I've been having shortness of breath for the past 6 months and have had an Echo, chest x-ray and a ekg that all come back normal. My normal doctor refered me to a pulmanologist who did 2 different test for asthma which both came back negatice. I have shortness of breath almost all the time and it gets really hard to breath after a big meal. I haven't been as active as I used to be because the shortness of breath. Well tonight I went to play raquetball and played for only about 5 mins and my chest started pounding and it was really hard to catch my breath (6 months ago I could play for 2 hours with no problem). Does a stress test show something different than a echo?? Should I have a stress test done?? Does anyone have any idea what else it could be??
It's hard to think about a 23 year old having heart problems. When did this shortness of breath start? Is there a history of heart problems in your family? Do you get chest pain with the shortness of breath? Any other symptoms? Have the symptoms been getting worse or are they the same as they were when they first appeared?
A stress test is a different test than an echo altogether. The echo is good at looking how well your valves work, how well your heart walls move when they pump and whether they are pumping effectively or not. A stress test is an exercise test for which you run on a treadmill and they monitor your heart rate and EKG. Certain changes in the EKG or heart rate can alert the doctors to deficiencies in blood flow to the heart muscle.
THe shortness of breath started about 6-7 months ago and was accompied by a "tight chest" feeling when I rode my bike or played raquetball. Now I still have the shortness of breath, but where I used to have a tight chest now it's an ACUTE sharp pain in the left chest area (when I played raquetball this evening.) I've noticed that the shortness of breath is really bad after a large meal. As far as I know there aren't any heart issues in my family just diabetes. The breathing part has stayed about the same, but then again I really haven't spent much time or energy in execising in the past 6 months. If the EKG and the Echo test both come back as nothing negative.....what are the chances of a stress test coming back as abnormal?? Its seems to me that since my heart or lung or whatever problem I am having is when I am exercising it would seem a stress test would benifit me.
Yes the stress test would probably benefit for ruling out a heart problem. But I wonder if your symptoms are actually *stomach* related. I know it sounds wierd but acid reflux (chronic 'heartburn') would produce symptoms that you describe, especially after large meals. Just a thought on another avenue to pursue if nothing is found on the stress test (though a 24 hr monitor might benefit you as well, to try and catch the symptoms during your normal activities when they occur).
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen." ~ Hebrews 11:1 ~
Kitten1980 has a very good point about the stomach problems. Is that a possibility?
Also, there is something known as "Bayes' Theorem" in medicine. It says that if the pretest probability of having something is low then the chances of the test being positive for showing a given result is also low. In other words, you being as young as you are, the chances of something showing up on a stress test are pretty minimal.
Another thing....have you had a chest x-ray to rule out a chronically collapsed lung? I know you're tall, are you by any chance thin as well? Tall thin people are more at risk for something called a spontaneous pneumothorax which is basically a collapsed lung that just happens out of the blue. This is more likely in a young person.
Finally, the fact you have sharp chest pain makes heart troubles much less likely.
I'm not thin at 260lbs, but I'm not what you would call overweight. MY doctor keeps assuring me that it isn't my heart on the assumtion that the echo came back good and "I'm an active 23 y/o that's never smoked there is a 1 and a million chance it is your heart." I told him that the way things have been going I would be that 1 guy. If everything with my lungs is fine from the Methacoline challenge, spirometery test, CAT scan and 4-5 chest x-rays........I'm assuming that it isn't a lung related problem. If I am having shortness of breath all the time and extreme chest pains durning and after playing raquetball for 10 mins then is the only thing left the heart correct?? He prescribed me prozac for some reason he is still looking for an anxiety problem.
No...there's stiill more things it could be other than your heart. Sharp chest pain is normally not associated with heart problems.
A lot of these types of things CAN be related to anxiety, but please, don't think that I'm accusing you of being crazy. I do want to make mention of the fact that, quite often, chronic chest pain in healthy young males often turns out to be secondary to anxiety.
So, one quest, would you consider yourself an anxious person? I mean, the doctor gave you paxil for a reason--do you think s/he did it because you were anxious and/or depressed?
I don't consider myself anxious, but I have been going through quite a few things in the last 8 months with my wife and father-in-law. The only reason I did not start taking an anti-depressant is because 6 months ago when I went in complaining of shortness of breath he said it was a "bug" and to come back in 7-10 days if it wasn't better. Then 10 days later I went back and told him I was still having shortness of breath. I mentioned that day I went and rode mountain bikes with a group of people the day before. A normal ride for us consists of 15 min warm up, about 3 hours of fairly hard riding and a cool down.........I used to be able to do this without any problem. The day before I went riding and felt like I was going to pass out (my chest started pounding and I couldn't catch my breath) after 5 mins into the warm up. I mentioned that to him and he told me I was out of shape and to gradually get back into an exercise routine. I told him that there is no way after 2 months of not riding my bike I go from riding 3-4 hours of riding without problem, to barely be able to pedel 5 minutes into my warm up. Anyways I left there that day upset that he wasn't doing anything and was going to go find another doctor that might take me serious and look into what is causing my problem. About 4 hours after leaving the doctors he called me up and said "I called you in some paxil lets give this a try and see what happens." I told him to quit throwing medicine at me to "try" to fix my problem and send me to a pulmanologist.