to draw a proper, deep breath initially.  I'm used to it now but have to stop occasionally 2 try that deep breath.  By the end of 20 mins or so I can stop worrying about it.

Which is where yoga might help.  Concentration on breathing correctly, perhaps have a look-see at how do that?  Do you have a shower, if so Sing Girl, Sing  :D  ;)
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Changes can be scarey, even when we want them!

Lynda07

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I'd just like to add a big thank you to Dorothy, Mary G and CLKD for also replying and giving me some reassurance. At a time when I feel so down and scared about it all, your replies have made me look at this with a different perspective. Thank you so much!
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CLKD

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Many years ago we had an imaginary menopause choir, do join in  ;)
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Changes can be scarey, even when we want them!

Lynda07

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CLKD - you might now want that lol :)
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CLKD

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It's OK in the shower  ;D
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Changes can be scarey, even when we want them!

shrosphirelass

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Do you think it could be hay fever related. My primary symptom with hayfever is sinus issues (which then cause headaches). I also occasionally get feelings of shortness of breath.
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CLKD

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I remember getting it B4 a period, like I was carrying fluid which bloated my tummy and caused me to feel short of breath.
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Changes can be scarey, even when we want them!

Lynda07

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Yes, Shrosphirelass, I am leaning towards that/allergy (as Dorothy also mentioned). I am going to see what the Dr says on my telephone appointment tomorrow. I appreciate your reply, this has really scared me but hearing what you and others are saying I feel reassured.
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marge

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It sounds as though it's anxiety related, Lynda07. I developed post nasal drip last summer out of nowhere; never had it before. And l suffer with health anxiety big time and sometimes get the feeling that l can't take a deep breath or have enough breath. I think these things are all loosely related. I am able to distract myself and the symptoms go, so that tells me it can't be anything too serious.
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dahliagirl

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The pollen has been really bad this spring.

Try a nice steamy wide cup of honey and lemon, and breathe the steam as you sip gently (not so hot that you scald yourself!)

Also, a bit of yoga/pilates breathing with some relaxing music - loads of online stuff at the moment.

I use ibuprofen if my sinuses are bunged, and some anti-histamine (so I can go to the supermarket without sneezing  ::) ) but I have yet to find one that does not send me to sleep after a few days.  Also, sugar-free vocal zones for a bit of wild excitement or strepsils (although the sugar free ones are not so nice but I don't want tooth problems as well.)
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