Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Undiagnosed breathing problems

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 5 Replies
  • Posted By: locaoca
  • February 18, 2009
  • 01:23 AM

I'm a 32 year old female. I have been having shortness of breath (a tight band around my chest, sometimes fighting for air), fatigue, dizziness and a dry cough for the last 6 months. I also have chest pain that comes and goes with it. I get palpatations, night sweats, and wake up gasping for air as if someone has hit me in the back. I also have an intolerance to cold. When I get exposed to the cold, I have coughing fits that I can't stop until I get warm. The only time I truly feel okay when I am laying down.

They have done thyroid and adrenal tests and all come back normal.

I have seen a Cardiologist (I have a family history of Pulmonary Hypertension) and have had a Lung CT (which showed a 1 cm calcified granuloma, I had known about the granuloma but it has grown in the past two years from 3 mm to 1 cm) and an Echocardiogram (which showed pressures of 28mm and a 'slight' regurgatation at the mitral valve) and also a stress test that showed no heart problems but due to breathing problems had to be stopped at 4 1/2 minutes at stage 2. The Cardio mentioned that I have a thready pulse and that my Blood Pressure drops when I stand up.

I have also seen a Pulmonary doctor who gave me an inhaler and a course of steroids. The inhaler doesn't do anything to make me feel better. The steroids made me feel good for as long as I was on them, they even made the cough go away. He has scheduled PFTs and a sleep study for the end of this month.

I have thought about everything this could possibly be and the doctor's seem to think I will never know what it is because it's some obscure metabolic problem and taking steroids for the rest of my life is the answer.

Any ideas about what this could be would be appreciated.

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5 Replies:

  • Seeing that the steroids made you feel better and your symptoms seem to fit an inflammation of the chest wall. The cause can be from various reason, from auto-immune disorders to stress/anxiety.
    WildMonkey 7 Replies
    • February 18, 2009
    • 02:52 AM
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  • An update - I now went to the ER and ended up being admitted due to chest pains that went into my shoulder and jaw. The doctors gave me motrin and a GI cocktail BEFORE they gave me nitro (which actually made the chest pain go away which shows it IS heart related). The cardio said the chest pains were a result of low blood pressures because when I was admitted my blood pressure was 86/48 and stayed below 100/70 most of the night. He did say he saw something on the EKG but didn't say what it was. The official diagnosis for the hospital visit was unexplained chest pain. Which of course means they don't know what's going on. I still have a sleep study on Thursday and a PFT on next wednesday. I hope that they will shed more light.
    locaoca 3 Replies
    • February 24, 2009
    • 05:53 PM
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  • I'm a 32 year old female. I have been having shortness of breath (a tight band around my chest, sometimes fighting for air), fatigue, dizziness and a dry cough for the last 6 months. I also have chest pain that comes and goes with it. I get palpatations, night sweats, and wake up gasping for air as if someone has hit me in the back. I also have an intolerance to cold. When I get exposed to the cold, I have coughing fits that I can't stop until I get warm. The only time I truly feel okay when I am laying down. They have done thyroid and adrenal tests and all come back normal. I have seen a Cardiologist (I have a family history of Pulmonary Hypertension) and have had a Lung CT (which showed a 1 cm calcified granuloma, I had known about the granuloma but it has grown in the past two years from 3 mm to 1 cm) and an Echocardiogram (which showed pressures of 28mm and a 'slight' regurgatation at the mitral valve) and also a stress test that showed no heart problems but due to breathing problems had to be stopped at 4 1/2 minutes at stage 2. The Cardio mentioned that I have a thready pulse and that my Blood Pressure drops when I stand up. I have also seen a Pulmonary doctor who gave me an inhaler and a course of steroids. The inhaler doesn't do anything to make me feel better. The steroids made me feel good for as long as I was on them, they even made the cough go away. He has scheduled PFTs and a sleep study for the end of this month. I have thought about everything this could possibly be and the doctor's seem to think I will never know what it is because it's some obscure metabolic problem and taking steroids for the rest of my life is the answer. Any ideas about what this could be would be appreciated. Have you had your Carbon Dioxide levels checked? Low levels may indicate Hypocapnia which produce the exact same sypmtoms you have.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 24, 2009
    • 06:32 PM
    • 0
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  • The only time I truly feel okay when I am laying down. You obviously have orthostatic intollerance (OI) as at least part of your issue. OI can cause chest pain, fatigue, palpitations, dizziness etc. The only symptom you have which I are not aware of OI causing is coughing so I guess that means that you dont just have OI but something else on top of this. OI can occur along with other medical issues. There are several forms of OI .. it could be Postural orthostatic tachycardia (POTS). POTS is usually accompanied by bouts of hypotension or hypotension (low BP). I suggest for you to get some tilt table testing done to see if the OI you have is POTS or not.
    taniaaust1 2267 Replies
    • February 26, 2009
    • 10:54 AM
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  • I just did a search to see how and if coughing is connected to POTS and found the following. There was a connection! "1) Viral and bacterial infections that damage the autonomic nervous system are a common cause. Patients who develop POTS due to an infection, with no deeper underlaying genetic cause, have the best chance for a spontaneous recovery over time."............ You may not realise this but it's the autonomic nervous system which controls heart rate and pulse.
    taniaaust1 2267 Replies
    • February 26, 2009
    • 11:03 AM
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