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Pain in the lungs, normal CT scan report, possible viral bronchitis

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Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 11722 Questions
hi - I have an interesting case here. 50 yr old male 170 lbs 5ft 7inches. Lungs hurt and headache. in and out of the hospital the last two weeks, PCF thought it was heart attack, but ALL TESTS are normal. CT scan, Stress test for heart, no blood clots, cancer, etc. my tests say I'm so normal its ridiculous. I am in complete agony, cannot sleep, Antibitotics appear to help a little but then it comes right back. cold and hot sweats cycle throughout the day, then I feel OK for a few hours - then right back again to agony. Its hard to breath, lungs hurt. Sometimes sharp pain, sometimes just really sore. pain moves around but is mostly at the top of the lungs this week.
Posted Tue, 24 Apr 2012 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 18 minutes later
Thanks for writing to us.
Having pain in the lungs all the time with all the tests normal are suggestive of a viral pleuritis. It is a viral infection of the pleura- the membrane that covers the lungs. Another possible cause is viral bronchitis. Such kind of viral syndromes do cause symptoms like sweating, pain and mild fever. Antibiotics do bring relief because they prevent superadded infection that is possibly present.

In such conditions the pleural fluid which is normally present between the two layers of the lung is dried up and take long time to reappear. If there is drying up the area around the lung hurts. So you have to wait for sometime for the fluid to reappear. These types of viral syndromes typically last from as little as 3 days up to sometimes 4 to 6 weeks.

I would advise that you support your body with good hydration (3 litres of fluid per day), adequate sleep, a well-balanced diet and a moderate exercise regimen (where it does not hurt to exercise). Exercise is actually good for the immune system which is why I suggest it here. In addition you can supplement your diet with some Vitamin C - 1000 mg daily and consider drinking some immune boost type of tea such as Echinacea Vitamin-E which is readily available at most supermarkets.

I expect your symptoms to gradually level off and improve over the next two weeks. In the meantime, try not to worry about this and focus on maintaining good health as I have recommended with diet, fluid intake and exercise as well as adequate sleep (7-9 hours per night). Absolute no for active or passive smoking. Fresh air, breathing exercises help for faster recovery.

I hope my answer and recommendations are adequate and helpful. Waiting for your further follow up queries if any.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Pain in the lungs, normal CT scan report, possible viral bronchitis 1 hour later
I will run this by the PCF as well, but this sounds the most plausible! Thank you kindly.
Is there anything I can do to feel a little better during this? I cannot work. Steriods? Anti-inflamitories?? I can review ith PCF today, I think he is at a loss on this.
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 1 hour later

Thanks for writing again.

Non Steroidal Anti inflammatories work well. Your doctor will not prescribe them more than needed as overuse may cause other significant problems. If I were your doctor I shall try them for three to four days replacing Tylenol.

Steroids can bring you some relief symptomatically. I am not their favourite in this situation. But you should take these only under medical supervision. Both oral or inhalational steroids will be helpful.

Wishing you an early recovery.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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