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Medical Question...

...for my potentially knowledgeable lj readers.



Recently, I seem to be hyperventilating. All the standard symptoms - tingling in hands and feet, numbness in face, light-headedness, dizziness, panic attack like feelings, the works. Seems to be mildly improved if I make an effort to take shallow breaths and breathe slowly, despite my brain saying, "Air, woman! You need aaaaaair!"

Okay. So the last three days in particular have been nightmare-ish. I was driving up to Baltimore on Wednesday, and didn't know what the hell was happening. Much panic ensued. Drove back and it was even worse.

Searched internet for symptoms and causes, decided hyperventilation fit the bill. Drove up to Delaware on Thursday and same thing happened both on the way up and down. Breathing very slowly seemed to help a bit, though I worried about my concentration on the road.

At this point, I thought it was just about the stress of driving. (I'm a poor driver, I know this - driving stresses me out more than a little.) So driving-stress triggers hyperventilation lately. Don't know why this hasn't happened before, but okay - have a trigger. Just have to deal with it.

But then today, as I was sitting down at my computer, boom! Again with the crazy hyperventilation. Focusing on intellectual stuff helped take my mind off it, but my concentration is still muzzy.


So, my question: Do any of you know of anything useful about hyperventilation like this? Anyone you know have these crazy bouts of it, especially the sudden onset? Comments, suggestions, reading material greatly appreciated. I've managed to track down a couple of places via google, but I really want to figure out how to deal with this.

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Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
larksdream
Oct. 22nd, 2004 10:57 am (UTC)
Um, *very large amounts of concern*. Please go to a doctor? This does not sound at all good. In the meantime check daily intake of salt, potassium, and magnesium.
underwatercolor
Oct. 22nd, 2004 11:06 am (UTC)
*hugs* I know nothing, but hope you figure it out.
insheepsclothng
Oct. 22nd, 2004 12:06 pm (UTC)
I second the seeing a doctor. We, your internet minions, while well-meaning and possibly even informed, are not a doctor.

Good luck!
amalthya
Oct. 22nd, 2004 12:41 pm (UTC)
Before I read that it happened at home I thought maybe the ventilation system in your car was pumping you carbon monoxide or something.

But yes, I third -- See a Doctor!!
xhardtofallx
Oct. 22nd, 2004 05:30 pm (UTC)
Oh my >>>
okay i found you while doing a random search and I have a few things to say 1. YOU NEED TO SEE A DOCTOR>> this can cause you to black out and it messes with your chemical balance in youre brain >>> I dont know if you considered this but it could be anxiety attacks which are easily treated :)2. My dad is an oil man and although the carbon monoxide is a good suggestion gasoline doesnt produce it propane does :) ummm yeah I think thats about it >> I hope you feel better !
amalthya
Oct. 23rd, 2004 10:00 am (UTC)
Re: Oh my >>>
My dad is an oil man and although the carbon monoxide is a good suggestion gasoline doesnt produce it propane does

I'm sure your dad is an oil man, but check what comes out of the muffler of any car -- carbon monoxide. It's in the exhaust you see. It's also in cigarette smoke.

That's why they tell you to watch out, running your car in a closed garage.
thewronghands
Oct. 22nd, 2004 07:44 pm (UTC)
Add me to the "see a doctor" party. In the meantime, take as good care of your body as you can. Eat right, get enough sleep, exercise moderately.

Has anything changed recently, in particular, something that might aggravate your system? New perfume, new detergent, something that you might be breathing in as a lung irritant? Been hanging around smokers much?

Avoid incense and all kinds of smoke until you get this looked at and understood. I'd lay off any perfume type stuff, too.

Any other commonality you can draw between all three situations? Thinking about the same stressful thing, or something?
jalenstrix
Oct. 22nd, 2004 08:54 pm (UTC)
The only particularly stressful thing is the 4 looming academic deadlines for my various projects this semester. Other than that, absolutely nothing has changed - no new diet foo, no strange smoke foo, nothing. So I'm quite inclined to think it's more psychological than chemical, but I'm not quite sure why it's hitting now, per se. The academic deadlines have been looming since the semester began.

But I wasn't actually thinking about them when the various attacks hit, so I'm not sure if it's a conscious "Ack, stress!" thing.

But I'm going to talk to my doctor and see if he has something more sensible to say about this than I've been able to come up with.
(Deleted comment)
jalenstrix
Oct. 23rd, 2004 10:13 pm (UTC)
A bit, though that felt like it was linked more to low blood sugar. This seems to be occurring irrespective of blood sugar levels. And has now happened when I'm not even the driver of the car - something about the acceleration to high speeds triggers it.

(I'm almost tempted to say it's a psychological thing - fear of everything coming up too fast or something.)

But I'll call the doctor on Monday and see when they can fit me in. [wry grin]
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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