Dyspnea with VSD, why it is difficult to breathe what to do during an attack of suffocation

Vegetative-vascular dystonia is a diagnosis that can be made by excluding all organic pathologies, if the patient has symptoms of impaired nervous regulation. This diagnosis describes a heterogeneous imbalance in the functioning of the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems.

Sometimes VVD is secondary in nature, that is, it occurs against the background of foci of a chronic infection in the body, endocrine problems, diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and nervous system. But there is constitutional dystonia, which begins to develop from childhood and is associated with anxiety or neurosis.

Excessive meteosensitivity, a tendency to subfebrile condition, dyskinesia of the gastrointestinal tract, sweating and instability of the heart rhythm are characteristic of patients with VSD. All these symptoms arise due to the excessive functioning of the autonomic nervous system, which most often happens on the basis of constant emotional overstrain.

The essence of dyspnea with VVD is that the autonomic center, divided into parasympathetic and sympathetic systems, is responsible for the functioning of systems and organs. If a failure occurs in a debugged cycle, violations are transmitted along the chain and discomfort occurs.

Lack of air is one of the symptoms of VVD, which is often confused with serious pathology. With vascular dystonia (VVD), shortness of breath attacks disappear if a person begins to control the process with the brain, rather than emotions, and usually there are no serious consequences from dyspnea with airlessness.

Why does dyspnea occur during VSD? Breathing problems with airborne infections do not just happen. This is preceded by an event:

  • Emotional arousal (unexpected joy, fear, grief);
  • Long stay in a stressful state;
  • Depression
  • Suspiciousness;
  • Panic attacks.

The body reacts to what is happening as a threat. A large amount of the adrenaline hormone is released into the blood. It speeds up the heartbeat, blood vessels narrow and a signal is sent to increase the amount of oxygen in the blood.

With rapid breathing, as a symptom of VSD, a person loses carbon dioxide levels, the oxygen content exceeds the norm. If a person at this moment began to increase physical activity on the body, then the imbalance was compensated. But the body remains at rest, oxygen does not reach the brain due to narrowing of blood vessels, and it again makes the lungs breathe more often.

If a person is worried about breathing problems, it is difficult for him to breathe, there is a feeling of lack of air – perhaps this is one of the manifestations of vegetative-vascular dystonia. What are the causes of suffocation due to VSD? What are the effective treatment methods?

Vegetovascular dystonia is a symptom complex resulting from dysfunction of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. This diagnosis is made after a full examination of the patient and the exclusion of any somatic pathology, which may manifest the same symptoms.

VVD itself is not a disease. It can occur with various disorders in the work of the human body.

Dystonia can become a symptom of diseases of the heart system, digestive tract. But basically this pathology occurs with neurosis and hysteria. Persons of any age and gender are prone to dystonia.

Vegetovascular dystonia occurs chronically, its exacerbations are called vegetative crises. As a rule, it is quite difficult to cure this condition. But you can reduce its manifestations.

Lack of air and a feeling of suffocation are the main manifestations of vegetative-vascular dystonia with respiratory syndrome. In this case, the process of hyperventilation of the lungs occurs. It consists in increasing the airiness of the lung tissue due to rapid or deep breathing. The lungs are overflowing with oxygen, and there is not enough carbon dioxide, which also takes part in the breathing process. Carbon dioxide irritates the respiratory center in the brain. Therefore, with its deficiency, the nervous regulation of the respiratory process is disturbed.

Such breathing can occur as a result of a panic attack, which can often be observed with VVD. The main cause of breathing difficulties with VSD is neurotic. Somatic pathology, which could cause shortness of breath or suffocation, in this case is not observed. However, the patient can be very scared of what is happening to him, because lack of air always leads to anxiety and fear. Choking with VVD is also called a vegetative crisis.

Any conflict situation, positive or negative stress, or overwork can become a provoking factor for the appearance of hyperventilation syndrome.

Choking in this case is not a consequence of the disease of internal organs – the heart, lungs, endocrine glands. Another psychological aspect that may result in a lack of air is unconscious copying. This is observed in people with increased sensitivity. If once in their life they saw a suffocating person, they can copy this state on a subconscious level. Although they have no real reasons for suffocation.

The essence of the suffocation symptom is in a vicious cycle. With emotional disturbances, a person with vegetovascular dystonia reflexively quickens breathing. Due to this, the lungs are filled with oxygen in excess of the norm. But there is no real need for this oxygen, so it remains in the lungs and causes a feeling of heaviness and suffocation. A person begins to worry even more and the process begins anew.

Causes of shortage of air with the sun-dyspnea mechanism

The obvious features of an air shortage attack are:

  • short duration;
  • stress component;
  • fear for one’s own life;
  • depressed mood;
  • instability of emotions.

