Breathlessness

steve stacey

Novice Member
Hi All

Try to keep this short. Am 62, no major health issues. (Antidepressants and bp meds-ironically bp is caused by one of the ADs😡)

After years of couch potato, I started the C25K prog about ten years ago. Was a struggle, but reached a level where I could do the 5k “reasonably comfortably”. Rarely extended distance or tried to run same distance faster.

After a few years found running same distance increasingly difficult. Main symptom breathlessness/catching breath. I tried everything and had battery of med tests. (Chest X-ray, ECG, Echo, Peak flow, lung efficiency) All negative. Fast forward to now. Joined local gym, and go most days. Can do 10k on bike, but can now only walk on treadmill for about 20mins. (Struggling to go at 6k per hour)

There’s no pain, just this awful breathless sensation emanating from chest. This situation is v frustrating. Couldn’t have kick around with son, having to go in goals etc.

Final point-I am over-weight. (5ft 6 and 13 st) Most of this belly fat. In addition to the mild anxiety/depression, I also have fibromyalgia in both lower legs. (Mainly stiffness and numbness) I had an MRI two years ago-found some stenosis in spine and impingement of nerves.

Are there any clues in what I’ve described? No point going to GP, as all negative.

I can’t help thinking it’s the meds. (On and off for 20 odd years) Frustrating thing is everyone recommends exercise to deal with mental health issues.

Any pearls of wisdom much appreciated. Thanks for your time.
 

psychopomp1

Member
I can’t help thinking it’s the meds. (On and off for 20 odd years) Frustrating thing is everyone recommends exercise to deal with mental health issues.
I think you may have answered your own question. Also worth mentioning being overweight/obese can have massive health implications, especially as you get older. My suggestion would be to lose weight, which obviously needs to be done with excercise/diet. Once you lose weight you may find you can reduce the AD dosage (or even come off them altogether), you may then find that regular cardio exercise keeps your mental health in check - therefore no need for ADs anymore. Trust me, going on meds should be your last resort!
 
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steve stacey

Novice Member
Thanks. I don’t want to dwell on my AD history. That wasn’t the purpose of the post. However, you need to know that I tried to “survive” for about 15 months. I used supplements, CBT, mindfulness, meditation, everything. Nothing worked. For whatever reason, long term affect on neurotransmitters has sort of fried my brain. I had to reinstate about six months ago. Not great, but much better than before,

Despite that, I see many in the boat seemingly able to use exercise to improve their physical and mental health.

Weight-comments noted. However. 13st isn’t exacly obsess, is it? Again, I see many heavier folk plodding around the local park seemingly more comfortably.
 

Judge Mental

Well-known Member
Remember that you are ten years older than you were when you previously did the C25k and although not obese the excess weight will have an effect on your fitness. You can’t compare yourself to anyone else. Can you do lower impact exercise such as swimming or a spinning class to improve your general fitness and aerobic capacity? I would certainly try losing some weight, its certainly made aerobic exercise more bearable for me.
 

Graham27

Well-known Member
I’m in a similar boat. Went to the doc as I feel breathless sometimes but everything tested ok. I take sertraline. I’d have said I was much less fit 15 years ago when I was running a 5k in 20 mins, whereas now it’s nearly 30.

I think 13st at your height is a wee bit overweight, depending on your build. I’m 6’2” and 12st6 and that’s technically ideal for my height, but I’m stilll carrying too much body fat and too little muscle. Im a typical ectomorph body type with a poor diet and too much stress. Skinny fat people like me can have poor fitness even though they look slim-ish.

I worried too much, ate too much and moved too little during this pandemic, and it had a massive effect on my mental health. Getting back into exercise has helped hugely. Even just seeing the numbers on the scales dropping is a bit of a boost. Getting better results at the exercises I’m doing is helpful too.
 

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