Heart Disease Community
20.1k Members
Avatar universal

shortness of breath...serious cause or anxiety related?

How common is it for a 46 year old female to develop Heart failure...or Pulmonary Hypertension... can you explain the differences? I am very overweight and on Atenolol originally for the benign palpitations ive had for 20 years, but also for high BP..at my yearly physical 4 months ago, my BP was 122/72. (controlled excellently on the atenolol)

I have generalized anxiety that manifests as shortness of breath and palps. I was checked out as recent as a year ago in the ER for palps,complete heart workup-xray, bloodwork-ekg...and like always,for past 20 years have been told they were benign.

Since Ive gained weight I notice an increase in the shortness of breath,when I first start moving around--sometimes it goes away and I notice my ankles swell some-I have an 8 hour a day sitting at the computer fulltime job. They go down completly overnight.

The shortness of breath concerns me, but yet It seems to be more anxiety related, because if I forget to "Worry" about it, I dont seem to have it.

In a year, could my shortness of breath become something serious?
3 Responses
61536 tn?1340701763
If you've had the shortness of breath in the past and symptoms have not changed, I wouldn't worry too much.  Certainly if your symptoms change, it's worth checking out.  Usually heart failure has a cause.  Ankle swelling at the end of the day, mild, is pretty common.  I get it, and I'm only 29.  The older I get, the more pronounced it becomes.

I also have shortness of breath.  I don't know why and no one seems to be able to tell me why.  It's been called allergies, asthma, anxiety and a complication of my spinal curvature...none of which have been conclusively proven, but heart and lung tests are normal.  I just try not to worry.
Avatar universal
I have been having shortness of breath and heart palps every day for a while now. I had them for about 2 months from maybe march to may and they all just went away for about 3 months, then came back! I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder which I was diagnosed with when I was 17 and I was in hospital for 2 months then because of it, it was sooo bad. I was on tranqs and anti depressants for years and went to therapy. I'm 34 now and  I haven't had consistent therapy for about 5 years though I am going back to it because things are starting to get bad for me and affect my ability to function. the worry is just too much. I have been to the ER countless times, had countless EKG's and cardiac enzyme tests and shortness of breath blood panel, 2 echocardiograms (one just in April of 07) and 3 Holter monitors (one was in April 07), chest x ray etc. Everything is always normal. Even better than normal in some cases! But I can not stop wprrying and obsessing that it's my heart or my arteries. My cholesterol is a bit high and my blood pressure has been a bit higher on the high part of normal and I was on meds for that for a while. I'm pregnant now which is of course really freaking me out.

Right now I get that feeling of wanting to take a deeeep breath and just not getting enough air, though when I do a lot of breathing and yawning I end up feeling faint because I'm hyperventilating. I even called an ambulance once and they gave me oxygen and once I was calm I got better and didn't need to go to the doctor.

I have no health insurance so I'm just about broke due to all this. I never know if it's in my head or not. treachery!!

I have asked my therapist and a general doc about this plus seen a cardiologist and all they say is it's anxiety and the cardio guy said I can get a stress test and a ct angiogram but that's all he can do now because there's nothing wrong. But a ct is expensive and invasive so I'm not comfortable with that idea.

OH -- I was tested for iron and found deficient. It's supposed to be 15 and mine was 10, and the symptoms of iron deficiency are -- you guessed it -- heart palps, shortness of breath, dizzyness and more. So it just figures, eh? I am taking iron supplements now. Doc wants me on 300mg a day. I am having it checked again this week as it can take months to get your iron levels up. Out of 300 mg you know you absorb maybe like 10 mg of it! It's crazy. Hard for some people to absorb the iron:( My mom has anemia, too, though not the smptoms I have.
Avatar universal
take 25 mg of atenolol daily and bp good and helped palpitations...now I gasp for more air and am breathless and yawn.   This is more when I play golf...but still does it when I am sitting...I dont want to quit golf but its a real problem and not fun at all.  Im 70 and in good shape for my age. I dont smoke but quit pack a day about20 yrs ago.  Only drink a beer once or twice per month.  Any comments that may help? signed, ol' duffer
Have an Answer?
Top Heart Disease Answerers
159619 tn?1538184537
Salt Lake City, UT
11548417 tn?1506084164
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Is a low-fat diet really that heart healthy after all? James D. Nicolantonio, PharmD, urges us to reconsider decades-long dietary guidelines.
Can depression and anxiety cause heart disease? Get the facts in this Missouri Medicine report.
Fish oil, folic acid, vitamin C. Find out if these supplements are heart-healthy or overhyped.
Learn what happens before, during and after a heart attack occurs.
What are the pros and cons of taking fish oil for heart health? Find out in this article from Missouri Medicine.
How to lower your heart attack risk.