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Shortness of breath upon exertion. Am I unfit or is it a complication of Hepatitis C? Have EBV, no heart problems.

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Practicing since : 2002
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I was diagnosed with hepatitis c, genotype 2b, about a year ago. I also have EBV. I am not on treatment. I have had an mvp for years and have noticed lately that I am slightly short of breath (no pain) when I chase my dog. I have not been exercising regularly and wonder if it is just that I am out of shape, or could it be a complication of the hep c? I do not have any previous heart problems, high cholesterol, or high triglycerides and I am not overweight. I am 52 years old.
Posted Sun, 6 May 2012 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 1 hour later
Hello and thank you for submitting your question.

Your question is a very good one and I work I'm providing you with some recommendations and information regarding what is going on.

First of all, let me say that I cannot believe the hepatitis C is causing the symptoms you are currently reporting. I am not certain that overall conditioning. The only way to really confirm this would be to visit with your physician.

Regarding the confirmation of what you are experiencing, there are several different things which could be done. The first thing which could be assessed is your hemoglobin. Any decrease in hemoglobin for one reason or another could cause a diminished exercise capacity. This is a simple blood test which is usually done on an annual basis with screening bloodwork. In addition, a general metabolic profile might be of assistance. This would give your doctor a good idea of your electrolyte balance as well kidney function. In addition, a liver profile would also be helpful to assess the status of the hepatitis and make sure that it is not in an active state causing problems with your liver function.

Perhaps one of the more helpful studies which could be performed especially in light of your history of mitral valve perhaps would be an echo cardiogram. This is an ultrasound test which looks at the anatomy of the heart including the valves as well as blood flow across the valves. This is a very sensitive test, can certainly determine if there is any limitation in your heart function which would explain diminished exercise capacity.

I thank you again for submitting your question. I really think that the most likely contributing factor is your level of conditioning but there are some other things which could be checked by your physician.

I hope my response has been helpful and informative. If you have any additional concerns, I would be happy to address them.


Dr. Robert.
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