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Breathlessness after exertion, pain in arm while coughing. Am overweight. Had aortic valve narrowing since birth. What could this be?

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Cardiologist, Interventional
Practicing since : 1998
Answered : 410 Questions
I can only walk about 20 mtrs before I am very out of breath, I then get into a cough which slowly calms as I catch my breath back. When I cough I carry on until i bring up phlem. My right arm has a sharp pain while coughing.

I am very overweight but never had a problem this bad.

I had aortic valve narrowing from birth and was operated when 10 yrs old. Original valve kept. I feel my condition is getting worse.

what could this be, I have hospital appointment end of december can this wait?
Posted Sat, 28 Apr 2012 in Valvular Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Prabhakar C Koregol 10 hours later

Thanks for posting your query.

You have provided a good information regarding your illness. But, there are few things which are not clear from your history. I would like know more about it, as it will help me suggesting you better.

Do you have these symptoms started recently or it is long standing?

If these symptoms are present since longtime then, I don't see any reason to rush immediately.

However if these symptoms are of recent onset then, you need to see your doctor as emergency.

Your symptoms could be due to some respiratory infection or cardiac problem per se. But, it is difficult to predict without a clinical evaluation.

Please revert back with the answer to my question, so that I can provide more specific suggestions.


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Follow-up: Breathlessness after exertion, pain in arm while coughing. Am overweight. Had aortic valve narrowing since birth. What could this be? 30 minutes later
thankyou for your reply, I have had shortness of breath before.

I have a history of gaining and losing weight.

Once I have lost weight I am generally fine, it is once I have gained weight to say 140kg that this could start.

I would get out of breath but not this easily and definitely not with the extensive coughing.

I would still be able to do my day to day activities.

This is the worst it has been by far.

I have an appointment with Dr Kapetanakis at Guys Hospital on 21st December and asked if that could be brought forward and they said no.

please come back to me as I am very worried that this is bad.

Answered by Dr. Prabhakar C Koregol 4 minutes later

Thanks for reverting back.

If you have this problem as ongoing, I don't see any major danger in waiting and also your symtoms look combination of multiple problem.

You could be having sleep apnea, obstructive as well in view of such obesity. It is worthwhile consulting pulmonologist and speech therapist.

Hope, this helps to solve your query. Please accept my answer in case you do not have follow up queries.

Wish you good health.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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