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Shortness of Breath
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Shortness of Breath

I am a physically active 29 year old man who goes to the gym to work out 4 times a week.  My routines vary, but I do free weights, machines, and regular cardio on the bike and treadmill.  I feel that I have good stamina and never have any problems with my work outs.  I am able to walk up 4 floors to my office without breaking a sweat.  I eat well and my doctor tells me that my cholesterol level is well below the average.  My problem is that for the past year I have had some episodes of shortness of breath that appear to come out of the blue.  It usually happens when I am up walking about, but I have also experienced it while sitting reading a magazine.  During these spells, it really seems like I could use some extra air or oxygen like the football players get.  I really have trouble catching my breath.  After 10 or 15 minutes, my symptoms get better and I am back to my normal self.  One of my co-workers suggested that my symptoms were like those he has when he has an asthma attack.  However, I have never had asthma and never having any wheezing when I have these episodes.  I have had about 8 spells over the past year.  What do you think is happening with my breathing?
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Hi there,
Given the history you have given me, it doesn't seem likely that these episodes are related to asthma.  Generally if you had asthma, you would feel it when working out, and wouldn't come out of the blue and leave so quickly without treatment.
Depending on whether you are having other symptoms at the same time, anxiety attacks are a possibility.  Shortness of breath can also be caused by issues with the lungs (eg, small blood clots to the lungs) or heart (eg. abnormal heart rhythm).

You need to see your physician so that you can spend some time reviewing any other symptoms you are having, as well as the situations surrounding the episodes.  As well, you need to be examined, and at that point your doctor will decide whether you need any further testing.

This may be something that is nothing to worry about, but there are very serious causes of shortness of breath, so follow up with your doctor as soon as you are able. If you are having shortness of breath associated with chest pain, go to the emergency room.

Good luck,
JMK MD
2 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
i have had a cough since last thursday it's a dry cough with nothing coming up,i have no throat pain or any other symptoms it's just a cough and i cant get it to go away,sometimes i will cough for awhile then theres times i wont cough for awhile.it doesnt happen when im sleeping or anything but i know when i eat or drink certain things the cough becomes more productive and stuff comes up,i have tried all kinds of medicines and cough supresents and nothing is working,do you know what this could be and how long it will last.i heard a cough usually can last up to 2 weeks or more,but im debating weather to go to the doctors or not if it's not better after the 2 week time period
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