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Shortness of Breath

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Unread 05-05-2012, 03:31 PM   #1
Idiopathic PN
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Default Shortness of Breath

I have been looking up on the internet about emphysema/COPD. For those who may have read my other posts, I am having problems with shortness of breath, both at rest and exertion. I dont have cough and wheezing is very very very rarely. I dont smoke. (My appointment with a pulmonologist is still way far off.)

I encountered this symptom checker on the net. It asks about your symptoms and at the end of the process will tell you about your "possible" problem. In my case, since I dont have any other symptoms typical of emphysema, it says among other things:

Another cause of shortness of breath is a nerve or muscle disease that weakens the diaphragm and chest muscles. With a nerve or muscle disease, there will almost always be other areas of the body involved. For example, you might notice that your legs or arms are weak or you may have numbness or tingling.

http://symptomchecker.about.com/od/w...etofinish..htm

Is there anyone who has a similar symptom like mine? I have an asthma but I have not had an attack for a long long time. I am not sure th ough, if this shortness of breath is asthma related.

I am concerned about emphysema because in 1988, I also had similar shortness of breath, a pulmonologist diagnosed me with emphysema based on my chest x-ray. She scared me to death. I went to another pulmonologist and she laughed at my earlier diagnosis. She said that I have normal lungs based on a pulmonary function test (PFT). I had a lung CT scan in 2011 and another PFT. My scan was normal as well as the PFT. The pulmo commented though that my FEV1 has reduced a little.

I do not know if my shortness of breath (which has been on going for 2 years now) is related to my PN or lungs.

Thank you in advance for sharing with me your inputs and experiences.

Last edited by Idiopathic PN; 05-05-2012 at 03:34 PM. Reason: additional information
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Unread 05-05-2012, 09:07 PM   #2
melon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idiopathic PN View Post
I have been looking up on the internet about emphysema/COPD. For those who may have read my other posts, I am having problems with shortness of breath, both at rest and exertion. I dont have cough and wheezing is very very very rarely. I dont smoke. (My appointment with a pulmonologist is still way far off.)

I encountered this symptom checker on the net. It asks about your symptoms and at the end of the process will tell you about your "possible" problem. In my case, since I dont have any other symptoms typical of emphysema, it says among other things:

Another cause of shortness of breath is a nerve or muscle disease that weakens the diaphragm and chest muscles. With a nerve or muscle disease, there will almost always be other areas of the body involved. For example, you might notice that your legs or arms are weak or you may have numbness or tingling.

http://symptomchecker.about.com/od/w...etofinish..htm

Is there anyone who has a similar symptom like mine? I have an asthma but I have not had an attack for a long long time. I am not sure th ough, if this shortness of breath is asthma related.

I am concerned about emphysema because in 1988, I also had similar shortness of breath, a pulmonologist diagnosed me with emphysema based on my chest x-ray. She scared me to death. I went to another pulmonologist and she laughed at my earlier diagnosis. She said that I have normal lungs based on a pulmonary function test (PFT). I had a lung CT scan in 2011 and another PFT. My scan was normal as well as the PFT. The pulmo commented though that my FEV1 has reduced a little.

I do not know if my shortness of breath (which has been on going for 2 years now) is related to my PN or lungs.

Thank you in advance for sharing with me your inputs and experiences.
cant type much - but yes I had it ,and still have it to this day , like you havent had asthma in yrs though Im disabled now too.

can you hold your breath at all ,or do anything like controlled breathing / meditation ?

m
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Unread 05-05-2012, 10:31 PM   #3
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I don't think you would even notice a slightly reduced FEV1, everyone loses a little pulmonary function as they age so you are probably fine but you can verify that with your upcoming appointment.

I noticed you had a thread about anxiety, that can really cause shortness of breath too. I was wondering how long you have been on Synthyroid and how long its has been since you had your thyroid levels checked? Mrs D probably knows a lot more about that than I do but I think having your thyroid level too high can cause anxiety, does your heart race? Or you might have something interacting with something else, I noticed Neurontin can rarely cause shortness of breath and anxiety too but I don't know if its common enough to consider.

Hope you figure it out.
judi
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Unread 05-05-2012, 11:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idiopathic PN View Post
I do not know if my shortness of breath (which has been on going for 2 years now) is related to my PN or lungs.
Not to scare you, but shortness of breath can also indicate possible heart trouble. Googling: peripheral neuropathy shortness breath mentions that, depending on the nerve/s involved in the PN, other symptoms (like pain) can be masked. Might be prudent to at least review (Google: ) warning signs heart attack women and/or give your PCP a call to check you out.

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Unread 05-06-2012, 07:05 PM   #5
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Thank you for all your replies ----

Melon : I try to meditate. I have several guided meditations and calming meditation music, but everytime I listen, I coould not concentrate -my mind will fly elsewhere.

