Posted by: Dianne | 2011-11-24

Yawning and going blue

I am 51, a non smoker and a long distance swimmer  i have a leaking valve. Nearly 2 years ago, I swam the Midmar Mile, and experienced a really sore chest for days after. A few months later my heart rate went crazy (it is usually a steady 60bpm), would drop to 50, then go up to 100. Blood pressure is usually very low - 90/60, 110/50. Then the yawning started, after any slight exertion, my lips started going blue, hands and feet as well. I was told that i probably experienced an infection in the valve. A lung function test had me dropping to 85 after 3 mins on the treadmill. ECG''s are normal, angiogram shows that the leak ''is not that bad'', otherwise all normal. I am now unable to do any exercise, but am being told that i must as it is good for me. Even singing in the choir has become a challenge as I start yawning after 3 songs. ANY idea what this could be? And should i be doing exercise? I have been told it is old age, i will never swim a mile again, it is all in my head, and finally, hormonal. I am desperate, i just want to swim again, but it is a bit difficult when you are yawning. Thanks

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCardiologist

Hi Diane.

You may have a leaking heart valve, but I very much doubt that the leaking heart valve has got anything to do with yawning or the other symptoms that you describe. You can also be sure that the chest pain that you had after swimming the Midmar Mile was nothing to do with your heart, and it is extremely unlikely that you had an infection of the heart valve (“infective endocarditis”), which is a very serious illness that does not get better without prolonged intravenous and/or oral antibiotics.

Yawning is not a symptom of heart disease. Blueness of your lips, hands and feet might possibly be due to the heart, but may also simply be related to the peripheral circulation. Yawning also has nothing to do with old age or to my knowledge with hormones. It may be psychological, in the broadest sense, as most commonly it is simply a sign of tiredness.

From what you have told me there is no reason why you shouldn’t swim again, and even swim the Midmar Mile for that matter. However it sounds as though you should see a good sympathetic general physician who will listen carefully and try to put everything into perspective for you.

I hope this is helpful. Best wishes. JT

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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