A woman with lupus sits in a meditating position with squiggly airwaves making their way to her mouth then into her lungs.

Chest Pain and Shortness of Breath

When dealing with lupus, I would not expect to have chest pain or even shortness of breath. However, I have had plenty of times where I have had chest pain and shortness of breath. Sometimes it can be anxiety or a lupus flare. Sometimes, I don’t understand why I have these random symptoms and how it could be due to lupus.

I use to have shortness of breath while trying to work out. Each time I could not inhale while trying to walk on the treadmill or sometimes even during my warm-ups. I also started to have shortness of breath when I went through each kidney failure. Each time was different from the chest pain and shortness of breath.

My breathing during my kidney failures

During my first kidney failure, the fluid filled my lungs and heart and that can definitely cause shortness of breath and chest pain. I would feel light-headed and dizziness sometimes while having these moments. I would also become overheated because I started to get anxious off the fact that I could not breathe.

My kidney failure had affected all 5 senses that I had to help regulate my body. I could not feel touch, taste, hear, and more. I could not breathe when I went to bed at night. They told me to sleep sitting up because every time I laid down I could not breathe. This use to be the worse moments I would experience during my first kidney failure.

During my second kidney failure, I retained fluid all over my body. This one was different from the first. I could not take 5 steps without being without air and when I walk I could not breathe and be exhausted. But I think that’s from gaining 20 pounds in fluid because my kidneys were leaking protein in my urine.

Tips to help reduce anxiety and avoid flares

I ended up getting into a car accident, which caused even more anxiety. That anxiety had a different effect on my life. I couldn’t talk to people without getting overwhelmed. I started to be on simple meds because sometimes doctors will not want you on meds you can get addicted to, like Xanax that helps with anxiety. I was also given Valium to help treat anxiety and honestly, it kept me calm for a while, but long-term it was not for me. I also took even more steps to help me out with this condition.

  • I had a pump that helps every time I need help breathing
  • Meditate
  • Brown paper bag method
  • Low-sodium diet
  • Paced myself while working out
  • Get enough rest (8 hours a day)
  • Disconnect from whatever stressed me out

Taking care of ourselves can make a big difference

Sometimes when we take steps to take care of ourselves, it can make a big difference in how our health can change and evolve. When you have shortness of breath, it can show many signs such as a heart attack or stroke, inflammation on the heart and lungs, and even fluid on the heart and lungs. I have gotten my breathing and health under control to where I really don’t have any breathing issues anymore.

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