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Old 03-08-2011, 10:59 PM   #1
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Shortness of breath PLEASE help

I am a 39 year old female. I was diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse about 12 years ago after going through several docs who just wanted to tell me I had anxiety. With my MVP, my only issue ever was the shortness of breath(NEVER woke me up). I am not on any meds and I have not had an issue until 2-3 weeks ago. I don't think my latest issue is related to my MVP because these symptoms are different. About 2-3 weeks ago, I awoke very short of breath, heart palps and a little dizzy. I felt like I could not breath. I went to the ER and they did a chest xray, lung scan, blood work and an EKG. Found nothing. I was referred to a lung doc and he went over the ER tests and also found nothing. He set me a machine called a pulsox? Where you clip it to your finger, sleep and it monitors heart rate and oxygen intake. I have not gotten those results back yet. I also have an appt. to have a stress test, echo and pulmonary function test done. But in the mean time I am terrified....have been waking up like this about every other night....and all day I am also short of breath. It varies....horrid, medium, ok. I could just be sleeping, sitting there watching TV, talking, eating....no specific triggers bring it on. Doc says he does not think it is sleep apnea....says I am not the body type. (5"6, 141)

In the ER they ran a thyroid test as well....ok there.
No wheezing present....only chest pain is the tightness. So, I'm thinking no asthma?
It is NOT panic attacks....because they gave me Xanax and it did nothing but make me drowsy. They also gave me ativan...no help.

Please...can someone help me...I feel like I am dying.

Thank you for your time.

 
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Old 03-09-2011, 05:24 AM   #2
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Re: Shortness of breath PLEASE help

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Originally Posted by Autumn11 View Post
I am a 39 year old female. I was diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse about 12 years ago ... shortness of breath
When I hear "shortness of breath" the first two health problems that I think about are heart-related problems and Asthma.

Quote:
I am not on any meds and I have not had an issue until 2-3 weeks ago. I don't think my latest issue is related to my MVP because these symptoms are different. About 2-3 weeks ago, I awoke very short of breath, heart palps and a little dizzy. I felt like I could not breath.
Your symptoms might be caused by MVP and/or Asthma. In the case of Asthma or allergies, the body secrets hormones and cytokines, both of which can result in your kind of symptoms, IMHO.

What ever has caused damage to your valve(s) is probably still a problem and might be starting to cause other heart problems. Heart related problems, such as MVP, can get progressively worse over time, for both the valve(s) or the rest of the heart, unless the cause of the damage to the valve(s) is mitigated.

Quote:
No wheezing present....only chest pain is the tightness. So, I'm thinking no asthma?
One doesn't just experience "wheezing" with Asthma. Chest tightness and/or labored breathing are very common with Asthma. In fact, I am Asthmatic, and my most common problem is sluggish or labored breathing.

Best of luck and health to you!
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Last edited by Machaon; 03-09-2011 at 05:32 AM.

 
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:20 PM   #3
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Re: Shortness of breath PLEASE help

But I am short of breath ALL day, every day...for 2-3 weeks now. I thought with asthma....you had "attacks" that come and go. This is constant.

Am I wrong? Is asthma constant?

 
Old 03-10-2011, 05:21 AM   #4
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Re: Shortness of breath PLEASE help

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But I am short of breath ALL day, every day...for 2-3 weeks now. I thought with asthma....you had "attacks" that come and go. This is constant.

Am I wrong? Is asthma constant?
In my case, I've had both types of Asthma "attacks". I've had the type of nasty attack that would close up my airway and cause my heart to go nuts. After a bunch of medication and time, my breathing would go back to normal. The last time I had a nasty Asthmatic attack was over 30 years ago and I was up all night struggling to breath, with my heart racing a zillion times a minute.

I am currently taking the Asthma medication Flovent (Fluticasone Propionate). The medication combined with avoiding foods, drinks, allergens and irritants, keeps me from having a full blown Asthma attack.

The second type of Asthma "attack" is one that can cause me to suffer from labored breathing, and can cause me to have breathing problems for an hour or two, or for days. When I am having Asthma problems, my heart doesn't beat right.

It usually occurs when either I come into contact with cigarette smoke, either in someone's hair or clothes, or some other offending irritant. For instance, my wife had purchased a microfiber chair and put it in her room on the other side of our home. I was sitting at my computer and, during the day, my breathing got more and more labored, my heart got more erratic, and I felt warmer than normal and I started feeling a little ill.

We kinda thought that it was the chair so we moved the chair out of our home and opened up the windows to air the place out. The symptoms remained a problem all night long and did not ease up until the next day. If the chair had remained in our place, I would be suffering 24 hours per day, day after day, until finally we removed the chair.

So...... as long as the Asthmatic is exposed to an irritant(s) on a daily basis, even for a short period of time, the Asthmatic could continue to experience labored breathing, erratic heartbeat, feeling warm, feeling ill, dizzy, confused thinking, etc. for long periods of time.

Do your symptoms ever let up? Do you ever get any relief? Is there anything that you have discovered, that you can do to improve your symptoms?

Also...... you say that you have been having problems for 2-3 weeks. Were there any changes to your workplace or home 2-3 weeks ago? New furniture? New rug? Any painting done? How about your diet? Did you change your diet, perfume, deodorant, soap, detergent, cleaners?

Of course one other possibility could be that it is heart related and not caused by Asthma.

