General Question

Aethelwine's avatar

Was this an anxiety attack?

Asked by Aethelwine (42961points) September 6th, 2014

I’ve had times when I can’t catch my breath since my lung cancer scare two years ago. My doctor is doing everything possible to find out what is wrong with me and I’ve had so many Ct’s of my lungs that I’ve lost count. I’ve had lung function testing done and the only thing abnormal is my lung diffusion capacity. My pulmonologist is leaning towards sleep apnea and has ruled out asthma, but more testing is needed.

I have moments when I can’t catch my breath. This happens several times a day for two days every month. Usually during times of stress. It was so bad this evening that I told my husband to call 911. Every breath was a deep breath and my arms and hands became tingly. I finally calmed down before my husband made the call. I’m still taking deep breaths, but it’s not as often and it feels controllable.

Could this be anxiety?

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49 Answers

trailsillustrated's avatar

Yes. I have had the same exact symtoms, been tested. My dr. rx’d xanax, ( I have found benzos are the only thing that work). I hoard them for times like this.

hominid's avatar

Yes. You are hyperventilating. Deep breaths are not enough. You need to make sure that you are fully exhaling. This type of breathing is causing your blood carbon dioxide to be too low. Increasing your carbon dioxide in these moments should help. Fully exhaling, breathing in and holding for almost as long as you can before slowly exhaling completely through pursed lips should quickly get you feeling much better.

Note: when you feel that you have fully exhaled, exhale even more. Trying to refill your lungs that are already partially filled is an uncomfortable feeling that can keep the anxiety rolling.

Aethelwine's avatar

So my husband drying ghost peppers in the dehydrator is probably not helping? The dehydrator has been moved to the mudroom with the door closed.

My deep breaths are every 30 seconds now and I have my entire family is scared. ugh

hearkat's avatar

It sounds like it may well be. You’ve been through difficult times lately, and that may be contributing to it. I had anxiety attacks for a couple years back when my son was around 11–12 and I was unemployed. In hindsight, I think it was the feeling of having no control over what was happening around me that was the underlying cause. I sought therapy (thank goodness for sliding-scale fees) and was on medication for a while until I got stabilized.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

It definitely sounds like it could be an anxiety/panic attack. When I had them in the beginning of my health scare, something similar would happen to me. During a bad one, even my lips started tingling and turning blue, so you’re not wrong to be prepared. During mine, I would also get really warm and I found that a big temperature difference helped to ground me. If you’re wearing socks, take them off and place your feet on a cool surface, or even step outside (with someone) to be in cool air, and try not to dwell on your breathing. Just the in and out movements, slowly, and have someone talk to you about random things, and try to engage in the conversation, or just focus and listen. If things don’t get better, or they get worse, don’t hesitate or feel bad about making a call, if you have to. Hope things get better for you.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

For those of you who have experienced anxiety attacks, might breathing exercises on a regular basis help? I keep reading that it does, and there are plenty of free videos on the internet for this, but I have never tried it myself.

@jonsblond Hang in there, friend. We adore you and want you to be healthy and happy.

Aethelwine's avatar

@DrasticDreamer I was cooking dinner and getting warm when this happened. Stepping outside finally helped after a few minutes. We’ve experienced a drastic cool down the past 24 hours. Two days ago it was 90 degrees and we had the air on. Now it’s 55 degrees and the windows are open. It’s helping.

@Pied I do need to practice breathing exercises. I often find myself holding my breath. I don’t know why I do this.

Thanks everyone. I’m slowly calming down.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Really quickly, I’d like to add that this could be an anxiety/panic attack exacerbated by another, very real, health problem – which is what my doctor believed was happening to me. I’m just saying this because if you have other stuff going on, don’t just stop trying to figure it out even if these are anxiety attacks, if you feel there’s more to it than that. Always trust your instincts because you know your body better than anyone.

As for the peppers: Smells always made it worse for me, because all of my senses were on hyper alert mode, so I’d definitely recommend being in the mildest environment possible. Do you experience a rapid heartbeat when your breathing starts to change? Or maybe right before it changes?

Coloma's avatar

Awww…that sucks! Iam so sorry to hear you are struggling with these symptoms.
Yes, sounds like anxiety, I would go for some Xanax myself. I took those for awhile during a nasty divorce when my anxiety was sky high. I never experienced the breathing thing but more of a fight or flight response.

