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Anyone had shortness of breath/shallow breathing for weeks?

(45 Posts)
OutInOutIn Fri 18-Oct-19 09:46:21

NC. Went to GP nearly 3 weeks ago as had woken in the night with shallow breathing and felt out of breath and had not been able to properly 'catch' my breath. She said if it didn't improve in 48 hours I should get a chest Xray. It did improve and I felt almost normal so didn't go but it's really been off and on since then so I finally went for an Xray but I won't see the results for another week.

In the meantime I'm starting to worry - would love to know if anyone else has had these symptoms? I had a cough/cold before so thought it was due to that but I'm always getting colds (and feel tired, unfit and sluggish) but never had this shortness of breath.

Usually in the mornings I'm out of breath until I've gotten ready then it settles down but comes and goes. I still don't feel completely normal but enough that I can forget about my breathing, whereas when I feel out of breath I concentrate on it and really notice it. I can't even rock my toddler and sing to him without getting out of breath with each line.

I'm late 30s, am fairly healthy generally (don't smoke, hardly drink) although don't get anywhere near enough exercise and have a belly still from my kids. I don't think it's anxiety although I may be now anxious about all this!!
I'm starting to worry it's a heart/lung condition (DH had a serious heart issue which they said would have been diagnosed when he started to get out of breath going upstairs etc). I don't have tightness in my chest or anything, just don't feel like my normal breathing is giving me enough air, iyswim!

If it was really serious would they call me?

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OutInOutIn Fri 18-Oct-19 10:48:58


OP’s posts: |
PandaTurtle Fri 18-Oct-19 19:03:55

Not an expert but if you've still got shortness of breathe and it came on after a cold I would go back and see a doctor. Maybe a chest infection?

If it came on after a cold would very much doubt its a heart / lung condition - anything life threatening you would have been told straightaway / as soon as they knew. When I've had x-rays for heart /lungs I've been told same day (all clear though that's at hospital) but they must get results very quickly. With other things it varies how long it takes to tell you but generally the slower it takes to get news the more likely it's good news.

Maybe you need antibiotics to clear it but see a doctor, they will know better than me. Only other thing I can think of is an allergy of some sort like hayfever if happening a lot. I've had occasional shortness of breathe with an allergy to hay but once I clear the hay it goes.

Frankley Fri 18-Oct-19 19:12:04

I developed shortness of breath. Always been healthy, never smoked. Apparently,shown up on x-ray and other scans, l have a hernia affecting my breathing, also been diagnosed with asthma which was a complete surprise.

Geppili Fri 18-Oct-19 19:12:27

Go back to docs and have bloods tested.

PandaTurtle Fri 18-Oct-19 19:15:13

It is worth phoning and chasing results too - sometimes they have them for a while before they tell you.

OutInOutIn Fri 18-Oct-19 20:56:26

thanks everyone. I felt it quite strongly this morning then by afternoon wasn't really noticing anything. Hoping it's 'just' a chest infection!

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simplekindoflife Fri 18-Oct-19 21:12:47

I had this and it was pneumonia. It took 4 weeks of strong antibiotics to shift it.

Definitely get back to the GP.

redchocolatebutton Fri 18-Oct-19 21:16:48

has the gp actually listened to your chest?

PandaTurtle Fri 18-Oct-19 21:41:59

I'ld maybe try 111 in the morning if you feel quite ill still as if you need antibiotics the sooner the better. Otherwise regular GP on Monday.

Elieza Fri 18-Oct-19 21:58:48

Go down the traditional medical routes via doctor etc.

But you may also want to consider if you eat a lot of dairy? There is a link between dairy and phlegm production which means you can be coughing, sneezing or having breathing issues that make you feel like you have caught a cold but it’s just because of the dairy.

It’s worse over the winter as the air is damp with no drying in it. Unlike in summer.

Cut out dairy for a fortnight (that includes things like cake btw as it has milk in it) and see how you feel. You may be surprised. I know I was. I loved cheese and ate it for years no problem until last year. Now I just can’t eat it without being a phlegm monster.

If you do cut out dairy you need to take an alternative to ensure you have enough calcium etc. Like a vitamin supplement or alternative source. Especially if you are in your 50s upward when bone density is important.

redchocolatebutton Fri 18-Oct-19 22:01:09

have a look at the nhs heart attack symptoms

tadpole39 Fri 18-Oct-19 22:09:11

I’ve had this all my life and I’m 56 now, my mum had it too, that feeling of not getting a satisfying breath and sighing. It was worse in the winter and when I cut out carbs and lost a lot of weight it went almost completely, just the odd day. My partner is a gp and has no idea what it is but says it’s not a red flag symptom. Weird.

