Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Breathing problems, pain on left side of body, abdominal issues, BP and pulse issues

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 4 Replies
  • Posted By: looking_up_84
  • December 8, 2009
  • 07:30 AM

I would like to extend a big thanks out to anyone willing to read and comment / offer any advice on this post, it is greatly appreciated!

I am a 24 year old male, 6 ft, 190 lbs. I exercise when I can, and have fair eating habits. I have smoked on and off since I was 19, and I consume alcohol on occasion. Also, my family has no history of heart disease, cancer, or any chronic illnesses. Last blood test from physical exam showed elevated LDL cholesterol = 152 mg/dl, so I began changing my diet and exercise habits in September.

For the past month and half, I have experienced breathing difficulties. My doctor suspected it might be asthma because I had more difficulty exhaling as opposed to inhaling, so he put me on a trial of Singulair. Unfortunately, it had no effect. I began having chest and back pains, so I went back to my doctor to let him know the Singulair was not working, and I had begun to develop new symptoms. EKG was normal. Spirometry test was normal according to him, I scored 83% when 80% and less is considered asthmatic. He told me it was probably anxiety related and I should just try to relax.

(NOTE: I have always been a classic over-thinker, but there was no reason for me to be over anxious at this time...I had even finished my Christmas shopping ridiculously early for once, lol)

In mid November, I simply could not catch my breath and my chest was killing me! So I went to the ER. Blood pressure was 142/100, pulse oxygen was 100%, heart rate was 64. Blood tests, including a D-dimer, and a chest x-ray came back normal. ER docs said it was a panic attack. I bought a home blood pressure monitor, and after some weeks of watching it, realized my pulse seems kind of low at rest (usually around 55, often in the mid 40's in the morning). Also at rest, my systolic pressure hovers around 135, and my diastolic pressure is usually between 70-75.

I began to notice my stomach felt bloated more often, and my bowel habits had changed a bit. Felt mild constipation, no serious pain.

(NOTE: In August I was hospitalized after what was thought to be intussusception, which consisted of abdominal distention, constipation, severe pain and no appetite. After a a CT and barium swallow, I was discharged and it cleared up on its own after a week).

I also noticed the breathing problems became worse during and after eating (the larger the meal, the harder it is to breathe), and when sitting in an upright position (driving a car, sitting at my desk.)

29th of November - back in the ER with chest pains, fatigue, bloating/constipation, and even worse breathing problems. BP, pulse oxygen, and heart rate were essentially the same from before. Same blood tests, EKG, chest x-ray...all normal. ER doc found strange (yet, faint) rash on my right arm I had not noticed, said it was probably ringworm (contracted after I started going to the gym more often) and suggested an OTC topical.

Saw primary Doc later that week, scheduled an echocardiogram for December 4. Just days before the test, I started having left ankle pain, thought I might have walked on it funny. Over a few days time, the left ankle pain progressed from occasional ankle aches to left calf, left forearm and left shoulder pain and slight tingling which will flare up randomly during the day, mostly while I am moving, walking, or exercising. Sometimes it just goes away while I am being active, sometimes it will not. Also, my feet have been sweating excessively the past few days. It feels like a cold sweat (probably since I am outside in Michigan during the winter) but when I take my socks off my feet are hot to the touch. All of these new symptoms (including worsening fatigue) have become progressively worse up until this point, while the breathing and abdominal problems seem to be happening less frequently.

I received the echocardiogram results Monday evening after my Doctor called to tell me it was normal. I was a bit concerned after the test, especially after the technician said my heart rate was only about 50bpm during the entire procedure. While I was initially relieved, after viewing the results for myself I am thinking about getting a second opinion, and / or a stress test. Below is an interpretation:


Intervent Sept - Thickness: 9mm 6 - 11mm
Left Ventricle - LVID (Diastole): 51mm 37 - 56mm
- LVID (Systole): 44mm 28 - 30mm
Posterior Wall - Thickness: 10mm 6 - 11mm
Aorta - Root Dimension: 31mm 20 - 37mm
Left Atrium - Dimension: 42mm 19 - 38mm
Right Ventricle - Dimension 28mm 7 - 22mm


AORTIC ROOT diameter is: normal (<3.5cm)
AORTIC VALVE is: normal with no restricted motion and no regurgitation
MITRAL VALVE is: normal with no restricted motion and no regurgitation
TRICUSPID VALVE is: normal with no regurgitation
PULMONIC VALVE is: not well seen with recorded views
PULMONARY PRESSURE is: not calculated
RIGHT ATRIAL chamber diameter is: normal
LEFT ATRIAL chamber diameter is: normal
RIGHT VENTRICULAR chamber diameter is: normal with normal systolic function
LEFT VENTRICULAR chamber diameter is: normal with normal systolic function and no evidence of LVH; left ventricular Ejection Fraction is above 55%
INTER-ATRIAL SEPTUM: appears intact
INTER-VENTRICULAR SEPTUM: appears to be structurally normal


While you see the physician interpretation in pretty positive, the measurements for the left ventricle LVID (systole) showed dilation, and the left atrium and right ventricle dimension results were a bit higher than normal. Is this cause for concern, especially considering the symptoms I am experiencing? Show I receive a second opinion, or schedule a stress test?

If you managed to read through all this information, THANK YOU very much, and feel free to comment, ask a question, or offer any advice you would like to share!

- Brian

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4 Replies:

  • Hi Brian, I'm 34 and I'm having the same symptoms as you are. I know that I have the irritable colon syndrome which are mainly “bloating” that’s why I thought the bloating was causing my breathing difficulties. Moreover I have a weird pain in the middle of my back since 3 years that is keeping me from sleeping which I felt lately that is related to my colon problem because when the bloating get worst my back pain follows and sometimes I feel the pain in my upper stomach.I went to the doctor lately for my back pain, he gave me some medicines such as cataflam (anti-inflammatory) which are very strong on the intestine, when I took these for 2 weeks my bloating and breathing became worst.After what I heard from you and from my own experience I believe more and more now that the intestine is behind all this also I asked a doctor if the intestine can cause a back pain he told me that it can cause pain anywhere in the body. Now the solution is simple but difficult to apply:We need to stop thinking and worrying because stress is behind the intestine problem.Personally during the day I'm able sometimes to overcome stress but when I'm sleeping all rejected thoughts come into my head… I'm still going soon to a Rumatology doctor to see if rumatism is the cause of my back pain so as to be clear. Thank you Brian you helped me a lot with your post, hope that my reply will make sense to you. Wish you good healthMaro
    Maro2000 1 Replies
    • February 6, 2010
    • 08:14 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I too have similar problems for last 5 + years. I am 99% sure that this problem is stress based. Like Brian, I am also an over thinker and often not able to get rid of thinking. I have noticed that just a couple of days of yoga (breathing exercises) completely cures all the symptoms. But symptoms reappear once I stop doing yoga.Ram M Kapil
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi Everyone-Have any of you had your pancreas checked and or blood sugar ? As well as Diet to help eliminate toxins and check for any food allergies?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Please go on the internet and look up Peripheral Neuropathy and read!!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
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