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Since ME breathing rate significantly slower than normal/used to. Further evidence of metabolic dysfunction?

Discussion in 'Cardiovascular and Respiratory' started by leokitten, Jan 15, 2019.

  1. leokitten

    leokitten Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    One ME symptom I’ve had since I fell ill is my breathing rate is significantly slower than normal and than I used to breathe before falling ill. I’ve not mentioned it before in a forum post but had been meaning to for a long time though kept forgetting. Has anyone else noticed this symptom?

    I could also tell it’s very slow because my breathing rate is much less than my spouse’s and it didn’t used to. I would suspect one possible explanation is ME metabolic dysfunction since my body doesn’t use as much oxygen as before since cellular respiration is hampered.

    Maybe another reason could be autonomic dysfunction or other ME related brain issues. I do not have POTS/OI but only other more minor autonomic changes due to ME.

    My resting respiratory rate is 6-7 breaths per minute, slower than the adult average of 12-20.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
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  2. JaimeS

    JaimeS Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Yes, and I'll also 'forget' to breathe. You go, "oh, yeah, I should probably take a breath 'round about now."

    This strikes me as autonomic.
     
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  3. Ravn

    Ravn Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    That's my guess, too.
    I have periods when, for no identifiable reason whatsoever, I need to breathe faster than normal. At other times, like now, sitting with my feet up in front of the computer, my breathing rate is a sloooow 4 breaths/minutes. And sometimes I sort of forget to breathe altogether and need to take a really big gasp of air to catch up.
     
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  4. Amw66

    Amw66 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Would it have any link to issue with blood volume affecting oxygen levels?
     
  5. JaimeS

    JaimeS Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Possibly? But that would be an unusual response to oxygen being low, right?
     
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  6. Amw66

    Amw66 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    In a normal person, someone with a simple condition, yes.
    But i think , give this condition affects all systems, feedback loops may be " wired" differently to maintain function.
     
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  7. Forbin

    Forbin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I remember noticing that both my breathing rate and my heart rate were lower immediately after onset. As @JaimeS said, there was a sense of "forgetting to breathe."

    I suspect my doctor didn't take my observation of low breathing rate too seriously, since it's something you have more conscious/subconscious control over than, say, your heart rate.

    However, my low heart rate became apparent when my doctor prescribed a beta blocker (propanolol) on the apparent theory that the dizziness that marked the beginning of my illness was either caused by, or itself created, an anxiety/heart rate feedback loop. The beta blocker was supposed to inhibit that loop.

    What it actually did was lower my pulse to 36 bpm. I tried to take smaller doses by cutting the pill in half, and then into quarters, but my heart rate remained in the low 40's during the day and 36 at night. I quickly stopped taking the beta blocker altogether when I woke up one warm summer morning and found that both of my hands felt like blocks of ice.

    Once off the beta blocker, my pulse rose into the low 50's.

    Prior to ME, no doctor had ever mentioned that my pulse was low - and I certainly never noticed it either - so I kind of doubt that it had always been that low.

    My pulse has remained low ever since, and a couple of years ago my doctor thought I might need a pacemaker. Fortunately, after a 24 hour Holter monitor, my doctor said that the pacemaker was "off the table." I assume that meant that my sleeping pulse rate had been OK.

    Anyway, I'm very tempted to conclude that my low pulse is somehow connected to the onset of ME, though I obviously can't prove it. It could be some kind of autonomic dysfunction, I guess, but low heart rate can apparently be due to low metabolism as well (and no doubt can be caused by other things, too).
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
  8. JaimeS

    JaimeS Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    As I just said on the Other Forum, I wondered if @leokitten had looked into respiratory acidosis as a potential cause.
     
  9. leokitten

    leokitten Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I’ve never had any associated breathing problems like forgetting to breathe, catching my breath, gasping, etc. Since I got ME my respiratory rate just want way down.
     
  10. Amw66

    Amw66 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Pre morning coffee - so this may be totally tangential - apologies in advance.

    As body senses CO2 and not oxygen, perhaps it is more of a CO2 / O2 balance issue?

    Would switch to anaerobic metabolism impact?
     
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  11. leokitten

    leokitten Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I’ve not had blood gases measured but CMP probably 30 times and electrolytes measured there were always normal. I’m guessing CMP won’t always reveal acidosis but thought at least one electrolyte would be off.
     
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  12. andypants

    andypants Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I have a genetic predisposition to a very strong (bordering on too strong) heart and have always had a resting pulse of around 42 (not sleeping) regardless of my level of fitness. My brothers and father are the same. My dad actually measured 35 in his youth.

