Drowning feeling

I am new to this site, but I've just read gazpot's post from 3 years ago describing a feeling of drowning. This put me in mind of my mother who experienced the same symptoms. We both thought it was her COPD, but it was so bad that I called a doctor out. She was admitted to hospital and it turned out that Mum hadn't been taking her water tablets, which she is prescribed for stage 3 chronic kidney failure. So the drowning sensation was due to fluid retention and nothing at all to do with her lungs. Also, certain mineral deficiencies can cause severe breathlessness, leading to heart attacks if left untreated. I know this as I had a heart attack through a magnesium deficiency, after weeks of severe breathlessness that I had put down to asthma.

16 Replies

Thanks for the info, I am feeling that way at times. Will get in touch with my nurse. Take care 😊 xx Bernadette

Yes...I had a couple times of that feeling. It feels like a tight band around your chest. Like you can only take tiny breaths. It was my blood pressure very out of control.

If you are retainng fluid it will accumulate in your lungs making you breathless and give the drowning feeling usually accompanied by a dry cough.

Hello sarahjane68 and welcome to the forum.

I take magnisium tablets as I read it was good for COPD also take mucus relief tablets and daliresp I have cut my dose of advair to half. Hoping to get off altogether someday also just started drinking a little coconut oil

How long have you been taking the magnesium tablets and have you found them helpful?

I have been taking them for about six months I think they are helpful but I take other things as well I read that people with COPD have a deficiency in it I was taking two tablets now I only take one because my lung doctor told me one was sufficient. I also take NAC N-ACETYL CYSTEINE this keepse from having exerbations and it must work because I haven't been in the hospital in over a year in February. I was going every couple of weeks for about six months the prescribed medication I take is Daliresp which they put me on around the same time in February

I was prescribed with the cysteine thing but had to stop taking it as I found it worked too well and I was actually choking with all the mucus coming off my lungs. There was mountains of the stuff! I literally couldn't breathe if I lay down. Frightening! Will give the tablets a go. I have to do something and even a tiny improvement would make a difference. Thanks.

Wow I still have to take mucus relieve. It is weird when I quit smoking I didn't cough up stuff like others say they do. I just try to find things that makee feel better

What Hampshirelass said.

Two memories I never forget, when a dog of mine was poorly & on water tablets the vet told me the water was in her lungs and must remain on the tabs or the water would accumulate again. Must be the same for humans.

2nd thing, a friend's young son had a pneumonia, in hospital a litre of pus was drawn from a lung. (His mum didn't 'believe in antibiotics'!

I guess all mammals will share similar problems. That's probably why they do all the testing on various animals. I don't like it, but what's the alternative?

How can you not believe in antibiotics? And how can you thrust your own beliefs on someone else? Unbelievable!


I wake quite often with a feeling of tightness over my chest that feels as if fluid is accumulating in my lungs. It is gradually relieved if I stand up or sit up, it's like I can feel it draining. Legs ache as well, so clearly retaining fluid for some reason. I was really hoping it was due to Sprivia or due to withdrawal from oral steroids but it isn't getting better so must be something else and requires being seen by the dr, which is a pain.


Hope you get it sorted. With my mum, the feeling didn't get better after standing and walking about so I don't necessarily think its the same problem. I would see the doctor if I were you.

Hello just reading your post I was very interested in your comment about magnesium, what type of magnesium was you given and is there one you could recommend

All I can tell you is that I was given 50mls magnesium through a drip. Sorry I can't be more helpful.

I didn't have any tests done I just read a lot and figured it wouldn't hurt. I take 259 mg. I didn't have the drowning feeling though. Hope this helps.

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