Q. I feel suffocated and anxious while outdoors. Is this due to the mask that I wear?

Answered by
Dr. Sanya Dhingra
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Nov 17, 2020

Hello doctor,

I am a chronic DM type 2 patient with hypertension and hypothyroidism. I have a history of TIA in the past. Off late, I can say with the start of Corona, while outdoors, I feel very suffocating, weak, and anxious. I think it may be due to wearing masks. I do not feel such problems at home. Some water and biscuits help a little. Kindly guide, as this condition has compelled me to leave my job.

I am currently on medications for diabetes, hypothyroidism, hypertension, blood thinner, and a tranquilizer.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

I can understand your concern. I can see that you have not monitored your TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) levels for quite some time now. So please get your TSH, HbA1c (glycated hemoglobin) levels checked. Kindly follow up with reports and Levothyroxine's dosage and oral hypoglycemic agents that you are currently prescribed to.

Yes, the suffocation could be due to a mask, for which you can change to an N95 mask with a respirator. This should help. Also, you need to get an ECG (electrocardiography) done and echocardiography if required after the ECG.

You have to focus on weight loss. For that, you will have to reduce the carbohydrates in your diet. This will help lower your glucose levels and ultimately help you with your metabolic syndrome and overall symptoms improvement.

You can follow up for dietary advice if you feel the need. Regular brisk walking for 40 minutes, for five days a week, is necessary.

Investigations to be done:

Serum TSH. HbA1c. ECG. Serum lipid profile.

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