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severe windedness and shortness of breath when walking up stairs

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Old 06-11-2011, 03:33 PM   #1
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severe windedness and shortness of breath when walking up stairs

Hi there, sorry if this is a very long one...

I'm new to this site and post....I wonder if anyone could provide me w/ some insight...I have had shortness of breath and windedness walking up 1 flight of stairs at home (lived here for 2.5 yrs). The windedness and panting has been around for about 3-4 years, shortly after being diagnosed w/ severe anemia. My anemia has been better now and they say i'm no longer anemic as the hemo has gone up, altho my iron and ferritin is crazy low (due to the monthlies). All these yrs, we just assumed the anemia caused my being winded. I am no athlete and don't enjoy sports, but i used to do leisure swimming, strolls, climbing stairs, and aerobic dancing. Now i can only walk where the terrain is flat (climbing hills/stairs is when the windedness/shortness of breath occurs. hence i try to limit these activities). So no more low impact aerobics. I did that for a few min and seriously i thought iwas gonna keel over and have a heart attack. my heart beat was sooo high and i felt so faint.

Anyway, i recently decided to leave my reg. MD who didn't really help me by telling me that 'climbing stairs' is hard. Right now i am seeing an internist, who just ordered an echo test and a sleep study consultation and sleep study test for me after he gathered my health history/symptoms/complaints.

I had the echo done a few days ago and it came back saying that i have "mild-moderate' mitral regurigation and trace TR. I was a bit nervous and scared and am in the process of trying to find out more abt these conditions. Does anyone know what causes these--is it nature or nurture, or both? On my paternal side there has been strokes/coronary issues, so i could be predisposed (?) but just shocked to find that I have heart issues at this time. I read that this is more prevalent in aging adults (I'm in my late 30s but since i've had the windedness for at least 3 yrs, i could have possibly had it in my mid 30s).

I am interested in hearing from those who have it and anything you may want to share. Those who have it, did you have a genetic coronary pre-disposition? What advice do you have in terms of diet or lifestyle changes? I gained 30 lbs over the past 3.5 yrs which has also been unexplained. We're still searching for answers.....I am not super healthy food wise, but i'm not bad either. I do eat alot of fruits and i do eat my veggies. I read that those with MR shd be wary of the salt and sucrose, so i'll work on that, perhaps weaning off buying take out, which i do on occasion.

So i emailed the internist back asking if i need to be referred to a cardiologist and this is what he said. he said that that amt of MR wont' cause the type of windedness and shortness of breath and he is sure the cardiologist won't have much more to add to that but if i want one, he could refer me to one. WHAT?? That's not what i read. I read that mild-moderate has been monitored every 6months? Am i wrong about this?? I mean MR isn't *thaaaat* common is it??!

Secondly, re: the sleep consultation ....i have had insomnia since i was a teen. I thought perhaps anxiety-stress related to school work and family. I am also very hypersensitive to lights and noises, which really sucks. But i moved 2.5 yrs ago and so the noises from the city no longer apply. I learned how to live on a flight path and after a few months, I'm better now. My husband snores, which is the one snoring issue i can't seem to deal with. Anyhow...the sleep consultant spent 45 min gathering info and looked at me and he suspects i have sleep apnea, w/ some sort of breathing disorder. He says my population is easy to slip thru the cracks b/c i am female and in my late 30s and not obese. So i am atypical of the candidate. Of course we wont' be 100% confirmed til we see data from a sleep study, so i am scheduled to have one. i wonder if my breathing disorder can attribute to inefficiency to my windedness /shortness of breath....

thanks if anyone could comment or give me some insight....

Getting rather impatient in trying to find out and diagnose the causes to my severe windedness and shortness of breath when walking up stairs or doing aerobic/cardio activities....

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