Shortness of Breath -- Causes and Top
10 Remedies
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December 2, 2011, last update March 29, 2013
By Louise Carr, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist








Can't catch your breath? Experiencing shortness of breath,
breathlessness or difficulty breathing is one of the most
frightening feelings. You feel like you can’t get enough air into
your lungs, you’re gasping for breath and you panic –
shortness of breath makes you feel like something terrible is
happening to you. What does it mean when you are short of
breath? Is shortness of breath, also known as dyspnea, the
sign of something serious? Sometimes shortness of breath
comes on without any noticeable cause, while sometimes you
are short of breath after walking up stairs or spending time at
the gym. When should you worry about shortness of breath,
and what can you do about it?

Causes of Shortness of Breath

Shortness of breath can be attributed to many different causes.
As you may expect, shortness of breath may be caused by
conditions affecting the lungs, but conditions affecting the
heart can also cause shortness of breath, as can emotional or
psychological states.

Problems with the lungs include
asthma, a pulmonary embolism
(blood clot in the arteries supplying the lungs), emphysema,
bronchiolitis, pneumonia, lung cancer or chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease.

Problems with the heart that cause shortness of breath include
heart attack, angina, congenital heart disease, heart failure or
arrhythmias. (Read more about
heart attack experiences from
survivors.)

Psychological conditions that cause shortness of breath include
panic attacks and
anxiety attacks.

Diseases of the muscles and the nervous system may cause
shortness of breath because the body is less able to open the
lungs for effective breathing. These conditions include muscular
dystrophy and multiple sclerosis. Other causes of shortness of
breath include anemia, diabetes, broken ribs, Hodgkin’s
disease, hypothyroidism, kidney failure, cold and flu, and nasal
congestion.

According to 2006 data from the University of Maryland School
of Medicine, in 85 percent of cases shortness of breath is due
to asthma, pneumonia, interstitial lung disease, chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease, cardiac ischemia, congestive
heart failure, or psychogenic causes.

However, there may be a more everyday cause for your
shortness of breath. You may have something stuck in an
airway leading to the lungs, or you could be short of breath
due to allergies. If you visit high altitudes you can suffer from
shortness of breath due to the lack of oxygen in the air. If you
are obese, you are more likely to suffer from shortness of
breath, particularly if you exercise when you are not used to
physical activity.

Is Shortness of Breath the Sign of Something Serious?

Often a short spell of breathing difficulty is normal. For
example, if you run quickly, climb a long flight of stairs or work
out strenuously at the gym your shortness of breath is
probably no cause for concern and will soon pass. However, if
your breathing difficulties are getting worse, or shortness of
breath comes on suddenly for no obvious reason, you should
see your doctor.

Shortness of breath, especially shortness of breath or difficulty
breathing --
even when you are lying down --can be a sign of
heart failure. (Read about other unusual
signs of heart failure.)

Treatments and remedies for shortness of breath depend on
the underlying cause of the condition. We have  looked at the
scientific evidence available to tell you about the Top 10
remedies for shortness of breath.

Top 10 Remedies for Shortness of Breath

























1. Help Shortness of Breath Caused by Asthma With Boswellia

When you suffer from asthma you can really struggle to
breathe – asthma causes your airways to swell and narrow,
causing shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing. Minor
symptoms of asthma can be merely uncomfortable but severe
asthma can be fatal. Be careful not to exchange conventional
medication for natural remedies except under the advice of
your doctor.

However, the herb boswellia has shown to be helpful as a
treatment for shortness of breath caused by asthma. A 1998
study from Pharmazeutisches Institut der Universität Tübingen,
Tübingen, Germany looking at 80 people with mild asthma
found 300mg of the herb three times a day improved breathing
capacity.

[Update:
You may have heard of the herb boswellia in another context.
The herb "frankincense" was one of the herbs brought by the
three wise men to the infant Jesus. Frankincense is derived
from boswellia, and has been used for thousands of years in
Africa , the Middle East and ancient China as an anti-
inflammatory remedy. Scientists have a renewed interest in
boswellia since it has recently been discovered to have
anti-
arthritic properties.

As the saying goes, there's nothing new under the sun.]

2.
Shortness of Breath May be Caused by Bronchitis – Try
Essential Oils

Bronchitis is often caused by a cold or respiratory infection. It
is an inflammatory condition where the lining of your bronchial
tubes carrying air to your lungs becomes irritated or inflamed.
If you suffer from an acute attack of bronchitis you will have
difficulty breathing, as well as a cough.

A 2000 study from Medizinische Universitätsklinik, Freiburg,
Germany found that certain essential oils, taken by mouth, are
useful in treating respiratory infections such as bronchitis. The
combination of oils is called "essential oil monoterpenes", and it
is made up of cineole from eucalyptus, alpha-pinene from pine
and d-limonene from citrus fruit. In the study, 676 people with
acute bronchitis received the oils, a placebo or antibiotics.

The study showed that essential oils were more effective than
placebo and just as effective as antibiotics in treating shortness
of breath and coughing.  (Read other
natural remedies for
bronchitis.)

3.  
Shortness of Breath Caused by Chronic Obstructive
Pulmonary Disease





Continue reading          page 1        page 2





Related:
Asthma -Causes and Top 10 Natural Remedies
Heart Failure -Know the Signs /  Foods That Shrink Your Waist
/
Size 6 Weight Chart / Size 8 Weight Chart / 10 Small
Changes to Make You More Active / Exercise At Home to Lose
Weight / Exercises That Speed Up Your Metabolism/Are Diet
Sodas Bad for Your Health?//Ideal Weight Chart for Children
of Different Heights/  Does Drinking Cold Water Burn Calories?
/ Size 6 Weight Chart-How Much Do You Have to Lose to Get
Into a Size 6  / Simple Diet to Lose 10 Pounds/ Does Coffee
Help You Lose Weight?

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