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Let's see if we can figure out what's causing your rapid shallow breathing.
Select additional symptoms and we'll narrow your results.

What causes rapid shallow breathing? 8 possible conditions

The average person takes between 12 to 20 breaths per minute. Rapid, shallow breathing, also called tachypnea, occurs when you take more breaths than normal in a given minute. When a person breathes rapidly, it’s sometimes known as hyperventilation. Either... Read more

See a list of possible causes in order from the most common to the least.

1

Sepsis

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

One life-threatening complication of infection is sepsis, which often occurs in people who are elderly or have weak immune systems. Patches of discolored skin is a symptom of severe sepsis.

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2

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a serious complication that stems from diabetes. If you don't have enough insulin to help your body process sugars (glucose), your body will start burning fat to fuel itself. As a result...

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3

Respiratory Alkalosis

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Respiratory alkalosis occurs when carbon dioxide levels drop too low. This causes the pH of the blood to rise and become too alkaline.

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4

Panic Disorder

Panic disorder occurs when you live in fear of a panic attack. You may be having a panic attack when you feel sudden, overwhelming terror with no obvious cause.

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5

Heat Emergencies

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Heat emergencies are health crises caused by exposure to hot weather and sun. Heat emergencies have three stages: heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke.

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6

Pulmonary Embolism

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

A pulmonary embolism is a blood clot that occurs in the lungs. It can damage part of the lung and other organs and decrease oxygen levels in the blood.

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7

Pneumonia

Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs caused by fungi, bacteria, or viruses. General symptoms include chest pain, fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.

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8

Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis causes severe damage to the respiratory and digestive systems. Learn about its symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment.

Read more »

This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose.
Please consult a healthcare professional if you have health concerns.
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