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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes shortness of breath and swelling in legs?

I am a 45 yr old female. I work in a freezer environment everyday. I just started working in the cold temperatures in the past 3 months. I get very winded with simply lifting an occasional heavy box and I have to catch my breath. Also, I have always worked on my feet but recently my legs from the knee down have been swelling after 10 hrs of work. My blood pressure is 115/59, should I be alarmed with heart trouble?
Wed, 31 Dec 2014
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Pulmonologist 's  Response
Thanks for your question on HCM.
There are many causes for shortness of breath with bilateral pedal edema.
The common ones are
1. Cardiac cause (heart failure)
2. Low serum protien
3. Low hemoglobin
4. Vericose veins (you are standing more at your work)
5. Postural edema
So I advice you to get done
1. ECG
2. 2D Echo, to rule out cardiac cause.
If both are normal than no need to worry for cardiac cause.
Get done CBC ( Complete Blood Count ) and protein level to rule out anemia and Hypoprotienemia respectively.
If all these are normal than mostly you are having positional edema.
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What causes shortness of breath and swelling in legs?

Thanks for your question on HCM. There are many causes for shortness of breath with bilateral pedal edema. The common ones are 1. Cardiac cause (heart failure) 2. Low serum protien 3. Low hemoglobin 4. Vericose veins (you are standing more at your work) 5. Postural edema So I advice you to get done 1. ECG 2. 2D Echo, to rule out cardiac cause. If both are normal than no need to worry for cardiac cause. Get done CBC ( Complete Blood Count ) and protein level to rule out anemia and Hypoprotienemia respectively. If all these are normal than mostly you are having positional edema.