Hi everyone.. About a month ago I was having chest pain and I got scared, so I went to the E.R. since it was late at night. By the way, I'm a 25 year old female with no medical history, just overweight (220lbs). Anyway, they hooked me up on a heart monitor, did an ekg, and did a cat scan with dye of my chest.
They said everything was normal. They couldn't find anything wrong. I do have history of anxiety, and I was on lexapro for about a year. 2 months ago I tapered off of it because I didn't want to be on it any longer. The last 3 weeks, I've been having breathing problems. It happens about once or twice a week, usually around the evening, out of nowhere. I'll be sitting watching t.v., working, on the computer, etc. All of a sudden I'll get a really tight feeling in my chest, like in the center, and it feels like when I breathe in I'm breathing through a tight straw. I'll sit there and concentrate on my breathing because I get scared, and I don't hear any wheezing. I can still breathe in and out, but it's a tight feeling. When I exhale, it feels even more tighter. Then i start to panic because I think in my head what if it gets worse, and I get myself all nervous. But it's a scary feeling.
I don't know what it is. If I go out with my friends and we go dancing, or if I play Wii or excercise, it doesn't happen. I don't know what brings it on. I could just be sitting there and it happens. Then I'll try and make myself cough, and on the inhale after I cough it feels tight when I breathe in like my airway is being narrowed. Does this sound like asthma or something else? Also, when this happens, if I swallow, I feel like theres a ball or something stuck in my chest (not my throat). It feels like a lump right where my chest feels tight.
So I really want to know if this sounds like asthma, or something else. Like I said, I was on a heart monitor (pulse rate, oxygen). It was kind of like an ongoing EKG for like 2 1/2 hours I was on it. Cat scan with dye normal. I'm clueless.. Please help!
No, it doesn't sound like asthma. The fact that you can dance and do other cardio type activities without the problem is the prime indication that it isn't. Sounds like anxiety or your weight (sorry!) is the cause.
Is there any pattern for when you have difficulty breathing such as are you always indoors, feeling stressed, etc? I think talking to your doctor would be the best way of figuring out what's going on.
Did the lexapro help with your anxiety? Perhaps you may want to go back on the lexapro to see if your breathing problems decrease or disappear entirely. It seems strange how your breathing problems started only after you stopped taking the lexapro.
thanks for the reply. I really don't think it's from my weight though because it happens even if I'm just sitting down watching t.v. for an hour or two.. hmm.. maybe it is anxiety
I'm always indoors when it happens, so far. I don't even feel stressed when it happens. It happened on Christmas after I ate and was watching t.v and just sitting with my family. Then it happened at work while I was doing my work on the computer. The lexapro did help with my anxiety. That may be a good idea to go back on the lexapro to see if this breathing problem goes away. Thanks
Last edited by Mod-S4; 04-09-2012 at 10:31 PM.
Reason: Posts merged
The fact that it crops up when you're just sitting suggests than anxiety is a more likely explanation than asthma. (People with asthma may get symptoms from exercise, cold air, smoke and other triggers.)
My Pulmonoligist told me that asthma attacks and panic attacks can have very similar symptoms. So, it could very well be anxiety that is making you feel like you can't breathe. Do you use an inhaler when this happens? If you're able to get through it without one then it's not asthma.
... The last 3 weeks, I've been having breathing problems. It happens about once or twice a week, usually around the evening, out of nowhere.
Asthma sufferers commonly have most of their problems at night. Your body is less able to prevent Asthma problems at night (ref: Circadian Rhythm). If someone does have Asthma problems during the day, it frequently gets worse at night.
I'll be sitting watching t.v., working, on the computer, etc. All of a sudden I'll get a really tight feeling in my chest, like in the center, and it feels like when I breathe in I'm breathing through a tight straw. I'll sit there and concentrate on my breathing because I get scared, and I don't hear any wheezing. I can still breathe in and out, but it's a tight feeling. When I exhale, it feels even more tighter.
That is very typical of Asthma. With Asthma, the airways constrict, causing labored, or more difficult breathing, with or without wheezing. Your body is much more able to prevent Asthma during the day, so at times the Asthma attack is "delayed" until evening. Your body is better able to prevent breathing difficulties, from all those nasty old pollens and irritants during the day, but come evening the proverbial asthmatic roof falls in.
A dysfunctional metabolism, caused by an unhealthy diet, will make this problem and other health problems worse.
You have a known health problem, your weight. When you are overweight, your body's metabolism does not function properly. Being overweight means that your body is consuming more calories than it can handle. So...... in a nutshell, regardless of your symptoms, being overweight is not healthy and will compound and worsen any other health problem.
When I was overweight, I constantly had breathing problems, especially at night and especially after eating too many carbohydrates. I went from 180 pounds down to 135 pounds and had fewer breathing problems, especially at night.
That being said, I still suffer from Asthma. I take an inhaler that limits the severity of my Asthma, but when I encounter an offending allergen or irritant I'll have labored or more difficult breathing. Depending upon the length and severity of my exposure, the labored or uncomfortable breathing can last all night long and then make me sick as a dog for a day or two.
In your case, I would suspect Asthma, but because you are overweight, that must also be considered as a possible part of the problem.
At any rate, I wish you the best of health and hope that you can get this resolved and feel much better.