Can’t breathe: what causes shortness of breath

Few people know, but shortness of breath is a protective, adaptive reaction. So the body tries to “get” the missing oxygen during increased loads, stress or other situations associated with an increase in energy costs. As the cells are saturated with oxygen, the breathing rhythm is normalized. However, in some cases, shortness of breath occurs at rest. How to find out the cause of an unpleasant condition? And what measures should be taken?

About delivery
The delivery of oxygen in the body is “engaged” in erythrocytes. And the uninterrupted “oxygen supply” depends not only on the quantity, but also on the quality of red blood cells.

The hemoglobin included in their composition binds oxygen molecules and “does not release” until the “package” reaches the cell. And on the way back, it takes carbon dioxide and delivers it to the lungs.

Disruption of normal gas exchange is most often associated with anemia. This pathology is accompanied not only by shortness of breath, but also:

violation of the heart rhythm,
decreased immunity,
exacerbation and increased frequency of diseases,
deterioration in the condition of integumentary tissues (skin, nails, hair)
and many other deviations.
The appearance of such symptoms is a reason to check the level of red blood cells and hemoglobin. Their decrease can be due to many reasons, and the most common of them is iron deficiency.

Lack of heme iron in the diet, impaired absorption due to diseases of “digestion”, the presence of inflammatory and oncological processes, heavy menstruation, as well as hereditary factors provoke depletion of “iron” reserves of the body. At the same time, blood ferritin decreases much earlier than the first symptoms of anemia appear, which makes it possible to take measures even before the development of pathology.

In addition to iron deficiency, anemia is provoked by a deficiency of vitamins B12 and B9, as well as excessive destruction of red blood cells or a decrease in their production.

Hemolytic and hypoplastic anemias can be the result of serious diseases (genetic breakdowns, blood cancer, and others) and require a deep and comprehensive examination. In particular, the complex “Hematological, diagnostics of anemias” includes all the necessary parameters for making a preliminary diagnosis, and the analysis is ready for only 1 day.

About heart, muscles and lungs
The reason for “lack of air” can often be heart and lung diseases, in more rare cases – the pathology of skeletal muscles.

Violation of the strength or heart rate disrupts normal blood flow and, as a result, the delivery of oxygen to the tissues, provoking a feeling of lack of air. And if rhythm disturbances, as a rule, are subjectively perceptible, then only ECG or ultrasound can tell about changes in the heart muscle. So the appearance of shortness of breath is a reason to undergo an examination.

Skeletal muscles, in turn, through complex physical processes, creates the necessary pressure in the chest, which ensures the breathing process. It is not surprising that the violation of the contractility of the diaphragm, intercostal and other muscles sharply reduces the “oxygen” capabilities of the body.

This situation is typical for various kinds of myopathies and neurological pathologies, and requires the consultation of a neurologist.

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