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Shortness of Breath Only Symptom of MG?

Hello. I am 22, slim, otherwise healthy male.  For the past 5-6 weeks I have had shortness of breath. I notice it pretty much all day and while it will get better at times, there are periods where it will hit me out of no where and I will randomnly get super short of breath, even when just sitting down at my desk. Exercise/movement does not seem to make it worse, though talking and eating does.

I seen a Pulmonologist who did a PFT and while some of my numbers were low individually (FVC at 65%, FEV1 at 77%, FVC/FEV1 118%, TLC 95%, MVV 75%), he said he did not see any pathological issue with my lungs. His diagnosis at that time was Vocal Cord Dysfunction. He was the head pulmonologist at our hospital and had a couple of his colleages look over the results as well -- so he was very confident there was no lung issue. I even asked him about the possiblity of a neuro issue and he said no.

I have also seen a cardiologist who ran a EKG, and a Stress Echo -- both which came back clear.

I have been out to Urgent Care/ER when the breathing was really bad, and in all cases blood work was done as well as a Chest Xray, and EKG and all were clear. I even had a Chest CT Scan which was normal as well. Blood Ox level is always hanging at 98%-100% even at my worst.

Is it possible that this would be related to a neurological issue like MG or something else (I do have Peripherial Neuropathy in my legs -- but that has been relapsed the last couple months). Could that be affecting my breathing alone? I dont have any other neurological issues. It feels like sometimes my swallowing and chewing is weak but that may be more anxiety then anything else as that is not a consistent issue.

I have a peak flow meter (they originally thought it was asthma), and even when I am super short of breath, I am hitting my peak numbers -- which I read usually does not happen if your respitory muscles are giving out.

Can anxiety cause 24/7 shortness of breath feeling?

1 Responses
Avatar universal
Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with a doctor.

Without the ability to examine and obtain a history, I can not tell you what the exact cause of the symptoms is. However I will try to provide you with some useful information.

Anxiety is a psychological and physiological condition with a multitude of symptoms. They include heart palpitations, muscle tension, fatigue, nausea, chest pain, shortness of breath, headaches, and GI symptoms such as diarrhea to name a few. Anxiety can also be accompanied with panic attacks such as a feeling of impending doom or death. It seems that your symptoms do fit. It may take time for you and your physician to find the optimal pharmaologic agent to help with your symptoms.

Myasthenia Gravis is an autoimmune disorder where an antibody attacks receptors at the neuro-muscular junction. People with this disorder typically get weaker with exercise. It is diagnosed with antibody testing, clinical examination, and/or special EMG procedures.

I suggest that you follow up with your primary physician. He/she may wish to refer you to psychology or psychiatry for further management of your anxiety if all other tests are negative.

Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions, I hope you find the information I have provided useful, good luck.

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