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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Chest discomfort, dry cough and shortness of breath. Asthma or cancer?

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Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra

Pulmonologist

Practicing since :2003

Answered : 600 Questions

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Posted on Tue, 15 Jan 2013 in Lung and Chest disorders
Question: Hi,
Don't know where to start....I am 29Y old F. For a few weeks now, I have been having chest discomfort behind my breastbone and to the right of my chest. Also have a dry cough sometimes with a wheeze and that sometimes hurts. I feel short of breath. Warm air makes it harder to breathe I find. I haven't had a fever or any cold symptoms. I have been to my GP and he has done a chest x-ray which was normal. This is causing me extreme anxiety and am terrified that there is something really wrong...could this maybe be asthma? or worse?
my worst fear is fibrosis or cancer....is this likely at my age?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra 7 hours later
Hi,
Thanks for posting the query on XXXXXXX
After going through your query, I would like to comment the following:

1. You seem to be having right sided chest pain, dry cough, breathlessness and wheezing episodes since a few weeks with an apparently normal chest xray.

2. You need to get yourself clinically evaluated by a pulmonologist / chest physician and managed accordingly.

3. Investigations required are atleast serum IgE levels and pulmonary function test (spirometry with reversibility).

4. From your presenting complaints there is a possibility of obstructive airway disease like asthma. (Are you allergic to dusts? Do you have problem of burning pain in abdomen? Any other known allergies? Any family history?). Fibrosis or lung cancer is not likely considering a normal chest xray and your clinical profile.

5. Depending on the investigations you need to take medications may be inhalers and oral medications. Remember even if it's asthma you can lead a totally normal life without affecting any of your activities.


I hope I have answered your query. I will be glad to answer follow up queries if any.
Please accept my answer if you have no follow up queries.

Regards

Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra
MBBS MD DNB
Consultant Pulmonologist

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra 12 hours later
I don't have a family history of asthma or any known allergies. I have been getting a lot of bloating and cramping in my abdomen. My family doctor is sending me to a cardiologist because I also get heart palpitations. I feel like the shortness of breath is unrelated.
How could this come on so suddenly? I've never had issues breathing before. Is there anything I should be doing in the meatime?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra 12 minutes later
Hi,
Thanks for the follow up query.
After going through your follow up query, I would like to comment the following:

1. You currently have a lot of bloating and cramping in the abdomen. This is one of the causes of chest discomfort. If gastro esophageal reflux disease is the cause then simple antacids should help you.

2. The complaint of palpitations needs to be investigated. Being a cardiac complaint it is best evaluated by a cardiologist. Baseline investigation of ECG should be done to pick up any rhythm abnormality.2D echo and stress test may help in pointing at the etiology. Also hypertension needs to be ruled out.

3. In the mean time you also need to visit a chest physician and a pulmonary function test is should be performed by you as a part of evaluation of breathlessness and wheezing episodes. You may require inhaled medicines for relief of breathlessness.

I hope I have answered your query. I will be glad to answer follow up queries if any.
Please accept my answer if you have no follow up queries.

Regards

Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra
MBBS MD DNB
Consultant Pulmonologist


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra 20 hours later
should I be worried about myasthenia gravis? I'm getting scared.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra 4 hours later
Hi,

Your clinical profile does not point towards myasthenia gravis. Please do not be stressed.

Regards

Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra
MBBS MD DNB
Consultant Pulmonologist


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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