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    What causes shortness of breath in an obese person?

Posted on Thu, 10 Aug 2017 in Medicines and Side Effects
Question: I am a morbidly obese 68-yr old woman living a very sedentary life. Sunday afternoon I walked a long block and half-way there I experienced some pain in my chest. By the time I arrived at my destination it was constant and moderately severe with some shortness of breath. Within half an hour it had subsided considerably. On my return I paused 3 times to rest as the pain returned. Again it subsided within a half hour. I had been to my doctor earlier that week for a routine physical: clear lungs; BP 134/70; Pulse 82; O2 96%. Since Sunday I have residual pressure through my upper chest, which increases with very little activity. I've recently lost 30 lbs and continue to eat less in an attempt at a healthier lifestyle. Is there something else I should do?
Answered by Dr. Salah Saad Shoman 53 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Possible angina

Detailed Answer:
Dear Ms, I have gone through your question and I understand your concerns but I would recommend that you exclude angina as a cause of your chest pain.
Angina is a common cause of chest discomfort and often occurs during periods of stress or physical activity. Symptoms occur when the blood vessels that supply the heart with blood and oxygen are narrowed resulting in chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, palpitations and nausea. Chest pain is typically felt behind the breastbone or slightly to the left of it and can radiate to the back, arm, jaw or shoulder.
Diagnosis is made by a stress ECG test and cardiac enzymes blood enzymes.. if diagnosis is confirmed then angina is often treated with medication called nitroglycerin, which is placed under the tongue during an angina attack. Angina typically improves with rest, medication and lifestyle changes. I hope I answered your question .

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
Answered by
Dr. Salah Saad Shoman

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 1306 Questions


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