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Perimenopausal with shortness of breath and feeling of fullness

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I am a 52 year old female who has been experiencing shortness of breath and feelings of fullness for a year and a half now. When these symptoms appeared last May, I went to an OB/GYN because I knew I was transitioning into menopause due to irregular periods. He did a CBC blood profile and everything was good except my hormone level was raised. He believed my symptoms were a result of transitioning into menopause. This year in July, I began having sever pain in my left ovary and returned to my GYN. He became concerned I had ovarian cancer due to the constant full feeling at that point and we did a radical hysterectomy. Thankfully, no cancer was present, and both he and I were fairly certain the feelings of fullness and shortness of breath would disappear after the surgery. The first 2 weeks after surgery, I did have some shortness of breath when trying to walk but figured it was normal but I had no feelings of fullness. I was happy. On Labor Day, both the shortness of breath and the feeling full all the time came back. I feel just like I did before the surgery. I don't know what type of doctor I should see next. I know menopause can cause shortness of breath and bloating but these symptoms have persisted--almost every single day--for a year and a half. Any suggestions on what it might be and what type of doctor I should see next? I have OAB and take 40 mg of Sanctura every night but I have been taking that since 2008, so I doubt that is playing a role in this problem. I also take 600 mg of magnesium due to the constipation caused by the Sanctura but take nothing else.

Category: OBGYN

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Category: Infertility Specialist
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Thanks for your query at DoctorSpring

I think the most likely reason for your symptoms is menopause.
Yes, you have been experiencing shortness of breath and bloating for a year and a half , but the symptoms can start out while you are in the peri menopausal transition period, which starts upto a year before actual menopause sets in.

The raised hormone levels corroborate the fact that you were into peri menopause.

You should first see a Cardiologist, since you cannot neglect these two symptoms which just MIGHT herald an undiagnosed heart or lung condition.
A complete blood count, thyroid function test, liver and renal profile, lipid profile, EKG ( electrocardiogram ) , Chest X ray should be done so that any pathology in the heart or lung is excluded.

Once that is confirmed, the diagnosis is menopausal symptoms.
Cutting back on dairy products, indulging in yoga and exercise regularly will help.
Dressing loose, layered garments is advisable.
Reduce smoking / alcohol / caffeine consumption.
Acupuncture, ginger, green tea, vitamin E, soya milk etc are supposed to help but the ONLY scientific medication that would help you is HRT ( hormone replacement therapy ).
If the symptoms are severe enough to trouble you with everyday living, I strongly recommend consulting your OBGYN for a prescription for HRT and taking it for a few months to see if it helps.

All the best.
Please feel free to ask any further follow up questions.

Dr. Aarti Vazirani
Category: Infertility Specialist
Residency: Obstetrics & Gynecolog, BJMC,Civil hospital, Ahmedabad, 2008
Post Graduate: MS (Obstetrics & Gynecology), B.J. Medical College, Ahmedabad, 2008
Medical School: MBBS, B.J. Medical College, Ahmedabad, 2004
Dr. Aarti Vazirani and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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