Breathing problems and palpitations

Hi All, I'm at a loss of what to do.. For about six weeks I've been going to my gp about the fact that I keep getting palpitations and I am short of breath. I get out of breath walking around, or just sitting down.Even when I wake up in bed in the morning, I am breathless and have palpitations. Its on rest or when I'm moving around. GP says chest is clear and put me on gastro type tablets for reflux (i was getting a little bit of a burping problem after food (sorry if this is gross!). But that is not it.. I keep saying, the breathing and palpitations are different to reflux. Sometimes I just get a sharp pain in my chest. That is only occasionally. Was looking forward to my Rheumy appt on 5 march but just got a letter saying the clinic has been cancelled and they'll send me a new appointment - this is the second time that has happened! Any advice would be appreciated. I'm well aware they will tell me this is anxiety and I'm starting not to want to bother the doctors and just believe its just stress or anxiety. I have nothing though to be stressed about. I don't wake up stressed!!!! help? !

12 Replies

  • Hi,

    Awful when peeps get to the point of not seeking help as worried about the 'stress' route.

    If I were you i would return to the gp as soon as possible, explain what you are experiencing again, use descriptions of what your experiencing rather than defining (hope that makes sense in a nice way). Sometime Dr's like symptoms so they can define it (even if the same as your definition!😉).

    You need to inform your Dr of the second delay in your clinic appointment, and say you would like some checks done by him/her as not acceptable to wait for the clinic that keeps letting you down. them and have a moan as it's the second clinic/appointment that's been cancelled on you. Ask when the next appointment is. Give them a little push.


  • Have faith in the fact that you know your body and how it works better than the doctors. Tell them this if they tell you things that you think are not true.

    Unfortunately they do get stuff wrong sometimes due to lupus having so many symptoms, but will get there in end.

  • no truer word said lupie.singlemumloopy-keep on at your gp-persevere ,I share your experience -being fobbed off by gp and suffering symptoms because "my chest was fine" therefore I don't have a cough and cos scans are "normal" there is nothing wrong and was told its stress.the only stress I had was gps ignoring what I was telling them.

  • Hi

    l have been diagnosed with Lupus since last year. I found a good Rheumatologist. However, a good diet has help me. Things like Blue Barriers, pineapple, broccoli and Cramburry juice are very good including lots fish. Keep out of red meat. Real ginger tea or food it's great to our immune system.

    Good luck


  • Palpitations, breathless and pain in the chest are all Lupus symptoms for me. Azathioprine is all that controls them.

  • Hi Singlemumloopy

    If the pain in your chest gets worse you need to go to A and E to have it checked. I have had similar symptoms to you for years and they've been diagnosed as inflammation of the lining of heart and lungs. Stress has never been mentioned!. It can be treated successfully. I agree with your previous correspondent that Rheumatology need to be told of your problems and need for an appt, it's unacceptable to cancel you twice!. I hope you do get another appt quickly!. X

  • I've had breathing problems, rapid heartbeat, all very unsettling...

    Eventually I was diagnosed with asthma and later on a vit D deficiency. I couldn't walk upstairs without getting short of breath and my muscles ached for England no energy, I was quite poorly. My rheumatologist did a blood test for vit D that came back under the norm, and a very bad breathing bout sent me scuttling to my gp who said I'd had an asthma attack. Once the sprays kicked in and the vit D supplement was under way I felt tons better....

    Might be worth a mention to your respective doctors...wish you well and hope you get it sorted, I know how distressing it can be xx

  • Hi,

    Sorry for your troubles......there's nothing worse than being fobbed off with 'Stress' (been there!). Have had very similar symptoms and they get worse during flare. Always right sided chest pain.......feels like I can't take a deep breath on that side (pluerisy apparently) but also get burning pains & breathlessness a lot. My Rheuatologist is never worried and says it's all normal for upus due to inflammation (!!!) But was freaking me out so GP sent me to Respiratory specialist who said it was muscular and due to a car accident 20 years ago (and he's a professor!!!!!!!!!!!! Waste of Money!!). He did send me for a CT but not expecting anything to show up!!

    My symptoms did improve greatly after a 5 week course of steroids so I gusss the Rheumatolohist knows what he's talking about!!

    Best of luck and keep at those Doctors.............they're not the ones going though these horrible symptoms.

  • Not to add to your worry but have you seen a cardiologist? Has anyone given you an ECG at least? A cardiologist would also use a portable ECG-type machine with some sensors you get stuck to your skin for at least 24 hours - that will show the pattern of your palpitations. Tell your gp you're worried about your heart - email him if you can, that way you create a record of your concern so he's bound to address it.

  • Hi, I would go to A & E and get them to check your oxygen saturations, should be 96% - 98% in a normal person, and if they go down when you are walking around, this is a sign of lupus affecting your lungs.

    You need to be referred to a chest clinic for a lung function test, as you cannot see inflammation on x-rays, and it can be very frightening to have these symptoms. Please ring your clinic and ask if you can speak to the nurse or doctor and tell them your symptons. They are making you stressed by leaving you! I hope you get some help very soon.

  • I had exactly this! The Rheumy sent me for an ECG and it seemed I had pericarditis (inflammation of the lining of the heart) and also a teeny bit of fluid on the heart. I think at one point the lung lining was affected as well, but that's me just saying that, the docs didn't confirm that. It's definitely been getting better with a lot of rest, and anti-inflammatories now that seem to be helping.

    I'd suggest you keep at the docs - don't let them fob you off with the whole 'stress' thing. Personally I think that's a very easy and lazy diagnosis. They tried that with me and the only thing I was stressed about was I thought I was having a heart attack or something! I think the Rheumy was quite surprised when it came back that there actually was something wrong, it wasn't just me being a bit 'stressed'! So keep at them, and make sure you get properly checked out. Hope you feel better soon.

  • Have you had your iron and FBC checked? I was exactly like this when I was anaemic. I would have had really awful palpitations when I was lying down. I was training for a half marathon at the time and really struggling with hyperventilating and a racing heart. I'm still on iron but my bloods are improving and the palpitations have stopped. I'm guessing I'll be breathless when I exercise again but I'm out of shape now.

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