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Suffering from cough, weakness, shortness of breath, fatigue and edema. What should I do?

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Practicing since : 2001
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What can I do for chest that feels weak, shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, edema in right leg and foot? Also constant cough.
Posted Mon, 5 Nov 2012 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 4 hours later
Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic

Constant cough may be related to (1)repeated upper chronic cough (3) cough variant asthma (where the person does not wheeze but has a cough) which would present with coughing that is worse at night (4) GERD - reflux can also present simply with a cough, it can also worsen asthma
(5) certain medications can have cough as a side effect such as the ACE inhibitor group of medications- if you are on this family of drug then you may want to speak to your doctor about changing it (6) persons with fluid accumulation in the lungs as a result of heart failure, low protein,kidney or liver failure will also have a cough.In light of the shortness of breath and the swelling you are experiencing , which can also be caused by these problems, you may want to have your doctor run some tests to check that there are no problems in these organs.
Cardiac/heart disease may also cause fatigue because of the reduced blood supply to the various organs.
This may also result in any chronic or untreated illness.

Even though the first three suggestions may cause chronic cough, in light of your age and other symptoms, it would be best to rule out more serious causes first.
Your doctor may consider a full blood count (anemia/low red cell mass -can cause palpitations, fatigue,chest discomfort and shortness of breath),
liver function tests,
kidney function tests ,
thyroid hormone levels (abnormal levels can cause some of the problems though it is not usually associated with cough),
ECG-check the rhymth of the heart, any enlargment, any areas with reduced blood supply.

In addition to the above, consider assessment for varicose veins which may cause unilateral leg swelling, DVT, trauma to the leg.

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
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