I would wake up in the middle of the night feeling like I had to just RUN! I would pace around the house in the dark and felt like I was on an adrenaline high, it was horrible! Get your doc to prescribe Xanax, it is a miracle drug for anxiety and don’t worry about the addiction issues, I took it for 2 years and stopped with no issue.

Now I only get a few tablets when I fly long distances.

Aethelwine's avatar

The rapid heartbeart and numb hands are what made me tell my husband to call 911. I’d @ you Drastic but I’m using mobile and it’s a pain in the ass.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@jonsblond Do you know if the numbness you experienced happened before the rapid heartbeat and breathing? That reminds me of what I was going through, but in my case, it was my left rib cage that would go numb due to an injury, so I was also already (always) in pain in that area. When it would go numb, it would scare me because I couldn’t feel myself breathing anymore, and then after the anxiety attack set in, the rest of the numbness (arms, hands, lips, etc) would set in. However, I was having very real, unrelated breathing problems at the time – which also caused anxiety attacks, thus worse breathing problems.

When I called 911 the first time I had an attack, my heartbeat was at 180, resting, so although there are ways you can learn to manage them – you definitely still have to be careful, because they can be dangerous if you don’t manage to ground yourself. Please keep going to the doctors, and I really hope they can help you. It’s been years for me now, and I’m still trying to get to the bottom of some of it.

Aethelwine's avatar

It happened after the rapid heartbeat. My arms and hands felt tingly, then numb. Then my heartbeat felt slow and hard. I began to get scared thinking my heart was going to stop, then I calmed down.

pleiades's avatar

Classic panic attacks due to anxiety issues. Eliminate all stress from your life. It takes a while to mentally get back to normal but it can and will normalize! It took me 6 months to get my mind right. My problem was I wasn’t exercising, adding 3 mile walks did just the trick plus not worrying so much in life. What happened with your rapid heart beat was cause from pure freakout. This happened to me once when my son was crying for a long time and I couldn’t take it anymore and I had a ton of negative thoughts like, “Oh God please just let this stop please stop crying.” in my head, up to that point, I had been trying to stay strong and calm, but I let the pressure crack me and boom, my nerves basically fizzled out, every symptom imaginable from a panic attack happened, I even went deaf, or so I thought, I held my son in my arms for as long as I could and I was going to faint, but I had dialed 9/11 already. I ended up walking to the living room and laid down and had my 4 month old lay on me just in case I was dying he’d sort of be safe from falling off the bed in my arms.

Also I freaked out because I had those thoughts I believe I was holding my breath in for too long. And that’s when I noticed I had that problem of when I’m thinking too hard, I’m holding my breath for too long, like a sniper does.

I highly recommend getting 5 days of walking a mile or two in. (Not work related walking, but exercise walking, away from the work place etc)

hominid's avatar

@pleiades: “Classic panic attacks due to anxiety issues. Eliminate all stress from your life.”

Just want to mention that this is incorrect. It is a common misconception about panic. We use anxiety and panic so interchangeably that we lose sight of the difference. (I didn’t even bother identifying the difference in my first response.)

In many cases, panic disorder is the cause of anxiety. Panic attacks can hit those who are relatively anxiety-free, and can hit during the most relaxed moments of their lives. But the intensity of the panic attack is so powerful as to result in severe anticipatory anxiety, and more panic attacks.

This confusion among the general public can cause friends and loved ones to ask what the panic sufferer is so anxious about, completely missing the point. The object of anxiety is the anticipated next panic attack.

The first panic attack, which opens the door, can be physiological (asthma, minor change in lung capacity, injury to ribs, etc), pharmacological (pot, sudafed, or other), or simply poor breathing habits.

LuckyGuy's avatar

You were hyperventilating.
Excerpt: ”...you feel lightheaded, have a rapid heartbeat, and be short of breath. It also can lead to numbness or tingling in your hands or feet, anxiety, fainting, and sore chest muscles.
Some causes of sudden hyperventilation include anxiety, fever, some medicines, intense exercise, and emotional stress. Hyperventilation also can occur because of problems caused by asthma or emphysema or after a head injury. But it occurs most often in people who are nervous or tense, breathe shallowly, and have other medical conditions, such as lung diseases or panic disorder. Women experience hyperventilation more often than men. Most people who have problems with hyperventilation are 15 to 55 years old.”

