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Having shortness of breath, lack of energy, weak legs, swollen ankles and feet. Cause?

May 2014
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Answered by

Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 6312 Questions
My husband is 63 years old. Recently our area has been affected with thick smoke from several fires in the area. My husband works outside all day. He recently started having symptoms of shortness of breath, lack of energy, weakness in his legs,and now his ankles and feet are swelling. We have 2 more weeks until his insurance kicks in. What is our best course of action? I do not want him to wait another two weeks to seek medical attention..
Posted Wed, 2 Oct 2013 in Environmental and Occupational Hazards
Answered by Dr. Vivek Chail 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Consult a primary care physician

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for writing in to us.

As the fires and smoke have affected your area recently and you do not mention any similar problems in the past, I would recommend your husband gets investigated for any problem of acute nature.

Shortness of breath, lack of energy, weakness and swelling of limbs are symptoms not to be ignored. They could be due to problems in the heart and lungs. I assume your husband goes for regular health checks and is free from heart and lung diseases in the past.

There are many illnesses that can present with the symptoms as in your husband. The chief problems which need an emergency review by a doctor include, coronary heart disease, any acutely allergic condition, asthma, infections due to exposure to environmental conditons.

The shortness of breath must be investigated primarily as to when it is more, in what posture does it become severe and when it decreases. Any accompanying sweating and chest tightness is an emergency condition.

I would suggest you have him examined clinically and if felt necessary get a Chest x XXXXXXX and ECG done. Also basic blood investigations might be necessary to know if he has any infection that needs to be controlled using medications. He may take rest from his work till he is medically fit.

Hope your query is answered.
Do write back in case of doubts.

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