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Lung & Respiratory Disorders / COPD Message Board


Lung & Respiratory Disorders / COPD Board Index


I'm a 43 year old man in pretty good shape. A couple months ago, I started having chest tightness and palpitations.

I've had asthma for 20 years and it is in good control. My asthma meds did not help my condition and seemed to make it worse. I stopped all asthma meds a few weeks ago and Asthma continues to be good, peak flow is good and no wheezing.

A full heart workup and blood screening came back good. Doctor gave me Lorazepam which does help the symptoms. He says the problem may be stress but that is difficult to reconcile with my lifestyle. I have very little stress in my life, eat well, sleep well, and emotionally fairly happy. If anxiety exists, it must be something subconscious, perhaps cause by something out of balance in my body.

I firmly believe that there is a physical root cause for my symptoms but fear my doctors may give up on the search. Here are a few more interesting points about my condition:
• Tightness grows slowly sustains for many hours. Palps start when chest becomes tight, sometimes causes sensation of shortness of breath.
• Symptoms mild in morning and become worst as day progresses.
• Symptoms occur even at night while sleeping.
• Symptoms are mild when sleeping on stomach or left side. Worse when sleeping on back and right side.
• Sensation of tightness comes from area around, or perhaps behind, center bronchial tubes.
• Mild exercise does not worsen or help symptoms. I'm doing 30 min treadmill walk every morning.
• I believe I've been experiencing these symptoms many times over the past fifteen years but never have they been this severe. I previously mistaken these symptoms as part of my asthma condition. It seems clear now that these symptoms and my asthma are unrelated conditions.

Does anyone have any suggestions that I can discuss with my doctor. My current condition is very limiting and I’m not able to work so I must find a solution.

Thanks so much to you all.
[QUOTE=Totoro123;5325961]I'm a 43 year old man in pretty good shape. A couple months ago, I started having chest tightness and palpitations.[/QUOTE]

First thing I would consider is Asthma. Asthma/allergies and palpitations go hand in hand, very common together.

[QUOTE]I stopped all asthma meds a few weeks ago and Asthma continues to be good, peak flow is good and no wheezing.[/QUOTE]

I take asthma meds as insurance against a significant asthma attack and to help to alleviate or avoid chest tightness. It's good that you haven't experienced a significant asthma attack but I would think that you would have more problems with chest tightness and labored breathing, especially at night.

[QUOTE]Doctor gave me Lorazepam which does help the symptoms.[/QUOTE]

Lorazepam literature cautions against using it if someone has asthma.

[QUOTE]He says the problem may be stress [/QUOTE]

Doctors blame stress when they can't figure out what is wrong. Almost all doctors do this. They don't want to admit that they just are not knowledgable enough to solve a patient's problem.

[QUOTE]but that is difficult to reconcile with my lifestyle. I have very little stress in my life, eat well, sleep well, and emotionally fairly happy. If anxiety exists, it must be something subconscious, perhaps cause by something out of balance in my body.[/QUOTE]

The problem is probably not with your stress or lack of stress, it is with the doctor.

[QUOTE]I firmly believe that there is a physical root cause for my symptoms but fear my doctors may give up on the search.[/QUOTE]

I would guess that the root cause is asthma.

[QUOTE]Here are a few more interesting points about my condition:
• Tightness grows slowly sustains for many hours. Palps start when chest becomes tight, sometimes causes sensation of shortness of breath.
• Symptoms mild in morning and become worst as day progresses.
• Symptoms occur even at night while sleeping.
• Symptoms are mild when sleeping on stomach or left side. Worse when sleeping on back and right side.
• Sensation of tightness comes from area around, or perhaps behind, center bronchial tubes.
• Mild exercise does not worsen or help symptoms. I'm doing 30 min treadmill walk every morning.
• I believe I've been experiencing these symptoms many times over the past fifteen years but never have they been this severe. I previously mistaken these symptoms as part of my asthma condition. [U]It seems clear now that these symptoms and my asthma are unrelated conditions.[/U][/QUOTE]

All of your symptoms scream asthma to me, except for the problems sleeping on your back and right side, which could be related to a heart condition, IMHO.

Why do you think that your symptoms are not related to your asthma. Asthma is a strange animal. It can vary from a significant attack, where the airways are blocked, to an irritating labored or uncomfortable or stressful or slightly more difficult breathing episode that can last for hours and can make you feel sicker than a dog, and drained, all the next day.

[QUOTE]Does anyone have any suggestions that I can discuss with my doctor. My current condition is very limiting and I’m not able to work so I must find a solution.

Thanks so much to you all.[/QUOTE]

When one's doctor's evaluation is "stress" or "anxiety" it means that he has already given up on a proper or competent evaluation and analysis. Future visits to this particular doctor might result in more frustration and little help.

On another issue, I can sleep on my back, but if I sleep on either my right side or my left side, I'll have breathing issues. I blame this on my heart disease and not my asthma. I think that it irritates my heart and causes and small pericardial effusion, which rectifies later on it's own.

I'm just offering my non-professional opinion. I'm just a fellow asthma guy. I've got my asthma under great control, but if I am exposed to asthma triggers, I'll suffer from labored breathing or a tight chest or just slightly more difficult breathing.

Best of luck and health! I hope that you can get your health issues resolved quickly! :wave:





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