Respiratory Disorders Expert Forum
Tightness in heart and painful breathing while exercising.
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Tightness in heart and painful breathing while exercising.

Okay so this is a problem I've been living with for a couple years. It wasn't present when I was younger to the best of my memory. But honestly my memory is terrible so who knows.

Once I reach a certain point of intensity or length of exercising part of my heart feels very tight, as if blood is trying to rush through but the pathway just isn't big enough. Now I've learned to pace myself properly and can ride (I cycle) far in excess of two hours without feeling this. But it's at a fairly lax pace, if I ride harder or push for certain sections this will pain will come on.

It happens without fail every time I push too hard and no, I'm not simply pushing too far, I've tried keeping up with various other levels of cyclists, I simply can't do it without this happening. If I take long enough of a rest and get my heart rate back under control the pain will fade and I can keep riding.

I've tried "pushing through" this but that doesn't happen. The pain just stays, it doesn't lessen or worsen, it stays the same until I'm forced to stop for fear of something terrible happening.

I also have a breathing problem brought on by intense exercise. Same thing, if I pace myself I can keep it away, but push too hard and suddenly I get a burning feeling in my lungs, I can't get anywhere near enough air, I'm breathing at a very high rate and can't easily get it back under control. When this happens I get light headed and lose some strength. If I continue to push it feels like I will throw up and faint.

This burning feeling will last the rest of the day and gradually lessen. When I wake up the next day it is gone.

Both of these things happen without fail if I exercise too hard. And it's not a matter of simply not being in shape, I've been cycling very actively for several years, so it's safe to say I'm not out of shape.

Also worth mentioning is that if I ride when it's less than upper 60's my lungs start to burn extremely quick and continue to do so throughout the ride.

Tags: Heart Pain, Burning in lungs, difficulty breathing, Exercise
242587_tn?1355427710
What you describe suggests that you may have a heart problem.  The pain is typical of a condition called angina pectoris and is associated with restriction of blood flow through the coronary arteries that can occur with or without an abnormal heart rhythm.  The “breathing problem” could also be associated with an abnormality of heart function.

Yours is a potentially serious problem that definitely warrants further investigation.  Your first step is to arrange to be examined, without delay, by your primary care physician who can on the basis of history and physical examination, decide would be the best sequence of testing, the tests most likely to include an exercise study with monitoring of heart and lung function.

While this is probably not an emergency, you should seek medical assistance without delay and, until you are examined, either stop exercising or significantly reduce the intensity of your exercise.

Good luck
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