Doctor is sending me for an echo to look for pulmonary hypertension

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Submitted by Dr T on December 22, 2010 – 10:49am

I am a 26 yr old male. 5ft 8in tall and 218lbs. I have done one Anabolic steroid cycle with testosterone early in 2009. I also have a history of Anxiety and Hypochondria. I was hospitalized as a result of my steroid use. The ER doctor admitted me because my CPK-MM was elevated and I had severe Tachycardia. I was monitored over 24hr, in which time my cpk slowly dropped and my tachycardia was relieved. Discharge said severe anxiety attack. I have been experiencing chest tightness, shortness of breath (with and without)exertion and a feeling of bloating in my abdomen for a full year now. I have had 2 NORMAL EKG and 2 Normal chest x-ray and great pulse ox readings. My new doctor thinks my old doctors did not look far enough into my complaint since it is still not resolved. He ordered an Echo-cardiogram to check for Pulmonary Hypertension. I have no family history of the disease and no other risk factors. My questions are why would he order this with no risk factors and what are the chances this is what I will have given my previous medical history provided ?

There are many reasons for chest pains and shortness of breath, not all of which are related to your heart and/or lungs. I agree with your doctor though, that, before anxiety & hypochondria are blamed for these symptoms, a Cardiac ECHO  is a good idea. I would not have thought from your symptoms that pulmonary hypertension is an issue, but once you think about it, it is best excluded. It is a simple test that looks at the way your heart functions.

Reading more about chest pains may help as well!

I don’t think that your use of anabolic steroids should continue to have an effect a year later.
However, with your height & weight, your BMI=33.1. Body Mass Index (BMI), a measurement which compares weight and height, defines people as overweight when their BMI is between 25 kg/m2 and 30 kg/m2, and obese when it is greater than 30 kg/m2. Obesity increases the likelihood of various diseases, particularly heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, certain types of cancer, and osteoarthritis. The culture of “bulking up” is not a healthy one. Even if you tell me you are a professional athlete and burn many more calories than you eat, I suggest looking into sensible weight loss. It will matter in the years to come. It might help you to assess what your risk for developing heart disease is,

Read more about BMI here:
Hope this helps,
Dr T

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