We used to have the patient breathe into a paper bag. That works great but studies have shown it can cause other issues if the problem is from a heat attack or asthma so it has fallen out of favor. Another simple trick is to breathe through a hose. Get a piece of clear ½ inch Tygon tubing about 2 ft long and practice breathing through it when you are not having a problem. Then grab the hose when you feel something coming on.

jca's avatar

I have had neither depression nor anxiety, but a therapist told me once that anxiety is the cousin of depression. She said that if someone has anxiety, they are likely depressed, and the depression’s symptoms (if maybe the only symptom) is anxiety. You might want to look into that maybe you are depressed and don’t realize it.

JLeslie's avatar

Yes probably. Of course we can’t diagnose for sure.

Be sure to get your thyroid checked and make sure your iron is ok next time you go to the doctor. The iron you probably would have been told with all of the tests you have probably done the last couple of years, I cant imagine they haven’t run a blood test that would have caught an iron problem, but they might not have tested your thryoid. Even if it is a panic attack, an overactive one can cause you to have more anxiety. An underactive one can create the feeling of not getting enough oxygen.

JLeslie's avatar

I forgot to add, if you drink caffeine you might want to seriously consider quitting it. If you decide to quit, reduce your amount over a few days and then finally quit. Be aware you will get a bad headache and feel like shit for a few days (underbthe weatherish) and likely be sleepy for several says.

What @jca said us true that it ften can be a depression symptom, and what someone else said about the anticipatory anxiety, the fear of the fear of it happening again can be a trigger.

Aethelwine's avatar

I’m still having difficulty breathing. It’s not as bad as it was when I asked this question, but I can’t do anything without losing my breath. I’ve spent the last three days sleeping and resting and I constantly feel tired and weak. What I had may have been an anxiety attack, but there is definitely something else going on.

I don’t know if it’s a coincidence, but I have all of the symptoms of Enterovirus D68, and I live an hour away from where the first cluster of children became ill. Blessing Hospital in Quincy, IL saw over 70 patients during Labor Day weekend. Chicago also had many patients the same weekend. I took a train from Quincy to Chicago over Labor Day weekend. I began to feel like I had a cold the second day after we returned from our trip.

Am I crazy to think this is what is making me ill and causing me to have trouble breathing?

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Self-diagnosis is not a good idea. Scheduling an appt. with your doctor or a clinic armed with a list of the symptoms and questions, like, “Could it be Enterovirus D68?” is a better way to get this resolved. Keep a journal of what is going on, including anything that might seem banal. Should you see a medical consultant, they will appreciate a record of facts.

Please keep us posted.

Aethelwine's avatar

I have no insurance right now. I don’t want to spend $100 at prompt care, then be told I need to go somewhere else and spend more money I don’t have. I’ll leave the discussion now and talk to my family.

JLeslie's avatar

As you know I am not a doctor and I am not giving medical advice. I think it very well could be the virus, and I agree it might be completely unrelated to the original topic of this Q. There is no cure for that virus, they just treat symptoms. I wouldn’t get caught up on the idea that you might have some sort of scary virus that is putting people in the hospital, but I would say that if your breathing is very difficult obviously take it very seriously. I don’t think the diagnosis of a specific virus matters, and most likely the doctor would not bother to culture you anyway. If it is the flu, then he can give you the flu medication, but if it is an enterovirus there is no drug for it, but he may be able to give you an inhaler if that might help, or even oxygen if your oxygen levels are actually low.

Since you have prior lung troubles, I would say you are more susceptible to any respitory illness (colds, flu, etc) being potentially more scary for you than on average. A good percentage of the kids hospitalized from the EV D68 have prior history of asthma or some other weakness that makes them more vulnerable. Those same kids can wind up hospitalized for many different enteroviruses, even rhinovirus, which is what usually causes the common cold. Rhinovirus is a subtype of enterovirus.

I don’t know exactly all the symptoms you have, are you coughing? Being short of breath and very tired can also be a heart attack, or significantly narrowed blood vessels to the heart, which can mean an impending heart attack, so you might want to consider that also if you are trying to figure out possibilities. I could be way off, and I don’t think this is the most likely cause or anything, I am just throwing out ideas acccording to the symptoms you wrote and if I ignore the news coverage on the virus going around.

No matter what the cause, not being able to breath is a serious symptom, which I know I don’t need to tell you. If you won’t go to the doctor please do not be alone while you feel like this, especially don’t sleep alone.

