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Date of last update: 10/19/2017.

Forum Name: Chest symptoms

Question: Tasting blood after strenuous exercise

 Sharonaz39 - Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:03 pm

My daughter is 13 years old, and about 15 pounds overweight. Today in her P.E. class she had to run for about 15-20 minutes non-stop. She said she started to taste blood and had trouble catching her breath, and her lungs felt like they were being "torn." This has happened to her before, but it typically went away within a couple hours. It has been 10 hours since this happened, and her lungs are still sore, and when she coughs, she can still taste blood. I don't think it's an emergency, because I remember this happening to me when I was a kid. But, surprisingly, I can't find any explanation for it on-line. Can you tell me what causes this, and if it's something I should be concerned about?
 John Kenyon, CNA - Sun Nov 23, 2008 10:52 pm

User avatar Hello -

While the persistent soreness (may be lungs, may be chest wall irritation) is of some small concern, the taste of blood after having performed high intensity exercise is a complaint/report heard often. While it can be caused by any number of pathological problems (such as asthma, sinus problems, excessively dry air, etc.), it is most often caused by blood being forced through membraneous tissue in the lungs (the alveoli mainly) and even on up into the bronchial tree at times. This happens routinely when pushing one's self to the threshold of an anaerobic state (past the point where the cardiopulmonary apparatus benefit). How quickly this can happen depends upon the baseline fitness level and general health of the person in question, but it is a very common thing and one hears it every so often in cardiac rehab groups, from the overzealous recoverers. If there is no actual blood produced by coughing it can be considered normal and perhaps a signal from the body to push not quite so hard at the limits.

If the soreness persists into the next day, this is another matter,and ought to be looked into by a healthcare professional, to be certain there's no chronic problem (again, such as asthma), although when one has pushed one's self to the limit, the accessory muscles to start to come into use (as in an asthma attack) and this can cause some lingering soreness and tenderness that can easily be mistaken for "lung" pain.

I hope this helps answer your concerns. Please follow up with us as necessary.

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