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  #1  
Old 03-14-19, 01:42 PM
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N-a-c

I've been bothered by air hunger/dyspnea condition, which is worse with stress or anxiety. Started taking N-A-C up to twice a day and noticed a better ability to identify what was making me feel that way and come up with better ways to think, reducing the tension that was making me gulp for air.

Anyone else have experience with this supplement? I've read it's been known to help with stress and OCD.
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Old 03-15-19, 09:50 PM
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Re: N-a-c

Shortness of breath can be caused and aggravated by so many different things--cardiovascular, pulmonary, allergic, neuro/psychological (and I'm probably missing something here), an obvious first question is, do you know what is causing your shortness of breath?

I used NAC for years, sporadically, as a mucolytic for episodic airway problems related to chronic bronchitis and bronchial (wet) asthma. Whether it would be helpful for a "dry" airway problem, I have no idea.

It has been a long time since I did any research on this application, but I recall reading it was poorly absorbed orally, so in hospital settings it was administered by nebulizer for breathing problems, and injected to counter acetomenophen overdose. Again, whether this information is still current, I have no idea. I tried to simulate the nebulizer by dumping the contents of the NAC capsules into a little reservoir on my vaporizer and inhaling the steam. I thought it helped, and I would still do this as part of a larger routine I do in the event of an exacerbation of my breathing problems.

By coincidence, last year I became aware NAC is now also the subject of a lot of research on its neuroprotective effects for possible use against Alzheimer's, mild cognitive impairment, schizophrenia, and other neurological and degenerative processes. I don't know how it is being administered in the current studies, but I would guess it is being injected, not swallowed.

Confident of its safety, if not its efficacy, since I had the pills already I started taking 500mg NAC on an empty stomach every day. And I will say that my lung capacity has improved dramatically over the same period. But-full disclosure--at the same time as I started taking NAC daily, I also started a teensy-weensy exercise routine which I have somehow kept going now for 12 months, during which it has grown from a few minutes a day to 2 hrs of daily cardio and 30 mins of resistance exercise. If I can now suddenly stride up out of our local river valley (elevation 3900') without stopping to catch my breath, I would guess it is more likely from the exercise than from the NAC. Is it helping my cognitive function? We're not sure!
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Old 03-15-19, 10:17 PM
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Re: N-a-c

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Originally Posted by 20thcenturyfox View Post
Shortness of breath can be caused and aggravated by so many different things--cardiovascular, pulmonary, allergic, neuro/psychological (and I'm probably missing something here), an obvious first question is, do you know what is causing your shortness of breath?

I used NAC for years, sporadically, as a mucolytic for episodic airway problems related to chronic bronchitis and bronchial (wet) asthma. Whether it would be helpful for a "dry" airway problem, I have no idea.

It has been a long time since I did any research on this application, but I recall reading it was poorly absorbed orally, so in hospital settings it was administered by nebulizer for breathing problems, and injected to counter acetomenophen overdose. Again, whether this information is still current, I have no idea. I tried to simulate the nebulizer by dumping the contents of the NAC capsules into a little reservoir on my vaporizer and inhaling the steam. I thought it helped, and I would still do this as part of a larger routine I do in the event of an exacerbation of my breathing problems.

By coincidence, last year I became aware NAC is now also the subject of a lot of research on its neuroprotective effects for possible use against Alzheimer's, mild cognitive impairment, schizophrenia, and other neurological and degenerative processes. I don't know how it is being administered in the current studies, but I would guess it is being injected, not swallowed.

Confident of its safety, if not its efficacy, since I had the pills already I started taking 500mg NAC on an empty stomach every day. And I will say that my lung capacity has improved dramatically over the same period. But-full disclosure--at the same time as I started taking NAC daily, I also started a teensy-weensy exercise routine which I have somehow kept going now for 12 months, during which it has grown from a few minutes a day to 2 hrs of daily cardio and 30 mins of resistance exercise. If I can now suddenly stride up out of our local river valley (elevation 3900') without stopping to catch my breath, I would guess it is more likely from the exercise than from the NAC. Is it helping my cognitive function? We're not sure!
I think the shortness of breath is partly due to anxiety/stress and also due to being out of shape, with maybe a bit of asthma and allergies thrown in for good measure. I'm planning on running now that the weather is finally not frickin frigid here in DC. The pulmonologist said he was confident the dyspnea would get better if I took care of the sleep apnea (which I have) and exercised. So one out of two so far.
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Old 03-16-19, 07:26 PM
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Not To Be Rude, But...