The mechanism of lack of air during the air-force is carried out in this way:

  1. First, a trigger occurs when there is a sharp increase in emotions, contributing to the release of hormones into the blood. In response to this process, the pulse accelerates, vessels narrow, inspirations become more frequent. With the help of this process, the human body is prepared for the effects of stress.
  2. Then there is an imbalance in the amount of carbon dioxide and oxygen: despite the fact that the body understands the falsity of anxiety, all processes continue their formation. Frequent breathing causes discomfort in the chest, with its help, excess carbon dioxide is eliminated outside the body. The necessary amount of air is observed with vr (oxygen), but it does not enter the bloodstream into the brain due to the fact that the vessels are spasmodic.
  3. Disorder in the functioning of the human body systems: manifested by the requirement for a high amount of oxygen by the brain, which is not supplied. The nervous system starts the functioning of the respiratory organs, but they can not cope with the task, because the reason is not in them, but in the vessels. In this case, there is a sharp increase in breathing with the simultaneous development of panic.

Summing up, it can be noted that the causes of suffocation lie in the imbalance of the human body systems, their misinformation and the inability to work harmoniously.

Dyspnea is a common complaint of patients with an established diagnosis of vegetative-vascular dystonia. It is rarely independent, because it accompanies psychosomatic pains in the heart and panic attacks, to which neurotics are prone.

Respiratory disturbance can occur both with VVD and with a mass of diseases of an organic nature, in which lung or heart tissue is damaged (pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, acute heart failure, asthma and others), therefore it is important to make sure that such terrifying symptoms are harmless.

The feeling of lack of air during VVD usually begins with a feeling of fear that arises from the increased release of catecholamines into the blood due to the abnormal functioning of the autonomic nerve centers. Fear triggers hyperventilation mechanisms in order to provide the body with oxygen in the event of an emergency, but since this does not occur, additional oxygen is not utilized.

The vasomotor center responds to a low concentration of carbon dioxide in the blood and constricts blood vessels throughout the body. The brain responds to these changes, which senses changes in blood saturation, and in turn instructs the respiratory center to further increase the respiratory rate.

Thus, a person who is in a state of stress can be in a vicious circle from which they can only get out, having gathered strength and calmed down. Often against the background of such attacks, fainting conditions occur.

For VSD, shortness of breath is characterized by mixed, a person just cannot explain how hard it is to inhale or exhale, sometimes there are complaints about the impossibility of taking a deep breath or dissatisfaction in it. Some patients do not experience shortness of breath, but the so-called respiratory equivalents: periodic deep breaths, coughing, sniffling, or yawning.

This change affects muscle tone, which can cause severe tetany (cramps) and numbness in the fingers and toes. A change in vascular tone affects many organs and shortly after the onset of a dyspnea, abdominal pain, cardialgia, heartburn, vomiting, or bloating may appear.

A feeling of shortage of air during VVD occurs under the influence of emotional stress. The emotional reactions of the body, which are formed under stress, prevail, violate the stability and stability of a person, mental adaptation and emotional balance, “unsettle” and the usual rhythm of life.

An important role in ensuring the normal functioning of the autonomic component, neurologists assign the hypothalamus and limbic-reticular complex. The hypothalamus provides unconditionally reflex regulation of the following vital processes:

  • breathing
  • blood pressure
  • function of the bladder and digestive tract;
  • heat generation;
  • blood formation;
  • sweating
  • pupillary reflex;
  • fat and carbohydrate metabolism.

The universal neurophysiological mechanism of triggering VVD is a violation of the hierarchical subordination of the integrative systems of the brain, primarily the limbic-reticular complex. There is a violation of the relationship between activating and inhibitory regulatory components, and subsequently the reticular systems are depleted.

In the patient after experiences, respiratory failure is provoked. Shortness of breath, a feeling of oxygen deficiency. The patient cannot take a deep breath at first. It’s hard for a person to breathe in, as he experiences pain in the chest. Over time, the patient begins to choke. Dyspnea with VVD is similar to the clinical picture of an asthmatic attack.

The level of blood oxygen saturation decreases and the concentration of carbon dioxide, which stimulates the respiratory center, increases. The patient begins to breathe even more often. He is afraid to die from suffocation. Psychosomatic disorders increase respiratory dysfunction. Against the background of a lack of air, the patient develops a panic attack.

A short-term course is characteristic of a lack of air during VVD, such a trigger as stress, fear, a state of depression, emotional instability can precede it.

