General Question

LostInParadise's avatar

Does anyone know what might be causing my shortness of breath problem (see details)?

Asked by LostInParadise (31902points) 2 months ago

I have this odd problem. If I go to the gym and exercise on a stationary bike, I have no problems. When I start walking home, I find that I suddenly have to breathe harder and feel a little dizziness and have to sometimes stop walking to catch my breath.

I sometimes have a similar problem when walking up stairs. I have no problem reaching the floor that I want, but sometimes have difficulty breathing after I stop climbing.

Does anyone know what might be causing this? Is it a heart problem?

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20 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

See a doctor now, could 25 or thirty things. Doctor can check SpO2 and do a EKG and other. things in office.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Could be anything. Anxiety, allergies. I agree with @Tropical_Willie to see a doctor.

smudges's avatar

I’m guessing, but I would think your muscles, especially your legs, work harder walking than when on the bike because they’re having to move your weight. When I had shortness of breath, it didn’t make a lot of sense to me because it didn’t happen consistently. My cardiologist ordered an ultrasound of my heart and discovered a badly leaking aortic valve. It was replaced by doing a TAVR – transcather aortic valve replacement, which is less invasive than open heart surgery.

It may be something simple, then again, it may not. Make a doctor’s appointment today.

Strauss's avatar

See your doctor!

I had similar symptoms a few years back, just before COVID lockdown. It wasn’t consistent, similar to @smudges above. I was diagnosed with obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Cardiologist put me on beta blockers and now my symptoms are gone, unless I miss a dose.

gorillapaws's avatar

See your MD! That’s a symptom you don’t “wait-and-see” with.

JLeslie's avatar

Definitely go to the doctor. I think you need a stress test, maybe an echo. Don’t wait.

Possibly, you are dehydrated on your way home and your blood pressure is very low and making you dizzy and other symptoms, but with your symptoms it is also very possible to be arteries getting very narrow or heart valve stenosis, or irregular heartbeat, not something to play with.

Do you have a blood pressure cuff at home? I’d be curious if your pressure is way off when you feel like that. Even if that is the case, still go to your doctor.

Do you take thyroid meds? If your blood pressure is way off you might want to get your thyroid checked too.

Simple EKG and cholesterol test is NOT enough.

JLeslie's avatar

Let us know what happens. Hopefully, it is nothing serious.

Caravanfan's avatar

Literally no way to tell on an internet forum. Any advice aybody gives you here that doesn’t say “go ot the doctor” will be misleading. It could be anything.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Definitely, please go to an Emergency room.

As mentioned above, these are very serious symptoms. Obviously we all hope it’s nothing. But hope, can only get us so far.
It can be stressful for some to even approach a physician over such things, because they are afraid of a diagnosis.
However. There isn’t a medical condition that cannot be handled better, if caught early.

Even many former “death sentence” heart problems are now manageable/treatable.

jca2's avatar

I know it’s a symptom of A-fib. Go to the doctor, preferably the ER. If you go to a regular doctor, it might be weeks until you can be scheduled for the necessary tests, unless of course the regular doctor sends you to the ER himself. Cut out the middleman and just go to the ER.

JLeslie's avatar

To back up the ER suggestion:

If the OP already has a cardiologist, the cardiologist most likely can do a stress test and echo in the office, the OP would know. The cardiologist most likely can’t do an angiogram in his office if it’s needed. I think I would only want to do it at the hospital anyway even if they can do it in a surgical center. The cardiologist can also get the OP a 24 hour holter if indicated and order a calcium scan.

An internist or GP likely would have to send the OP to another location for the tests, so if he has to go to primary first it would not be a one stop shop, and I think most primary doctors would tell a patient if they are having shortness of breath to go to an ER. To be clear, not an urgent care, urgent care will not have the ability to do the tests needed. People who rarely get sick sometimes don’t understand the difference between an ER and urgent care.

I can’t imagine it would be weeks to get tests done with his symptoms, but I would say time is of essence, don’t wait and don’t physically exert yourself today. Don’t accept from an appointment person at your doctor an appointment in a week, get seen today. I agree a GP is a middleman in this situation. It is why I try never to choose an HMO, I want to go straight to the specialist.

janbb's avatar

@LostInParadise The doc’s advice is the best, not surprisingly.

LostInParadise's avatar

Thanks all! I was hoping that there was a well known cause of these symptoms. I have had this condition for a few years and it is not getting any better or worse. I made an appointment with a cardiologist and will report back on what the cardiologist tells me.

Strauss's avatar

@LostInParadise, like you, I didn’t see anyone about my symptoms for a while. It was during a routine visit to my primary doctor for a physical when he said, “I want you to leave here and walk directly to the Emergency Room across the street (do not pass Go, do not collect $200!).I want you seen by a cardiologist without waiting weeks for an appointment!”

Caravanfan's avatar

Everybody. Stop throwing out diagnoses and possible tests the OP can have. Just stop.

JLeslie's avatar

Pretty much everyone said see a doctor as soon as possible.

What’s the big deal about telling our own experiences or guessing. No one here is saying listen to our guesses and ignore doctors. The OP is smarter than that and this is social media and again everyone said see a doctor.

Caravanfan's avatar

Because you’ll freak them out

JLeslie's avatar

@Caravanfan I don’t think so, but you might be right. With a symptom like shortness of breath I was thinking your bigger concern would be a jelly saying just pop a multivitamin and drink a gatorade, which no one here is saying. Your answer to my question actually surprises me.

I think the OP could say for himself if he’s freaked out and ask people to stop guessing. He knows what we are like here.

jca2's avatar

The OP asked “what might be causing, ” and we answered accordingly.

SnipSnip's avatar

I think the “see doc” wins. I agree.

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