Thank you in advance for any help that anyone can provide! This is my first post so please help me if I make any mistakes as I haven't read other posts yet! I have dial-up (I know) and a 2001 compaq computer (I know) so I am way behind the times.
I am a 41 year old female and I have been suffering from severe shortness of breath upon any type of mild exertion (climbing stairs, bending over, wrestling with my son, short bursts of running while playing, etc.) for five years now. It feels as though I can pull plenty of air into my lungs but I can't use it. I feel as though I am starving for air anytime my heart rate goes up. It feels more pronounced on the side of my heart. If I remain calm and don't exert myself, I can breathe just fine. Even if I become emotionally upset or stressed, I become short of breath trying to talk so it seems related to my heart rate increasing. I can not walk and talk, but I can do either fine alone. It has not gotten better or worse over the past five years, but it is extremely frustrating as I was somewhat active before this. I was on the treadmill at a speed of 5.5 mph for 30 minutes every day for two years when these problems actually started. The first doctor told me it was deconditioning which made no sense to me as I was in the gym every day even doing 45 minutes of weight lifting every day as well.
I have had all of the pulmonary tests done and they have all come back normal. In fact, my blood oxygen is great even during times of severe shortness of breath while gasping during stress tests. I have seen two cardiologists (3 Years apart) and had EKG's, ultrasounds (without meds), and regular treadmill stress tests. After 9 minutes on the treadmill (last week) I had to stop because of severe burning in my lungs and gasping for air even though my body could have continued much longer. My blood pressure got continually lower during the stress test instead of higher so I don't know if the machine was broken as the tech said that hadn't happened before...
Several months ago after years of perfect blood pressure, it suddenly went up t0 187/132 and my resting pulse was 122. My general practioner gave me blood pressure medication and told me that it was of no concern what the cause was - these things just happen but sent me for the echo/stress at my insistence. I have no family history but a lot of my family died of cancer in their fifties so it isn't easy to know what might have shown up.
I also had a cat scan of my lungs four years ago and I have mild emphysema which the pulmonologist said was absolutely not the cause of this problem and I would die of something else long before it ever became a problem. I smoked 1/2 pack to 1 pack a of cigarettes a day for twenty years before quitting in 2001 but everyone says this is not related to that! I am 5 ft. 11 and 145 pounds. I no longer work out at all.
I don't know what other info to offer but I'm hoping someone has an idea that hasn't been considered. I have regular physicals, get yearly bloodwork done (thryoid, cholest. all that is normal). I have no problem with lung infections, bronchitis, coughing stuff up, none of that. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank You. If I just have to live with this as a consequence to smoking, I will, but it feels as though something is being missed. Thanks again.