JLeslie's avatar

Correction: subtype might be the wrong word for rhinovirus, but what I do know is both enterovirus and rhinovirus cause “colds” every year. There are many strains of both and some are more dangerous than others. I saw when I googled that polio is an enterovirus to give you an idea of how broad the range is from mild cold to severe illness depending on the specific enterovirus and the individual.

Aethelwine's avatar

I would like to make something clear. I am not using Fluther as a replacement for seeking medical care. If I had a genuine concern I would seek help immediately. It was well past visiting hours for my doctor or any prompt care I could visit when I asked this question and when I mentioned my thoughts about this virus that is going around. It is still too early in the morning for me to call my doctor with my concerns.

I’ve been a member of Fluther for almost 6 years and I feel like some of you are family. I was using this forum to share some thoughts I had late at night when I could not speak to my doctor. I like to write out my feelings and concerns. It helps me. I’m not freaked out about this virus like some people are. Remember, I’m in the epicenter of it all and I have friends who are posting news articles and they are scared. I’ve done my research and I know that it only affects those with asthma and other lung related issues. I know none of you can tell me what is wrong. I just thought it was an odd coincidence and I thought I could share my thoughts here.

I wanted to ask a question about this virus but instead I thought I’d share my thoughts here and see if anyone might know. What I don’t know is how it is diagnosed, and what the treatments are, if any. LIke I said above, I don’t have insurance. I can’t afford to rush to the ER if they will only send me home because there is nothing they can do. I’ve recently had lung testing done, blood work done and an EKG when I had insurance back in May. My doctor was trying to find the reason for my shortness of breath. All of my tests were fine except for my lung diffusion capacity.

I thought a little musing with people I feel are family to me would help, and I thought I could do this without the typical “Call your doctor” response. I’m not stupid. My doctor will get a call.

JLeslie's avatar

@jonsblond Just to be clear, I know you would never substitute fluther for real in person medical care, but some of the jellies torture some of us other jellies about answering medical Q’s, so we write we are not medical people blah blah to shut them the f**k up. It often doesn’t work, although lately they have cooled it a little.

They diagnose the strain by doing a culture, but I highly doubt they would culture someone if you are not in serious medical trouble. If someone is extremely ill they do cultures to know exactly what they are dealing with to be sure about specific treatment and the possible course of whatever disease is attacking the individual. How often has a doctor tested you or your children for what strain of cold or flu they had? It’s never been done to me.

There is no cure or specific treatment for the virus, doctors just use supportive treatment when necessary. If someone has a fever they would give fever meds, trouble breathing, breathing meds, or even more drastic measures if necessary, cough would be prescribed cough meds. It, like the common cold, has no medical treatment to reduce the actual virus and kill it off.

The ER cares that you don’t die on their watch. If you’re not dying they will send you home with meds to make you more comfortable. Not being able to breath well or get enough O2 obviously is life threatening when bad, so those kids, or even adults, wind up inpatient if the usual at home meds to treat those things are not working sufficiently.

Every year children are hospitalized from fairly common colds that are a simple annoyance to most of us, because it becomes life threatening for them, especially if they suffer already from asthma they are vulnerable. This particular strain of virus has some numbers that have caught the attention of the CDC and media, but similar to H1N1, most likely the extremely ill and death toll (God forbid) will wind up being right around a typical cold season, or only slightly more. It’s worth tracking, but the public doesn’t need to feel it is some new very dangerous virus, the virus has been around a long time. I think maybe the most dangerous things related to the virus would be fever, asthma like symptoms, pneumonia, and meningitis. All concerns whenever someone has some sort of viral, flu or cold like infection, and all are not likely to happen.

Since you have already been sick a few days, hopefully you are over halfway through it and will be feeling better soon if indeed it is the virus.

Let us know how you are doing.

Aethelwine's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer & @JLeslie I know you are both trying to help and your intentions are good. I’m sorry if I got a little testy towards the end of this discussion.

I was heading to the largest town in the area yesterday morning to grocery shop and I was having so much trouble breathing on the way so I took a detour and went to the ER. I believe I have finally found the answer to my problems the past two years.

