Lack of oxygen or just a neurotic habit?

Lack of oxygen or just a neurotic habit?
Lack of oxygen or just a neurotic habit?

The body constantly carries out a number of physiological and microbiological processes on its own, without anyone taking care of it. And they are heartbeat, blinking, breathing, etc. Although you can control your breathing, most of the time your body controls the rate and depth of your breathing. Sometimes, however, when you can't get enough air, you have shortness of breath.

This happens after training or after other physical exertion. It's perfectly normal to get out of breath when you climb up to the sixth floor. Shortness of breath occurs with infections or allergic conditions such as asthma, croup, subchordal laryngitis, acute tracheobronchitis, even with many viral infections of the upper respiratory tract. Shortness of breath sometimes accompanies mental disorders such as anxiety, stress, tension or depression.

It is possible that shortness of breath is a completely normal reaction to exertion or a manifestation of anxiety. It is possible that it is a signal of lack of oxygen. In order for the body to receive the necessary oxygen, it must naturally be in sufficient quantity in the air you breathe. If you are suddenly taken to a high mountain peak with a height of more than 2500 meters, or if the pressurization of the plane you are traveling in is broken, it will be difficult for you to breathe.

When the oxygen is sufficient, it must reach your lung. If you have any obstruction, you will get short of breath. Even when the air reaches the lung, it sometimes happens that it fails to penetrate into the blood, its ultimate destination, because too much of the lung tissue is affected by some disease (for example, from emphysema), infected (from pneumonia), damaged (from a large blood clot), or removed surgically (due to the presence of a tumor). Under these circumstances, there is not enough lung tissue to contact the blood vessel and receive the inhaled oxygen.

Hyperventilation is a neurotic habit where you feel like you can't get enough air. In your attempt to satisfy this need, you find yourself breathing deeper and deeper. And the effect is negative and a vicious circle results. This "starvation for air" disturbs the normal balance between oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood, the result of which is general numbness, dizziness and even fainting. The tendency to hyperventilate is related to stressful situations in life and is usually short-lived or the sufferer's condition improves after the problem is explained and calmed down or treated with tranquilizers. However, you may experience relief if you breathe into a paper bag. This way of breathing supplies the missing carbon dioxide and helps restore the chemical balance of the blood.

Is it possible to have shortness of breath if the lung is completely he althy and there is no lack of oxygen?

If there is enough oxygen and your lungs are he althy, you may still be short of breath if your heart is not functioning normally. Because even if the oxygen is able to pass through the lung to the bloodstream, the heart muscle does not have the strength to pump enough oxygenated blood to the rest of the body.

Sometimes this condition occurs suddenly during an acute heart attack or gradually as the damaged heart becomes weaker and weaker. Or your heart is fine, but if you're severely anemic and your number of red blood cells carrying and releasing oxygen is insufficient, you'll still feel short of breath. It is also possible that the number of red blood cells is sufficient, but they have some abnormalities and fail to bind and release oxygen normally. Some chemicals and pollutants, even prescription drugs, can damage red blood cells.


Even if every mechanism we have already mentioned is in excellent condition and oxygen is reaching the tissues normally, you can still suffocate if you have some disease that requires unusually large amounts of oxygen. This happens with a high temperature, with a rapidly growing carcinoma, or with an increased function of the thyroid gland - any disturbance in which the metabolism is accelerated. In this case, you have to breathe faster and faster to get more and more oxygen to the starved tissues.

If you are overweight, rarely exercise, smoke, and get short of breath with any light exercise, there is nothing academic medicine can do for you. Things are in your hands. You need to lose weight, start moving more and stop smoking. If you can achieve all these, shortness of breath will disappear.

Some medicines can worsen the condition of an asthmatic

Some medicines can make it difficult for the breathing center in your brain, so that you breathe harder and have shortness of breath. Amphetamines have a similar effect. But a more significant reason is excess weight, as we pointed out above.

Have you ever watched a very fat person climb a flight of stairs? Huffing, groaning, shortness of breath is usually due to the fact that excess fat does not allow the chest to move enough to allow the lung to expand normally.

Stress is also a reason

To find out the cause of shortness of breath, you need to answer a few basic questions to help your doctor diagnose:

If you are under a lot of stress, have difficulty breathing and feel dizzy or light-headed, if your hands and feet are numb, but you are able to lie on your back and not cough, it is possible that you are suffering from hyperventilation. Shortness of breath is not physical or, as the doctors say, not "organic" based.

If you have heart disease - angina pectoris or a heart attack that you have had in the past, rheumatic heart disease, high blood pressure that has been going on for years and is untreated - and at the end of the day your legs are swollen when you lie on your back, it is very possible that shortness of breath is caused by heart failure. Your lung is filled with blood, which reduces its ability to send inhaled oxygen into the bloodstream. The same symptoms, except for swollen legs, can also develop in an acute heart attack.

If the child is short of breath, seek medical attention immediately

If your child has been playing outside and suddenly has wheezing and shortness of breath, but does not have asthma, he may have inhaled a foreign object, such as part of a toy or a peanut. Get him to a doctor right away!

Are you out of breath when you climb a hill in cold weather? Has your breathing returned to normal recently after you stopped walking? You may be suffering from angina pectoris. In some people, the disease is not manifested by pain and tightness in the chest, but by shortness of breath when walking.

If you smoke and have always had a dry cough, but recently feel short of breath and have lost weight, lung cancer is a very real possibility.

Overeating and heavy dieting are the two opposite eating patterns. Some people go to extremes in both options, which can become permanent habits and turn into psychiatric illnesses. Therefore, do not overdo it either with food or with diets.


First of all, s alt should be limited to no more than 6 grams per day. Sufferers of this disease should give up oils, mayonnaise, cream, fatty cheeses and yellow cheeses, fatty meats and sausages. They can consume chicken and beef in moderation, fish, oatmeal, pulses, low-calorie pasta products. Bread should be rye, rye-wheat, whole grain and not exceed 250 grams per day. For example, a slice can be replaced with a potato or two, but they should not be fried.

It is recommended to eat vegetables every day. There are no restrictions on fresh fruit, except for grapes, bananas and figs. Fructose (fruit sugar) raises blood sugar very slightly and does not require insulin. However, drinks sweetened with sugar are strictly prohibited, alcohol is limited to one small beer or a glass of dry wine. Consuming concentrated alcohol on an empty stomach can cause hypoglycemia (a drop in blood sugar levels below normal). Food should be divided into 3-4 meals, at intervals of up to 4 hours. Dinner should be at least 3 hours before sleep. It is good to eat an apple or an orange before going to bed, they protect against nocturnal hypoglycemia.

Correct dietary treatment reduces insulin needs, improves metabolism and protects against complications. It can normalize blood sugar, and in almost one-sixth of cases, drugs become unnecessary. In the remaining cases, the drug doses are reduced, which makes it easier to maintain a normal weight, a normal lifestyle and protects against later complications.

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