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Pregnant. Getting burning sensation in chest, shortness of breath and numb body. What's going on?

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I have been getting these weird sensations of my chest burning up and whole body getting numb and tingly. It causes shortness of breath and stars or spots in vision. I am 25 weeks pregnant and it is extremely uncomfortable and kind of scary. What is going on?
Posted Sat, 17 Nov 2012 in Pregnancy
Answered by Dr. Asra Ishtiaq Ahmed 1 hour later
Hello there.

Thanks for writing.

There are many possibilities considering the symptoms you have given.
Some can be explained by physiological changes of pregnancy but before assuming it to be normal, you should rule out the serious ones like pre eclampsia.

Mild amount of heart burn is normal and is due to reflux of gastric(stomach)contents. This happens due to pressure on the stomach by gravid uterus which pushes up the stomach contents. Besides the cardiac sphincter is relaxed by effect of progesterone hormone which further increases reflux.

An increase in hormones particularly progesterone in pregnancy directly affects your lungs and stimulates the respiratory center in your brain. The number of breaths you take per minute actually changes very little but the amount of air you inhale and exhale with each breath increases significantly. This makes you slightly breathless.
Also as your growing uterus puts pressure on your diaphragm, your breathing might feel more labored.

The most important thing which needs to be ruled out in your case is raised blood pressure causing a condition called Pre eclampsia in pregnancy. This is manifested with raised blood pressure, headache, nausea, vomiting, swelling over body and face, upper abdominal pain with burning in chest (chest pain), visual disturbances like blurring or flashes of light or spots seen along with feeling of being generally unwell.

Even if your blood pressure was normal in the previous months, I would strongly recommend you to visit your obstetrician for an antenatal check up.
Estimation of urinary protein levels is also important in case your blood pressure is high.
Also if you did not get your hemoglobin tested for a long time, then you need to repeat it as low hemoglobin can also present with shortness of breath.

Do not avoid your symptoms. In pregnancy, you are the best to detect any changes in yourself or your baby. So if you perceive that you are not well , you should not ignore it.
Physiological changes which I have mentioned should be used as an explanation for your symptoms only when serious problems have been ruled out. This is possible only when you go for a physical examination to the doctor.

I hope I have answered your query.

Kindly revert back if any doubts remain.

Take care.
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