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Originally Posted by Daniel1970 View Post
I think the shortness of breath is partly due to anxiety/stress and also due to being out of shape, with maybe a bit of asthma and allergies thrown in for good measure. I'm planning on running now that the weather is finally not frickin frigid here in DC. The pulmonologist said he was confident the dyspnea would get better if I took care of the sleep apnea (which I have) and exercised. So one out of two so far.
What do you mean, one out of two? You don't say what you're doing about the sleep apnea...and you haven't started exercising yet?

If you know you have sleep apnea, is it reasonable to to guess that every part of your body--and especially your brain--is oxygen-deprived every morning, and perhaps all the time?

Is there really nothing you want to do about this prior to taking your oxygen-deprived brain and body-- AND your twitchy airway--out on the possibly smog-laden streets of DC for a run? I am not a doctor, but this really does not sound like a well-thought-out approach to the problem you describe. Neither does taking NAC by mouth.

What about looking at ways to improve your O2 status first? Monitor your blood CO2 (know your baseline; you probably want it to go down). Look into oral appliances as a possible alternative to a CPAP machine? Learn & practice some breathing techniques for relaxation vs. energy? Take a yoga class that emphasizes breathing techniques? Then maybe walking briskly in the cleanest air you can find to see how you hold up?

It is said you have to walk before you can run. I would add that walking often has to start with baby steps.

Just my opinion.
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Old 03-17-19, 02:14 PM
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Apology

Sorry...I wish I could retract the above comments.

I should have just asked if you had run your exercise plan (to start by running outdoors) past your doctor.

On the face of it, it sounds like a risky proposition, but only you and your doctor know you.

Again, I apologize for presuming.
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Old 03-17-19, 11:50 PM
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Re: Not To Be Rude, But...

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Originally Posted by 20thcenturyfox View Post
What do you mean, one out of two? You don't say what you're doing about the sleep apnea...and you haven't started exercising yet?

If you know you have sleep apnea, is it reasonable to to guess that every part of your body--and especially your brain--is oxygen-deprived every morning, and perhaps all the time?

Is there really nothing you want to do about this prior to taking your oxygen-deprived brain and body-- AND your twitchy airway--out on the possibly smog-laden streets of DC for a run? I am not a doctor, but this really does not sound like a well-thought-out approach to the problem you describe. Neither does taking NAC by mouth.

What about looking at ways to improve your O2 status first? Monitor your blood CO2 (know your baseline; you probably want it to go down). Look into oral appliances as a possible alternative to a CPAP machine? Learn & practice some breathing techniques for relaxation vs. energy? Take a yoga class that emphasizes breathing techniques? Then maybe walking briskly in the cleanest air you can find to see how you hold up?

It is said you have to walk before you can run. I would add that walking often has to start with baby steps.

Just my opinion.
I have the new Inspire sleep apnea pacemaker implant which I use every night without fail. It opens your airway every time you take a breath by stimulating the nerves connected to your tongue. Not for everyone, but I can tolerate it just fine and it's a lot easier to use than putting on a Darth Vader CPAP mask every night. So the sleep apnea is taken care of. Definitely notice a difference in how I feel upon waking. I definitely used to feel starved for air.

I actually live in the suburbs in a neighborhood with a lot of trees, so the air is pretty clean here. I walk our dog about 5 times a day, and I've run with her a few times with no problem, it's more a matter of consistency.

I also have a pretty regular meditation practice, although I've skipped the last few days.

The one thing the pulmonologist recommended was a peak flow meter to get a baseline, so I know whether the shortness of breath is due to asthma or just anxiety. That way I know whether to use an inhaler, or address whatever thoughts are making anxious, depending on what is causing the dyspnea at that moment. So I do need to get on it about breaking that out of the box and actually using it.

D.
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Consider others. - Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

Be yourself, and the rest will follow.

Breathing is not optional. - Dr. Raymond Wertheim

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Old 03-18-19, 09:23 AM
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A Virtuous Cycle

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Originally Posted by Daniel1970 View Post
I have the new Inspire sleep apnea pacemaker implant which I use every night without fail. It opens your airway every time you take a breath by stimulating the nerves connected to your tongue. Not for everyone, but I can tolerate it just fine and it's a lot easier to use than putting on a Darth Vader CPAP mask every night. So the sleep apnea is taken care of. Definitely notice a difference in how I feel upon waking. I definitely used to feel starved for air.

