View Full Version : shortness of breath

10-13-2006, 04:48 PM
i'm having shortness of breath, the doctor i saw yesterday wants me to see another doctor early next week, he's thinking the heart, i've had lupus for twelve years, i'm nervous about this does anyone have any advice ?
helen :(

10-13-2006, 09:48 PM
Hi Helen,

Is your doctor wanting you to see a cardiologist? When I was experiencing shortness of breath - I was diagnosed with pericarditis - an inflamation of the sac surrounding the heart. Ask lots of questions when you visit this new doctor next week; I have to write down questions before hand - because when I'm there, I forget :lol:

I'm sure Saysusie and others will share their experience, wisdom and knowledge with you. I know it's easier said than done; but please don't be anxious or worried. Neither emotion will help your lupus. When I was first diagnosed, I used to "freak out" with every diagnosis - lupus nephrisit, lupus pericarditis, cns lupus, etc., etc. So now, I replace the worry with learning. What is it I need to know to manage this symptom? There are so many wonderful people here who have provided me with reassurance that I am not alone in this "lupus journey"; and neither are you. We are all here to help. So any time you want to share, ask questions.....or even "vent"....we'll all be here for you.

You'll be in my prayers.....and let us know how your appointment went and how you're doing.

Take Care, Helen.

Much love,

10-14-2006, 04:23 AM
Helen, read my postings on pericardial effusion on the Lupus Symptoms page. I got some very helpful responses from others. (Like marycain!) I've been going through this for 5 months now. Please be sure to directly ask your doctor to explain all of the implications and your options. It can be serious, but I'm learning that there are treatments to prevent heart damage. I'll keep you in my prayers. Hope you find some answers.

10-15-2006, 08:17 AM
Please let us know how your doctor's visit went? Did you read Mnjodette's post? Browneyed girl gave you some indications as to why you might be experiencing shortness of breath: Pericarditis (which frequently has pericardal effusion). Another cause could be Myocarditis. Both are serious and should be treated right away. Here is some information about both:

Pericarditis: an inflammation of the thin sac that surrounds the heart. Warning signs include: chest pain, shortness of breath, and new or higher-than-usual fever. This condition occurs when antigen-antibody complexes-also known as immune complexes-are made during active lupus and cause inflammation within the pericardium. To help diagnose pericarditis, these tests may be ordered: blood tests, chest x-rays,
electrocardiogram (EKG), echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) to determine if there is fluid around the heart.
Lupus pericarditis can be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs. If anti-inflammatory drug therapy is unsuccessful, a brief course of corticosteroid treatment is usually needed. If pericarditis is due to infection or kidney failure, the treatment is different than if it is due to lupus.

Myocarditis: When lupus causes inflammation of the tissue of the heart, myocarditis occurs. However, serious heart muscle disease is not common in SLE. The symptoms are; unexplained rapid heart beat, irregular heart beat, abnormal electrocardiogram, heart failure. Myocarditis is often seen with inflammation of other muscles in the body, and this condition can lead to tissue damage that replaces heart tissue with scar tissue. Treatment usually includes corticosteroids such as prednisone. Immunosuppressive drugs such as Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide) and Imuran (azathioprine) may be added if the inflammation is not completely controlled with corticosteroids.

Please let us know how you are doing.
Peace and Blessings