Zygopetalum : I am on Synthroid since 2007 after I had the total thyroidectomy. I had nodules which were found benign (thank God!). I discovered my TSH was high last November 2011 (a month after I had the PN symptoms). But, since December 2011 until April 2012, my TSH was low. My last test which was last week, my TSH was already normal. My doctor does not think that my PN is caused by my t hyroid problem. (Actually, I dont know what to believe now....) Yes, I had a thread about my anxiousness. I know that anxiety can cause shortness of breath, but you know when your body is in distress, you thread the path of fear - which I know is not good. I am trying to rule out the cause of my shortness of breath by process of elimination. I am not trying to diagnose myself, but I need to have some peace of mind between now and my appointment with the pulmo.

Its a relief to know that a reduced FEV1 will not affect breathing that much.

Doc : I hope this is not heart related. I had my EKG, treadmill stress test in 2011, my heart is normal, except for a Mitral Valve Prolapse, which the cardiologist assured me that its nothing to worry about.

I read that the nerve affecting the motor can cause the shortness of breath. however, my neurologist said that the strength of my muscle is okay. With this finding, is it possible that my shortness of breath can be a resuslt of a motor neuropathy?

Thank you all!
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Unread 06-11-2012, 08:26 PM   #6
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Default An update on the shortness of breath....

I saw a pulmonologist today. He gave me another PFT in his clinic. The breathing test showed some decreased airflow compared to the 2011 PFT. Although, the doctor said that the result is still within the normal level.(I guess I mentioned in my earlier post that my 2011 PFT had also a reduction from 2010 PFT.) So, it seems there is a trend in the decrease of airflow.

He also saw in my 2011 CT scan two small scars in my lower right lung which may have been caused by t.b. I had in 2000 (ileocecal T.B.). Just to make sure --- he requested a follow up CT scan.

He gave me some tests which may have some effects on the lungs:

1. IGA
2. SPE
3. ANA
4. Anti-DNA
5. RA
6. ANCA -P+C
7. Anti-GBM
8. Sjorgren's
9.Anti-JO Antibody

I already had some of these tests, but it will not hurt to take them again.

This is the thing I was trying to avoid - inhaler! He put me on Symbicort due to a mild asthma. He said the usual "script" on the inhalers - "just localized unlike oral steroid".

Just like most posters, I have been trying mightily to avoid anything to aggravate the nerves, especially now that I think my symptoms are progressing.

I guess I just have to bite the bullet this time.

I will appreciate though any special precautions/ideas.

Thank you.
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Unread 06-11-2012, 09:10 PM   #7
echoes long ago
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what were your FEV1 numbers?
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Unread 06-12-2012, 09:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by echoes long ago View Post
what were your FEV1 numbers?
Hi echoes,
I am not sure which numbers to post - so, I will just write all the numbers opposite the FEV1. Here they are:

2008
Ref : 2.77
Pre : 2.56
Pre% : 93
Post : 2.63
Post% : 95
%Change: 3

2011
Ref : 2.63
Pre : 2.00
Pre% : 71
Post : 1.93
Post% : 68
%Change: -4

2012
Ref : 2.79
Pre : 1.66
Pre% : 59
Post : 1.76
Post% : 63
%Change : 6

I hope you could provide me with more enlightenment on these numbers.

Thank you in advance.
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Unread 06-12-2012, 10:38 AM   #9
echoes long ago
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fev1 is forced expiratory volume or the amount of air you can forcibly exhale in one second. yours has been dropping over the last 4 years at a greater rate than would be expected due to age. fev1 numbers do go down normally as you get older but yours are above that. at 59% of expected fev1 you are now in the moderately obstructed category. Your 2011 numbers showed you to be mildly obstructed.Expected results are based on age, weight, height and believe or not ethnicity and yours are 59% of what would be expected for your age, weight, height and ethnicity in a normal person.
do you have your FVC numbers and fev1/fvc ratio?

my fev1 has gone down from 115% of expected in 2001( i was a runner) to 48% now just to give you one example of progression.
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Unread 06-12-2012, 12:10 PM   #10
Idiopathic PN
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The FEV1/FVC are as follows:

2008:
Ref : 76
Pre : 87
Post : 96

2011:
Ref : 83
Pre : 77
Post : 75

2012:
Ref : 83
Pre : 73
Post : 72

I am now 51 years old, 5'6 at 113-114lbs (Asian).

Doctor has put me on symbicort.

May I ask, what is your lung problem?

Thank you so much echoes. I appreciate your inputs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by echoes long ago View Post
fev1 is forced expiratory volume or the amount of air you can forcibly exhale in one second. yours has been dropping over the last 4 years at a greater rate than would be expected due to age. fev1 numbers do go down normally as you get older but yours are above that. at 59% of expected fev1 you are now in the moderately obstructed category. Your 2011 numbers showed you to be mildly obstructed.Expected results are based on age, weight, height and believe or not ethnicity and yours are 59% of what would be expected for your age, weight, height and ethnicity in a normal person.
do you have your FVC numbers and fev1/fvc ratio?

my fev1 has gone down from 115% of expected in 2001( i was a runner) to 48% now just to give you one example of progression.
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