    Re thread topic: Before I was diagnosed with ME I went to see a breathing coach, because I felt like I had trouble getting enough air and hyperventilating. When she timed my breathing (trying to breathe as calmly as possible without pushing it) I only had 2 breaths per minute.

    The feeling of not getting enough air was probably from autonomic issues like mentioned, breathing didn't happen properly without conscious effort and when you put effort into breathing it's easy to get it wrong. I don't have as much trouble with it now, but then I'm now housebound and a lot more stable. I do get seriously short of breath during PEM, but that seems to be a different thing.
     
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  13. JaimeS

    JaimeS Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I've had this thought before, too.
     
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  14. DokaGirl

    DokaGirl Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    With gradual onset/mild ME, every time I went to aerobics classes, and would start exercising, I would yawn many times. Not just a couple yawns, it would be maybe 5, 6, 7 times in a row, or more. Wonder if that's a sign of low oxygen.

    Edit: I have noted an article in a post below about yawning - this article indicates that more than 3 in 15 minutes could signal a problem.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
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  15. DokaGirl

    DokaGirl Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Yawning - its anatomy, chemistry, role and pathological considerations:

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301008217300035


    "A B S T R A C T Yawning is a clinical sign of the activity of various supra- and infratentorial brain regions including the putative brainstem motor pattern, hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus, probably the insula and limbic structures that are interconnected via a fiber network. This interaction can be seen in analogy to other cerebral functions arising from a network or zone such as language. Within this network, yawning fulfills its function in a stereotype, reflex-like manner; a phylogenetically old function, preserved across species barriers, with the purpose of arousal, communication, and maybe other functions including respiration. Abnormal yawning with !3 yawns/15 min without obvious cause arises from lesions of brain areas involved in the yawning zone, its trajectories causing a disconnection syndrome, or from alteration of network activity by physical or metabolic etiologies including medication. © 2017 Published by Elsevier Ltd." (emphasis added)

    Please note the "!" before 3 yawns should be a greater than or equal to sign - not sure what happened there.
     
  16. Forbin

    Forbin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I once wondered if I might have sleep apnea, so I hung a microphone over my bed and recorded the entire night. What I discovered was not obstructive sleep apnea, but what my doctor called "Cheyne-Stokes respiration." This is apparently a kind of "central sleep apnea," meaning that it is regulated by the brain rather than caused by a blocked airway. Central sleep apnea was confirmed by a professional sleep study, but it was considered too infrequent to be worrisome. The pulmonologist said it wasn't treatable anyway (at least not in the late 1990's).

    Apparently, the cause is a fault in the loop that senses and responds to CO2 levels...

    Below is a diagram of what the pattern of Cheyne-Stokes respiration looks like. The force and depth of breathing gradually increases (becoming very loud) and then it diminishes until it actually stops - sometimes for a minute or more at a time. The pattern is caught in a loop because the regulatory system is slow to recognize the changes in CO2 levels. This is sometimes seen in heart failure, but I do not have heart failure. Why I should have this, I do not know.

    CS.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2019
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  17. JaimeS

    JaimeS Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I had some ME-like symptoms in adolescence though it was never diagnosed as such. One was that I yawned all. The. Time. Three in 15 minutes? After high school let out, my mom driving me home commented on it frequently. We're talking multiple yawns the whole (15 minute) ride home: 5-10 on average I'd say.

    Even at the time, little 15-y-o me said, "maybe I just need more oxygen, mama..." when she pointed it out... and flopped back in my seat.
     
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  18. Amw66

    Amw66 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Perhaps worth a thread on its own. I think that for many there may have been ME symptoms previous to recognised onset just awaiting a trigger / or for gradual onset achieving critical mass .
    It might be interesting to see if there are general ones ..
     
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  19. andypants

    andypants Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    It's a compensation mechanism, yes. So is sighing, snorting, and so on. When I developed post-infectious asthma at 19 I also developed a lot of these compensatory mechanisms because my breathing patterns were completely screwed up. I had to relearn how to breathe properly to get a handle on it (and the supposed asthma).

    When I developed/relapsed ME it all came back, but this time there's nothing wrong with my breathing pattern and no amount of breathing exercises can fix it. There's obviously a lack of oxygen (or a perceived lack) somewhere, but is not fixed by breathing correctly and gets worse during PEM.
     
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  20. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Did anyone stop yawning with acute onset ME?

    I felt as if I had gone from being "normal tired" and into another state pretty soon after onset.

    The hibernation state struck a chord with me as helps to describe that after ME started (acute viral) I rarely yawned or felt that " tired after a long day and ready for bed" feeling again.

    Maybe the slow breathing could be related to that hibernation type state.
     
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