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Running causes spasm under breastbone, stomach bloating, normal EKG test, elevated BP and heartrate, elevated potassium.

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Practicing since : 1988
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56 year old male, very active long distance runner for last 10 years (35+ miles per wk.). Within the last 6 months stamina and endurance have diminished significantly. Running causes spasm under breastbone and stomach bloating. Hard to get breath until I start burping. Went to emergency room once EKG and standard tests normall. I do consume my fair share of beer daily (5). Lately slightly elevated heart rate(85-90PM) and BP (fluctuates but systolic seems higher around 130-140). Before BP averaged 110/65. I have since started taking Lexapro and have been receiving cortisone injections in my leg for what seems to be tendonitis or a groin pull. Do not know if this is attributing to elevated BP an heartrate. Recently bloodwork showed elevated potassium levels but subsequent test showed normal reading. Bottom line could run 7 or 8 miles in an hour and now I struggle to do 3 or 4 miles.
Posted Wed, 2 May 2012 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Gopi A 13 hours later

Thank you for posting your query.

I have gone through your query and summarizing your symptoms it appears that your exercise capacity has come down over the last 6 months and activity gives you a feeling of spasm under the breast bone. The first possibility that comes to my mind is that it could be angina and that will need to be ruled out first. Routine EKG's are likely to be normal. I would advise you to get a treadmill test (TMT) done and if your symptoms are related to the heart it is likely that you will get a positive TMT. Depending on the TMT result the next step could be decided. The other possibility to be considered is exercise induced asthma. As a part of work up for angina it would be a good idea to get your cholesterol levels also checked.

With regards,
Dr. A. Gopi
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