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Do you have trouble breathing? #282333 01/05/19 05:17 PM
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YahYah24 Offline OP
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Hi everyone,
I'm fairly new here. I wanted to ask if anyone has issues breathing?

I gather that as the disease progresses it affects breathing, but in this case there has yet to be a formal diagnosis (working through that right now) and the breathing issue I'm asking about is one of the first main complaints aside from the intense lower back pain/weakness.

It feels as though the diaphragm may be affected because the ribs won't expand during flare ups... almost like everything in this area is frozen, can't move much at all, and deep breathing is extremely hard to do.

Also, there is much more comfort in a laying position than standing or sitting up in a chair. But sitting on the couch in certain slouched positions can bring comfort and relief.

Can anyone relate to either of these symptoms?

Re: Do you have trouble breathing? [Re: YahYah24] #282334 01/06/19 04:03 AM
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WhiteCell Offline
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Many factors can affect this feeling. Have you mentioned it to a doctor?


Starting at 18 yrs old; 1971 Reiter's Syndrome. Diagnosed AS 2001.
Started Remicade 2002 - 5mg/kg every 7 weeks.

Right Eye Glaucoma- Trabeculectomy/lens replacement 2006.
Right eye DSEK Cornea Transplant 2009.
Right eye Ahmed Shunt 2016.
Right eye DSEK Cornea Transplant 2016.
Supra Ventricular Tachycardia. 2004. Cured by Radio Frequency Ablation 2008.

ICU RN - Seattle, WA

~Grasp The Challenge and Succeed~
Re: Do you have trouble breathing? [Re: YahYah24] #282339 01/06/19 03:19 PM
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Winston Offline
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Shortness of breath was one of my early symptoms and was most pronounced during my initial flare. The cause in my case was a combination of cardiovascular inflammation and anxiety. Don't panic but do ask for a referral to a cardiologist just to make sure your heart is not the culprit. I think anyone diagnosed with AS should see a cardiologist for a workup anyway, if for no other reason so baseline measurements, etc., can be taken. And don't underestimate what anxiety -- very common in anyone facing a diagnosis for chronic illness -- can do to you physically.

Re: Do you have trouble breathing? [Re: YahYah24] #282340 01/06/19 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by YahYah24
It feels as though the diaphragm may be affected because the ribs won't expand during flare ups... almost like everything in this area is frozen, can't move much at all, and deep breathing is extremely hard to do.


Shortness of breath was a problem for me early on. I was fairly active at the time with good endurance but it seemed liked my chest wouldn't expand. My rheum called it costochondritis which is inflamed cartilage, especially around the breastbone where the ribs meet in the front of the chest.

Shortness of breath continues to be a problem for me and I still to tell my doctor about it. Now my doctor says it is multifactorial and I have to agree with that assessment.



Re: Do you have trouble breathing? [Re: YahYah24] #282341 01/06/19 05:38 PM
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jtmak Offline
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Am sorry for your pain and for yes review with doc. I've found that when I lean back in the chair or car seat I'm sitting in when my flare up includes pain with breathing - it helps. Not sure if coincidance but I think the stability along my spine helps.


California, USA
Reoccurring Bilateral Uveitis Dx 1985
Reiters Syndrome Dx 1985
AS Dx 2015
SI joint fused
Re: Do you have trouble breathing? [Re: YahYah24] #282354 01/09/19 06:20 AM
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sdot Offline
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I could still take deep breaths, but always short of breath..

Re: Do you have trouble breathing? [Re: YahYah24] #282358 01/09/19 07:38 PM
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jtmak Offline
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Make sure you are exhaling (blowing out) fully. A stroong exhalatio improves our ability to inhale. Sdot, where in Canada do you live?


California, USA
Reoccurring Bilateral Uveitis Dx 1985
Reiters Syndrome Dx 1985
AS Dx 2015
SI joint fused
Re: Do you have trouble breathing? [Re: YahYah24] #282359 01/09/19 09:03 PM
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sdot Offline
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I find that I am usually stuffy and flemmy more than normal. It's a pain. Last time I was in the MRI I had a bit of a panic attack. Anyhow I am in Ontario.

Re: Do you have trouble breathing? [Re: YahYah24] #282366 01/11/19 10:52 AM
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Ken Delano Offline
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Years ago I suffered really intense pain in my ribcage. Not fun at all. I am now mostly fused so the pain in that region is close to zero. Downside is that it has caused me to have a diminished lung capacity as I am fused in the compressed position.


AS/PsA DX in 1988

Retired on disability
in 2005 at age 44

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