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Dr. David
Dr. David, Board Certified Physician
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I had shortness of breath and dizziness about a half hour

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I had shortness of breath and dizziness about a half hour after eating lunch. I ate the sandwich at work, vomited outside, and then left work early because I was starting to feel sick. While at home, I was breathing heavily for about three hours and my forearms were getting hard and tingly. My pulse and blood pressure were probably very high. I was close to calling emergency, but I chose not to. After the heavy breathing stopped, I drove to a walk-in clinic. They did an EKG and my heartbeat was sometimes irregular and my blood pressure was about 200 on systolic and I forgot the diastolic. My pulse was 140. The doctor gave me a blood pressure pill and an aspirin. They could not treat me any further and they recommended that I go to the hospital. They called for the fire-rescue and an ambulance came to get me. In the hospital, they gave me Lasix to lower my blood pressure and another drug to calm me because I had anxiety from having difficulty breathing. I had a chest X-ray and blood tests which showed nothing abnormal. The blood test confirmed that I did not have a heart attack. I did not stay overnight in the hospital because I did not want the cost to escalate. The next day, I was frequently vomiting and I was only drinking water since I was afraid to eat anything. Now, I only get shortness of breath and tightness in my throat if I am active for more than a few minutes. The following day (today), I went to work and worked almost eight hours, but had to leave early because I was getting shortness of breath and tightness in my throat towards the end of the day. I also had tension headaches, but they subsided when I was outside breathing fresh air. I am still sometimes throwing up, but nothing comes out because I am just drinking water and coconut water. I think I am making progress, but I am concerned about my health. I want to know what the cause of the shortness of breath and tightness in throat is likely from. I am overweight, but not obese. I don't exercise regularly, but I do walk around a lot at work and I do run 5K road races sometimes.
Hello, this is Dr. David. I have read your question and I'm ready to help.

I am sorry you have been through so much recently.

you could have several issues going on.

sometimes viral infections of the stomach can cause gastritis and inflammation of the stomach and bowels which can cause nausea and vomitting.

you need lung testing with a pulmonary function test to see if you have asthma. you could be having asthma attacks which can cause difficulty breathing. a pulmonary function test can see if you would benefit from a bronchodilator

another possibility is that you were having panic or anxiety attacks which can cause chest pain, high blood pressure, fast heart rate, chest pain, difficulty breathing, vomitting, all of these symptoms. if you have had a history of excessive anxiety or panic attacks before this could be another manifestation of excessive anxiety and panic you are having.

do you have a doctor you can see who can order pulmonary function testing to check for asthma?

do you have a history of excessive anxiety or worry or panic attacks in the past?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have had anxiety in the past, but never panic attacks. The hospital said I just had anxiety, but anyone would have anxiety if they had trouble breathing. I don't know if my doctor can check for asthma. I don't think I have it. I was able to run a 5K recently. I believe this is from the food I ate which was a turkey sandwich that was a day old in the refrigerator. The food from this restaurant was okay the day before. I ate it with no problem, but the leftovers affected me.

well, the old food could have definitely cause a viral infection or food poisoning which could have caused vomitting, nausea, abdominal pain, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure. usually food poisoning doesn't cause difficulty breathing or chest pain.

but the whole food poisoning episode could have cause anxiety and difficulty breathing.

hopefully this episode does not happen to you again and you don't get food poisoning like this again.

if you continue to have excessive anxiety symptoms in the future, you might benefit from anti-anxiety medications.

talk to your doctor about testing your lungs for asthma just to make sure.

keep up with the exercising and try to loose weight.

let me know if you have other questions.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Could it be gastrointestinal problem that is causing this because I am throwing up frequently? Also, I have sharp small pains in the back of my neck and tension headaches.

this could all still be from the food poisoning.

however, usually food poisoning symptoms get better after a week or two.

if you are still having your symptoms after 2 weeks, then more likely to be do to something else such as anxiety disorder or asthma or something else or stress.
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