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Family Physician
Family Physician, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 12816
Experience:  Emergency Medicine and Family Practice for over 26 years
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I am extremely tired all the time, with shortness of breath

Customer Question

I am extremely tired all the time, with shortness of breath and a strained feeling in my chest and stomach, which seems to make me feel exhausted. I have slight tummy trouble, light headedness and lack of appetite quite frequently and I am constantly aware of my heart beating. I also seem to feel extremely depressed and lacking totally in energy.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. M. Lahkar replied 9 years ago.
Hello Alison,

You are likely having the Chronic fatigue syndrome if you are not having hypertension, diabetes,hypothyroidism or anemia. The disorder is marked by chronic mental and physical exhaustion, often severe, and by other specific symptoms, arising in previously healthy and active persons. Most diagnostic criteria insist that the symptoms must be present for at least six months, and all insist on there being no other cause for them: i.e. the symptoms must be unknown, not caused by other medical conditions.(as I have mentoned above). The symptoms may be muscle weakness, digestive disturbance, cardiac and respiratory disease, depression, hypersensitivity etc.
Read up here
I suggest that you consult a specialist(medicine/cardiology) for a proper treatment.

I hope my answer is helpful to you.Please press the GREEN ACCEPT button to accept my answer and a positive feedback from you will be an added bonus for me.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Dr. Sandra's Post: What are the main symptoms of the other things that you mention apart from CFS? Is it possible there is anything wrong with my heart?
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I should mention that I am under a lot of stress all the time. I have an 11 year old son who suffers from Asperger's Syndrome and who is extremely hyperactive and aggressive. I have frequent physical battles with him because he lashes out at me all the time, and this leaves me feeling utterly exhausted, and I am worried that this might be putting a strain on my heart. I just feel so tired all the time.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Hi, I haven't accepted yet as I replied twice with more information and I haven't received your response yet.
Expert:  Family Physician replied 9 years ago.
I'm sorry that the other expert has not answered you follow up questions - I will be happy to help you:

First let me say that I'm sorry to hear that you are having these problems with your son. This condition is (as you know), often very disruptive to family life, and places exceptional levels of stress on parents.

There are a number of conditions which can cause fatigue including thyroid problems, anemia (low iron) and depression. The symptoms of each of these conditions are rather non-specific and testing by your GP should be able to determine if you have any of these conditions.

Based on the totality of the information that you have presented, I would tend to suspect depression.

Please make an appointment with your GP for a physical examination and some testing. If depression is found to be the cause, a combination of counseling and antidepressant medications would likely be effective in resolving these symptoms.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Would depression cause me to have this strained feeling in my chest and shortness of breath all the time. My chest bones and muscles and upper stomach area actually hurt to press, and I feel as if I am not getting enough oxygen.
Expert:  Dr. M. Lahkar replied 9 years ago.
Hello Alison, I was away due to personal reasons and so I couldnt reply your queries.
I donot aggree with this expert and I think that your symptoms may be due to heart disease .Chronic fatigue syndrome is very difficult to differentiate from heart disease. The symptoms of heat disease varies with the cause but there are certain symptoms that are common to all like chest pain, breathlessness or shortness of breath, fatigue, light-headedness or fainting, swelling in the legs or ankles etc. But these are general symptoms, and shortness of breath may also be seen with respiratory tract diseases. If you have some doubt about heart disaese, you may consult a cardiologist and do some basic tests like ECG(electrocardiography) which will say if you really have a heart disease after all. I hope you are satisfied with my answer this time.

I hope my answer is helpful to you.Please press the GREEN ACCEPT button to accept my answer and a positive feedback from you will be an added bonus for me.
Expert:  Family Physician replied 9 years ago.
Depression can indeed cause many of these symptoms including shortness. The pain that you describe in the chest "my chest bones and upper stomach area actually hurt to press" - is more consistent with a musculoskelatal problem such as costochondritis (an inflammed joint where the rib meets the breastbone)

As I said - you need to see your GP as soon as possible to have these symptoms investigated, have a complete physical examination and some testing to determine the cause of the symptoms. NOBODY is going to be able to make a definitive diagnosis over the internet.