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    What causes shortness of breath ?

Posted on Sat, 1 Jul 2017 in Lung and Chest disorders
Question: I am experiencing shortness of breath
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
different possible causes

Detailed Answer:
HI, thanks for using healthcare magic

Shortness of breath can be due to different possible causes: (1) related to a condition of the heart eg heart failure, heart attack

(2)related to a condition of the lungs eg a clot in the lungs,asthma, pneumonia, pneumothorax, collapsed lung

(3)due to anemia (low blood count)

(4)due to over exertion

(5)related to stress or anxiety

If there is a history of heart disease or you have chest pain or there is a history of smoking, high cholesterol, family history of heart disease, overweight or obese, high blood pressure- these are all risk factors for a heart attack--- then you need to be seen as soon as possible. Tests are needed

If none of these are present but you are very short of breath, then you still need evaluation because lung disease needs to be ruled out by your history of symptoms, examination and investigations such as blood tests and chest x ray

If the heart and lungs assessment are normal then the other causes are considered but these are mainly considered only after serious causes have been ruled out by assessment (history, exam, investigations)

A complete blood count would check for anemia

If all of the investigations are normal and no obvious cause is seen then stress/anxiety , is considered

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Answered by
Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16811 Questions


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