I was diagnosed with histoplasmosis after my two lung biopsies two years ago. No one told me that my condition was chronic and that I could have flare-ups. Even when I suspected my problems could be from histoplasmosis and I asked my pulmonologist about it, he told me that it is very rare for this to happen and he dismissed it. The ER doctor told me that it is a chronic condition and I can have flare-ups and our high pollen and ragweed count most likely made my situation worse. They gave me a breathing treatment, a dose of Ativan to calm down and sent me home with a nebulizer. They also gave me a copy of the CT they took which showed that there has been a small improvement with the scar tissue on my lung.

I’m waiting for that 10k bill that will be sent to me in about month. I was told that I may be able to use the insurance I’ll soon have. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

It was interesting. I was not the only person with respiratory issues in the ER. It was packed and I was lucky to get the last private room that was available and not be stuck in the hallway.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@jonsblond I’m so glad you got a reliable diagnosis. That must be a tremendous relief. I hope your new insurance will cover the bills.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@jonsblond Thank you so much for the update!

JLeslie's avatar

@jonsblond I didn’t feel you were testy at all. I felt like you were talking to the people who get obsessed with “fluther is not a substitute for a medical doctor” people, and I am not one of those people, so I didn’t take anything personally that you said. I just wanted you to know that I know you can handle medical “advice” on the internet and I think asking fluther is perfectly acceptable.

I hadn’t thought about the ragwood season, that makes a lot of sense. I’m hoping you are feeling much better by the time you read this.

Aethelwine's avatar

Its happening again. I feel like i did when i went to the er. My doc office is closed. I called my pulmonologist and talked to a nurse. She doesnt think its my lungs but maybe allergies. Im waiting for her to call back. I dont want to go back to er but I can barely catch my breath.

longgone's avatar

Man, USA, will you get your healthcare straightened out?! This is horrible.

JLeslie's avatar

@jonsblond Allergy is usually the worst in the early morning hours I think? I don’t suffer from pollen allergies, so I am just going on memory. Did the doc tell you to take some Claritin or some other allergy drug?

Does it come on fast, and then after several minutes it gets a little easier to breath again?

JLeslie's avatar

Gawd this is nerve wracking and I am not even the one suffering. I want to know she is ok. It’s just not right to have to think twice about getting medical help when you can’t breath for Christ’s sake. Hard to tell if the diagnosis last night was correct.

My husband had a dental filling done a week ago and they fucked it up and he can barely move his mouth and is eating only soup. I’m so upset about how they did it! I can’t handle more medical things.

Aethelwine's avatar

It’s looking like anxiety when I can’t breathe. A Fluther friend, a nurse and my sister have calmed me down. I’m still having a bit of trouble but at least I think a trip to the ER won’t be needed tonight. This sucks.

Aethelwine's avatar

I hear ya @JLeslie. You of all people understand how some doctors won’t listen to our concerns. I know you’ve had issues. Nurse told me to take claritin. I’m thinking anxiety meds might help until I get this under control.

JLeslie's avatar

@jonsblond Yeah, can you get some Xanax to take as needed for a few weeks? Once you feel like it isn’t likely to happen again it will be less likely to happen again. It’s a viscious cycle if it is actually a panic attack. Just remember those drugs are addictive, but they are magical for most people.

You’ve been through a lot of stress and sadness the last couple of years, it wouldn’t surprise me if your brain and body are frazzled from it all.

It easily could be several problems going on at once triggering each other.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Make sure that whatever is prescribed doesn’t contain benzodiazepine before leaving the doctor’s office.

JLeslie's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer Why? That’s exactly what will probably give her significant relief.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@JLeslie Thanks for asking. Click on Benzodiazepine above for a link to an article on a study. It isn’t fully proven yet, but it isn’t worth taking a risk.

Aethelwine's avatar

I was hoping to get something but my pulmonologist only suggested Claritin. My doctor is out until Monday but she does have an after hours call service. Do you know where that will lead me?

I hate to admit that a couple of Old Milwaukees have calmed me down a little.

JLeslie's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer Well, since I suggested Xanax, and it helped me enormously during a very traumatic time in my life, and I know other people who have benefitted from its quick affect on quelling anxiety, I am pro bensos for accute anxiety. I did warn about the addiction, I worked at a behavioral hospital (Lakeside) for a while, and I certainly saw the horrible things bensos can do, but it can be life saving. I think it does a lot more good than harm, but that is just my subjective layperson opinion. If someone is an addictive personality and tends to be a pill popper I would say trying Xanax is a bad idea.

