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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Cardiology Symptoms

Question: 32 and out of breath

 niv - Wed Jan 12, 2005 10:47 am

i am 32 years old 5'4" and weigh 230lbs, i have smoked on and off for the past 19 years and have been smoking regularly 1-2 packs per week for the past 4years. i have been on vioxx for the past 4years and recently on celebrex, i have also been taking aleve for many years, i suffer from serious miagraines (2-4per week) and endometriosis, so i am on imetrex and amerge and i am also taking the birth control needle to stop my periods(which hase not worked very well...i bleed steadly for a year and i have been spotting on and off for the last 4 is getting a little better)i am a mother of 3(1 has medullabastoma and is doing very well now) i used to be very active but lately i have slowed down drastically. even doing the simpiest things around the house has me out of breath. the last 6 months i have been having some difficulties. such as numbness on my right side(with or without the miagraines and it comes without warning and can last a few minutes to an hour) mostly it is in my arm and hand. i have been exremely tired, literaly wanting to sleep all the time, i have moderate to severe swelling in my legs and feet, as well as pain when i walk...i walk about 5-6km a day. sometimes i feel like a heavy weight is sitting on my chest and i find it hard to catch my breath, i also experience pain in my chest, stomach and back(not all always at the same time) i also find it very hard to catch my breath at times, 2-3 times a day. my blood pressure is normal and 3years ago i had my cholestral checked and it was fine. i am just so tired all the time!!! i was thinking of asking my dr. to run a few tests but i am not sure which ones to ask for. i also do not want to waste anyones time if there is nothing seriously wrong. help!!!
 Dr. Yasser Mokhtar - Sat Jan 15, 2005 5:32 pm

User avatar Dear niv,

Shortness of breath on exertion has lots of reasons begining with being out of shape and ending with heart failure and lung problems.

Being overweight and without history of doing regular excercise puts being physically unfit at the top of my list.

Together with being a smoker does not really help your lungs.

i suggest that you visit your doctor for an exam, may be have your lung functions evaluated and if your doctor thinks that this is heart related (even though i don't think it is), may be an echocardiogram would be a good thing to do.

However, with the other symptoms that you mentioned (being tired all day long, need to sleep and having swelling in your legs), together with being obese, makes me think that you need to be evaluated for sleep apnea, a disease that affects quite a percentage of the obese population, in which the patient stops breathing during the night causing disturbance in the patient's sleep (that the patient doesn't feel) and the oxygen falls down in the patient's blood as a result of stopping breathing. However, as the patient stops breathing and level of oxygen falls down, the brain of the patients feels it and wakes the patient up so that breathing is resumed. This also, can be a cause of your shortness of breath.

i suggest that you be evaluated by having a formal sleep study.

Thank you very much for using our website and i hope that this information helped.

Yasser Mokhtar, M.D.
 Dr. Yasser Mokhtar - Sun Jan 16, 2005 3:47 am

User avatar Dear niv,

i forgot to comment on the numbness that you get, this is most probably related to the migraines that you get.

Regarding the chest pressure that you get, females of the child bearing age are naturally protected against coronary disease, you have a major risk factor for coronary disease which is smoking, you don't have any other risk factor for coronary disease such as hypertension or diabetes or high cholesterol and you don't have any family history. But you have not mentioned some of the characteristics of the chest pressure that you get, like where does it come, does it always come with exercise, how long does it last, does it go away if you stop walking, do you continue walking with the chest pressure, does it go anywhere else besides the chest? The answers to these question will decide whether or not, the pain is typical for that of coronary disease. i think that most probably with you walking 5-6 km is indicative that there is nothing wrong.

Like i said before, you have to be evaluated by your doctor, and i would advise to mention this pressure to him/her as well.

Thank you very much for using our website and i hope that this information helped.

Yasser Mokhtar, M.D.

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