Reasons for Shortness of Breath & Fatigue

Shortness of breath can be caused by lung disorders--infections, asthma or allergies--or a disorder of the respiratory muscles or nervous system. Weakness and fatigue is usually caused by inefficient blood flow to the heart muscles as a result of the heart not pumping as it should. A few reasons for fatigue caused by shortness of breath follow, but it is not a comprehensive list. Seek medical attention as needed.

  1. Heart Disorder

    • Diagnostic procedures can be helpful in diagnosing a heart disorder, whether or not an individual has symptoms. Routine health checkups and doctor's visits may uncover a nonsymptomatic heart disorder. Symptoms, if they surface, may include certain types of pain or angina, shortness of breath, fatigue, irregular heartbeats, light-headedness, fainting and swelling of the extremities.

    Lung and Respiratory Disease

    • Respiratory disorders are ailments such as asthma, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), pneumonia, tuberculosis and lung cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) nearly 121,000 Americans die of lung disease annually. Lung disease is the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States and the No.1 cause of death in infants.

    Overexertion

    • Symptoms of overexertion can include the following: shortness of breath that makes it hard to talk; shortness of breath that does not get better with decreased or stopped activity; dizziness or lightheadedness; chest pain or tightness in the surrounding extremities and face and neck areas; irregular heart rate; extreme fatigue; severe sweating, nausea and vomiting.

    For Women Only: Perimenopause

    • Perimenopause is a menopause transition that usually occurs in women who are in their 30s and 40s. It is the stage of life when a woman's reproductive life slows down and begins to cease functioning. The ovaries begin to produce less and less estrogen. Some symptoms of perimenopause are hot flashes, breast tenderness, worsening of premenstrual syndrome, decreased sex drive, fatigue, urine leakage when coughing or sneezing, mood swings and difficulty sleeping.

    Low Energy or Fibromyalgia

    • Thyroid disease is a common cause of fatigue and energy problems, especially in women. Fibromyalgia syndrome affects muscles and soft tissue. Symptoms include chronic pain, fatigue, insomnia and painful, tender points on certain parts of the body. Its symptoms are relieved by medications, daily lifestyle changes, stress management like deep breathing, yoga, meditation and other treatments as prescribed.

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