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Shortness of breath with chest pain, feeling light headed and loss of balance. Cause and cure?

Answered by
Dr. Ashish Mittal


Practicing since :2004

Answered : 1856 Questions

Posted on Wed, 16 Jan 2013 in General Health
Question: questions about the fallowing symptoms i have had heart palpations for a few years now but i didn't think anything of it till a few weeks ago when i was showering all of a sudden i felt like i was holding my breath no matter how deeply i breathed. When i had the attack of not being able to breath i had a squeezing pain in my chest and felt as if i was going to pass out. before the attack i had nothing wrong but the palpations now i have all these other symptoms and the palpations are happening more often then before. I get chills or get a shaky feeling in my chest for no reason it feels like shivering but im not cold. I feel weaker than before. Im gaining weight i was steady at about 175 but iv when up to about 181 in just 2 weeks. Iv always had trouble focusing but now its worst. I cant keep my days straight, its hard to think, and i get confused easy. Before the attack was able to hold my breath for about 30-45 seconds now i can bearly make 15. I get breathless with the lest of active even talking sometimes. My chest feels tight like its full of water iv had light chest pain in the last few days, the other night i had a sharp stabbing pain in my heart while i was in bed. when standing from a sitting position i get slightly light headed, dizzy, and have a loss of balance. The light head XXXXXXX and dizziness usually go way in about a minute but the balance issue is there still. i have been getting a breakout of pimples. i have more headaches then before they can last any where from a few seconds like quick stabbing pains or can last for hours but they still feel the same, they are on the front sides of my head or right behind my eyes rarely at the back of my head. I have had hiccups a lot lately. My scalp is more tender than usual and im loosing more hair than mostly. Sometimes my words are slurred or run togeather. I have light belly and chest pain. On occasion a light dry cough. decrease in hunger but still gaining weight. i have a stethoscope and i was lissening to my heart then compared it to my brothers and mine sounded almost like it had an echo. When something surprises me i get a funny hot/cold feeling in my heart like i put bengay on and stood in front of a heater. all execpt the last one and the paltations just started after the attack of not being able to breath
Answered by Dr. Ashish Mittal 8 hours later
Thanks for your query.

I appreciate your efforts for medical consultation in so much distress.

You case is interesting and but difficult too due to multiple symptoms which may occur due to pathology in several body system like psychological, cardiac, respiratory and muscular. I will try to give my best effort to help you in this problem.

I would like to consider multiple possibilities in following hierarchy, which need to be investigated:
•     Anxiety disorder: need to be rule out by detailed interview by psychiatrist. Your symptoms appear to be of generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder which can explain most of your symptoms. In panic attack person usually get severe attack, like you have described above. Other symptoms of anxiety which may or may not be present in your case: nervousness, restlessness, mild irritability, excessive worry regarding own health, tremor, muscle spasm (lead to chest pain and tightness), difficulty in breathing (choking sensation), heaviness in body, easy fatigability, headache, sleep disturbance, palpitation and dry mouth.
•     Cardiac problem: You may need investigation like EKG and 2D-Echo to rule out problem.
•     Respiratory illness: You may need chest X XXXXXXX and spirometry to rule out respiratory problem.
•     Vitamin deficiency: Get serum B12 level. Start multi vitamins as they are easily available.
•     Side effect of substance use (stop if present)
•     Thyroid related problem: get thyroid hormonal assay done

I hope this information has been both informative and helpful for you. In case of any doubt, I will be available for follow ups.

Wish you good health.
Dr Ashish XXXXXXX Mittal

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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