dyspnea / shortness of breath / what's the next step?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by bpmwriter, Dec 26, 2005.

  1. bpmwriter

    bpmwriter New Member

    hi all,

    i've been having sporadic and seemingly random bouts of shortness of breath since september; feels like someone is sitting on my chest. i recently found a new PCP who took an EKG, which was normal. he also prescribed me tramadol for pain, which seemed to alleviate the shortness of breath (after researching dyspnea, i learned that an opiod like tramadol is one of the common medications prescribed for the condition). unfortunately, i can't tolerate the tramadol due to side effects and since reducing my dose, the shortness of breath is back.

    what's the next step? should i ask my PCP to order a chest x-ray?? stress / echo test? i know this is a common complaint among fibromites. any other suggestions for what might help??

  2. bpmwriter

    bpmwriter New Member

    thank you for the acupuncture tip! i see my acupuncturist next week so i'll have her try that. i had been taking bio-identical cortisol hormones for about 2 months when the problems began, so i assume it's not an adrenal issue. i subsequnetly went off the cortisol and didn't notice a change either way in the episodes. i'm getting my hormones retested shortly, so it will be interesting to see where my cortisol level stands now.

    thanks again,
  3. tansy

    tansy New Member

    Hi Eddie

    Air hunger and that feeling of having an elephant sat on your chest is often reported in these DDs, they are symptoms I have but they don’t happen as much these days. The worst time for me was post surgery, the same surgery that messed up my neck and jaw and which was carried out when I had an infection, only my ME/CFS and lyme disease specialist has picked up the possible connections.

    Having chiro and acupuncture can often make things worse for a while. I have found that sometimes the end result is good, but this is not always the case. If your chiro and acupuncturist are good they will be able to help with this; it may be they need to adjust their Tx. If the chiro has been treating your neck he/she may recognise some of what’s going on. There are books on acupressure points, my acupuncturist sometimes tells me how use these.

    I used to have an inhaler to help when my chest and breathing problems occurred but there was only one I could tolerate. There were obvious triggers and knowing what they were helped, though I could not do anything about the hot and humid weather; this summer I had fewer problems - another sign I am moving in the right direction. Abdominal breathing seemed to increase my air intake.

    When things flare up and I get a significant immune and inflammatory response these symptoms can be severe. One of my alternative remedies when this happens is boswellia which also helps with joint pain, stiffness etc. Boswellia is an elastase inhibitor, so calms things down and brings about other benefits as well. I only use it on an as needed basis.

    I had a bit of a scare myself last night, this something that used to happen a lot but hasn’t for years; this time the choking and inability to get any air went on longer than I remember. Today it’s as if it never happened but I have been having mild chest infection like problems in the last week or so. I get my CPn results next month, my specialist thinks this infection may be part the soup; and I suspect what happened last night may additionally have something to do with my neck especially since I pushed my luck yesterday.

    Love, Tansy

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