An attack of lack of air caused by the IRR, despite the fact that it is able to wrest a person from a comfortable state, is relatively safe. In extremely rare cases, hyperventilation syndrome manifests itself – loss of consciousness due to excessive ventilation of the lungs, resulting in increased oxygen levels, and a decrease in carbon dioxide levels. An imbalance can cause a short-term fainting.

Consider the mechanism of occurrence of an attack of respiratory failure during VVD:

  1. Trigger: a surge of emotions (not necessarily negative). As a result, hormones enter the circulatory system, which affect the heart rate (pulse), narrowing of blood vessels, increasing inspiration and their depth. This reaction of the body to the trigger is designed to prepare the body to solve the problem in conditions of increased complexity.
  2. Imbalance of oxygen and carbon dioxide: the alarm turned out to be false, that is, fear, stress did not require any reaction, to save a person – it was a single surge and the danger passed. But the process is already running, hormones are acting, due to rapid breathing, carbon dioxide (which would have to be replenished during physical activity) is actively removed, the vessels are narrowed to compensate for its lack. Oxygen is enough, but due to vasospasm, it does not enter the brain with blood.
  3. Inconsistency in the work of organ systems: the brain, as a result of a panic attack, requires more resources to solve the problem – more oxygenated blood that does not enter. The central nervous system activates the respiratory system without reporting that the problem is the state of the vessels, and not the lungs. Breathing quickens, but the reaction is opposite to what was expected: the feeling of panic is growing and may be uncontrollable. As a result of an attempt to solve the problem by the nervous and humoral systems at the same time, the situation not only does not get better, but is even more aggravated.

Having ascertained the mechanism of a panic attack and arising breathing problems during VVD, and seeing that the reason is actually misinformation of the body systems (this is not associated with serious pathologies of the heart, brain, lungs), we determine the cause of the reaction as not endangering the patient’s health and life .

Being in a stressful situation, in a state of fear, overwork or anxiety, a person can unconsciously change the depth of breathing and its rhythm. Trying to provide muscles with an additional supply of oxygen, a person, as if before a sports competition, tries to breathe faster. Breathing becomes frequent and shallow, but additional oxygen remains unclaimed. This leads to subsequent unpleasant and frightening sensations of lack of air in the lungs.

Moreover, the occurrence of such disorders leads to a state of constant anxiety and fear, which ultimately contributes to the appearance of panic attacks, which exacerbate the course of the already “difficult” hyperventilation syndrome.

Changes in the blood. Improper breathing leads to changes in blood acidity: frequent superficial breaths lead to a decrease in the level of carbon dioxide in the body. A normal concentration of CO2 in the body is necessary to maintain the vessel walls in a relaxed state. Carbon dioxide deficiency leads to muscle tension, vasoconstriction – the brain and body begin to experience oxygen deficiency.

Cardiovascular disorders. Frequent shallow breathing leads to changes in the amount of minerals such as calcium and magnesium in the blood, which causes discomfort or pain in the heart, chest pressure, dizziness, trembling limbs, etc.

Causes of lack of air during the IRR. The mechanism of shortness of breath

The breathing process is autonomous, i.e. it does not require conscious control from a person. When the autonomic nervous system is disturbed, signs of VVD appear that are not controlled by humans. The source of the problem may be the following reasons:

  • fetal hypoxia of the fetus;
  • birth injury;
  • rapid growth in adolescence;
  • traumatic brain injury;
  • heredity;
  • stressful situations;
  • overwork;
  • strong emotional outbursts;
  • improper nutrition, causing a lack of magnesium and potassium in the body, etc.

Respiratory problems with VVD may be due to a high degree of susceptibility to suggestion. After reading the information about a particular disease, a person begins to search for a pathology and involuntarily (unconsciously) imitates the signs of the disease.

There is a theory that shortness of breath appears in adults, who in childhood often had contact with people who have difficulty breathing.

Various breathing difficulties, which may include asthma attacks, lack of air, inability to take a deep breath and shortness of breath, all combine into a hyperventilation syndrome, which is one of the manifestations of the disorder in the ANS. Such breathing problems lead to the development of a panic attack and can occur due to severe stress.

Then, shortness of heart can be accompanied by a rapid heartbeat, heavy sweating, trembling limbs and an obsessive feeling of fear for life. If you begin to complain of shortness of breath and asthma attacks, you must consult a doctor for diagnosis.

