Air Hunger Causes – B6 Deficiency and ?

UPDATE: I eventually discovered that B6 Deficiency was a red herring in my search for the causes of my air hunger. Please see my new post, Air Hunger Causes, for the real underlying condition, and how I managed to rid myself of air hunger once and for all!

Supplementing the B6 that I began suspecting I needed a few days ago has been helping. I am actually now taking 3 caps per day (I take Solaray’s B6, 100mg, in case you’re curious), and while the worst of the symptoms have abated, I am still having some remaining issues. For one thing, while I no longer have the near-constant muscle pain in my chin, my quadriceps (front of my thigh muscles) still give me some pretty wicked pain if I go up the stairs more than 3 times per day. Given that I’m a gal who used to hike 10miles a day up and down mountains (with a full pack on my back), this is unacceptable.

The other, more annoying, effect I’m having when my B6 is running low is air hunger, aka dyspnea. Defined by Wikipedia as “the subjective symptom of breathlessness,” my own air hunger is actually a bit hard to define. At times it manifests as the feeling that there is no way I could ever breathe deeply enough to feel like I am getting sufficient air in my lungs. Other times, like right now as I’m typing, it’s a much more vague sense that something isn’t right with my breathing, but without a grave desire to hyperventilate to fix it. Which is actually a very good thing, in my book.

You see, back before I discovered my oxalate toxicity, and the draining effect it could have on Vitamin B6, I was told by numerous authorities (read: doctors) that my only issue was anxiety. And for a long time I believed them, and saw a therapist to try to correct the problem. And while I was suffering from anxiety, it turns out that my air hunger was absolutely NOT caused by it. Did the air hunger exacerbate my anxiety? You betcha! But it wasn’t specifically caused by the anxiety. Once I discovered that I had poisoned myself with oxalates, and began supplementing to correct the deficiencies caused by that toxicity, the air hunger went away, almost like magic.

While I’m not certain that the air hunger is caused solely by my B6 deficiency (hence the question mark in my post title), it definitely seems to be an important factor. Note that I’m not saying “B6 will cure everyone’s air hunger problems!” or anything silly like that. I got lucky, and discovered the root cause of my air hunger in my oxalate toxicity. Perhaps if someone else’s air hunger is caused by the same issue, then B6 will help them as well. Of course, if you are one of those unfortunate souls suffering with air hunger, and don’t know what is causing it, it probably wouldn’t hurt to try a B6 supplement over a short period, to see if it has a positive effect.

It’s important to note, however, that you shouldn’t supplement heavily with B6 unless you are quite certain that you need it. While most sources say that all the B vitamins, being water soluble, will just go in one end and out the other if they’re not needed, I’m pretty sure that B6, at least, is stored to some extent. This is based solely on my personal experience. I supplemented heavily with it for a couple of months (600mg per day) when I first discovered my oxalate issues, and then stopped back when I got very ill back in January. Since then I’d only been supping with the B100 complex (which, predictably, contains only 100mg of B6) until a couple weeks ago. So my best guess is that I stored the excess my body couldn’t use while I was supping heavily, and then have slowly been drawing down those stores over the past few months until I hit another low point. No surprise, really…the body is generally smarter than we give it credit for. :)

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