I'm in my mid-20's and have been getting short of breath with minimal exertion. This started about 6 months ago. My doctor ordered an echocardiogram w/ bubble study which showed that I have decreased left ventricular systolic function and a decreased ejection fraction of 40-45%. I also have a patent foramen ovale, which I know is very common. I'm not overweight but don't exercise regularly either. My job can be physically demanding at times and just going up the steps gets me out of breath and sometimes I'll get a little lightheaded too. The cardiologist that read the echo did not give an impression or say what he thought was wrong and it will be 2 weeks before I get to see him. Any ideas what could be wrong here? My doctor seems to think this explains why I'm getting short of breath but doesn't know why it would be in someone my age. There's no family history of heart disease, just high cholesterol, and mine's fine. He thinks the most likely explanation would be from myocarditis since this all seemed to start around the time I had bronchitis which has recurred 2 or 3 times in the last 6 mos. Nothing I've read about myocarditis and/or having a low EF seems very positive so I'm just really stressing out while I wait to see the cardiologist for more answers (and more tests I'm sure).
Thanks for the response. I don't know if I really get fatigued as much as just tired and out of breath with any type of exertion. I don't think I have any mental confusion or fogginess. I'm not overly sensitive to anything as far as I know. The only thing I've noticed at nights is that sometimes I get cold sweats or chills, like I'm coming down with something but never do. This all started about 6 months ago with what my doctor thought was bronchitis. I was on 2 rounds of antibiotics, an inhaler and steroids. The only thing that seemed to help was the steroids. I had a pulmonary function test which was borderline for asthma. He referred me to a pulmonologist who says that I have a variant of asthma. So now I'm using Advair which helps to some degree but am still having the shortness of breath with exertion. That's why she ordered the echo. I showed the results to a doctor friend of mine who thinks that the PFO I have might be large enough now to be causing symptoms. He's not sure how that would affect the EF though.
I've had recurrent respiratory infections. Since the original bronchitis I've had a sinus infection and am just getting over bronchitis again, or so my doctor thinks. I've been on 4 rounds of antibiotics in the last 6 months which seems a little excessive.
... This all started about 6 months ago with what my doctor thought was bronchitis. ...
Hmmmm!? 6 months ago?
Think back 6-9 months ago. Were there any changes whatsoever in your home or bedroom or person? Anything at all? Dental work? Any new clothes, furniture, electronics, rugs, blankets, etc.? Anything at all, no matter how innocuous the change might have seemed?
Where am I heading? I am wondering if you might be reacting to something environmental.
I had echo that showed EF at 40. Had angiogram showed EF at 50 to 55. Just found out I have thyroid problem. I asked doctor if that could have caused EF of 40, he said yes. You might want to have your thyroid checked. Check out thyroid health board. Best of luck to you!