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Suggest remedy for dry mouth and shortness of breath

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2012
Answered : 3614 Questions
32 year old who feels short of breath, especially when talking. If I measure my blood oxygen, it is around 98%. What could be the cause? I also tend to have a dry mouth and clear my throat a lot.
Posted Wed, 27 Aug 2014 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Shafi Ullah Khan 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
Psychologic dyspnea, rest needs management

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for asking
age of 32 with fully loaded and functional oxygen saturation are two good and solid reasons for not to worry about the shortness of breath AKA dyspnea.Dyspnoea is the result of a complex interaction of physiological, psychosocial, social, and environmental factors. Dyspnoea is not a single sensation and there are at least three distinct sensations including air hunger, work/effort, and chest tightness.
your case is hardly an organic one. as there is no history of COPD or heart failure. With two major cardiac and pulmonary causes ruled out only psychological ones are left and anxiety is the likely and most common cause at young age. Some anxiolytics is the answer.
Get evaluated for complete pulmonary functions though and rule out any asthma or pulmonary trouble. once relieved management will be just symptomatic. including bronchodilators etc.
Now the throat clearing issue indicates some upper respiratory tract trouble. Trauma to it like smoking or cold beverages or GERD etc may cause that. ANswer is simple. treat underlying cause. aspirin gargles , garlic water mouth rinses and good oral hygiene. If GERD management accordingly. Seeking an otorhinolaryngologist for further assessment of throat and sorting out the possibility which could be many and beyond the scope of this discussion.
Now the dry mouth , so there is a a lot to discuss. i will focus on some preventive measures only.
Here are some of the general measures for dry mouth management.
-regular sips frequently up to 2 litres of water a day minimum to keep mouth hydrated.
- Avoiding the medicines and where not possible replacement with some less xerostomic drugs, consulting with your urologist will help.
-avoid irritants such as smoking, alcohol and caffeine intake.
-keep good oral hygiene, treat oral candidiasis or caries precautions to stay safe as dry mouth predisposes to oral troubles, stay in touch with the dentist for further oral management.
-Anxiety and stress should be avoided as they themselves are causative agents.
-Try some salivary substitutes as Artificial saliva can provide relief of dry mouth. They are manufactured with a neutral pH and contain electrolytes that approximately correspond to normal saliva. They are either mucin or methycellulose based preparations. The mucin based products are better tolerated and have a longer duration of action. Preparations are available in the form of sprays, gel and lozenges.
-Mouth washes with garlic water etc.
-Try salivary stimulants , here are some
a-Chewing Gum
Sugar free chewing gum increases and promotes salivary flow by stimulating taste receptors, and its use is usually not associated with side effects. A combination of regular mouthwash and chewing gum is proved helpful.
b-Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)
Vitamin C tablets are used to treat xerostomia/ dry mouth in palliative care. In a study, the effectiveness of ascorbic acid was compared against artificial saliva and other stimulants in patients with xerostomia. Vitamin C was shown to be subjectively more effective than artificial saliva, but less effective than other salivary stimulants. The main disadvantage of using ascorbic acid long term is its detrimental effect on teeth enamel.
c-Malic Acid
Malic acid is effective in the treatment of xerostomia and is naturally found in fruits such as pears and apples. Its main disadvantage is that it causes demineralisation of teeth enamel, which limits its long-term use.
Pilocarpine is a muscarinic receptor agonist and has been shown to improve symptoms of xerostomia.It is available as 5 mg tablets and can be administered up to a maximum dose of 30 mg/day in divided doses. The effects of Pilocarpine are usually immediate; The increase in saliva production generally lasts for 4 h. Its undesirable side effects include perspiration, flushing, lacrimation, urinary frequency and gastrointestinal disturbances. As a result of its cholinergic effect, it is contraindicated in patients with asthma, chronic obstructive airway disease, heart diseases, epilepsy, hyperthyroidism and Parkinson’s disease..
e-Other Parasympathomimetic Drugs
carbachol. pyridostigmine,Cevimeline etc are proved helpful.
Cytoprotective agents such as amifostine have shown to minimise tissue damage secondary to radiotherapy and decrease the incidence of radiation-induced xerostomia
Acupuncture as a treatment for xerostomia is increasingly being recognised in the West. In a study from Sweden, subjects who received traditional acupuncture demonstrated a significant increase in salivary flow rate lasting up to a year as opposed to those in the placebo group.
I hope it helps. Take good care of yourself and dont forget to close the discussion please.
May the odds be ever i your favour XXXXXXX

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