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Dextrocardia causing breathing issues??
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Dextrocardia causing breathing issues??

Hello, I'm a 48 yr old female who has been diagnosed with dextrocardia.  As far as I know, I've had this condition all of my life and it hasn't affected me in any way.  Recently I've begun to have "episodes" that have not been diagnosed at this time.  It starts with an ache in the back of my throat and tightening of the chest follows.  I feel like I have to take deep breaths to come out of it.  The episodes last about a minute and toward the end I have tingling in my hands.  I tried not to take deep breaths one time and the back of my  head felt like it was going to explode.  It's very frightening when It happens and just want to understand what is going on.  I have been treated for Acid Reflux but the meds didn't do any good.  I was recently diagnosed with high blood pressure only when exercising.  While I'm at rest my blood pressure is normal.  Could the blood pressure be a contributing factor to these episodes?  My family physician just started me on 25 mg a day of Atenolol for the blood pressure so I'm not sure yet if this will help or not.  I'm afraid that I might have an episode and will not be able to come out of it.  These episodes happen randomly, I might go a week without incident or I might  have 10 episodes in one day.  It  wakes me up at night while I'm sleeping and I have to sit on the side of the bed until I'm able to breathe normally.  Any input or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks, sunnygirl.
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi,
How are you? What other symptoms are present?  Dextrocardia  may be asymptomatic if the heart is normal. However, it can also present with rapid breathing or problems breathing and rapid pulse. Hypertension may  indeed be associated. If  it persists, further evaluation may need to be done. Additional diagnostic tests may also be indicated. Have this evaluated by your doctor or cardiologist for proper management. Take care and do keep us posted.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello, Thanks for your reply.  I've had better days...it seems that the episodes have been happening more often, 6-10 times per day, some more severe than others. They last from 30 seconds up to 5 minutes.   I also might mention that I recently stopped taking wellbutran to see if it would help and have to wonder if this might be a contributing factor to having them more often now.  So far I've had a chest x-ray, EKG as well as a stress test, nothing was found on any test except for the high blood pressure when exercising.  All of my symptoms are as follows:
Beginning with an ache in my throat
Tightening in my chest
Ringing in the ears
Pressure at the base of my skull
Tingling in my arms and legs at the end of the attack
Attacks happen at random (sometimes waking me up at night)
Leaves me feeling wiped out
I've been doing some research online and found that all of my symptoms are associated with Panic Disorder.  I've never been an anxious person but have to wonder if this could be my problem. I lost my job about 2 yrs ago and have been unemployed ever since.  I know that this has stressed me out some.  If so, how would this be treated?  My Dr told me that if it's panic disorder than the blood pressure meds should help out.  So far this isn't the case.  My follow up appointment isn't for 6-7 more weeks, I don't think that I can hang in there that long.  These attacks scare me half to death....I'm afraid that I might not come out of the next one.

Thanks, sunnygirl64



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Avatar_n_tn
Update...Well, I decided to stop taking the wellbutrin thinking that maybe I was having some kind of allergic reaction.  Well, it backfired on me!  The episodes are now more frequent (10-15 per day, every day) and more severe. I'm also now experiencing pain down my arms, mainly the left one.   It seems that whatever is wrong, that the wellbutrin was helping some.  My doc wanted to continue to treat me for acid reflux...I insisted that he treat me for panic disorder instead.  He has prescribed Sertraline...guess I will see how it goes.  At this point I'm willing to try anything.  Will keep this post updated.
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