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What causes sudden onset breathlessness and coughing?

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Posted on Sat, 23 May 2015
Question: Good morning. I do not have a follow-up appointment with my neurologist until next Tuesday. since Saturday I started having episodes they have progressively worsened. since last night I am very stiff and this morning experiencing coughing and shortness of breath. I left a message for my doctor.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Why you are consulting neurologist?

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your question on Health Care Magic.
Which neurological disease you are having?
Which treatment you are taking for that neurological disease?
You are having sudden onset breathlessness and coughing.
So we need to rule out Pulmonary embolism, congestive cardiac failure and pneumonia.
So please let me know about your neurological disease, so that I can guide you further for breathlessness and coughing.
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 (15 minutes later)
I went to my neurologist as referred by pcp for muscle weakness, headaches, shortness of breath. stiffness, extreme fatigue, numbness, light headed, confusion, aches and pains, and abdominal issues (that were cleared by GI after extensive testing ). on days like today it is difficult to even get to down the hall. pcp was thinking lyme disease (despite negative test results) or other neurological issue. only thing my blood work shows so far is infection somewhere. brain Mri did show swollen nymph nodes and dealt sign

Her last theory was that I may be throwing clots. So she sent me for a MRV to rule out cvt. the images are attached. she started me on an aspirin regimen in addition to other medications.

The medications have been helping me but on Saturday I started having another episodes through today being the worst.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Better to get done serum ANA level and Pulmonary Angiography.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your follow up question on HCM.
I can understand your situation and problem. I have gone through your images.
For your breathlessness and coughing, better to get done CT Pulmonary Angiography to rule out Pulmonary embolism and infarction.
Also get done serum ANA level to rule out connective tissue disease (CTD).
Have you ever undergone such tests in past?
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 (9 minutes later)
I have not done a ct pulmonary angiography.

My pcp did run a test to rule out lupus and rheumatoid athritis. which came back normal. MS was also ruled out. I think those ran a ana level test.

I am just scared and incredibly frustrated.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (3 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Have you undergone muscle biopsy?

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your follow up question on HCM.
Have you undergone muscle biopsy?
Are you smoker?
What are your height, weight?
Has your doctor rule out myasthenia gravis?
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 (7 minutes later)
I had a colonoscopy done in January where they took a biopsy.

never have smoked

5'2 and 140 pounds. I have lost 16 pounds since Oct 2014

no one has ever mentioned that diease to me
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (9 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Do you have normal menstrual cycle?

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your follow up question on HCM.
Myasthenia gravis is autoimmune disease affects middle aged females mostly.
It can present with similar symptoms.
You need to get done EMG study for this and antibodies for acetyl choline receptors.
Do you have normal menstrual cycle?
Have you checked for female hormones?
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 (10 minutes later)
first thank you for your help.

my menstrual cycle have been changing for a while now. so I have had a full work through my gynocologist. And my pcp ran a hormone panel which all came back normal.

just to note my health has been declining for almost two years. it all started with severe abdominal pain and bloating and resulting my gallbladder being removed. I have always noted the fatigue and weak XXXXXXX but that has been ignore up until this year.

right now I'm stable as long as I don't get up. once i get up and moving the coughing and shortness od breath returns. i also have a pressure headache. should I head to an er even though there is not an apparent emergency. walk a block then go in? just continue to wait until my neurologist repsonds?

thanks again for all your help.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (10 hours later)
Brief Answer:
You can wait for your neurologist's call.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your follow up question on HCM.
I can understand your concern.
At present you are stable on rest and having all the troubles only on some exertion.
So you can wait for your neurologist 's appointment.
But if you feel worsening of headache, breathlessness on rest then immediately consult emergency room.
Do discuss about CT Pulmonary Angiography to rule out Pulmonary embolism.
Also discuss about possibility of myasthenia gravis (rare).
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
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Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar

Pulmonologist

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 14854 Questions

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What causes sudden onset breathlessness and coughing?

Brief Answer: Why you are consulting neurologist? Detailed Answer: Thanks for your question on Health Care Magic. Which neurological disease you are having? Which treatment you are taking for that neurological disease? You are having sudden onset breathlessness and coughing. So we need to rule out Pulmonary embolism, congestive cardiac failure and pneumonia. So please let me know about your neurological disease, so that I can guide you further for breathlessness and coughing. I will be happy to help you further. Wish you good health. Thanks.