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breathlessness and pain in chest/back in 70+ year old but otherwise fit woman??

(8 Posts)
lilolilmanchester Tue 15-Jul-08 17:01:58

My Mum is seeing the doctor about this but thought I'd post and see if others have any ideas ...
She is pretty fit for her age. Slightly overweight but not obese. Can walk for miles on the flat, but gets very breathless going up the slightest incline. I packed her off to the doctors a couple of years ago on this. She was referred to a consultant but because she did well on all her breathing tests, no further investigation was done. Breathlessness is continuing, and recently she has had bouts of waking during the night with a pain that goes from between her breasts through to the back, feeling sick, clammy etc. GP did an ECG, not a heart attack. Did blood tests, all normal, slightly raised sugar level but he's putting that to one side for now. She is going to the chest clinic next week to go on a treadmill then have another ECG.
She has also had a swollen knee for quite a while, which GP but down to her going over on her ankle, put that was about a year ago and she still gets swelling in her knee (so have told her to mention this to the Dr just incase related in anyway, e.g. water retention or something). I just wish they could find out what it is to put her (and my!) mind at rest or in the worst case advise on how to treat/handle. Does this ring any bells to anyone? Please be honest, I am so worried but would rather have some ideas about what they might find.

lilolilmanchester Tue 15-Jul-08 20:02:46


cocolepew Tue 15-Jul-08 20:05:40

Hiatius (sp) hernia, anemia (sp again)can leave you breathless.

lilolilmanchester Tue 15-Jul-08 20:14:53

thanks cocolepew. Will ask her whether they tested for iron when they did her blood tests - although not sure it would explain the pain?
Interesting theory re the hiatus hernia, tho I didn't know they could make you breathless.

cocolepew Tue 15-Jul-08 20:19:33

My Gran had one, she could hardly catch a brath because of it, tell her to try lying on her right side, as this is suposed to help a hernia. If it doesn't try lying on her left sidehmm I think it is right though. God, sorry I'm not helping am I?!

cocolepew Tue 15-Jul-08 20:21:24


monkeyme Tue 15-Jul-08 20:27:54

It sounds very much as if your mum is getting angina - this is what they will be diagnosing at the Rapid access chest pain clinic.The aim will be to either rule out or diagnose angina, and to formulate a plan of action. Between now and then, if the pain lasts more than 15 minutes, is severe, becomes more frequent or is coming on with less exertion (eg at rest) then I would strongly advise that she gets to A&E to be examined.( I don't want to panic you with the last bit, but it's better to know what to do in case of a bad bout IYSWIM)The BHF webiste has lots of good info, so worth having a look on there. Hope she gets sorted soon!

lilolilmanchester Tue 15-Jul-08 20:45:17

thanks monkeyme. I'll pass that on to her, although the first time, it was at rest (she was in bed) and went on for longer than 15 mins. She went to the GP next day, would like to think he should have told her she should have gone to A&E. Will pass on what you said. Thanks. I'd rather know the worst case scenario, to tell her what to do another time. I live 150 miles away so can't get to her in a hurry.

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