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Why do I get tired when I breathe

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Breathing is the only involuntary function of the body. Of course, it is one of the most important since it allows the exchange of oxygen for carbon dioxide, which is essential for the functioning of the respiratory system. Respiration can be affected by multiple conditions such as pollution, smoking, some diseases, and treatments for specific pathologies.

Heart and breathing rates are linked to tiredness when breathing, and both can be affected by something as familiar as not breathing properly while exercising. If you have noticed that your performance is not the same for a while now, and you are getting tired of wondering why I get tired when I breathe, learn about the possible causes of this discomfort in this FastlyHealarticle.

Why do I get tired when I breathe

Tiredness when breathing, whether in motion or at rest, is related to the lack of oxygen in the body. Generally, it is a disease or condition that prevents the heart from receiving all the oxygen it needs to function or does not allow the lungs to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide appropriately. No disease or pathology consists of the feeling of tiredness during breathing; it is a secondary cause of some disorders. Let us know below some causes of fatigue during breathing.


Anemia is a hematological disease that occurs when the bone marrow does not produce enough healthy red blood cells responsible for transporting oxygen throughout the body. Anemia can be caused by many factors, such as iron or vitamin B12 deficiency in the blood.

When a person is anemic, their body is not oxygenated properly, and they experience weakness, dizziness, and fatigue. The defect caused by this condition can cause the person to feel short of breath and get tired while breathing when carrying out any effort or activity. Fortunately, anemia is a controllable pathology, and once the production of red blood cells stabilizes, the weakness disappears.

Circulatory problems

Blood is responsible for transporting oxygen throughout the body. It leaves the heart, travels through the arteries to the lungs and tissues, and returns to the heart through the veins. When the valves of the veins are inflamed or the streets are narrow due to the accumulation of plaque (a thick substance composed mainly of cholesterol ), the blood circulation becomes difficult, and the amount of oxygen received by the heart decreases. Lack of oxygenation in this muscle can cause respiratory problems that lead to fatigue or a significant effort to breathe correctly.

Chemotherapy and radiotherapy

Tired breathing is a common consequence of these treatments. Both chemotherapy and radiotherapy are very abrasive processes for the body that significantly affect people’s energy, causing extreme weakness. For this reason, people undergoing cancer treatment sleep so much because fatigue is one of the main side effects of both therapies. Any effort made during the application of chemotherapy or radiotherapy will directly influence the physical resistance of the person, causing fatigue when breathing.

Poor physical endurance

Being overweight, having a poor diethaving a sedentary life, and smoking negatively affect our physical endurance, causing a simple walk to become the most challenging effort for our lung and heart capacity. The accumulation of fat in the arteries and the consumption of nicotine directly affect the heart’s health, causing this muscle to overexert itself to perform its function.

This is one of the most common causes of feeling tired when breathing, and it is also a consequence of our feeling that our heart beats too fast. At the same time, we exercise, which generates generalized fatigue that asks us to rest immediately. However, the best way to combat this discomfort is through sports because as we increase our physical resistance, our heart will be healthier, and we will experience less fatigue when breathing during exercise.

Airway congestion

When a person suffers from sinusitis, they usually have their upper airways compromised due to an accumulation of mucus that cannot come out due to a deviation in the septum or very large turbinates. All this scenario directly affects respiration since the amount of air circulating through our nose is scarce due to the lack of space in the nostrils, which causes us to end up breathing through the mouth.

Living with a stuffy nose is harmful to the respiratory system since we are not breathing as much air as we should. Still, we are also not breathing as we should, which causes fatigue, especially when we make some effort. Treating this condition is essential to improve discomfort.

What to do if I feel tired when breathing?

When this symptom is constant, even while at rest, you must visit your GP for a thorough check-up and determine the frequency of fatigue when it occurs, when it is most acute, and when it disappears; as we mentioned at the beginning, tired breathing is a discomfort, so the important thing will be to discover the cause to make a diagnosis and to be able to determine the ideal treatment.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Why do I get tired when I breathe , we recommend that you enter our Lung and respiratory tract category .

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