I actually live in the suburbs in a neighborhood with a lot of trees, so the air is pretty clean here. I walk our dog about 5 times a day, and I've run with her a few times with no problem, it's more a matter of consistency.

I also have a pretty regular meditation practice, although I've skipped the last few days.

The one thing the pulmonologist recommended was a peak flow meter to get a baseline, so I know whether the shortness of breath is due to asthma or just anxiety. That way I know whether to use an inhaler, or address whatever thoughts are making anxious, depending on what is causing the dyspnea at that moment. So I do need to get on it about breaking that out of the box and actually using it.

D.

You're way ahead of me...and obviously doing a lot of things right!

The Inspire technology sounds very interesting, too; glad to hear it seems to be working out.

It occurs to me that it's probably pretty natural to ramp up the anxiety when your body starts to betray you in some major way--like breathing. Hopefully now that you are getting on top of both the sleep apnea and the need for more regular exercise--which it sounds like you are--any anxiety (and associated asthma) will fade into the background as you improve objectively and gain confidence. In this regard, having a way to track your progress objectively could also be very helpful psychologically, by constantly reminding you how your efforts are paying off and how far you have come. Helps set up a "virtuous cycle."

PS: Any cherry blossoms yet?
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Old 03-19-19, 12:42 PM
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Re: A Virtuous Cycle

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You're way ahead of me...and obviously doing a lot of things right!

The Inspire technology sounds very interesting, too; glad to hear it seems to be working out.

It occurs to me that it's probably pretty natural to ramp up the anxiety when your body starts to betray you in some major way--like breathing. Hopefully now that you are getting on top of both the sleep apnea and the need for more regular exercise--which it sounds like you are--any anxiety (and associated asthma) will fade into the background as you improve objectively and gain confidence. In this regard, having a way to track your progress objectively could also be very helpful psychologically, by constantly reminding you how your efforts are paying off and how far you have come. Helps set up a "virtuous cycle."

PS: Any cherry blossoms yet?
Not quite yet, but can't wait!

Yes, I should def get on that peak flow meter as soon as possible. As you said, it would be nice to be able to say "oh, this is just anxiety" or "ah yes, this is actually asthma".

D.
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Consider others. - Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

Be yourself, and the rest will follow.

Breathing is not optional. - Dr. Raymond Wertheim

What do you care what other people think? - Arline Feynman, to her husband, American physicist Richard P. Feynman

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Old 03-19-19, 02:39 PM
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Re: N-a-c

Respiratory diseases are caused by excess salt and glutamate. When we have ADD we take a lot of salt because it increases the dopamine and it wakes us a little.
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Old 03-19-19, 06:11 PM
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You Don't Suppose There Are Other Factors Than Just Dietary Salt & Glutamate?

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Respiratory diseases are caused by excess salt and glutamate. When we have ADD we take a lot of salt because it increases the dopamine and it wakes us a little.
...Such as contaminants in the 9000 litres (2300 US gallons) of air we breathe on average each day throughout our lives, or allergies, infection, cardiovascular disease, or problems in the pressure dynamics of the lungs themselves.

Smoking, followed by occupational exposure and air pollution, is widely regarded as the leading cause of COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). And respiratory failure is also the largest cause of death among premature infants, whose opportunity for environmental exposures--or to wake themselves up with salt and glutamate--must be rather limited.
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Old 03-19-19, 08:14 PM
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Coming Back to the OP

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Originally Posted by Daniel1970 View Post
I've been bothered by air hunger/dyspnea condition, which is worse with stress or anxiety. Started taking N-A-C up to twice a day and noticed a better ability to identify what was making me feel that way and come up with better ways to think, reducing the tension that was making me gulp for air.

Anyone else have experience with this supplement? I've read it's been known to help with stress and OCD.
Daniel, a little off the NAC topic, but I came across an article on "exercise-induced dyspnoea" which will probably interest you, and may also give you both perspective and peace of mind as you work on rehabilitating your breathing.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4933621/ Dysfunctional breathing and reaching one’s physiological limit as causes of exercise-induced dyspnoea (Breathe, Australia, 2016)

Although the article makes clear there are many more possibilities than simply "anxiety" or "asthma," some of them are very identifiable and hackable indeed for any motivated patient.

Good luck.
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