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.
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!
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.
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.