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Avatar universal

Cardio-respiratory problems

I hope I'm posting to the right group about this, but this forum came back on my search results for cardio-respiratory problems.

I exercise regularly and when I do I lose my breath very quickly and can't get it back until I stop and rest for a few minutes. Exercise that may cause other people to breath heavy, but not lose their breath disables me. I get to the point where I can barely even breath (no coughing or wheezing or anything like that, though.  Just loss of breath and only when exercising). There was a point where I was running for about a year and a half.  I tried to run 2 - 4 times a week and over the year and a half my stamina improved very little.  I spoke to some runners who said that gaining stamina isn't that hard and it's abormal that that I didn't improve much.  Now I engage in another form of exercise and I really have a problem with losing my breath.  It doesn't happen immediately.  It builds up, but I get to the point where lose so much breath I can't go on.

I was recently diagnosed with narcolepsy (last spring), but my Doctor said that he doesn't believe that there's a link between the narcolepsy and this.  Actually, I've always had a hard time with cardio stamina long before I started experiencing the narcolepsy symptoms.  Other than this I'm a pretty fit person.  I've always been active and continue to be.  My routine physical exams always come up fine.

Anyone have any idea about this?  Could I just naturally have poor cardio stamina or could it be more than that.
4 Responses
Avatar universal
Dear j.

You don't give your age or gender but I would guess you are probably a somewhat overweight middle-aged male.  It is quite possible that you are just very unfit from a cardiovascular standpoint and you have not been engaged in a training program that will improve your fitness.  The best way to evaluate this is to have a 'metabolic stress test'.  This test will measure your respiratory exchange and workload on either a bike or treadmill.  With the results from this test the doctor or exercise physiologist can make recommendations for a training program that will increase your endurance and performance.  I think with proper training you will begin to notice a big difference.
Avatar universal
I had a mild heart attack in Jan 2001, prescribed beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors and was making good progress and had returned to work after 6 weeks. In May I began to notice that exercise which had been no problem a few weeks before was now making me breathless. This became increasingly worse until the single flight of stairs at home caused a 10 minute sit-down to regain my breath.

Returning to hospital showed I had oxygen sats of 76%. To cut a long story short it was eventually discovered that I was reacting to the beta-blockers (found by searching the web) and my lungs were terribly inflamed. Heart medication was stopped and large steroid doses given to clear the inflammation. These helped but I am still resticted to the amount of exercise I can do.

I have searched the WEb and still not managed to find any reference to this reaction against beta-blockers!
Avatar universal
Thanks for the replies.  Actually, I'm 29 and not overweight (ok, maybe like 10 pounds but you can't tell unless my shirt is off).  I do a pretty intense workout 2 to 3 days a week that lasts from 1.5 to 2 hours.  The workouts are pretty cardiovascular which is a big struggle for me.  Before that I ran for about 1 1/2 years.  I ran 2 - 4 days a week about 2 to *maybe* 3 miles each time.  My goal the whole time was to increase my distance which I never really was able to do.

Anyway, I actually went to the doctor's today.  He listened to my heart, checked my blood oxygen level, and gave me an EKG.  I think they turned out ok.  I also had some blood tests which I'll have to wait for the results for.  Next, I have to get a chest x-ray so he can look at my lungs and heart and I'm also going to get a PFTS with methacoline challenge to check for asthma/exercise induced asthma.  We'll see what happens.

If they all turn out ok then I guess I'll have to deal with just having naturally poor cardiovascular health.  I'm enterting a national competition in November and my biggest concern is having poor stamina during my routine.  Plus, just training is very hard because of my shortness of breath.  Each training session is a struggle while other people seem to handle it ok.

Anyway...Again, thanks for the replies.
Avatar universal

Do you have any symptoms of heartburn?  It is my opinion that GERD can induce asthma.  I have read that it can and I am a prime example of it happening.  

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