Rapid Shallow Breathing: Causes, Treatments & Prevention
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What causes rapid shallow breathing? 8 possible conditions

The average person takes between eight and 16 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 is sometimes called hyperventilation. Both... 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 affects blood flow to the lungs. It can damage part of the lung due to restricted blood flow, decrease blood oxygen. The most common symptom is shortness of breath.

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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.

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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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