British Liver Trust
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Breathless and faint

I have had NAFLD for over 5 years, but, following a fibro scan ,was recently diagnosed with cirrhosis. I have noticed over the last year that I get breathless si8tting down, even though I can walk long distances and am increasing my cardio-vascular stamina at the gym. Also I recently fainted and feel faint at time, usually when I stand up suddenly. I do not have ascites. Is this common? What might be causing it?

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It could be orthostatic hypotension also called postural hypotension a form of low blood pressure that happens when you stand up from sitting or lying down. I get it sometimes particularly if I'm tired. The heart is slow to balance blood pressure in response to changing from a lying or sitting position and doesn't send extra blood to the brain quickly enough so you feel light headed and can feint. I used to get this despite being aerobically very fit. A home blood pressure kit would confirm if you have low blood pressure when tired.

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As Edward1952 said, it sounds like Orthostatic Hypotention. It's happened to me before. When my BP was low & also dehydrated. Are you on BP medication? If so, it might need adjusted. Remember to stay hydrated, and maybe see your GP to get checked out about the matter. Good luck.

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Sounds like it also could be anxiety / panic attack symptoms.

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Thanks. Definitely not these! Think its more to do with my liver and spleen being squashed when I sit for a long time?

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Thanks. Certainly the orthostatic hypotension sounds likely, have a be machine so will check it more regularly. Not on any medication. Still doesn’t explain feeling breathless when sitting, though not when I can sleep flat. Perhaps it’s linked to abdominal constriction pressing on the lungs?

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I remember feeling breathless when I was dehydrated and had low BP of 79/48

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Thanks. The breathlessness seems to be worse when I am sitting, regardless of my hydration levels.

Will ask when i go the hospital for review tomorrow

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