Shortness of breath


I am 5 weeks in and I am noticing that I get short of breath from bending over.  I did a bit before as I have a bit of a belly, but now I can barely bend over and afterwards I stay out of breath ofr a while.  Will this settle down?

Thank you for any comments



by AgentX86 - 2023-07-08 23:57:45

How are your ankles? Weight? There are a lot of reasons for being SOB but a biggie is retaining water. Since you ask about your belly...

In any case, see your doctor.

Shortness of breath bending over.

by Selwyn - 2023-07-09 08:47:24

Yes, the same for me, especially straining in the crouched position, such as picking up a weight or having to crouch and walk through a narrow space ( You should try inside the pyramids!).

What happens is that the venous return to the heart is diminished due to the bend.

Your heart rate slows down. The normal physiological response is to increase the heart rate as soon as possible to compensate for this happening. With a pacemaker this does not occur quick enough.

Personally, I have not found this settles, so if you find a cure let me know.

Any excessive weight  around the abdomen worsens the pressure/bend problem. It seem to include a big meal!


by Gemita - 2023-07-09 10:42:45

Hello FullerCM,

Also known as Bendopnea, I believe, have a look at the above link which you will need to copy and paste into your main browser to open. 

Shortness of breath on bending I know well and it can be a problem for some of us, for example when bending to tie our shoe laces.  I find working in the garden can trigger some very high heart rates as I come over faint while bending over.  This can trigger arrhythmias and worsening SOB.  

Selwyn has given an excellent description of what happens when we bend forward, especially for those with a heart condition, including arrhythmia and heart failure sufferers. 

I am not overweight but nonetheless still struggle sometimes, especially after a nice meal, so I have to keep upright until my food has moved out of my stomach.  Oh the joys of getting older.

Fluid retention and any obesity can make the problem even worse, so you may need to discuss your symptoms with your doctors.  Hopefully your symptoms will improve as you get used to pacing and your pacemaker settings are tailored to suit you.  Stay well

Same subject

by fullercm - 2023-07-09 14:48:49

I just want to say that I appreciate the responses to my concern, however , don't make the assumption that I am obese just because I have a bit of a belly.  And for Agent x 86...I did say that this started being a big problem, AFTER I had the PM inserted.


by AgentX86 - 2023-07-09 22:54:27

I understand, but your "belly" comment made me think the problem might be edema (retaining water), which is why I asked about your ankles. Edema usually shows here first.  It is possible that the pacemaker is causing more problems.  If so, a change of settings might help or you may need a CRT to synchronize your heart. 

In any case, your doctor should be involved.

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