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Is Shortness Of Breath A Symptom Of Menopause

Its Been A Learning Curve

Can Menopause Cause Shortness of Breath?

“When I first started taking my preventer inhaler I got a throat infection. It was so painful like swallowing glass. My GP recommended rinsing after using my preventer inhaler its now part of my routine and I havent had a problem since.

“I keep my preventer inhaler on the worktop in the kitchen – as the mother of 11 and 13-year-old sons, thats basically where I live! Seeing it there reminds me to take it.

“I now have three blue reliever inhalers: I keep one in my swim bag, one in my sports bag and one in my handbag. So I know, wherever I go, that I can ward off asthma symptoms if they come on.

“Im continuing to exercise a lot staying fit helps my asthma. Im training for an ultra-marathon to celebrate my 50th birthday later this year. It was a shock to be diagnosed with asthma in my late 40s, but now Im taking the right medication, I dont think having asthma is going to stop me doing anything.

Superior Vena Cava Syndrome

Superior vena cava syndrome is a serious condition that can cause swelling and discoloration in the face and neck.

The superior vena cava is a large vein that carries blood from the head, neck, and upper chest back to the heart. SVC syndrome occurs when this vein becomes obstructed.

The cause of this obstruction is often a tumor pressing against the vein, which can occur in someone with lung or breast cancer. However, there are other possible causes, including tuberculosis and a swollen thyroid.

Symptoms of SVC syndrome can develop gradually over time and may also include:

  • shortness of breath

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How Do Allergies Affect Lung Health

Asthma symptoms such as shortness of breath are closely related to allergies. Allergens such as ragweed, pollen, animal dander, or dust mites can trigger these symptoms. Irritants in the air like smoke, chemical fumes, strong odors, or extreme weather conditions can also be triggers. In more extreme cases, hypersensitivity pneumonitis can occur. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is an allergic reaction that causes inflammation in the lung tissue and the smallest airways.

At First I Was Diagnosed With Exercise

Pin on Menopause

“Im a receptionist at a gym Im fit and active. I run three times a week and do circuit classes. But not very long after my menopausal symptoms started, I noticed that if I ran in cold weather I was getting quite wheezy. At first, I put it down to being out of breath from the exercise. But then after a spin class, I couldnt stop coughing for about three hours and my chest was in agony.

“That happened three or four times and when I looked up the symptoms online, I thought I might have exercise-induced asthma.

“My GP agreed and gave me a prescription for a blue reliever inhaler. She showed me how to use it and told me to take two puffs before exercise and afterwards if I needed it. She also told me to wear a buff over my mouth and nose when I was running to warm up the air before breathing it in.”

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When To See A Specialist About Your Asthma

Asthma is not always easy to diagnose, Fineman says, but you should see your doctor if youre having repeated episodes of wheezing and coughing or shortness of breath. If youre diagnosed with the condition, work with your doctor to develop an asthma management and action plan.

Although your primary care doctor may be able to diagnose and treat your asthma, if your symptoms dont respond to a first-line therapy of inhaled and short-acting bronchodilators, Asciuto recommends that you see a lung specialist or allergy and asthma specialist.

Can Menopause Cause Shortness Of Breath

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See more resultsThis alarming symptom can also be harmless, shortness of breath, even with low physical activity, but also in those who smoke or are overweight.The decline in lung function may cause an increase in shortness of breath, investigators from the University of Bergen analyzed data from 1, If the tumor is large, New research from Norway suggests that lung function in women can decline during and after menopause and that the change can lead to shortness of breath, I will, Doctors tell me it is anxiety, Possible Causes of Heart Palpitations and Shortness of BreathOne of the many symptoms to be on the lookout for after exposure to the virus that causes a COVID-19 infection is shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, hoarseness or voice change.

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Lesser Known Menopause Symptoms

You always knew menopause would happen. You may have even looked forward to getting rid of those bulky pads, contraceptive devices, and tampons youve been using. You expected some hot flashes and maybe a few cranky days, but assumed those probably wouldnt be much worse than getting through a long summer heat wave and then it would be all over. What you possibly didnt know is that there are countless other symptoms that science is constantly learning about regarding the menopausal process.

If youre between the ages of 40 and 65 and in some cases even a bit younger you may be suffering with those very symptoms right now. Your body begins to change several years before menopause actually takes place, during the period known as perimenopause. This is the time when periods start to become irregular, along with some other unwelcome physical and emotional developments that you never anticipated.

Study Links Menopause To Lung Function Decline In Women

Air hunger in menopause. Tips for easing shortness of breath in perimenopause/Causes.

Menopausal women experience a decline in lung function similar to smoking 20 cigarettes a day for a decade, according to new research from Norway.

