Pulmonary Hypertension Expert Forum
Rapid Pulse, Shortness of Breath
About This Forum:

Pulmonary hypertension is a condition associated with high blood pressure in the arteries that connect your heart with your lungs. It is a serious condition for which there are many emerging treatments but no definite cure. In this disease, the blood vessels that carry oxygen-poor blood from your heart to your lungs become hard and narrow, which causes your heart to work harder to pump the blood. This forum is a place to ask questions about Pulmonary Hypertension. Some examples are: What caused me to get pulmonary hypertension? How is pulmonary hypertension diagnosed? What treatment options are available?

IMPORTANT!! If you have a question that requires immediate medical attention, or if you think you may have an emergency situation, please call your doctor or 911 IMMEDIATELY!

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Rapid Pulse, Shortness of Breath

I'm in my late 50s and have been having problems with elevated heart rate and difficulty exercising.  I'm generally very deconditioned, so exercising tends to happen in sporatic runs of a few weeks or months, then long runs of just working at my computer and a lack of activity.  I retired at 45, self employed, and really embarassingly inactive.  I had mild sleep hypopnia, which has been treated with CPAP for last several years.

A few years ago, I was trying to exercise on an elliptical trainer, I could do 20 or 30 minutes with some breaks, if I wanted to keep my heart rate in the 120-145 range.  This seemed to get more difficult, and lately I have stopped using the elliptical as my rate goes to 145 in a few minutes.  I'm taking a low dose beta blocker now  A few weeks ago I was doing 20 minutes on a tread mill (2.1 mph, mild exercise), and felt good, heart rate in the 80s or 90s.  My resting rate was around 70.  But last few says I've noticed anxiety, feelings of breathlessness, 5 minutes of walking sending my pulse to 110, deep breaths not very satisfying.

My symptoms might be deconditioning and anxiety attacks, which is what I've been telling myself for the last few years.  But I wonder if I should be concerned about PH?

I had a couple echo stress cardiograms in the last few years, which were OK.  Calcium cat scan score is very low.  But not sure the echo test was really looking for PH.
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Hello and welcome to the forum:

It sounds like you have most likely diagnosed yourself correctly.  Specifically, deconditioning, being overweight, having sleep apnea, stress/anxiety, etc can all cause and/or contribute to what you are describing.  However, if your symptoms continue to persist or worsen despite addressing the above issues, I think it be worthwhile to have your primary care doctor re-assess you.  If he/she believe a referral to cardiology is warranted then I would proceed with that plan.

Regarding PH specifically, though I cant tell you for sure you do not have it, I would be highly surprised if you had "PH" (ie pulmonary arterial hypertension--the stuff you read about on the internet causing you to freak out).

Wishing you the best,

Dr. Rich
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