I get shortness of breath a lot--sometimes due to pleurisy, sometimes due to my heart malfunctioning. If you are feeling this, and it's more than just a little bothersome, get to the doctor and have it checked out.
Once I had it, and didn't realize I had full-blown pneumonia AND a ruptured disk in my back--right behind my lungs. I didn't even think it was a big enough deal to go to the doc, but my hubby made me go.
Of course, if you're feeling tense or stressed about "stuff", that could cause it, too.
It's probably nothing, but you'll feel better knowing.
Shortness of breath may be a sign or symptom of heart or lung involvement with Lupus. You may experience chest pain (sometimes on deep breathing-in), shortness of breath, cough, and ankle swelling. The most common features, when lupus involves the heart or the lungs, are in the linings of these organs, the pleura and pericardium. These organs become inflammed causing pleurisy (lungs) and pericarditis (heart).
THE LUNGS: Lupus commonly affects the lungs and has been reported in half of all patients with lupus. There are a couple of ways that Lupus affects the lungs. 1) Pleurisy - This is a disorder of the lining of the lung (pleura) and is the most common manifestation of lung involvement in lupus. It is inflammation in the lining of the lung and causes a type of chest pain characterised by sharpness, which is worsened by breathing in. When the pleura becomes inflamed then fluid may collect, normally in small volumes.
Treatment are non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), but small doses of oral steroid tablets (Prednisolone) are sometimes required to effectively relieve the pain and reduce the inflammation.
Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus frequently have inflamed heart tissue, and as a result have a rapid pulse. This racing of the heart or tachycardia, is common in the disorder and is managed with anti-inflammatory therapies.
The pericardium is a protective lining that surrounds the heart. Pericarditis is an inflammation of the pericardium. Most patients suffering from systemic lupus erythematosus develop secondary heart disease at some time during the course of the primary illness. The most common forms of this type of heart disease are acute fibrinous pericarditis and ypertension.
This condition occurs when antigen-antibody complexes-also known as immune complexes-are made during active lupus and cause inflammation within the pericardium. The symptoms are: Sharp chest pain that can change with changes in the body's position and frequently may be relieved by leaning forward slightly; this chest pain may feel like a heart attack and shortness of breath.
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.
I hope that I've answered your question. Let me know if you need any more information!
Peace and Blessings
shortness of breath
My breath is so short lately that I have a very difficult time finishing sentences. My husband recently made the comment that I talk like a very old woman. I have to wait until July 13 to see the rheumy, and this symptom has me worried. I often have a pain in my chest,especially after a long hard day of school. Also, every time I take a deep breath, I have a dry, "hacking" little cough. I've been doing this ever since I got over bronchitis in March, so I had thought that it was a remnant of the bronchitis. Is this more serious than I thought?
Marla, you should definitely check with your primary care doctor or your rheumie and be seen. Shortness of breath should always be evaluated by a doctor to make sure it is nothing serious. And if you are taking prednisone or immunesuppressants, it's especially important, because they can make you more vulnerable to possible lung infections.
Marla, I agree with Marycain--you should get yourself to a doctor earlier than July 13th.
Why not opt for an urgent care or different doctor?
Please, you shouldn't wait... It could be serious, or it could be not serious--but you need to know either way.