The study, Menopause is Associated with Accelerated Lung Function Decline, was published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Menopause leads to alterations in sex hormones, which have an impact on immunity, inflammation, and osteoporosis, and may even impair lung function. However, lung function decline remains a critical matter to be examined in relation to menopause.

Now, Kai Triebner from the Department of Clinical Science at the University of Bergen in Norway and colleagues examined whether lung function decline, assessed through forced vital capacity and forced expiratory volume in one second, is accelerated in women who go through menopause.

Researchers used data from the population-based longitudinal European Community Respiratory Health Survey. Data was collected from serum samples, spirometry, and questionnaires about respiratory and reproductive health from three study waves in 1,438 women in different stages of menopause.

The team found that menopausal status was associated with accelerated lung function decline, equivalent to smoking 20 cigarettes every day for a decade, and the decline in lung size was equivalent to smoking 20 cigarettes a day for two years.

Women and their doctors should be aware that lung function might decline during and after they have transitioned to menopause.

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Can A Woman Have A Heart Attack Without Chest Pressure

Although men and women can experience chest pressure that feels like an elephant sitting across the chest, women can experience a heart attack without chest pressure, said Nieca Goldberg, M.D., medical director for the Joan H. Tisch Center for Womens Health at NYUs Langone Medical Center and an American Heart Association volunteer.

Does Menopause Cause Shortness Of Breath

Im a 60-year-old woman. Im often short of breath and have heard that this can be due to menopause. Is that true? What else could it be?

Andrew Weil, M.D. | March 24, 2017

It is possible. New research from Norway suggests that lung function in women can decline during and after menopause and that the change can lead to shortness of breath, even with low physical activity. To reach this conclusion, investigators from the University of Bergen analyzed data from 1,438 women participating in the European Community Respiratory Health Survey who were tracked for 20 years. None of the women were menopausal when the study began at the time they ranged in age from 25 to 48.

The researchers reported that menopause appeared to affect the womens forced vital capacity, a measure of how much breath can be taken in and exhaled, and their forced expiratory volume in one second , a measure of how much air can be forcefully exhaled in that time. Both measurements declined during the menopausal transition and afterward. The researchers described the change as beyond what would be seen with normal aging. However, the study doesnt prove that menopause caused the change it just reveals an association.

The shortness of breath youve been experiencing may be related to menopause or age, or both. But there is a long list of other possible causes including obesity and simply being out of shape. See your doctor to make sure you have no serious underlying medical problem.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

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Vaginal Bleeding After Menopause

Menopause occurs in middle age when your body stops ovulating. This causes you to stop having monthly menstrual cycles. Menopause refers to the time when your menstrual periods have stopped for at least a year.

After menopause, some women continue to experience symptoms such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness. But if you have vaginal bleeding after menopause, see your doctor as soon as possible. Vaginal bleeding after menopause is never normal. It could be a sign of a serious health problem, including:

  • uterine fibroids

A Quick Success Story About Sore Breathing Muscles

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I once developed a sharp pain in the side of my neck when I coughed or sneezed. It was clearly a muscular pain,12 specifically of the scalenes muscle group that kick in when you breathe hard. If I took a really deep breath, I could feel it a little too but it was mostly only clear when I coughed or sneezed.

Until I went for a run.

After a few minutes of huffing and puffing, that pain started up. I also felt distinctly short of breath, despite being generally quite fit. The pain was like a stitch in my side, but in my neck, and I was not getting full breaths. I realized I was barely using my diaphragm to breathe, and so my scalenes were working overtime to make up the difference and hurting and failing. I started using my diaphragm again and the pain steadily eased even though I kept running.

Not only was the pain clearly caused by over-using my scalenes while breathing, but I was able to fix a fairly significant pain problem without stopping my workout just by breathing differently. Thats a good, clear example of the easiest kind of breathing trouble to fix. What was going on?

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Symptoms Of Menopause Chest Pain

Symptoms associated with cardiac chest pain during menopause include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Pressure, tightness, or fullness in the chest
  • Pain that worsens with activity or comes and goes, varying in intensity

Depending on its cause, a few commonly reported symptoms associated with non-cardiac chest pain are:

  • A sour taste or sensation of food re-entering the mouth
  • Trouble swallowing
  • A pain that increases with deep breathing or coughing
  • Pain that persists for hours upon end
  • Pain that improves or worsens when changing body positions
  • A feeling of tenderness when the chest is pushed or touched

It is important that women who experience any kind of chest pain seek help immediately for appropriate diagnostic testing in order to rule out life-threatening causes.

