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On gluten free diet. Blood test done. Reason for shortness of breath, muscle pains, chest tightness?

Sep 2012
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Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 1416 Questions
I went to the ER on Monday, with shortness of breath, fever, high heart rate, muscle pains, tight chest. They did bloodwork, WBC 31.7, GGT 43, ERS 23, C-reactive protein 38.9. Chest x-ray negative, blood culture negative, urine culture negative.i have been following a gluten free diet and accidentaly ate some gluten. Would this be the cause of all of this? I have been tired all week, low fever off and on. Then early this morning the tight chest and muscle aches are back.
Posted Fri, 22 Mar 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Das Arindam 18 minutes later
Thank you for posting a query.

Look, your symptoms indicate some upper Shortness of breath, tight chest all are indicative of that.

Total WBC count is very high. You did not give the neutrophil count. If it is high then it is a bacterial infection. If it is lower than normal and lymphocytes are increased then it indicates viral infection. GGT is mildly elevated. It does not indicate any definite abnormality. But it is associated with hepatocellular injury. ESR is not very important. C-reactive protein is high. It indicates acute infection.

Negative chest X-ray does not rule out respiratory tract infection. Depending upon the clinical findings broad spectrum antibiotic like amoxicillin and clavulanic acid combination.

Your gluten diet did not cause this. Because in that case, blood tests should not reveal such strong findings of acuter infection.

Regarding the GGT, you should do an ultrasound scan of abdomen for any liver abnormality. If required liver protecting agents should be started. You should avoid alcohol.

Lastly, from the reports and symptoms you mentioned indicates possibility of acute infection of upper respiratory tract infection. You should consult with your treating doctor about the broad spectrum antibiotic as I have mentioned.

Hope this information suffices. Let me know, if you have any more question.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: On gluten free diet. Blood test done. Reason for shortness of breath, muscle pains, chest tightness? 5 minutes later
My neutrophil count was 29.7. I had follow up blood work done 2 days ago, to see if things were any better, but I don't have those results yet
Answered by Dr. Das Arindam 4 minutes later
Thank you for writing back.

Look, the neutrophil count is really high. It also supports an acute bacterial infection. From your symptoms, the respiratory tract is the possible source of infection.

So, consult with your treating doctor about the broad spectrum antibiotic.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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