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Conditions that can cause shortness of breath

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I am a physically active 29 year old man who goes to the gym to work out 4 times a week. My routines vary, but I do free weights, machines, and regular cardio on the bike and treadmill. I feel that I have good stamina and never have any problems with my work outs. I am able to walk up 4 floors to my office without breaking a sweat. I eat well and my doctor tells me that my cholesterol level is well below the average. My problem is that for the past year I have had some episodes of shortness of breath that appear to come out of the blue. It usually happens when I am up walking about, but I have also experienced it while sitting reading a magazine. During these spells, it really seems like I could use some extra air or oxygen like the football players get. I really have trouble catching my breath. After 10 or 15 minutes, my symptoms get better and I am back to my normal self. One of my co-workers suggested that my symptoms were like those he has when he has an asthma attack. H

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replied March 25th, 2010
Lungs and Respiratory Disorders Answer A10930
Hi and welcome to the forum! I am glad that I can help you.

You would like to know the cause of the symptoms that you experience.

There are several conditions that are characterized with shortness of breath. They are divided into two groups depending on the organ that is affected. They can be due to heart or lung issues. In asthma, individuals experience shortness of breath and difficulties with breathing due to experiencing trapped air in the lungs. Sometimes panic attacks may be presented with shortness of breath.

Given the data that you provided, you may or may not be experiencing asthma. You may consider having an ECG and a coronary stress test to rule out any underlying heart condition. You may need to have the peak air flow measured and to provide allergy tests to rule out asthma. You also may consider taking vitamins from B-complex if both of the results came back negative.

Please keep in mind that I provide medical information only. I am not able to diagnose medical conditions online. Please contact your doctor for further advice and information about diagnosis and treatment options for your current condition.

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