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What causes shortness of breath while walking?

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Posted on Wed, 11 May 2016
Question: I seem to run out if breathe when walking easily. I do have an inhaler which does help a little. Dr said she hears no wheezing. I started this a few months back. I also have a pain on right side if chest which comes and goes. I am thinking that is muscle related. I had chest x-ray taken last July, and it was normal. I did smoke and just smoke about 5 Cigarettes a day.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (15 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Quit smoking and get done PFT.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your question on Health Care Magic.
I can understand your concern.
By your history and description, possibility of COPD (chronic obstructive Pulmonary disease) is more.
You are chronic smoker and having breathlessness on exertion since long time.
All these favour COPD more.
So better to consult pulmonologist and get done
1. Clinical examination of respiratory system
2. PFT (Pulmonary Function Test).
PFT is must for the diagnosis of COPD.
It will also tell you about severity of the disease and treatment is based on severity only.
Smoking cessation is the main thing in treatment of COPD.
Inhaled treatment is best treatment for COPD.
So please let me know
1. Which inhaler you are taking?
2. Do you have cough and expectoration?
Please reply me answers of above asked questions, so that I can guide you better. I will be happy to help you further. Wish you good health. Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (27 minutes later)
thanks. the inhaler is Ventolin hfa 90 mcg. I don't cough and no expectorations. thanks again. I did have PFT about 1 1/2 years ago, it came out ok
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (49 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Get done fresh PFT report.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your follow up question on Health Care Magic.
I can understand your concern.
Ventorlin is having levosalbutamol. It is short acting beta 2 agonist (SABA). It is having duration of action for only 1-2 minutes.
It is not useful to achieve good control.
And your PFT is very old. You should definitely get done fresh PFT and compare it with older one.
Please let me know
1. Are your symptoms worsening over 1and half year? (since your last PFT).
Please reply me answer of above asked question, so that I can guide you better. I will be happy to help you further. Wish you good health. Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (2 hours later)
yes. I didn't have shortness of breath at that time. wouldn't I have to be wheezing to have copd? what inhaler would you advise? thanks
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (57 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
No, wheezing is not always seen in COPD.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your follow up question on Health Care Magic.
I can understand your concern.
Your previous PFT report was normal because you were asymptomatic at that time.
And it is 1and 1/2 years back.
So you can definitely develop COPD within this 1 and 1/2 years time.
And you are continuously smoking, so you are at risk of COPD.
And wheezing is not consistent feature of COPD.
Breathing difficulty is consistent symptom of COPD.
So you should definitely get done PFT.
You should start long acting inhaled bronchodilators (formoterol or salmeterol) and inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) (budesonide or fluticasone).
Please let me know your weight so that I can guide you about dosing of inhaler.
I will be happy to help you further. Wish you good health. Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (4 hours later)
thanks. I weight around 140. I don't have shortness of breath all the time mostly after I start walking. I am fine sitting. Maybe that is why I am on the short acting one?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (8 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
You're should start combination of formoterol and fluticasone.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your follow up question on Health Care Magic.
I can understand your concern.
You will mostly improve with long acting drugs.
But you should first quit smoking as soon as possible.
This is the most important step in treatment of COPD.
So stop smoking, it is not good habit.
You should start formoterol and fluticasone (125) combination twice daily (1 puff in morning and 1 in night).
Don't worry, you will be alright.
Hope I have solved your query.
If you are not having further queries, then please close the conversation and rate my answer.
You can ask me directly on bit.ly/askdrkaushalbhavsar.
Wish you good health. Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (4 minutes later)
thanks. I assume these are prescribed medications? thanks so much for your input
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (54 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Thanks for your kind words.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your kind words.
It's always encouraging for doctors to hear positive feedback from patients.
Thanks again.. Hope I have solved your query.
If you are not having further queries then please close the conversation and rate my answer.
You can ask me directly on bit.ly/askdrkaushalbhavsar.
Wish you good health. Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (55 minutes later)
one more question. what is a good way to quit smoking? I have tried e cigarettes, but they make my throat dry. I would appreciate any recommendations. thanks again
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (14 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Have you tried nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)?

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your follow up question on Health Care Magic.
I can understand your concern.
I appreciate your thinking of quitting smoking.
But you need to give me some more information about your smoking habits.
1. Since how many years you are smoking?
2. How many cigarettes you smoke in a day?
3. Have you ever tried nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)?
Please reply me answers of above asked questions, so that I can guide you better.
I will be happy to help you further. Wish you good health. Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Naveen Kumar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (15 minutes later)
hi. been smoking about 40 years. right now I am smoking about 6 cigs a day. Before it was about 15. What is NRT? never tried. I quit for a year, but was using e Cigarettes. thanks so much
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (12 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
NRT is nicotine replacement therapy.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your follow up question on Health Care Magic.
I can understand your concern.
NRT is nicotine replacement therapy. It is cornerstone in smoking cessation.
In this, nicotine gums or lozenges are given to patient in tapering dose to relieve smoking craving.
For this, you should enroll in Pulmonary Rehabilitation center where psychotherapist is available who motivates you by counselling and NRT.
So NRT is medical nicotine which gives smoother cessation from cigarette smoking.
Hope I have solved your query.
If you are not having further queries, then please close the conversation and rate my answer.
You can ask me directly on bit.ly/askdrkaushalbhavsar.
Wish you good health. Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Naveen Kumar
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Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar

Pulmonologist

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 14912 Questions

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What causes shortness of breath while walking?

Brief Answer: Quit smoking and get done PFT. Detailed Answer: Thanks for your question on Health Care Magic. I can understand your concern. By your history and description, possibility of COPD (chronic obstructive Pulmonary disease) is more. You are chronic smoker and having breathlessness on exertion since long time. All these favour COPD more. So better to consult pulmonologist and get done 1. Clinical examination of respiratory system 2. PFT (Pulmonary Function Test). PFT is must for the diagnosis of COPD. It will also tell you about severity of the disease and treatment is based on severity only. Smoking cessation is the main thing in treatment of COPD. Inhaled treatment is best treatment for COPD. So please let me know 1. Which inhaler you are taking? 2. Do you have cough and expectoration? Please reply me answers of above asked questions, so that I can guide you better. I will be happy to help you further. Wish you good health. Thanks.