Shortness of breath?: So i have shortness of... - Anxiety Support

Anxiety Support
45,348 members46,080 posts

Shortness of breath?


So i have shortness of breath for the past 3 weeks, i went to ER did chest xray, blood test, oxygen, pulse.. all normal.. its not covid.. doc says anxiety.. im thinking maybe allergies, or could be some anxiety mixed with some stomach bloating issues as i am very bloated always. My questions are:

1) for people who had this due to anxiety or other issues, what other issues (besides anxiety or heart & lung issues) caused your shortness of breath ?

2) Did it go away eventually, after how long?

15 Replies

Hello,It seems like anxiety and its cousin irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are the culprits. Anxiety, uncontrolled for some people, causes you to shallow breathe. Anxiety/stress may upset your gut (bowel) which has lots of nerve endings in it connected to your central nervous system. Google anxiety and IBS together for further information. Working through the anxiety with a therapist is really important to reduce symptoms and hopefully conquer them

Hello, I understand what your going through, same here. Its definitely anxiety and it can morph into something ugly. Basicly it compromises our nervous system which affects our breathing, digestive system, mental thinking, immune system, etc, our whole well being. The hardest but simplest thing is to learn how to manage anxiety only then the symptoms will lessen or go away.

hello90987 in reply to Marc787

Are u taking any anxiety med and is it helping? how long have u had it?

HiddenThis reply has been deleted
hello90987 in reply to Hidden

So did your shortness of breath go away or no?

Marc787 in reply to hello90987

Yes, It goes away when my anxiety, stress level is lower or non existent. The shortness of breath, I believe builds up from constant anxiety and stress with time. So if you do the opposite it will lessen. Is there things in your daily life that is constantly elevating your nervous system? All that energy gets trapped in our bodies and causes physical symptoms, it needs to be released. For me meditation, exercise, walking, pure awareness, healthy diet, small changes in lifestyle helps.

Hi hello90987, are you in an area that's had a lot of tree pollen lately. I've had the same problem for the past couple of weeks and it correlated with an increase in tree pollen in my area. I took some CVS brand Zyrtec and I felt better.

i see.. so you felt like you couldn’t breathe? what does zyrtec do?

Yes, I felt like I couldn't breath, but it didn't feel like my usual anxiety symptoms. I saw that the tree pollen was usually high during this time and thought it might be allergies. I tried zyrtec, allergy medication, and it helped with my breathing.

how did usual anxiety feel? for me, heavy breathing flares up sometimes, sometimes its low ... does this sound like anxiety to u? my nose is also clogged, i cant smell as good as i used to.. i feel maybe, it could be airway inflammation too? i dont know...

I’ve got the pretty much the same problem as you I think my airways are inflamed I’ve had an X-ray and That’s come back all clear and oxygen is between 96/99

Why are you ignoring the excellent tests you have undergone and the opinion of medical professionals who went to medical school for 5 years? Because they "missed something" is the usual answer though very rarely true.

Believe what the people who know have told you. Unless you are a qualified doctor too. It's anxiety and and the bloated feeling and shortness of breath are common symptoms of anxiety as others here have ably explained. Not anxiety and something else which you will diagnose. Purely anxiety and the symptoms there of, nothing more.

The symptoms will persist as long as the anxiety state exists. You should treat the cause (pure anxiety) not the symptoms. How long will it last? you ask. Only one answer: it will last as long as you stress and obsess about it as stressing and obsessing release the fear hormones in which over sensitive nervous systems thrive.

So instead of fighting your condition simply accept it for the time being. Truly accept it. Accept it fearlessly. That way you stop frightening yourself half to death and releasing more and more fear hormone. When you can accept the symptoms for the time being then the days of your anxiety and its symptoms are numbered. That is the advice I would give.

hello90987 in reply to Jeff1943

nice detailed answer, thank u

Yes, I agree with Jeff and rustybucket. With all the tests taken @ the ER. It confirms that you don't have anything serious and it is anxiety. If your not convinced you can see your GP and run more tests to ease your mind.


I have had shortness of breath from anxiety on and off for a couple of years now.

In all other respects I am completely well.

It comes and goes even though I am not aware of feeling anxious. It certainly gets worse if I am worried about anything and if I worry and focus on it.

As others have said trying not to worry, excercising and finding ways to distract myself and not focus on it is the answer.

Mine is very gradually decreasing over time.

Very good luck.


I've had about 3 discrete bouts of shortness of breath in my entire life. Each time I have a work up for asthma, EKG's, cardiac echos, occasional stress tests and even a stress echo. All negative. The one thing that I can associate with my symptoms is usually being a bit hyper or hypothyroid. Everyone wants to say it's anxiety. I'm not so sure. Also, it occurs at the same time, pretty much, each year, and I actually suspect allergies to either cold, mold, or early pollen etc. But I don't have asthma. It feels for all the world like asthma but no wheezes and normal pulmonary tests. Can't get a deep breath in when it occurs. And it can last fo months. Comes on suddenly and goes away in the past suddenly. No clue as to the cause. Also, low ferritin which is being treated with iron. That may contribute.

You may also like...