Note that I am not a medical professional, nor have I had any medical training or experience. I am just a fellow patient. So.... just use my diatribe as just one input in your search for answers.

Take care.......
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Last edited by Machaon; 03-10-2011 at 05:35 AM.

 
Old 03-10-2011, 06:45 AM   #5
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Re: Shortness of breath PLEASE help

Hi for one thing it does not help a heart to be terrified. I read that fear makes hearts fail. Just enjoy the things around, such as nature and try to benefit others and maybe some of the thoughts will not bother so much in my opinion. If short of breath a lot I think I would get a pulse ox machine to see how often my oxygen level is down. Then if it is down I would ask the doctor for the oxgygen tanks. My sympathies, have a nice day!

 
Old 03-10-2011, 03:15 PM   #6
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Re: Shortness of breath PLEASE help

Could it possibly be COPD? There is a certain test they do for it called a spirometry test. Sometimes a chest X-ray or Ct. scan be done but even with those the lungs can appear normal. Try to find out if they did one on you. Obviously they will know more when your other tests come back. Usually a pulminary Dr. is the best for diagnosing this.

The Spirometry test requires you to blow into a small machine to test your lung capacity, was that done? Also a blood test called a blood gas test should be done to measure your oxygen and carbon dioxide levels. A friend of mine went through many tests until they did these other two before they figured out she had COPD.

Wishing you the best, and please keep us posted...JJ...
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Old 03-10-2011, 03:16 PM   #7
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Re: Shortness of breath PLEASE help

No, there has ben no changes in anything...and no triggers. I was not stressed out, I don't smoke/never around smoke. My diet has not changes. Literally....there were NO changes whatsoever.

No, it does not let up...it has been constant for 3 weeks straight now.

I am very weak too...in the shower when I lift arms to wash hair....I have to drop them a few times.

 
Old 03-10-2011, 03:22 PM   #8
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Re: Shortness of breath PLEASE help

Do you mean a pulmonary function test? That is set up for Monday.

In the ER, I had a chest xray and ct scan done. Nothing.

 
Old 03-10-2011, 04:02 PM   #9
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Re: Shortness of breath PLEASE help

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Originally Posted by Autumn11 View Post
Do you mean a pulmonary function test? That is set up for Monday.

In the ER, I had a chest xray and ct scan done. Nothing.
Yes, but as I said, these are 2 of the tests that need to be done as a chest X-ray and CT scan can miss it so hopefully those will be done monday.

I really feel for you, so let us know what they do, and any results..JJ
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Old 03-10-2011, 08:46 PM   #10
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Re: Shortness of breath PLEASE help

Ok, I will ask Monday about that blood test. Thanks.

I am noticing more things today....a tiny bit of stuff in throat...like when you have to clear your throat. My nose is not running, it is more clogged as usual. I have had a few sinus infections a while back. My nose is usually pretty dry.

Also...a burning/stinging sensation directly on my heart...left side under breast. Not severe and lasted a few minutes twice today.

I am also very dizzy today. STILL short of breath.

Mon. Tues, and Fri are my cardio tests. 24 hr holter, the echo and the stress echo.

Mon is also my pulmonary function test.

 
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:26 PM   #11
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Re: Shortness of breath PLEASE help

It could be a combination of different things, but am very happy to hear you will be getting tests done. Stuff in the throat is possibly post nasal drip from your sinuses, I get it too, especially in the a.m.

I wish you good luck and hope nothing serious is going on, but also hope you get some answers, as the waiting makes you nuts..been there myself. Hopefully it is something easily taken care of and with tests done it will give you peace of mind.

Good luck and take care....JJ....
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Old 03-11-2011, 08:52 AM   #12
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Re: Shortness of breath PLEASE help

Thank you.
I awoke this morning with crazy palpatations again. This time seemed worse.....beating super fast. I took a xanax and it slowed down. What causes heart palps while awaking like this?! So scary. Now I am SOB and tired....going to attempt going to work. I don't like driving like this but I have missed a lot of work over this.

 
Old 03-11-2011, 09:12 AM   #13
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Re: Shortness of breath PLEASE help

Did you have a lousy nights sleep? Maybe your being anxious and it is bringing it on even worse. I get them every so often usually if my stomach is bothering me and I have Diarrhea as I get dehydrated.

For now just try taking the Xanax to see if it will calm it down. I truly hope you have a decent day and they subside as the day goes on. Keep us posted.

Take care...JJ....
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Old 03-11-2011, 04:35 PM   #14
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Re: Shortness of breath PLEASE help

I have had horrid sleep since this all started 3 weeks ago. So, yes, lastnight was no exception. I sit up now in bed...and wait til I can no longer keep my eyes open. But...I have always had insomnia....mostly trouble staying asleep. But never woke up short of breath or with racing heart like this until 3 weeks ago.

Since the Xanax helped....is that saying this is anxiety? Or would xanax slow a heart rate down when you do have heart trouble...such as mitral valve prolapse?

I only have ONE Xanax left! OMG....makes me nervous. But I don't want to take them...they are horrible for health.

Today...very dizzy....tired...and still SOB.

Thanks JJ!

 
Old 03-11-2011, 04:49 PM   #15
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Re: Shortness of breath PLEASE help

Hi Autumn,
Try to relax. There is nothing worse than the anxiety we do to ourselves when we are trying to find answers to what is wrong with us. Sometimes that alone can cause many symptoms!

Does your mitral valve cause regurgitation?

Alexis

 
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