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What causes shortness of breath in a patient with fibromyalgia?

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Posted on Thu, 13 Nov 2014
Question: I have Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndromes. When I am flared up my muscles burn and ache like I am working out (the muscles feel as though walking up stairs type burn). It is excruciating at times and just walking to the bathroom causes shortness of breath. Is the shortness of breath as normal in the flare up as the pain and fatigue?
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Answered by Dr. Erion Spaho (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Cause of shortness of breath should be checked

Detailed Answer:
Hi, I had gone through your question and understand your concerns. Shortness of breath is a rare symptom in Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue syndrome and the cause of it should be checked carefully. It might be caused by:
1. Affected muscles of chest wall ( pain doesn't let you take deep breaths).
2. An underlying cardiac disease (valvular insuficiency)
3. Anxiety or depression.
4. Upper airway resistant syndrome seen more in Fibromyalgia, but shortness of breath happens after moderate or high physical effort.
I suggest you to consult a Cardiologist to check for/ rule out any cardiac cause of shortness of breath. If there is not a cardiac cause, then it is related to primary disease or anxiety and treating better those should improve your shortness of breath. Hope this answers your question. Wish you good health. if you have further question, feel free to contact us.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
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Follow up: Dr. Erion Spaho (39 minutes later)
I see a cardiologist regularly. Just had an ECG, cardiac echo, and 24hr monitor. All normal. I only experience the SOB when flared up and in pain. Could it be the stress from the pain? Is that what you were talking about? My activity tolerance is decreasing. I try hard to not let that happen by walking, gentle swimming, stretching, meditation. If the SOB is from the stress (real or perceived) from the pain I would feel more comfortable with that being the case. My cardiologist just saw me last week and said that there is no cardiac issue for the SOB. I wanted to get another opinion.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Erion Spaho (17 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
In this case I think cause for SOB is stres.

Detailed Answer:
Hi again. Thanks for asking back and clearing some questions I had about your shortness of breath cause. Since there is no cardiac cause then shortness of breath that you experienced may be caused from anxiety or stress, lesser possibility is to be caused from Fibromyalgia affecting breathing muscles ( if the pain that you feel is in your chest wall or abdominal area during deep breaths). I recomend you a more positive stand towards your shortness of breath, since there is no cardiac cause. In my opinion possible cause of your SOB is anxiety or stress. Hope I' be been helpful.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
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Answered by
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Dr. Erion Spaho

Neurologist, Surgical

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 3912 Questions

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What causes shortness of breath in a patient with fibromyalgia?

Brief Answer: Cause of shortness of breath should be checked Detailed Answer: Hi, I had gone through your question and understand your concerns. Shortness of breath is a rare symptom in Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue syndrome and the cause of it should be checked carefully. It might be caused by: 1. Affected muscles of chest wall ( pain doesn't let you take deep breaths). 2. An underlying cardiac disease (valvular insuficiency) 3. Anxiety or depression. 4. Upper airway resistant syndrome seen more in Fibromyalgia, but shortness of breath happens after moderate or high physical effort. I suggest you to consult a Cardiologist to check for/ rule out any cardiac cause of shortness of breath. If there is not a cardiac cause, then it is related to primary disease or anxiety and treating better those should improve your shortness of breath. Hope this answers your question. Wish you good health. if you have further question, feel free to contact us.