When you run for a quarter of a mile or up and down stairs, do you get short of breath? If you do, what do you think the problem could be? Are you having a heart attack? Are you out of shape, could it be that you are developing a blood clot in your lungs? Either one of these aforementioned questions could be a factor, but is there a possibility that other hidden or obvious factors could be causing it? Well, let’s take a look at some factors that could relate to this shortness of breath.
First of all, how old are you? Age has much to do with how quick someone may get short of breath. If you are in the upper category of your mid 70’s and you decide to suddenly sprint for a few feet, you probably will get short of breath. It doesn’t always mean that you could be sick, but simply that you are too old to engage in the activities that you enjoyed in your prime, or younger days. Your body muscles may be able to handle some of this activity (such as your arms and legs). However, your heart has been ticking for seventy-six years. If you use an average heart rate of 76 beats per minute, that beating has done 4,560 per hour which means that for a day, your heart has thrown 109,440 beats. By the time you get 76 years old, your heart will have beat up to an estimated 3,000,000,000 times. What does that mean? Well, in simple terms, it means that your heart is tired. It’s a muscle and muscles get tired when you use them for a long period of time.
When your muscles get tired, the way that they let the rest of your body know is to make you short of breath when you exert yourself. On the other hand, there are other factors that can cause you to be short of breath and this brings us to our second factor which is the blood clot factor. What is that? Well, it could have something to do with a tired heart because a blocked artery causes it to work harder and age doesn’t matter.
A blood clot usually develops from trauma, childbirth, or an untreated or unrecognized rapid heartbeat (such as an out of control atrial fibrillation, supra ventricular tachycardia, or some other rapid beating out-of-control phenomena). For trauma, a clot may occur in the originating area, such as a foot, ankle, or any extremity. It also can occur with severe blunt trauma to the pelvis, abdomen, chest, back, or any other part of the body. This trauma could cause swelling or fractures. It also causes bruising or discoloration of the injured area. Sometimes a clot will develop which is a section of blood that has gotten hard. As the blood flows, so does the clot. That clot can end up anywhere, including organs, heart and the brain. Sometimes the clot is so big that it stops in its tracts. The blood flow beyond it is either decreased or stopped all together. This means that the tissue or organs will not get that much-needed blood supply.
If the clot is located in the lungs or the heart, shortness of breath could occur. It doesn’t matter if you exert yourself. The lack of blood flow is recognized by a simple symptom; shortness of breath.