I'm a 43 year old male and have always been athletic. I rowed in college and recently I began a pretty intense workout routine with the main purpose of losing 35 Lbs and getting fit agian. I was running 6 miles every other day and was also biking 30 miles, and swimming for an hour. Recently, my running has taken a huge dive. I was running the 6 miles at about an 8:15 pace but recently when I run I simply can't get enough air. My HR is normal for me. About 155 to 160 and my legs feel fine. I do have a funny feeling on my right side just below my ribs in the front when I breath deeply. So when I run this feeling in my side makes me feel like I can only inhale about 60%. Now my pace is like 11 Min miles. Any thoughts?
I've never had asthma, Recent visit to the Dr. with EKG with no issues. Lung XRAY is fine.
So it turns out I had a case of Bi-Lateral Pulmonary Embolism or blood clots in both lungs. My first visit to the Dr. totally missed it big. Looking back I had all the symptoms but don't fit the profile in any way of a person who would have this issue based on age, fitness, and health. I was told based on my fitness level that until it got really bad I compensated for the stress. Which explains why my times were going up but at rest I seemed well. The second visit to the Dr., because my right side was killing me, (no pun intended) was with an awesome Nurse Practitioner who took the prudent steps of have a D-Dimer test done and sent me for a CAT Scan. I learned a regular X-Ray or CAT Scan won't pick up a blood clot. When I was at the Radiologist my D-Dimer test came back elevated and she called to have a "Contrast" CAT Scan done which showed the large clot on the right which killed a small portion of my lung and a smaller one on the left. Needless to say I spent the last 4 days in the hospital on blood thinners and will for the next 6 months. I had a scan for Tumors which was negative...yea... which can cause blood clots so at this time I'm not sure what caused it. I won't know if it's a genetic thing until I'm off the thinners which if it is I'll have to take them for the rest of my life. One other very rare cause I read somewhere is that long distance running causes your blood to thicken temporarily so it's very important to do a proper warm down to allow your blood to thin back to its natural state.
X-Ray's don't pick up PE's so they aren't really a great test to rule them out I learned.
As of now I'm back to my routine. Ran my 6 miles Monday afternoon and P90X that evening. Hour of cardio yesterday and today + my P90X shoulders and arms later today. It's not as intense as it was but I've been laying low for 3 weeks so that's to be expected. But I'm happy to say it's not too far off! No weight gain either which is nice.
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