Breathing restrictions: I am new here... - British Heart Fou...

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Breathing restrictions


I am new here.

I had a triple bypass two years ago and my body went into shock afterwards with severe panic attacks. After the attacks calmed down my breathing became resttricted to the point that I cannot walk more than a few steps without becoming dizzy and out of breath. A recent series of tests resuted in a slight change in medication and the insertion of three stents. Although this helped increase blood flow to my legs my breathing has not improved and I am finding it difficult and frustrating to live with. Angeograms show that my heart is severely damaged and I am operating on about 34%m so I'm not expecting miracles. Anyone out there in a similar situation and if you are, how do you cope with trying to get from A to B (Very Slowly, I know!) ?

12 Replies
skid112Heart Star

Hi there bwanakubwa what am unusual name! Welcome to the forum sorry to hear about your problems. Firstly I don't have any experience of your issues, aside from a general breathlessness from exertion but have you spoken to your cardiologist or gp about it? They may have some medicine that may help with your intake of oxygen or some suggestions as to how to maximize the flow. I assume you have had no joy with any exercise to alleviate the symptoms

bwanakubwa1 in reply to skid112

Bwanakubwa is Swahili for 'Big Boss'. Many moons ago I used to live in Kenya anad I often use Swahili words as passwords etc. because I suppose most other people don't!

Unfofrtunately I don't think exercise will help. However I'm seeing my cardiologist next moth and I'll see whether some adjustments to my medication might help. Thanks for your comments. Take care and stay relatively healthy. Duncan

skid112Heart Star in reply to bwanakubwa1

Hi Duncan, see if you.can get referred for some breathing exercises. I also suffer from asthma and have had these to assist

bwanakubwa1 in reply to skid112

Thanks for that, but if the heart is diseased and it's not functioning correctly then I can't see how breathing exercises might help. I think something more radical, like additional surgery, stents or something!!! would be called for. Unfortunately because of the severity of my condition they don't really want to give me another operation. Catch 22????

Kristin1812Heart Star

Hi. That must be v hard, and difficult to do much when so breathless.

I don't know the %age of heart muscle I lost, after three HAs, (I was told they were small ones),. But I started cardiac rehab Three times. What a lifesaver that group is. It keeps me healthy, sane, social and positive. Oh, and off the anti depressants!

Why I'm messaging you is twofold.

Firstly, to really encourage you to give cardiac exercise classes a fair chance.I now go three times a week, and brisk walk on most other days.

Secondly, and most importantly, my consultant told me an MRI showed I'd actually strengthened my (remaining) healthy heart muscle, with this regimen, and it was working more effectively.

Do try! Every little will help your poor heart!

I'd be v interested in how you get on.

Sounds v. sensible. I'll give it a try.



Philippa_BHFAdministrator in reply to bwanakubwa1

Hi Duncan, You have had a lot going on over the last couple of years,so it is completely normal to express your anxieties- a cause of breathlessness on its own.

I hope when you see your cardiologist you can get some answers- he may want to do a few more tests as well as possibly making some changes to your medication, and to see if your breathing problems are definitely related to your heart condition.

As everyone is different it is really important to pace yourself when you exercise - it might be worth asking if you could be referred for a structured exercise programme for people whose hearts aren't working as efficiently as we'd like- that would be a good question to ask your doctor.

I hope that has helped,

Take care,


Thanks Phillipa, I'l do that.


After my quad bypass Ià was on oxygen and in the hospital for over three months. My last week I was finally weaned from oxygen and put on a rollator. This has helped a lot including with my spinal stenosis. My brilliant GP changed my meds many times. I'm scheduled for an angiogram now, but 17 months out my EF is 41% up from 25% preoperation. I recommend that you write down all your symptoms. Also measuring your blood oxygen level might help. Good luck

Thanks for that. I think that measuring my oxygen levels is a great idea, unfortunately I don't know how to do this? Anyway I'll see my cardiologist in Sept and I'll go over the details with him. Thanks again.


I bought an oximeter on Amazon the same as my GP has because I have to check my heart rate but it also checks your oxygen levels ... ♥️

I bought a pulse oximeter online for less than $25. I simply googled pulse oximeter. What is 6our EF? Carol

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