Choking can occur with diseases of the heart and respiratory system. And if there are no such problems, then shortness of breath syndrome arose against the background of autonomic dysfunction. The main difference between dyspnea in vascular dystonia and choking in diseases of the lungs and bronchi is the inability to fully inhale, and not exhale, as is usually the case with bronchial asthma. Attacks of suffocation during VVD are usually short-term in nature and develop for reasons:

  • a strong surge of emotions, not necessarily negative;
  • stress, unpleasant life situations, fear;
  • depressive conditions;
  • physical or mental strain;
  • increased suggestibility. Easily suggestible people, having familiarized themselves with the symptoms of a disease, look for a similar clinical picture and even imitate symptoms in some situations. That is, a person reproduces symptoms that are actually absent unconsciously;
  • strong sensitivity. It happens that a person in childhood often observed people who had breathing problems: shortness of breath, suffocation, lack of air. The behavior of these people is firmly imprinted in the memory of the child and can be reproduced in similar situations in the adult period of life;
  • poor nutrition, in which there is an imbalance of minerals, especially magnesium and calcium;
  • the habit of improper breathing developed over the years;
  • violation of the coordinated work of systems due to a panic attack.

Doctors claim that since vegetovascular dystonia is not a disease in itself, the symptoms that arise do not pose a serious threat to patients, especially if they are treated promptly. But before therapeutic measures it is necessary to make sure that an asthma attack is not a sign of any serious illness (bronchial asthma, pneumonia, pleurisy, and others).

A variety of reasons cause a feeling of lack of air during VVD, but, as a rule, this is most often a response of the body to a stressful situation, panic attacks, hormonal changes (menopause, thyroid disease) or severe physical exertion.

Particularly emotional people have difficulty breathing even with unexpected joy, positive shocks. To understand why respiratory failure occurs, you need to find out how the whole process occurs.

In response to a negative factor affecting the development of the respiratory syndrome in vascular dystonia, a hyperventilation process develops in which the patient breathes too often or deeply. Increased inspiration, its depth, heart rate and vascular lumen depend on hormones that enter the bloodstream during an emotional outburst.

With hyperventilation, the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide is disturbed. Rapid breathing removes carbon dioxide from the blood, while there is a narrowing of blood vessels to compensate for its missing amount. But, despite the fact that oxygen is more than enough, due to vascular spasm, it does not enter the necessary amount to the brain. At the same time, the nutrition of brain structures with blood is also disturbed.

The above processes lead to the fact that the brain, experiencing hypoxia and lack of nutrition, transmits a signal to the respiratory system to increase breathing and increase its depth to provide itself with oxygen. In this case, the adrenal glands release an even greater amount of the hormone adrenaline into the blood.

The whole process resembles a vicious circle – panic is constantly growing and the brain is experiencing more and more hypoxia. This is due to inconsistency in the work of the departments of the autonomic system and other organs. The reason for the lack of air is not the work of the respiratory organs, but the vascular stenosis that occurs under the influence of hormones. Thus, we can assume that asthma attacks during VVD occur during dysfunction of the autonomic and hormonal systems of the body.

A sense of anxiety, constantly present during VVD, creates a background of increased brain load. Experiences cause the release of adrenaline into the blood. Heart rate and breathing become more frequent. Repeated breaths lead to an increase in the proportion of oxygen in the blood. All this provides the body with additional energy.

Frequent breathing does not allow blood to be saturated with carbon dioxide, which is required to regulate processes in the body. The lack of this substance can cause dizziness, as well as contribute to the development of feelings of anxiety, destabilize breathing.

The body is in a vicious circle: unrest violates breathing, and a confused breathing process exacerbates anxiety. Is it possible to find a way out of here? This is the next chapter and video.

Many people care about the question: why is it difficult to breathe with VSD? Vegetative-vascular dystonia (VVD) is a syndrome caused by a functional disorder of the autonomic nervous system (ANS), characterized by nonspecific symptoms from the following organ systems:

  • cardiovascular system (pain in the region of the heart (cardialgia), pathologically high or low blood pressure, tachycardia);
  • respiratory system (shortness of breath, respiratory arrest);
  • digestive system (stool disorders, flatulence, abdominal pain);
  • nervous system (sleep disturbance, thought processes).

What are the prerequisites for breathing difficulties with VVD?

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Tatyana Jakowenko

Editor-in-chief of the Detonic online magazine, cardiologist Yakovenko-Plahotnaya Tatyana. Author of more than 950 scientific articles, including in foreign medical journals. He has been working as a cardiologist in a clinical hospital for over 12 years. He owns modern methods of diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases and implements them in his professional activities. For example, it uses methods of resuscitation of the heart, decoding of ECG, functional tests, cyclic ergometry and knows echocardiography very well.

For 10 years, she has been an active participant in numerous medical symposia and workshops for doctors - families, therapists and cardiologists. He has many publications on a healthy lifestyle, diagnosis and treatment of heart and vascular diseases.

He regularly monitors new publications of European and American cardiology journals, writes scientific articles, prepares reports at scientific conferences and participates in European cardiology congresses.