Peridot1 Fri 18-Oct-19 22:12:46

I have had something similar. Started with a dry wheezy cough three weeks go. I used to get asthma and it felt like that. Then it changed to a chesty cough. But I hadn’t had a cold and didn’t have any other cold symptoms. Just a horrible chesty cough and shallow breathing. Finally went to doctor this week and got a Ventolin inhaler. Made such a difference.

Can I ask where in the country you live OP? Might sound odd but I am in Somerset and I know there was a chlorine gas or similar leak at a water treatment three weeks ago. I wondered if mine was triggered by that.

daisy2002 Fri 18-Oct-19 22:14:25

Anemia maybe?

OutInOutIn Fri 18-Oct-19 22:47:03

Oh wow @Peridot1 I'm near Somerset! But I have googled it and I'm about 50 miles from where that leak was.

I'm not phlegmy at all, in fact the GP said to go back immediately if I started to cough up phlegm, but it's always been a dry cough. The GP did listen to my chest at the time.

I'm annoyed at myself for not going earlier and I know it's not right so I'm determined to keep pushing if they try to fob me off. It felt bad this morning I think partly because I was in a really deep sleep when the alarm woke me up so I was extra tired and the mornings seem worse anyway. So sitting on my backside right now I feel ok but doing anything active I do realise I'm getting out of breath more easily.

Thank you everyone, it is really helping to read these posts!

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Seaweed42 Fri 18-Oct-19 23:10:47

Could it be a stomach acid problem? Given that you say it happens mostly after lying down. Look up Gerd. Try gaviscon before bed or a reflux medication. Try sleeping more upright on pillows to see if that helps.

Scbchl Fri 18-Oct-19 23:19:36

I have had this for two years now. Initially went to the doctor and was told it was a panic attack (it wasnt it had been non stop for two days solid) and was given doazepam. That didnt work. Went another time and was told panic attack and given propranolol. Anyway over the course of time I have been told it's a lung infection and given antibiotics that didnt help. Been told it's related to hormones and ordered the contraceptive pill, bene offered anti depressants. Then I was nearly passing out in the gym from the breathlessness and dizziness and went back about two months ago. Full bloods were taken and then I was given an ecg in the doctors as when he listened to my heart it didnt sound right. I was then called in the next week and told I'm borderline for hypothyroidism so repeat bloods in three weeks and also my heartbeats irregular and he thinks it's some sort of arrythmia causing the issues. So I have been redereed to cardiology which could be up to twelve weeks. In the meantime I get sporadic periods of breathlessness, dizzy, palpitation, its worse when I'm lying down.

If it doesnt go away push for more tests.

Peridot1 Sat 19-Oct-19 00:28:52

Wow @*OutInOutIn*. I’m in Taunton. So not that near to it either really. Just seems a coincidence. I’d been in town the day my cough started. No symptoms that morning. Spent the morning in town and started coughing in the afternoon. Day after the leak.

I’m awake now as was coughing again.

ShakeTheDisease Sat 19-Oct-19 00:32:51

I had very much what you describe, breathless at night, when I woke up and so on. When I went to the doctor I was diagnosed with asthma. Has yours ruled this out? Inhalers have sorted it for me.

OutInOutIn Sat 19-Oct-19 07:53:38

Good Lord @Scbchl you've run the full gamut there... I hope you get seen soon. You'd think they would detect a heart arrhythmia early on?

Interesting a couple of people have said they were diagnosed with asthma - I always thought that would be picked up as a child. It's certainly possible it could be that, I suppose, I just wonder why it's come on now?

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redchocolatebutton Sat 19-Oct-19 08:09:14

asthma can start at any time.
it has many triggers, including allergic or environmental.

Peridot1 Sat 19-Oct-19 08:36:47

I was diagnosed with asthma in my 30s. Always had hay fever and dust allergies. Then an incident at MILs where I sat on a sheepskin rug her cats loved led to a night of coughing and wheezing. Was diagnosed with asthma then.

It actually totally made sense. As a child I was crap at running as I would always get really wheezy. My dad just told me off for being unfit! But actually it’s exercise induced asthma.

Although I still get hay fever I haven’t needed an inhaler for about ten years. So not really sure why mine has flared up again.

OutInOutIn Sat 19-Oct-19 09:06:18

How do they diagnose asthma? Would anything show on an xray or are other tests needed?
I do have hayfever and dust allergies! Possible cat allergy too. Unfortunately my inlaws' house sets it off badly but we don't go there too often. Dust allergies not been set off much recently but I did have a period of not really knowing if I was having lots of colds or allergic phases.

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OutInOutIn Sat 19-Oct-19 09:07:15

It's always irritated eyes and sneezing with my allergies though, never coughing or wheezing.

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