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Wrong diagnoses and treatment of symptoms

A number of chronic hyperventilation symptoms are often erroneously identified by both doctor and patient. When the underlying problem is not recognized and resolved, the patient is often referred to a specialist of a medical field the symptoms seem to point to. Hence the patient is treated for a condition that he or she does not have.

If ultimately this treatment fails, the patient returns to the doctor, who cannot help the patient any further. The patient is left with the same problems and a situation arises where both patient and doctor are getting frustrated. The patient ends up in kind of a ‘medical vacuum’ and is forced to continue living with the symptoms without understanding what is going on.

The influence this has on the life of the patient – specifically due to the many symptoms caused by hyperventilation – can be enormous. Often the patient can no longer perform his daily duties, and frequently becomes socially isolated. Which then adds to symptoms of the hyperventilation syndrome.

Symptoms that often lead to wrong diagnosis

  • Attacks of pain in the thorax (which sometimes radiate out to one or both arms), together with pounding of the heart, fear of dying and certain aberrations on the ECG, often leads to the patient being hospitalized in the cardio department.
  • A tight and tense feeling in the upper abdomen, burping, flatulence, constipation or diarrhoea often lead to referral to a gastro-enterologist.
  • Fatigue, agitation, clammy skin, rapid pulse, sleeping disorders, anxiety, emotional instability and trembling often result in a referral to a specialist for internal diseases and treatment of alleged hyperthyroidism.
  • Blurred vision, black spots in the eye sight, followed by (rising from the neck) splitting headaches, hypersensitivity to stimuli, and sometimes nausea, seem to point to migraine, and often result in referral to a neurologist. This specialist then confirms this diagnosis, partly because of certain details on the EEG, which occur also with patients suffering from chronic hyperventilation. The patient is treated accordingly.
  • Depersonalization symptoms with a sense of impending loss of consciousness, a sense of heat suddenly rising from legs or lower body, agitation, emotional discharges together with certain configurations on the electro encephalogram, can be the reason to think of temporal epilepsy, for which the person concerned will then be treated.


Read more about medications used to treat hyperventilation

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