Shortness of breath after eating/drinking - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 06-09-2009, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Just had a question and was wondering if anyone knew why this might be happening. After I eat something or drink something besides water (aka sugary beverage) I feel like I can't get oxygen. I am 30 weeks, but have been feeling this way since early in my second trimester (I experience this with my last pregnancy as well and had a normal, healthy pregnancy). Both this pregnancy and last I was worried it might be related to GD, but both times I have passed the GD blood test. It seems like it is related to blood sugar though because I was at an event the other night and all I had was a glass of punch and I started to feel like I was struggling to breathe. Anyone know why this might be happening? Everyone is telling me it is just because the baby is taking up space (including the doctor in my last pregnancy), but why would it happen right after I drink a glass of punch? Thanks for your help
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#2 of 8 Old 06-09-2009, 11:40 AM
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I've had similar issues. (I'm almost 28 weeks now, and have been feeling this way since around 20 or so weeks.) But for me, it's only in the morning. After breakfast, I feel really faint and like I can't breathe and I have to lie down for awhile.

I have no answers, though.

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#3 of 8 Old 06-09-2009, 12:19 PM
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This sounds similar to my situation; I'm 32 weeks. In the morning, usually after breakfast, I feel lightheaded and short of breath and like my heart is racing (I've pretty much stopped coffee). It's been pretty bad the past couple of days, to the point where I feel like I'm going to pass out if I'm standing up, and my arms and legs feel numb/tingly. My OB said that I'd have to start coming in more often and I also have to get an EKG to make sure nothing is wrong with my heart...

Asthma is a possibility; although they didn't test me for that yet. An aunt of mine developed asthma as an adult, and during pregnancy it can obviously get a lot worse.

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#4 of 8 Old 06-09-2009, 01:51 PM
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Just to toss another option out there... it could be food related "asthma" - as in something you're eating is triggering an attack. I used to have that reaction to sugar, and early in this pregnancy I was reacting that way to dairy. If you're able to track the cause, the easiest treatment is to avoid the causative factor. But I actually have an inhaler, it got that bad for a while. None of the asthma tests will turn up positive usually - but if you can trigger an attack right before a doctor's visit (not pleasant, I know), they'll usually at least listen to you. I wouldn't take it up with an OB, though - I'd take it to a GP.

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#5 of 8 Old 06-09-2009, 03:04 PM
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Have you checked your BP during these episodes? I had shortness of breath, racing heart and dizziness with my BP issuess last pregnancy.
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#6 of 8 Old 06-09-2009, 03:29 PM
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You know, this has been happening to me too...I'm also 30 weeks and it started about 6 weeks ago. I DO have GD (just found out yesterday) but I'm not totally sure it's related as I just BARELY made the cut for being diagnosed. I would venture to guess it's somehow related to blood sugar, but I don't know?

Just thought I'd let you know that you're not alone. I've read of women complaining about this quite a bit, so it's not totally unheard of.

ETA: I also wanted to add that this is worse for me in the mornings too. Usually about 30 minutes after breakfast I start feeling like it's really hard to do much of anything. It passes after about 5 minutes, but it is unsettling. Also wanted to add that I've been having palpitations off and on since around 19 weeks. I've had multiple EKGs, including a 24-hr monitor (which I was wearing during several of those episodes) and everything checked out OK.
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#7 of 8 Old 06-09-2009, 03:51 PM
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I often get this feeling after eating even when not pregnant. In my case it was that eating (especially sugary, carby foods or drinks, or a lot of food at once or first thing in the morning) raised my metabolic rate, which made my heart beat faster, which led to needing more oxygen and feeling short of breath. Seems to be worse during pregnancy because of the general faster resting heart rate + added blood volume.
I also agree with PP that blood sugar issues might come into it too -- if your body is having any trouble handling sugar/not producing enough insulin, sugar might have a bigger effect on your bodily processes. IMO.
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#8 of 8 Old 10-29-2012, 07:15 AM
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I have the exact same thing. Although I haven't really spoken to my doctor about this, I do believe it is because sugar makes you retain more fluid and it is just a lot of fluid your heart has to pump, especially since you already have a fluid increase due to the pregnancy alone. I also have low iron and I feel short of breath after eating and I think it is because if i eat more than a small portion of food and a lot of my blood rushes to my stomach and guts for digestion, there is less iron to go aroung for my limbs, hence feeling like i han't get oxygen to my limbs. After breakfast is when I have the most shortness of breath and it is worse when I eat a large portion of cereal and milk. I think this is because the cereal is sugary and the milk also has lactose sugar in it. I also think it is because when u wake up in the morning you have more fluid retention than the rest of the day and retaining all that fluid makes my heart have to pump a lot of fluid which is why it feels like it is pumping harder. None of this is told to my by a doctor, its just what I derived from whatever knowledge I have about anatomy and physiology. I hope this helps!

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