Your link is regarding ling term use. People who use it ling term have so many factors going on that you dn’t know if it is the med or their actual problems that are part of the disease process. However, it would not surprise me for a second that long term use of benzos harm the brain. Just like alcohol and everything else that alters us.

JLeslie's avatar

@jonsblond After hours will lead you to paging the doctor on call. It is unlikely they will prescribe an antianxiety med over the phone, but you can try. If you have taken them before they might spot you a few for the weekend. You cannot take bensos with alcohol period. You would have to wait for the beers to be out of your system, about 3 hours probably, but everyone metabolizes differently. If you regularly drink you can’t take the benzos.

Aethelwine's avatar

I know nothing about anxiety meds. The ER gave me Ativan and that seemed to help tremendously. I know I won’t be able to get anything tonight.

I don’t mind a few beers on the weekend but I don’t go overboard.

JLeslie's avatar

Ativan is a benzo. Most people know what valium is, and that is a benzo. Ativan, Xanax, Klonopin, Valium; all the same family. Each is slightly different.

Aethelwine's avatar

I visited my doctor Tuesday. She’s not dismissing the fact that there is something going on with my lungs, but she didn’t think the problem I have right now is asssociated with my lungs. She said that a person does not take deep breaths like I’ve been doing when there is a problem associate with the lungs. She thinks my problem might be anxiety and depression. She prescribed generic Celexa (can’t remember the exact name).

Why am I getting a different diagnosis from two different doctors?

My doc still wants me to see my pulmonologist because there were some abnormalities on the CT scan. I also asked my doctor to explain a few other things that showed up on my CT. I don’t think she would have noticed if I didn’t ask about them. I also have two other medical problems that could be causing my shortness of breath. A gastroesphogeal hernia (I’ve had terrible acid reflux for 3 months) and a slightly enlarged heart. She wants to do an echocardiogram when I become insured.

At this moment I am taking prilosec for the acid reflux and an anti-anxiety med and I’m still experiencing shortness of breath. I did feel good this past Thursday and Friday so I decided to get some housework done. I spent 5 hours in the kitchen on Thursday making jam and chicken and dumplings. I did a little mowing on Friday after doing some other housework and the shortness of breath started up again. So hear I am taking an occasional deep breath and taking it easy. :/

DrasticDreamer's avatar

The anxiety meds are a good way to go for now, even if they don’t end up helping out – because it’s a good way to rule something out. I still get different opinions from doctors, all the time, which is why it’s so important that you go with your gut on something if you get a diagnosis that doesn’t sit well with you. Specialists and doctors aren’t always the best at communicating with each other about test results either, so that’s a huge hurdle in terms of figuring out what’s going on with patients sometimes. It’s important that those of us going through some pretty serious things be very proactive in our healthcare. If you feel that you need a third opinion, don’t hesitate to get one! Maybe the third opinion will agree with one of the two, and it might set your mind at ease. I hate to say it, but sometimes people have to get fourth, fifth, etc., opinions before anything is actually figured out sometimes. :-/ (Which trust me, I know, is beyond maddening without insurance in America… God, don’t get me started!)

I know I speak for many people in saying that I hope you get this figured out. Let us know how you feel about the anxiety meds after you’ve gotten a chance to get accustomed to them. I’m hoping it’s as simple as that and that they help you!

Aethelwine's avatar

@DrasticDreamer Thank you so much for your guidance and support. I really appreciate the help I’m receiving here.

JLeslie's avatar

@jonsblond My nonmedical opinion is if you can take deep breaths it doesn’t sound like your lungs. Do you mean you can take a deep breath and expand your lungs even when you feel short of breath? Just you don’t feel like you are getting enough oxygen? That happens to me when my thyroid is very slow, and I think when I am low iron it might contribute. I also could see how that an enlarged heart would give you that feeling. When it happens to me my heart rate is extremely slow because of my thyroid. If your heart is enlarged it isn’t pumping well. Seems like you should see a cardiologist.

My dad’s big and only really symptom before needing heart bypass surgery was shortness of breath. His was from blockage in his arteries not an enlarged heart, but maybe the symptom is similar.

When I felt like I could not get enough oxygen I knew it wasn’t my lungs, so if you think it might be, if it feels thatvway, I am inclined to think you are right.

As far as doctors disagreeing, this is why I am so frustrated with so many doctors. One or both of the doctors is wrong, right?

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