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Experiencing shortness of breath. Chest X-ray, Stress test, allergy test, EKG, MRI came normal. Have hypermobolity disorder

Mar 2013
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I have been experiencing shortness of breath that starts approx. 10 days before my menstrual cycle. The shortness of breath is more of a not being able to get a satisfying breath. I yawn constantly when this is going on. it is very uncomfortable, and a bit scary. Then as soon as I start my period, the symptoms go away. It always happens just before my period. My doctor has done lab work which all came back normal, except my WBC's were 17,000. I have had a D-dimer, chest X-ray, Stress test, allergy testing, EKG, MRI of brain, and multiple labs drawn, that all come back normal. The shortness of breath does not happen before every period, but when it does, I experience horrible bleeding. The bleeding is not normal, it is all clots between the size of a blueberry and a grape. I know I am not anemic, although my iron is on low side of normal. I know it's not asthma, although i do have exercise-induced. I know it is not Von willebrand's, i have been tested (because I once had a period for 5 weeks straight) Now if you need my past med Hx to help, I am 30years old, overweight, but have changed my diet and eating habits (all very healthy, nothing dramatic) since thanksgiving and have lost 40 lbs. i have exercise induced asthma. Although I am a large girl (280lbs) I am pretty healthy, my BP usually runs 105-100/65-75. I do experience orthostatic BP on occasion. I am allergic to cats and plant mold. I have hypermobility disorder, I have PCOS and suffer from infertility. When this shortness of breath occurs my SpO2 is always 98-100%. My family is all very healthy. My parents take no medications, both of my grand parents passed at an early age (war, and car accident). My paternal grandmother has arthritis and my maternal grandmother passed away of an unknown illness that mimicked cancer, but was not cancer, It attacked her brain, she had multiple brain surgeries before dying. doctors are unsure what she had, because they had neverr seen anything like it. it sounds crazy but she went to ED for excessive hicups, was admited, was transferred to multiple hospitals including OSU, Cleveland clinic, and Mayo clinic before passing away. No one could diagnose her. My great grandfather (my maternal grandmother's father) had a blood disorder that was discovered late in life (in his 80's) doctor's told him it was not serious, but my family is unsure of what it is. I am an LPN who works for multiple family providers. When this shortness of breath occurs, they always listen to my lungs, and they are always normal. Nobody has a clue what this is? Any ideas?
Posted Sat, 15 Jun 2013 in Women's Health
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 1 hour later
I can think of the following possibilities -
1. Exacerbation of asthma, which is common during periods.
2. Anemia, though you mentioned you are not anemic, I wonder how recently the tests were done.
3. I definitely would consider psychogenic breathlessness on the list, considering all labs are normal.

Regarding your bleeding, I would ask you to go for -
1. Pelvic transvaginal ultrasound.
2. Complete bleeding profile - for other bleeding disorders apart from Von Willebrand's disease.
3. PCOS itself explains heavy bleeding - endometrial biopsy would help ,especially premenstrual.

Would love to hear your feedback on my opinion.
All the best.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Experiencing shortness of breath. Chest X-ray, Stress test, allergy test, EKG, MRI came normal. Have hypermobolity disorder 4 hours later
Labs were drawn two days after shortness of breath first occurred. So I am positive it is not anemia. I would consider psychogenic breathlessness except, due too the PCOS i have no idea when my periods are coming, they are unpredictable. However, i always know that after the breathing difficulties begin, I will shortly start my period which cannot be a coincidence. I have had multiple pelvic trans-vaginal ultrasounds, and they never show anything. I was unsure if a blood disorder other than anemia would cause breathing difficulties. Also, to do a bleeding profile, can i do this at a regular lab? and if i request my provider run this profile, Is it just called a "bleeding profile"?
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 1 hour later
Frankly if your oxygen saturation is normal, and all labs and cardiac workup is normal, it could ONLY by psychogenic.
i agree with your logic of the unpredictability of the periods due to PCOS.
Probably it is a flare of asthma, which is common during periods.
bleeding profile is known as the Coagulation Profile or the Coagulation screen.
It can be done at a regular lab.
I would go in favour of psychogenic breathlessness , as somehow at the subconscious level, the premenstrual symptoms would tell you that you are about to have a period.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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