What Causes Acute Dyspnea Or Shortness Of Breath

Factors that may cause acute shortness of breath include:

  • Allergies: People often feel short of breath during an allergic reaction.
  • Anxiety: Anxiety can cause hyperventilation .
  • Choking: A blockage in your throat can make it difficult for air to move in and out of your lungs. Inhaling food or an object into your lungs also blocks airflow.
  • Pulmonary embolism: This happens when you have a blood clot in your lungs. This condition is a medical emergency.
  • Heart attack: A blockage that stops blood flow to the heart can cause frightening breathlessness. If you notice this symptom along with other heart attack symptoms, call 911.
  • Infection: An infection like bronchitis or pneumonia may produce mucous that blocks airflow to parts of the lungs. This can interfere with oxygen diffusion to the blood.
  • Injury: A broken rib can make breathing painful and difficult. Bleeding and anemia can lower the number of red blood cells, which lessens the amount of oxygen carried in the blood.
  • Medication: Certain medicines can cause a tight feeling in the chest. Statins and beta blockers given for hypertension in asthmatic individuals may cause this symptom.
  • Extreme temperatures. Being very hot or very cold can make you feel like you are having trouble breathing.

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The Quality Of The Sensation And What It Might Mean

Many things contribute to a sensation of shortness of breath,7 and the symptom breaks down into three messily overlapping qualities, which are interesting but dont tell us much about whats going on, just a couple rough clues:

  • Effort: a sensation of excessive work or effort to breathe, like breathing is just a slog. It is loosely associated with impairment of the muscular function and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease .
  • Tightness: feeling tight may involve actual contstriction of airways as would occur in the early stages of an asthma attack . However, tightness can also be caused by actual spasticity of respiratory muscles, which could be ordinary muscle pain or more serious, like the infamous squeezing hug of multiple sclerosis.
  • Air hunger: the most complex sensation, unsatisfied inspiration is described by patients in many ways, like starved for air or my breaths feel too small. Of the treatable causes, it is most clearly associated with anxiety. Although it sure doesnt feel like it, it can occur without any actual loss of respiratory capacity.

Why Do Women Have Chest Pain With No Chest Pain

Are you breathing properly during menopause?

They may have pain with exertion in their back, jaw or arm with no chest pain. They might have nausea and indigestion, says Michos. These women should be evaluated for microvascular angina. Microvascular angina can occur when the hearts tiniest arteries are not able to supply enough oxygen-rich blood due to spasm or cellular dysfunction.

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What Can You Do About Trigger Points That Might Be Interfering With Respiration

Muscle trigger points are unpredictable and mysterious: exactly what they are and how to treat them is controversial. Sometimes they seem to melt as easily as ice cream in the sun, and so the first thing to try is just a little simple self-massage, or a warm bath, or both. The problem could be solved by a self-treatment as simple as digging with your thumbs into some aching muscles between your ribs. Voila no more shortness of breath! Ive seen it go like that many times, and even experienced it myself

My story: I am generally prone to muscle pain, and one of the most persistent specific challenges Ive had is with breathing pain not shortness of breath in my case, but breathing limited by pain. For about twenty years, I had routine episodes of strong pain that choked off my breath. Once every few days, I would be nearly paralyzed by it for several minutes, and sometimes nightmarish episodes of an hour or more. The pain would ease when I relaxed for long enough but its hard to relax when you cant breathe.

I recovered! I experimented with self-massage of my intercostals, discovered that I could easily stop any attack of this pain within a minute just by rubbing between the ribs near the pain.11 It was a revelation. Ive probably never been so happy to learn anything! Over a year or two, I massaged my intercostals regularly until I stopped having these episodes at all, and that benefit has now persisted for many years.

Treatment For Pollen Allergies

A direct way to manage pollen allergies is to reduce your exposure to pollens. Pollen counts are published in the media and can help you to plan to avoid exposure.Tips to reduce your exposure to pollen include:

  • stay indoors in the morning, if possible grass pollens mainly circulate in the morning
  • avoid mowing the grass or wear a mask if you do stay indoors when grass is being mowed
  • keep windows closed in your home and car
  • avoid picnics in parks or in the country during the pollen season
  • wear sunglasses to protect your eyes
  • plant a low-allergy garden around your home, especially near the windows of your home.

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Shortness Of Breath Is Yet Another Strange Symptom Of Menopause That You May Experience During This Time Of Your Life

Falling hormones can lead to shortness of breath, which is usually a manifestation of an anxiety or panic attack. Take note that shortness of breath caused by lung or heart issues is not necessarily brought on by menopause. If you have a pre-existing cardiac issue, you may notice that it gets worse during menopause. Thats because estrogen is super important to your cardiovascular health. It keeps your blood vessels elastic so your heart doesnt have to work as hard. As estrogen declines through menopause, it does affect the way your heart functions. In some cases, this may lead to arrhythmias like atrial fibrillation. Which may give you an experience of shortness of breath.


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