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Can anyone give an advice for my friend re 1.5-year long her shortness of breath?

Hello,
I’m asking this on behalf of a friend who is suffering from some severe respiratory disorders, together with other health concerns. Below is a description of her problems, written by herself:

“I am female, 32 years old, height 167 cm, weight 63 kg. I have had chronic shortness of breath for 1.5 years, namely I have trouble inhaling. The exhale is normal. When I inhale, I often feel that my inhale is not enough and I need to take a deep breath. Then I try to take a deep breath, and it does not always work. It's a very unpleasant feeling, and often is terrifying. When I fail to take a deep breath, I burp out the air that I tried to inhale. Again, this is very unpleasant. When my trouble breathing started 1.5 years ago, I had psychosis, so I was prescribed the antipsychotic risperidone. I have been taking 2mg of risperidone a day since then, and I developed hyperprolactinemia as a side effect (high level of the hormone prolactin), so I have not had a period for 1.5 years. A month ago I saw a pulmonologist who told me that based on my PFT results which were all normal asthma or other respiratory inhalers won't help me. He told me that based on his experience this type of shortness of breath gets better with vigorous physical exercise. So I started running and lifting weights a month ago. Now on most days I run for 30 minutes on a treadmill in the gym with a speed of 10 km/hr. It seems that my breathing is somewhat better after I started this exercise. I also do kundalini yoga for the chest region for an hour on most days. Several days ago I started having pelvic pain on the left of my lower abdomen. I have no idea if this pain is related to elevated prolactin from risperidone, so I reduced risperidone to 1 mg per day, not sure what the effect of this is going to be (I have not had psychotic episodes recently so I hope that this is going to be OK). I have also been vegan for 8 years, and two weeks ago I started eating dairy and fish, so I might have pelvic pain from that. I also took traditional Chinese medicine (produced by the company lucklife) for 2 weeks but I stopped now being afraid that it caused pelvic pain. I also have periods of lightheadedness (which can prevent me from sleeping) which started 1.5 months ago, sometimes following eating something sweet or starchy, so I think my lightheadedness might be an indicator of something diabetic.”

Any advice or thoughts will be appreciated.
2 Responses
Avatar universal
You can run for 30 minutes?
8 Comments
Yes (she says)
She says she stopped running a few days ago because of a lower back trauma she got while running, now she rides a stationary bike in the gym for an hour every day instead and plans to start swimming in the pool.
I don't think she has respite or cardiac issues if she can bike for an hour or run for half.

It could be gastro... does she has have gerd?
She took prilosec for a while and it didn't help so I don't think it's GERD.
Ppi would help much for a hiatal hernia which is what im sorta thinking...

Being able to be so active rules out most respiratory and cardiac things...


Does she have difficulty standing upright without moving?  Like just standing up straight or more difficulty laying flat?
No, she has no difficulty standing up straight or lying down flat
I am on here as a patient and not a clinician.  So, I am limited in what I am comfortable discussing.

But I think the fact that she can do such strenuous cardiorespiratory activity points away from the respiratory or circulatory system being the issue, of course, I could be wrong.  

I would consider talking to a really good neurologist as your breathing centers are located in your dorsal medulla, lower and upper pons, and ventrolateral medulla and could have some effect on what she is feeling from her medications or other improper impulses being sent.

If she wants to pm me I can recommend additional more invasive testing, but if I were her I would try to rule out neuro first considering the facts at hand.

Happy to help any way I can!
Thank! She has not seen a neurologist yet.
Avatar universal
I have a similar issue,  always seem to be needing to take a deep breath.  Helps sometimes,  other times  I just can't get enough air it seems. Oxygen levels are been @ 94% at recent draft.  Visits. Blood work shows high c02.  Any suggestions what's going on with me?  Please.  I'm 40. Have crohns,  ulcerative colitis, arthritis,  take an inhaler too.  Please help thank you ; )
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