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What is the reason for shortness of breath,weakness and frequent urination in obese person?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 2305 Questions
I am a 37 year old woman who is very overweight, I am 5'4" and weigh 260 lbs. I have been getting short of breath and just figured it is all this extra weight. For the last 3 nights I haven't slept because of frequent trips to the bathroom to urinate, and feeling like I can't take a XXXXXXX enough breath when i am laying down. Yesterday I tried to hang some curtains and got very sweaty and felt very weak. I felt terrible all day. I also feel nervous, like my heart is beating extra hard or something. Hard to describe. I scheduled with my doc but couldn't be seen until thursday and it is saturday now. Is it ok to wait?
Posted Sun, 15 Apr 2012 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Follow-up: What is the reason for shortness of breath,weakness and frequent urination in obese person? 4 hours later
Also, my restin heart rate yesterday at Med-x machine was 89. Today at walmart machine it waas 95
Answered by Dr. Prasad 25 minutes later

Thanks for posting your query.

The symptoms reported by you are:-
1. Obesity
2. Shortness of breath and feel like not able to breathe when you lie down.
3. Increased frequency of urination at night.
4. Nervousness and palpitation
5. Weakness.

There are few conditions that are associated with the above symptoms. They are:
1. Hyperglycemia - Diabetes / hyperglycemia can cause weakness, fatiguability, increased urination, nervousness and sometimes breathing problems. You need to check your blood sugars.
2. Anemia - Low hemoglobin levels can cause breathing difficulties, tiredness and weakness. Complete hemogram test is needed to rule out anemia.
3. Urine microscopy and culture test is entailed.
4. Obesity - Obesity can cause strain on the heart leading to breathing difficulties. It is also associated with hypopnea (breathing ceases) on lying down. Disturbed sleep / Lack of proper sleep inturn can cause fatiguability, weakness and nervousness during the day. Sleep study is needed to diagnose sleep apnea.
5. Heart disease - Some of your symptoms have been associated with heart illness. Basic EKG, stress test and echocardiogram test are useful to diagnose heart disease.
6. Stress and anxiety - In some people anxiety and psychological problems have been associated with breathing problems, nervousness, palpitations and so on.

These are few of the conditions which are to be ruled out. You may be asked to undergo some of aforementioned to test.

"It is better to consult your primary physician at the earliest". Go ahead with the consultation on thursday. Watch out for fever, worsening of breathing problems, chest pain and so on.

Hope my answer are adequate and informative. Should you have any more concerns, I will be available to answer them.

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