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Forum Name: Miscellaneous Cardiology Topics

Question: hot, humid weather and extreme shortness of breath


 lethe9 - Mon Aug 21, 2006 5:45 pm

Hi, I have asthma and also got a stent in the right coronary artery almost a year ago. I am 48, very fat(dieting), diabetic, and have rheumatoid arthritis also. The problem is this: for the last week or so it has been dangerously hot and humid here--high 90's with very high humidity. Since the stent I have felt much better and seem to tolerate the heat better than in years. I have been having to use my rescue inhaler for the asthma a lot in the last week. I have had to spend more time in the heat than I would like because my car's air is broken and I can't afford to fix it. Even when I was thin I had a severe problem with heat. But in the last week, I am having problems catching my breath and even kind of panting or mouth breathing in the heat. No pain, just can't seem to catch my breath or let it out right. When I remember I measure the bp and pulse and peak flow. The bp is normal, pulse is 141 or around there and the peak flow is still in the green but down from normal. The pulse is taking longer to go down than usual. My question: is this just normal for someone with my history or should I mention it to the doctor soon? Also, is it heart or asthma or both? I sometimes have problems telling them apart. This is messing with my exercise program since I get sick in the car it is so hot and so am currently avoiding the gym till it cools off some. When I get home I jump in a cool shower and am very exhausted for a couple of hours then slowly recover and something will happen and I have to go outside and the whole thing starts over.
 Theresa Jones, RN - Tue Aug 22, 2006 4:25 am

User avatar Hi lethe9,
Exacerbations of asthma do tend to increase during hot, humid weather even in people who have asthma related symptoms under reasonable control. Increased shortness of breath, fatigue, chest discomfort related to bronchospasms, etc., may cause increases in heart rate. I would strongly suggest that you notify your physician regarding your symptoms.
Sincerely,
Theresa Jones, RN
 lethe9 - Sun Aug 27, 2006 8:37 am

Thank you so much; the doctor in the emergency room (how our local hospital does acute care) gave me prescription for a burst of prednisone and it is helping so much. It seems to be really making my arthritis feel better too. My blood sugar is through the roof and I am wondering whether to add another metformin in the morning to help with that.
 Theresa Jones, RN - Sun Aug 27, 2006 2:00 pm

User avatar Hi lethe9,
I am glad to hear that you went in for an evaluation. I would not suggest that you take another Metformin without first consulting your physician. Keep in mind that your blood sugar levels will return to a more appropriate level after the prednisone is completed.
Sincerely,
Theresa Jones, RN

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