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Breathlessness - 'functional' anaemia?

3 watchers
Oct 2016
1:20pm, 6 Oct 2016
First-time poster!!
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Legion42
Hi everyone. I've just joined having found the site whilst searching for an answer to my on-going breathlessness, which has got so bad that I'm now virtually not running at all. :'( I found this thread: http://www.fetcheveryone.com/forum__45618__1__can_low_ferritin_levels_explain_breathlessness which seems to cover a very similar issue. Personally, my ferritin is good and B12 and folate are also good. There was some mention on the other thread of a functional deficiency, but I don't know how you would go about finding/confirming this? I'm hoping someone here has some ideas.

A (brief-ish) history of running and breathlessness: I started running for the first time ever in summer 2012, terribly overweight (undiagnosed hypothyroidism). I followed the couch to 5K programme and became hooked on running. Over the next couple of years I gradually increased my distance and lost 2-3 stone, and was running three times a week, with a couple of 5Ks and a LSR (up to 10K) at the weekend. My speed increased slightly, but I've never got much faster, whilst my peers seemed to go from strength to strength, and leave me in their dust. :-( Over the winter of 2013-14 I noticed my breathing was a little harder, but not significant enough to curtail running, and I blamed it on the cold weather. My real problems started around May/June 2014. I decided to take part in a Run Streak, running every day (only a mile or so on most days, usual runs on others). About a week in I came down with some virus and was feeling really rough, and the runs were getting harder. I gave up the streak after about 11-12 days as I felt awful and I didn't seem to be recovering. The virus eventually cleared up and I 'got back to normal', except that when I ran my chest hurt, it was a bit harder to breathe, and my heart rate started going very high, even running downhill! I went to the docs, suspecting a chest infection, but it was clear. They checked me for asthma and for heart problems, but nothing. The high HR seemed to go away after a few months, but my breathing (often accompanied by chest pain) got worse. Roll on to October 2015, and by now I was suffering a low HR (it dropped to under 50 during a race!) and the breathlessness still hadn't gone. By now I was on levothyroxine for hypothyroidism and had started taking B12 supplements as my B12 had been low (but 'in range'). My breathlessness seemed to improve while on the supplements, but any effort (uphill or trying to go faster) made it worse. In April 2016 I decided to start again from square one, and stopped the B12 supplements. Over the following months, my breathlessness got worse again, and now even small activities (eg. walking up a slight hill) makes me breathless. I am running very little, and missing it desperately. I just want to get back to normal and to run. Really looking for any advice regarding causes/treatments and where to go next.
MH
Oct 2016
1:50pm, 6 Oct 2016
422 posts
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MH
I'm sorry to hear that you are struggling. I'll throw this out there, being very aware that this could be way off the mark, is it possible you could have everyday hyperventilation syndrome? (different to sudden hyperventilation and harder to detect)
Oct 2016
2:19pm, 6 Oct 2016
34618 posts
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Velociraptor
That is very much Not OK. I'm not going to start lobbing long-range diagnoses at you and there are any number of things that could be causing your symptoms. Go back to your GP and spell out in words of one syllable just how incapacitated you are by your breathlessness.

If your haemoglobin and haematinic levels are normal, it's not any sort of anaemia.
Oct 2016
3:15pm, 6 Oct 2016
11263 posts
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SODIron © 2002
totally agree with @Velociraptor....having had suffered previously it's doesn't sound like anaemia to me. Go back to your GP...

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Hi everyone. I've just joined having found the site whilst searching for an answer to my on-going b...

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