Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Breathlessness with exercise

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 0 Replies
  • Posted By: donnarm
  • November 16, 2006
  • 08:06 AM

For the past several years, I've had a slowly increasing intolerance to exercise - particularly climbing stairs or hills. I'm in my mid-sixties, 5'4", 135 lb, and have allowed for my aging. But if I climb more than about 20 stairs, or if I try to walk up hills, my heart rate shoots right up to about 120 or more and I feel out of breath. (Resting heart rate is about 60-65, my blood pressure is about 110/70, thyroid panel is normal.) It feels like I did when I had anemia as a teenager.

I've had a stress test (had to quit after 2 1/2 minutes because my heart rate went up so quickly), but the cardiologist was unconcerned. I also had an echogram, which showed some mitral valve prolapse, but without regurgitation. And I had a Holter monitor for about a month, and it showed intermittent arrhythmia originating in the atrium and sometimes the ventricle. Typically they lasted only a few seconds.

I exercise regularly (go to the gym about four times a week, work out on the elliptical climber, lift weights, do most of my home maintenance, etc.), and I seem to do fine. But the stairs and the hills are where I get breathless and my heart rate goes up.

What's up with that?? It's very discouraging, especially when my friends are cycling, walking up hills, and running circles around me.


Reply Flag this Discussion
Thanks! A moderator will review your post and it will be live within the next 24 hours.